Monday, March 19, 2012

Funniest Commercial I've Seen in Awhile

You know it was a funny commercial when you remember the product/company. Target has come up with some funny ones! This one in particular! Try NOT to laugh. I dare you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

C-Section 3/24/11 8:00 a.m. Thursday Morning

So, it's been nearly a year since my c-section. The incision has healed, the memories of that day have dulled somewhat and I am able to finally look back on that day as a rosey-colored blur. (sudden sound of a record player needle being forcefully drug across a vinyl record). Hold the phone. "rosey-colored"?

I remember it like it was almost a year ago, I'll admit the details are a bit fuzzy, but I do remember that I didn't initially heal correctly, and that I ended up having to follow up with my OBGYN and have a visiting nurse come to our house on several occasions to clean and check my incision, which ended up "healing by secondary intent". Jeff did his share of irrigating my incision with sterile water and mopping up the ensuing ooze with gauze. Delish.

My OBGYN assured me that it wasn't my fault that it hadn't healed right. I had feared that I had somehow busted open my own stitches by moving around too much against medical advice or perhaps during my battles with constipation (thank you narcotic pain killers). Honestly? The worst part about my c-section was the constipation! But let me begin at the beginning.

It was Wednesday the 23rd of March and I was at the hospital for my final non-stress test. My friendly tech had strapped three heart monitors to my torso (one for me and one for each baby) and one of the babies had an irregular heart beat, indicating stress, so they decided to send me up to the maternity floor for further observation. I'm so glad the tech decided to do this. It was the right move, even though I didn't have my husband or my hospital bag, I did have my cell phone, and Jeff was able to come and bring everything I needed.

They hooked me up to the monitors again in a triage room on the maternity floor and my doctor on call from my OB practice came in to consult. For awhile they didn't know if they were going to send me home and have me come in the next morning for my csection as scheduled, or whether they wanted to do the csection that night OR whether they would keep me overnight and then do the section the next morning. They decided to keep me overnight for observation and to do the section in the morning as planned. We were able to do all our admission paperwork that night, including giving the attending nurse the names of our twin girls. It was so exciting to say them out loud to someone, because we had been keeping them a secret. It helped to make the whole experience seem vivid and real. After I was settled in alternate overnight accommodations, Jeff went home so that one of us could get some sleep and I was alone to contemplate my life changing forever in just a few hours. I hoped Jeff was able to sleep that night.

I looked at my belly in the bathroom mirror and thought about the scar I would have to mark the occasion. I laughed to think it would complete the "face" of scars across my torso. I had two breast lumpectomies that look like eyebrows over my chest, my belly button nose, and now I would be adding my smiley-faced csection scar to the mix. My mommy scar... (Now that I think of it, I also have stretch mark sideburns....)

Early the next morning, Jeff arrived and we donned our operating room garb. Jeff and I had some time to ourselves before Dr. Shah came in to see us before the surgery. Jeff looked handsome in his green hospital scrubs. He would have made a hot doctor. (He got to bring them home by the way) We sat there nervously excited and smiling at each other. I was nervous about the epidural, but my eyes were on the prize...getting to see and hold the girls!!!

Jeff wasn't allowed in the operating room until after my spinal block was in. (At my hospital, all the sections are done using spinals. It is the quickest way to free up the operating room.) I had met the anesthesiologist earlier in my hospital room along with his nurse anesthetist. I walked to the OR from my hospital room and got up on the operating table. The room was buzzing with people getting ready for the girls and for the operation. It was one of those moments in your life when you are the star of the when you get married, or when you are at your wedding or baby shower. People are expecting you with real anticipation.

There were several nurses buzzing about getting the incubators and tools ready as well as those assisting doctor Shah.  It was a bit intimidating that the operating table looked like one of those tables you see inmates get strapped to when they are getting a lethal injection. The spinal however, was uneventful.

I sat on the bed with my gown open in the back and it was COLD in that room. I leaned forward against the nurse anesthetist for support (I had imagined it being Jeff, but no husbands allowed yet). All my experience with needles during my infertility treatments and researching on paid off. I wasn't scared of that needle. I almost welcomed it. Almost.

Once that spinal was in, things started happening. It was showtime. There was a director in that room and people started talking and moving. I was guided around onto my back on that table and then they put up the screen between me and the impending cutting. They gave me the option of lowering the screen when they took the babies out and I gave an emphatic no to that. Hubby wanted to watch though, and he did. The nurse anesthetist was a bit abashed when Dr. Shah started cutting and he hadn't seen her do a test to make sure I was numb. He turned his attention back to me and explained that if I needed the anti nausea meds that he had them ready to put into my line. I just needed to ask for them. Well, that happened soon enough and he immediately pushed the plunger and within a few seconds the sudden nausea from the spinal was gone and I could focus on what was happening on the other side of the partition. I asked Jeff for the play by play.

When my body started being moved around when they were reaching in and trying to get at the babies, I knew we were close to meeting them. It was pretty fast. They told me not to worry if I didn't hear them cry at first. Aurora was born a minute ahead of Shannon. Here is our first family photo...

That's Aurora (born 8:15 a.m.) on the left and Shannon (born 8:16 a.m.) on the right. Both 19 inches long. Rory was 6 lbs. 8 oz. and Shannon was 6 lbs. 6 oz.  Proud papa and mama!

The longest part of the procedure was being stitched up by Dr. De Brakeleer. That took about 45 minutes or so. Jeff followed the babies to the nursery and I hung around in the OR until I was ready to be transported to recovery. When they lifted me to a gurney, they rolled me to my left to get the sheet under me and I glimpsed all the bloody equipment and gore left over from the surgery. It was like something out of a horror movie. (I remember wondering who had to clean up after us and not envying that job). Then they wheeled me to my recovery room. I was still numb from the waist down. They covered me in warm blankets and put this unusual water-filled body blanket balloon around my lower body to keep me warm and keep circulation going. I kept thinking about the babies and anticipating getting to hold them and breast feed them. I was a bit jealous that Jeff got to hold them first and that he was with them now and I had to wait...but then it was my turn....

That's me. Holding my two miracles that I never thought I would hold. And they are real.

My momma holding Shannon

Rory (pink) Shannon (yellow)

My daddy holding Rory.

Aurora Jane

Shannon Ember

Life On Ice

I have one source of sadness in my life that weighs on me nearly every day. Ironically, it's also a source of hope. I have seven, cryogenically preserved babies, well, technically, three blastocysts and four zygotes. The blastocysts are at the pre-embryo stage and the zygotes are newly united sperm and ovum.
As far as I'm concerned, I have seven children that have yet to be born, and it's so hard to have to wait to see if I'll be able to try and give life to all of them. It costs several hundred dollars per year to keep them safely frozen and tucked away for another day (that I pray will come). For us, it's a matter of being able to financially support a larger family. I know how much I love the two I have, and I long for the ones I cannot touch and hold.

News Reel

So, I realize that since I gave birth almost a year ago...I haven't really posted what it's been like being a new mom to two, fraternal twin miracles. My mind's eye is replaying highlights from our first year together as a family, and I smile, I cringe, I cry and I rejoice when I think of specific moments along the way.

The sleeplessness, the first cold, the early morning feedings, THRUSH, shots, boogers, cleaning up messes, sterilizing bottles, laundry, the first time we thought we might have to take a kid to the ER, the first road trip to my parents' house in NY, watching Jeff assemble the jumperoo and the exersaucer, trying to find places to put things up high so the kids can't reach them, rearranging our living spaces to accommodate them, taking baby gates up and putting them down, loss-of-containment-diaper changes, wrestling match diaper changes, preparing for family pictures, forgeting to take things out of the diaper bag that should have been taken out sooner than they were... the list goes on and on. It's life and it's beautiful.

Here's a few shots from our recent family photo shoot.