Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a new chapter

For those interested in keeping up on (primarily) pregnancy and baby news, please go here:

If you view my profile and scroll to the bottom, you'll see this new blog listed there as Two Peas in a Pod.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

i gave my hairdresser carte blanche

I've been going to this hair dresser for a few years and I love her. I've asked her in the past to go short and she always refused and convinced me to keep it long. When I went to see her last Thursday I decided to just let her do whatever she wants because it's what she ends up doing anyway. I had no idea she would cut it this short! I'm not crazy about it, but am hoping it'll grow on me (ha! No pun intended).


And the new 'do:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a very bad mommy-to-be

I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of my thoughts and my feelings. I’m ashamed of not being focused on the big picture and being so petty.

I remember many instances with many pregnant women over the years where I would listen to these pregnant women complain about their weight gain during pregnancy and the changes in their bodies. I remember thinking less of them because they should be grateful that they were expecting a child. I remember thinking that their primary concern should be nourishing that child within and that they could go back to focusing on having the perfect figure after they gave birth. I remember thinking (especially during the last four years while I struggled with conception and with miscarriages) that these women were ungrateful and had no knowledge of hardships with baby-making. I feel like I have become one of those women.

I went shopping for a special occasion dress this weekend. I’m about 13 weeks along in the pregnancy – far enough along to look like I’m gaining weight in my midsection, but not enough to really look pregnant. The special occasion will take place in about a month. I didn’t shop in maternity stores because I don’t really have a pregnant belly yet. So I was shopping in a store with regular clothes and picked out three dresses that I thought might be flattering. I chose them all in one size larger than I normally wear – to accommodate the growing belly. They all fit me too big everywhere else and snug across my midsection. I feel like my body is no longer my own.

I feel horrible for complaining, but I still feel the slightest bit frustrated with my body – because I don’t recognize it and I no longer know how to dress it. So go ahead – tell me I’m horrible. I can take it – really.

By the way, the twins are doing wonderfully. I had my third ultrasound yesterday and they are measuring right on target (about 2.5” from the top of their heads to the bottom of their bums). Their heartbeats are still nice and strong, they were moving around a lot, and all measurements and organs (at least the organs that should be there) seem perfectly normal. I also learned that there is a 93% chance that the twins are NOT identical – this is a good thing because identical twins have a greater risk of complications in uterus. The technician told us things are ideal right now and the twins are looking great! Yay!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

third time's a charm

We were sitting in the examination room, where everything looked too familiar, waiting for the doctor to arrive and get this over with. We were both holding our breath and letting out nervous sighs as we tried to calm ourselves. We had been in this exact same situation twice before and the results had been heartbreaking.

So I sat, naked from the waist down with only a large paper towel to cover me, on the examination table with the stirrups beside my knees and my feet dangling. I kept looking at the monitor beside me and the one directly opposite me in the top corner of the room - the one I would watch while I lay back. Finally, the doctor arrived. She wasn't our doctor because our doctor was busy in the operating room. I wondered if she was performing an IUI or the In-Vitro procedure and giving some other couple hope. I had never met the doctor who walked in. She was very pleasant and very calming. I liked that. I liked her.

I knew the drill. I layed back on the table, put my feet in the stirrups, and spread my knees apart. She placed the lubricant on a condom, slid the condom over the "wand" and pushed it inside me. She asked if I was experiencing any pain and I told her it was fine. My eyes were glued to the monitor in the corner.

Within seconds she said, "Oh, there are two!" J and I both cried. Two meant twins. J immediately asked if they were ok. She told us she was checking that at the moment. We both held our breath. She measured the first one and said, "This is perfect - measuring eight weeeks! It's exactly what we want to see." Then she found the heartbeat and made us hear it. We cried more when we heard that fast and strong heartbeat. She asked, "Can you see the heart beating?" We both eagerly asked "Where?!" All we saw was a white blob inside of a black blob inside of a big cloud of white. She pointed it out and it was so clear - almost like a little white flashing light. That was my baby's heart beating. My eight week old baby was doing wonderfully and thriving. We cried even more.

After I felt that relief, I immediately began to worry about the second one. The doctor said she was looking for the second one, which is often hidden behind the first one. I was concerned that the second one might be much smaller or that we wouldn't be able to hear that heartbeat. My concerns were quickly put to rest as the doctor smiled and said, "This is beautiful! This one measures eight weeks as well. They're the same size and growing symmetrically. That is very very good!" And then we heard the other one's heartbeat - just as fast and just as strong. We cried some more.

And just like that, we went from being nervous wrecks about the possibility of our third miscarriage within a year to the wonderful realization that we will be having TWINS! We couldn't be more thrilled!

I'm still worried, of course. We still have about 32 weeks to go and, although the babies are doing wonderfully right now, we have no guarantee that all will continue to go well. But right now I am on top of the world because I heard those precious heartbeats!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

lost opportunity

When I finally got to see my father in the hospital hours before he would die, I looked at his pale skin and weak body and silently prayed that he would live long enough to meet my children. I wanted desperately to be pregnant right then and there just so I could tell him so as soon as he would regain consciousness. I remember going home that afternoon feeling worried, but hopeful. The doctor had given me hope. It was too soon for me to know whether or not I was pregnant, but I felt fairly confident that my father would pull through and I would be able to share the good news with him as soon as I had some good news to share.

When J and I were driving to the hospital that night after getting the call that he wasn’t doing well, I cried. I cried because I knew what that meant. I knew what it meant when they called one family member and asked them to advise the rest of the family. I cried because my father would never meet my children. Unknown to me at that time I was already pregnant. I wonder if he would have held on longer if he knew that I was pregnant again. I wonder if knowing that he had to get better so he could meet his only daughter’s children would have helped him find the strength to fight and live. A part of me feels like I failed him for not giving him that strength. The nurses had told us earlier that day that, although he was unconscious, patients can sometimes hear the sounds around them and that we should try to remain positive when speaking in his room. I wish I had whispered in his ear then… but I didn’t know yet that I was pregnant, so how could I have done that?

If this baby makes it, then I must find a way to have my father be a part of his or her life. I will share photographs and memories of my father and I hope that my nieces and nephews, who range in ages 8 to 15, will all share their own memories of their Nonno with my child as well. I hate that I deprived my father of the opportunity to know his grandchildren – the children of his youngest child – and I hate that my children have been deprived the opportunity to have a relationship with their Nonno. There are so many photos of my nieces and nephews with their grandfather, my children will have none. I hope that I can paint pictures for them – pictures of a man they’ll never meet, but will hopefully know through those who loved him.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a fond memory

It surprises me that I remember the context of this photo and others very similar to it. It surprises me because I was only about two years old at the time and I don't have many recollections from such an early age - quite possibly none other than this one.

My parents would take my youngest brother (two years my senior) and me with them when they would go grocery shopping. The grocery store was part of a mall and my father would often get my brother and me out of my mother's hair by taking us through the mall so that my mom could focus on getting the shopping done as quickly as possible. He would hold each of us by the hand and we would walk together. Occasionally he would take us into those photo booths and snap some photos. I don't even know how much those things cost back then, but I'm flattered now that my father would be willing to spend his very hard earned money on these silly photos.

Friday, March 7, 2008

wishing for phlegm

During the funeral, I shook hands and had my cheeks kissed by hundreds of people offering their condolences and sympathy. Some of those people were sick with a cold or flu. My mother had a nasty flu, as did one of my sisters-in-law. J started to show symptoms of the same darn bug several days after the funeral. By last Tuesday (three days ago) I started coughing. Things got very bad very quickly and I had a fever of 38.6 Wednesday afternoon and was having painful dry coughing fits that left me gasping for breath. My throat, chest, and ribs are sore from all the dry coughing. I wish things would just loosen up and get phlegmy. So I've been home the last three days, trying to rest and trying to take care of myself. This flu is just kicking my butt. I just hope the baby is still safe.