“Happy Birthday To You And To You” – Side Show

21 Apr

I hear people say often, how quickly time goes by when you have kids. I was realizing this back at home as the months just flew by. But maybe time felt a little accelerated since living in a hospital makes time seem to stand still. Nonetheless, Ella and Ethan are one year old today which means they are reaching another tremendous milestone. Milestones were what I lived for while I was on bed rest at the hospital. “If I can just get to 24 weeks so that they are viable…if I can make it to 30 weeks so that their lungs develop a little more…if I can hang on until 34 weeks, they might not need to be in the NICU…” I would lie in bed praying for these miracles and then finally the last miracle occurred on April 21, 2012 when both Ella and Ethan were born healthy and big.

Now exactly one year later, I have two toddlers with completely different and unique personalities. I had always wondered about the nature vs. nurture debate and how much of a person’s being they were actually born with, compared to how they were raised. I was so surprised to see that within the first few weeks of life, the twins were already so different with Ella being strong-willed and independent and Ethan being more sensitive and needy (with a cute worried look always on his face). At that point, there was not much nurture to go off of and it really made me see that these kids were born this way.

Throughout the year, these little sparkles of personalities have become more definite with not much changing. Ella is still very head-strong and when she wants something, she goes for it without a second thought. Ella also maintains her “alfa dog” status by doing everything first before Ethan (rolling over, crawling, and now almost walking). Being a girl gives her most of the advantage but deep down, she is one determined little lady. She loves to practice a new trick until she gets it perfect and then refuses anyone trying to help her. For example, recently Ella has mastered feeding herself by holding her own bottle…with one hand! If I try to hold the bottle for her she starts crying because she wants to do it. However, Ethan loves being taken care of and prefers acting like a little prince. He just started crawling after watching his sister on the move for two months. He loved watching her romp around but never really had the desire to do so. Then one day out of the blue he just started crawling, almost as if he realized mommy and daddy are not going to be around all the time to move him where he needs to go. Ethan is still a sensitive soul and is typically the one crying the most when those cranky moments hit. Nothing that a cuddle can’t solve which he absolutely relishes. On the other hand, when I try to cuddle with Ella, she is squirming away living up to her “mover and shaker” self. I started to think back to their personalities in the womb and how when the nurses had to perform my daily NST’s, Ella was always moving around so much it was difficult to find her heartbeat, while Ethan would stay in one spot…tucked up within my ribs all cozy and content.

It is really hard to imagine life without these two and it makes me think about the fact that we came so close to losing them back when I was only 19 weeks pregnant. Recently, the twins and I went back to the hospital to visit the nurses who had become my family. They could not believe how big Ella and Ethan had grown and how much I had shrunk since the last time they saw all of us. I was also lucky enough to catch the famous Dr. Tabsh who turns into mush when he sees babies. It is so great to watch him when he is in that mood because he is normally known for his unwavering silent focus and lack of bedside manner. Ethan in particular could not stop smiling when Dr. Tabsh was holding him…almost like he knew that this was the man that saved his life. Dr. Tabsh loved every minute of it and I could tell that these kind of moments for him are what justifies the extremely hard work he performs every day. This man probably sleeps a total of 4 hours a night, never takes vacations, and basically lives at the hospital. I know this because I used to literally live at the hospital! I am eternally grateful that today is the first of many birthday celebrations that our family will enjoy thanks to this angel of a man.

*The song “Happy Birthday To You And To You” is from the 1997 Broadway musical Side Show which is based on the true story of Siamese twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton. Luckily, Ella and Ethan are not attached at the hip like those lovely ladies but I will say that I am so happy that they get to grow up together and be each other’s best friend. Sharing not only many birthdays together, but countless life experiences that hopefully will not pass by too quickly. Happy Birthday to the most fantastic “Broadway Babies” in the entire universe! I love you more than words can express.

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My ONE year olds!

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Ella’s famous one-handed bottle trick

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Ethan’s cute “worried” look

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Reunion with Dr. T…and the door to my old room behind us

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Flashback to last year

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“My Favorite Things” – The Sound of Music

26 Mar

When you become a mom, you not only learn how to take care of a baby but you suddenly become a connoisseur of the numerous baby products. When I put together my baby registry in the hospital, I did it all based on online reviews and recommendations since I was never able to go out to the store myself. Since then, I have had a lot of friends and other new moms ask me how it all turned out, so I figured I would share what I learned about the overwhelming world of baby merchandise. As a disclaimer, this is what worked for me and the twins. Every mom and baby is different and having two babies changes some decisions about specific products. Also, keep in mind that I did not get to sample any other brands. Whatever I ended up getting is what I have experience with. Luckily, since the reviews and advice I received was so helpful, these specific brands and products have ultimately become my favorite things. With that said, here is my top 5 list of must haves which my family has enjoyed thus far:

1. Bottles & Accessories: I did a ton of research about bottles because there are over a dozen different kinds claiming to do a variety of great things for your baby. I ended up choosing Dr. Brown’s because of the rave reviews regarding how the bottles eliminate air bubbles which helps reduce colic, spit-up, etc. The negative reviews only talked about how these bottles take longer to clean because of the two extra parts which take away the air bubbles. Yes, it might take an extra 20 seconds to clean these bottles, but if it saves me from cleaning the bigger messes that spit-up could cause or dealing with a fussy baby, I will gladly wash those extra parts. Plus, my son Ethan had acid reflux so these bottles really helped minimize his condition. I was lucky that Ella and Ethan liked the bottles too because I have heard of other moms needing to buy several different brands before their baby chooses one that they will drink from. Other than the bottles, I also got the Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer and steam sterilizer which get a lot of use since our household has double the amount of bottles at every feeding.

2. Stroller: There are not very many double strollers out there that appealed to me because I never wanted to be that mom getting stuck in doors with this wide thing that is hard to maneuver. Because of this, I opted for the tandem stroller as opposed to the side-by-side. But then the issue with the tandem stroller is one kid is stuck with a bad view if they get the back seat. Luckily, the Baby Jogger City Select tackles this challenge and offers numerous configurations for my twins. This stroller also does not have to be used as a double stroller because it comes in a single version initially, then you can add an additional seat to it. The City Select has been deemed the “swiss army knife of strollers” because there are 16 different configurations that it can do. For example, I love that I can have each baby face each other and be able to interact. Plus, while the kids are using the infant car seats, there are adaptors you can purchase in order to snap the seats onto the stroller so you don’t have to buy a separate Snap N’ Go stroller. Probably the best news is that it is one of the lightest double strollers out there being 30 pounds. I can lift it in and out of the car without a problem which means a lot after having a c-section and being on bed rest for 4 months!

3. Infant Car Seats: When I was shopping online for car seats, I was mainly looking for ones that would have a longer usage time frame since babies tend to grow out of so many things too quickly. It’s not a big deal when they outgrow items that don’t cost too much, but car seats are a big investment. I ended up choosing the Graco Snugride 35 for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it had some of the highest safety ratings which is obviously the most important factor. Other than that, this specific car seat can be used until your baby is 35 pounds (that’s what the 35 in the name means). Graco also has other car seats with lower weight limits but the higher you go, the more bang you get for your buck. Recently, they just came out with a Snugride 40! In addition, this brand has the biggest variety of colors, patterns, and designs to choose from, compared to other car seat brands. At this point, we probably will have these car seats for about another 6-12 months depending on how fast the twins grow and then we will transition to the next stage of car seat.

4. Swaddle Blankets: Hands down, the Miracle Blanket was truly a miracle for us. The twins slept so much better when they were tightly swaddled and it helped tremendously when they had colic for the first 3 months. When we tried to swaddle them with regular blankets or the velcro type swaddle blankets, they would always manage to wake up, break free, scratch their face, and cry. The Miracle Blankets are basically like little straight jackets that would hold their arms down properly while keeping their hips and legs free to move. These blankets are one of the more pricier swaddle blankets at about $25 each but it is completely worth it. We only used these for 3 months since we weaned them off of swaddling at that point but regardless of how long they were in use, they saved us from a lot of fussiness and helped them get into good sleeping habits early on. Make sure you buy two (you will need an extra one if the other is dirty).

5. Baby Monitors: There are so many choices of monitors out there and you can really get lost in all of the features and not really know what is completely necessary. I opted for a more simpler model without all of the bells and whistles since I had to add to my purchase a second camera because there are two cribs to spy on. I have been very happy with the Summer Infant Slim & Secure Plus video monitor and the reviews were right on about not having any static. I guess other brands of monitors have a bad history of static issues but this brand has a beautiful clear color picture. It is also very easy to use and easy for the grandparents to figure out too. Other high tech monitors that cost a lot more money have cameras that you can remotely move and zoom, a touch screen controller, etc. For an extra $100, it was not that important to me and I was able to use that money for other important baby essentials which have been added to my list of favorite baby things.

*The song “My Favorite Things” is from the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music which originally starred Mary Martin as Maria. Julie Andrews then famously took over the role of Maria in the movie which never seemed to leave my VCR growing up. Overall, what I learned from this whole experience is take the time to do the research. Don’t just pick a product to add to your registry without knowing the pros and cons and what other moms are saying about it. We live in an age where we can read a review about pretty much anything before we make the big purchase. By being an informed buyer, you definitely increase those chances of having a bunch of favorite things that you and your kids can enjoy for years to come.

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Snug as a bug in their Miracle Blankets

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Ethan is a big Dr. Brown’s fan

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This stroller even lets the twins play footsie!

“I Got Life” – Hair

21 Dec

December 21st, 10:00pm, Pacific Standard Time, I can’t believe a year went by so fast…

Today marks the one year anniversary of finding out that my babies were in trouble which landed us into the hospital for 126 days.  Such a scary event and difficult time brought so many positive and amazing experiences that I never would have thought could happen.  Starting this blog was the first thing I did when I was admitted into the hospital and it has allowed me to share my story with the world and have the opportunity to help other moms on bed rest who are going through or have gone through this tremendous experience.  I have obviously been incredibly busy which has made it very difficult to regularly write more blog posts but regardless, our story goes on and it needs to be told.  It amazes me how slowly time went by in the hospital while I was on bed rest and now, those same 24 hours I would get each day, are flying at warp speed.  So much has happened since April 21st and my life has completely changed.

Coming home from the hospital was at first so wonderful and I felt such a sense of freedom.  Freedom to finally be a mother after so many years of waiting, freedom to walk, freedom to go outside, and freedom to do everything else I was deprived of in the hospital…especially taking regular showers!  But soon I would discover that this “freedom” was not so easy to come by in my situation.  I was extremely weak and in a lot of pain from the bed rest and c-section.  I could not take care of myself, let alone two infants.  All of the things I had been dreaming about doing as soon as I got home were still dreams since I physically could not accomplish anything.  We were very lucky to have so much help from family and friends when we got home but in a way, I wished we didn’t have it.  I wanted to do everything myself and not have to rely on anyone since I had been living with so many restrictions and limitations at the hospital.  I was so thirsty for independence that not even being able to change a diaper was depressing to me.  I knew that I would be limited because of my body but I did not realize just how much. Thankfully, I was able to go to physical therapy which helped make me strong again and little by little I was able to regain my independence.

Just when my body was starting to feel normal and I could finally take care of the kids on my own, I had to prepare myself to go back to work after being gone for seven months. Then a couple of weeks before I started back at my job, I got the horrible news that my Dad passed away. Ella and Ethan were just about three months old and now they would never get to know their one remaining maternal grandparent. It was hard enough knowing that my Mom would not be around to watch them grow up, but then realizing that my Dad would not be in the picture was very sad.  Even though he was not much of a visitor when I was in the hospital, he did manage to spend some precious time with the twins right after they were born. He came to the hospital and got to hold each of them which meant so much to me.  All I can think of now is that at least he got to meet them and hold them which is more than my Mom was able to do.  My Dad being able to spend the short amount of time with them was better than no time at all and I am grateful for that gift.

After recovering from the loss of my Dad, it has been so hard for me to have new babies and not be able to turn to my parents for advice or listen to the stories of what they went through as new parents.  Luckily, one thing I do have from them is a textile with the poem “Children Learn What They Live.”  It hung in my room when I was a child and I thought it was long gone after so many years.  Miraculously, it was found while cleaning out my Dad’s garage and I took the very dirty and damaged textile and got it restored and re-framed.  Like a gift from the great beyond, now my children can enjoy this poem and the life lessons that it teaches.  It is almost as if my parents left that for me to find to know that they are still with me and watching over all of us.

Despite the difficult journey I have been on this past year, I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of.  I get stopped constantly by people once they see I have a double stroller and realize I have twins.  “You must have your hands full!” and “I don’t know how you do it!” are the comments that I get.  Yes, twins are a lot of work but honestly, after everything I have been through, taking care of them and spending time with them is easy and fun compared to trying to keep myself from going crazy lying in bed for four months!  My hands are full…but not full of burden and exhaustion like most people assume.  My hands are full of appreciation and pleasure for getting two beautiful, healthy babies that make every second spent in bed worth the wait and sacrifice.

*The song “I Got Life” is from the 1968 Broadway musical Hair which was one of the first rock musicals on Broadway.  Recently, the new revival in 2009 won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. I absolutely love this musical and its message.  This song in particular really puts me in such a good mood and reminds me that no matter what bad things may happen, I am still alive and healthy and that I also have two new little lives that bring me so much happiness.  It is so important to focus on what you do have in your life, and not what you are missing.

Happy Grandpa

Happy Grandpa

Grandparent's gift from beyond

Grandparent’s gift from beyond

1st Halloween (6 months old)

1st Halloween (6 months old)

Dream come true

Introducing…The Fisher Family!

“I’m Going Home” – The Rocky Horror Show

21 May

After finally experiencing the momentous occasion of the birth of my twins, the next big event that I had been anxiously waiting for was to go back home. At 122 days in the hospital, I only had four more days to go until my discharge papers were signed making my entire hospital stay a whopping 126 days! April 25th could not come soon enough and unfortunately, those four little days recovering from surgery were going to be harder than expected.

Immediately after the c-section, I was taken to the recovery room where we got to spend our “golden hour” with the twins and get some good skin to skin contact before they got whisked away to be fully cleaned up and checked out. My epidural was still going strong so I was feeling really good snuggled up with the kids and just taking in the fact that I had successfully accomplished the biggest challenge in my entire life. Then once the twins left, the anesthesiologist started to transition me from my epidural to regular pain medications since we were only going to be in the recovery room for about two hours. The nurses mentioned that during surgery, there was one complication that occurred which was now under control. I had lost a large amount of blood when the two placentas were removed. This occurred because my uterus was not able to work normally since I had been so inactive these past several months. My uterine muscles were atrophied along with all of the rest of my muscles. My doctor had anticipated this outcome so they put in a Bakri balloon to put pressure on the bleeding so that I would not need a transfusion. This life saving device came with a price because once the epidural was turned off, the strongest of medications did absolutely nothing to control the pain from everything I just went through. They gave me Percocet, Dilaudid, Morphine, and Oxycontin to name a few, but nothing could touch this level of pain. After five long hours, they ended up turning back on my epidural which provided the only relief. While this whole ordeal was going on, I sent Brett out with the twins to spend time with our families who were worried about us since I had not been released from the recovery room. Brett soon returned with the twins once I was stable and after a total of seven hours in recovery, I was sent back to my original room in labor and delivery to be closely observed. I did not get to see my family at all since we got back to our room at 2:00am. After two difficult days recovering, we then made the transition to our postpartum room on the other side of the maternity ward where we would spend our last two nights at the hospital.

After all of the months isolated from the real world, April 25th was at last here and the final packing began. Before we officially left, I decided to take a walk around the hospital one last time. Ironically on this day, the hospital started a new program where all of the moms on bed rest would meet twice a month on their gurneys to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the hospital social worker. Apparently, this program was in the works for awhile and my Facebook group helped make these face-to-face meetings more of a priority. I popped into the meeting briefly to say goodbye to everyone and assure them that every single second spent lying in bed was so unbelievably worth it. Once my babies were in my arms, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat regardless of how difficult or long this endeavor had been. It was nice seeing everyone and being able to leave them with hope that bed rest can lead to a very successful outcome in their own pregnancies.

The last and most important things we had to pack up were of course the twins in their brand new car seats which I got to see in person for the very first time. A huge wave of emotion began to hit me as the room started to look empty with all of our things loaded up on carts to take down to the car. Tears began to fall as a wheelchair was rolled in, signaling that my stay was in fact over. It was very surreal to know that my new life was finally about to begin as I sat down in the wheelchair with Ethan on my lap in his car seat. We started to move and Brett walked next to me carrying Ella in her car seat as we both cried tears of joy. Then after 126 days of confinement, my wheelchair was pushed out into the fresh air and I got to see the gorgeous blue sky for the first time since December. I could see the clouds and the sun and human life happening outside of the hospital walls. I then realized just how much this entire experience completely changed my life and the way I view the world. I had given up four months of my life in order to give my kids the chance to live. A very small price to pay for two beautiful, healthy babies who will get to know that life is extremely precious once they have been told the story of how they came into this world.

*The song “I’m Going Home” is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show which then became the famous midnight cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank-N-Furter sings this soulful ballad once he finds out that he is being taken back to his home planet but desires to stay on Earth instead. In my case, there was no way I was desiring to stay at that hospital one more minute, and seeing our car pulled up outside ready to take us all back together was so glorious. The entire car ride home both Brett and I continued to cry that at last we were free to be a family. Brett had made the lonely drive back and forth down Pacific Coast Highway so many times coming to visit me. Now, his wish came true that this final drive back home included not only me, but the twins as well. We all made it through this incredible journey with an enormous appreciation for all of the amazing blessings in our life. Don’t dream it…be it!

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My first glimpse of the sky!

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I’m free!!!

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Happy tears as we leave as a family

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A dream come true

“Paciencia Y Fe” – In the Heights

2 May

The day had come exactly four months from when the journey began. I was admitted into the hospital on December 21st and now on the very last day of the 36th week, my babies were finally born on April 21st. While being on bed rest, I have listened to the heartbeats of my twins 244 times and felt them kicking and moving inside of my belly more times than I could count. As I was waiting for the c-section to begin, I could not help but think about how extraordinary it would be to able to meet and hold them after all of this time spent lying in bed.

The night before that amazing day, Brett and I decided to have a date night since it would be our last official night together as a married couple without kids. I was allowed to leave my room and have dinner with him in the family dining room at the hospital. It felt so good just to be able to sit in a chair and eat normally for the first time since becoming bedridden. I definitely will not miss eating lying down with a big towel draped over me. He brought in yummy food from Hillstone which is one of our favorite restaurants and we had a feast with filets and loaded baked potatoes. A much needed break from my usual hospital food dining experience. Dinner was really nice and we got to spend some time out on the patio for some fresh air before going back to the room. After dinner, we arrived in the now famous, room 2524 and the packing up began. Brett started taking all of the decorations off of the walls and little by little, this room went back to the way it was 17 weeks ago. It was very bittersweet in a way because our “Santa Monica studio” had become our new home, but we were so excited to be finally going back to our real home as a family.

The next day, when the time came to go to the operating room, they let me walk down the hall instead of being rolled in which made the start of this next chapter just that much better. Finally on my feet again! My doctor told me how amazed he was that I had gotten this far along in my pregnancy. He, along with all of the nurses were expecting my c-section to be an unplanned event. Typically, women in my situation go into full preterm labor where contractions can’t not be stopped by major drugs and the birth commences with an emergency c-section. This scenario had already happened to some of the other moms here on bed rest, so I always made sure to prepare myself for this kind of potentially scary event. Yet as each week went by, the chances of me delivering too early became less likely and the NICU started becoming a maybe instead of a have to.

In the operating room, I was being prepped for surgery and a sense of calm came over me even though I was being poked and prodded. Then Brett came in and sat down beside me in full scrubs and I knew that the show was about to start. At 5:22pm the first cry was heard from Ella Madison and my own tears could not stop flowing. Then at 5:23pm there was another cry from Ethan Tate and my joyous crying began to echo theirs. Two strong crying babies! They are breathing on their own which means that they could be alright. As soon as Brett came back to me after checking on them he confirmed that they were both very healthy scoring an 8 on their first APGAR test at one minute old and then the score raised to 9 at the five minute mark. No NICU!!! Once they were all cleaned up, they brought them over to me so that I could kiss each one and look at them for the first time. After all of the incredible sacrifice and hard work over the past couple of years, we were finally a family and all of the thousands of minutes spent on bed rest just melted away. Not only were they healthy but everyone in that operating room could not believe their weights! Ethan weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces and Ella weighed 6 pounds even. My petite five foot frame carried over 12 pounds of baby not including the added weight of the two placentas and amniotic fluid sacks. What was even more amazing was the fact that this small piece of string which held my cervix shut for the past four months made this successful outcome possible. My doctor is also an expert at performing the cerclage procedure which drastically helped improved my odds. I heard many horror stories online of poorly done cerclage procedures where the stitch comes loose or falls out, resulting in dire circumstances. When I was being sewn up after the c-section, he was also taking out the cerclage and I requested to keep this miraculous piece of string so that I could never forget how Dr. Tabsh saved the two precious lives of my twins.

*The song “Paciencia Y Fe” is from the 2008 Broadway musical In the Heights which won many Tony Awards including Best Musical. The character Abuela Claudia sings this song about her journey to America from Cuba as a young girl, and how her mother kept telling her “paciencia y fe” which means patience and faith since the transition was very difficult. Since being admitted into the hospital, this song has been playing inside of my head because I knew that patience and faith were two things that I would need to survive this tremendous life event. It was so important to stay positive, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and most importantly…stay in bed!

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Brett taking down the decorations

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Me and Dr. Tabsh the night before the c-section

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The Broadway Babies meet Mommy!

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Proud Papa

“Something’s Coming” – West Side Story

15 Apr

“I got a feeling there’s a miracle due, gonna come true, coming to me!”

Four months ago, I was given the goal to make it to 36 weeks in my pregnancy so that my twins had the best chance of surviving and leaving the womb pretty much “cooked.”  I prayed for this to come true but was always worried that they would have different plans and arrive prematurely.  Each week that went by became a new milestone and celebration because their chances for being healthy kept rising and the threat of staying in the NICU kept falling.  I was also questioning whether or not my petite body could withstand two babies continuing to grow inside of me, but week by week my belly expanded without hesitation.  Since I have miraculously met this goal, the final countdown to parenthood has officially begun.

Now that my “graduation” is so close I can taste it, I can’t help but think what I will actually miss about living in the hospital.  This whole experience is not something I would choose for myself or anyone for that matter, but there are some aspects that will be hard to say goodbye to.  Other than the obvious superficial things like not having to cook, clean, or lift a finger, the saddest part of leaving is saying goodbye to all of the nurses that have become my new family.  I literally spent more time with them throughout my stay then with my family and friends since the nurses were taking care of me for the duration of their long, 12 hour shifts.  When I felt lonely, they were there and I really got to know them well in between medicine distribution, checking my vital signs, performing the fetal non-stress tests, etc.  I definitely plan on keeping in touch with my nurses and bringing the twins by for a visit when we are in the area.

The other women on bed rest that I have met while in the hospital have also played a big role in keeping me sane during this time.  The large amount of encouragement and good vibes has been some of the best medicine I have received while being here.  Plans have already been made to meet up with our babies to keep our little “sorority” going outside of the Facebook group and hospital walls.  Some of the Moms have delivered since I have been here and after I leave, there will be even more on their way to “graduating” themselves.  I also plan on continuing to maintain the Facebook group for all of the future bed rest Moms that will move-in after I have left.  The nurses know how to direct new patients to the group and I look forward to watching the amount of members expand for as long as it can last.  One big question I keep thinking about is who will be the next to inhabit room 2524 and more importantly, who will receive the magical sunflower?  I can definitely attest to its powers having become the next Mom that has successfully reached the coveted 36 week mark.

So the anticipation and excitement has really started to build because I could go into labor at any time now and there will be no need to try to stop it with heavy duty drugs.  If I end up not going into labor on my own, then the doctor will just schedule the c-section this week or the next.  My husband will start to pack up my things and take the decorations off of the wall as we prepare for the birth and the much awaited move to the postpartum section of the maternity ward.  It is very strange to finally be at the end of my pregnancy journey after spending so many days in waiting that seemed to last forever.  Now with time flying by, Brett and I are trying to think of everything that needs to be in place so that we are as prepared as possible once we take that car ride home and permanently leave The BirthPlace.  I remember the last car ride we took together was filled with fear as we raced to the hospital after that fateful 19 week ultrasound appointment.  What a difference 17 weeks makes where instead of fear and worry, our car will be filled with joy, elation, and of course two beautiful babies.

*The song “Something’s Coming” is from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story which is a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in 1950’s New York City. The main character Tony, is singing about his future and the exciting possibilities that might await him at the dance that night.  He ends up being right because he meets the love of his life, Maria and both of their lives are forever changed.  I am so happy that in my world, the “something” that is coming are my twins which will forever change the lives of Brett and myself.  We completely appreciate all of the love and support throughout these past four months from everyone that has reached out in our time of need.  It is obvious that all of the prayers and well wishes have worked and our dream of becoming a family will come true before the end of April!  “There’s something due any day…”

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The magical sunflower worked!

“Free” – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

8 Apr

At this point of my hospital stay I have gotten used to missing out on a lot of events that I was supposed to attend.  This latest one being the Passover Seder, and it is probably the first time I have ever missed going in my whole life.  Usually at my family’s Seder, we read the story of Passover about how the Israelites were freed from slavery in ancient Egypt.  Then, we talk about our own lives and how over this past year we were “freed” from something ourselves.  Last year for instance, my husband was very excited to speak about how he was finally free from school since he had just graduated from Pepperdine University with an MBA.  This year for me, in less than a month I will soon be free from my hospital bed and allowed to actually leave the four walls of this room which have become my world over the course of four months.

But as I near the end of my pregnancy, even though it feels really good to be so close to going home, these next couple of weeks will not be too easy on my body.  I have gained 50 pounds so far and with my limited mobility of being on bed rest, it has gotten extremely hard to walk back and forth to the bathroom since I feel out of breath and exhausted.  While lying in bed, if I need to switch positions, just turning from one side to the other feels like I am trying to complete a marathon.  I have a special bar above my bed which helps me move around by using my upper body since I basically don’t have functioning abs at this point.  To help with my motivation, I have hung baby clothes on this bar so that I am always keeping my eye on the prize no matter how difficult it gets (I have to give credit to one of the Moms from my bed rest Facebook group who gave me this creative idea).  At this point, my main concern is just getting home and starting to take care of two newborns with this altered body.  By then, I will not only be recovering from my muscle atrophy and fatigue, but also the c-section surgery.  Regardless of how uncomfortable it is being enslaved in a body that has been put through so much, I will finally get the freedom to be a mother which I have constantly been longing for.

Even though I am in a lot of pain and discomfort right now, it helps me so much to flashback to a time where I gained another huge sense of freedom when my infertility issues were finally solved.  It really felt like my husband and I had a huge loss of control with trying to get pregnant for two years.  Especially when it seemed like everyone else around us automatically got the privilege to create human life without complications.  We were slaves to alternative treatments and drugs with constant appointments to our reproductive endocrinologist and acupuncturist.  Every time there was a failed attempt to get pregnant, it was so devastating and difficult to start all over again with a new plan of action.  You try so hard to stay positive but yet you don’t want to get your hopes up too much just in case it wasn’t meant to be.  At last year’s Passover Seder, I could not help but think about my own “bondage” to these fertility drugs and really prayed that this “affliction” would soon be over.  Luckily, all of my prayers were answered four months later when we finally got good news that there was not only one embryo but two!

So for now, I am just going suck up the pain and keep myself laser focused on what I came here to do.  I have already endured two years with the infertility problems and now almost four months of strict hospital bed rest.  I can certainly last a few more weeks if it means that all of my dreams will come true of having a family of my own.  “Free! Oh, what a word!”

*The song “Free” is from the 1962 Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  The character Pseudolus is a Roman slave who wants nothing more than to be free and agrees to help his master Hero find love in exchange for his freedom.  In the song, Pseudolus is fantasizing about what it will actually be like once he is free and starts talking about all of things he will get to do.  I have already romanced this idea in a previous blog post but now with the reality so close, I have taken it a step further and started a to-do list of important things to get done once the babies are born (call the health insurance, get the car seats installed into the car, schedule the first pediatrician appointment, etc).  It will be so strange to be back in society where I am not constantly connected to a monitor and watched like a hawk to ensure that I am staying in bed.  This freedom thing will become very real when all of the things in my room get packed up and then I am getting wheeled into the operating room to start my new life as a mother of twins.

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My bar gets me out of bed and doubles as a rack for baby clothes!