11.12.09

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner & some poesy

A delayed shout out to my  friend Cynthia over at Running With Letters who won my GO GREEN GIVEAWAY yesterday! Please visit and follow her. She wrote a really entertaining post yesterday about "Olfactory Experiences" with her Christmas potpourri! I had quite a chuckle at her expense. Anywhoo, Cynthia is going to be the proud owner of a set of 6 reusable produce bags and a coffee coozie! What is even more interesting is that I won one of Cynthia's giveaways last month. I love helping spread the bloggy love! See? What goes around comes around!

Now, onto my poesy:

The twins are now officially four years old--
And although outside the weather is oh so cold,
We must schlep to Costco today to get the party goodies and cake
Because I am a bad mom and I simply refuse to bake.

We're having pizza tonight for dinner
Which must make me a real sinner...
Because Hanukkah begins tonight
So pepperoni we'll have & candles we'll light!

Normally Hanukkah's first night is nicer but I'm in a daze
Since it coincides with the girls' birthday craze.
I'm determined to make their party nice
Even if it means killing myself once or twice.

So latkes, blintzes, and brisket will have to wait--
For tomorrow morning we have a hot date
With the glorious Funky Mama of Kansas City fame!
All the kids love her, can't you tell by her name?

Check out her song called "Grandma's House" and listen a bit
Call your kids over to hear, it's one of her greatest hits!
My girls are beyond excited and we are too.
If we can just get through the long list of to-dos!

10.12.09

Kelly from Speaking From the Crib & The Mother Load-- are Schlepping From the Synagogue!

I helped Kelly over at Speaking From the Crib with a Hanukkah-related post for today. Go check her out & see! I have really enjoyed working with Kelly. She is so sweet & thoughtful and I love that she was curious about Hanukkah. Hanukkah begins this Friday evening and we're super excited. Anyway, go see her, follow her (if you aren't already) and feel the bloggy love!!

Winner of my second GO GREEN GIVEAWAY will be announced later today. Busy morning around here! So stay tuned.

9.12.09

What's so special about today? It's my girls' birthday! And do you wanna see my boggy uterus?




Happy Birthday, Abby & Izzy!

This is our very first photo of the girls. It's a view of them as blastocysts under a microscope. This is perhaps the only time in our lives we haven't been able to tell them apart. This photo was taken right before I officially conceived my daughters, although technically speaking they were conceived in a Petri dish in the lab. They are my little miracles.

I have PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This basically means I don't ovulate, and therefore it was impossible for me to get pregnant without the assistance of a reproductive endocrinologist. You may recall reading about some of what I went through to get pregnant (my first TMI Thursday post: read it here) . All I ever wanted to be in life was a mother. I had no idea it would be so difficult. Most people don't realize how many planets have to properly align in order to get pregnant! Once we began having trouble I decided Clomid would be my miracle drug. But no. Clomid was a cake walk compared to the other stuff I had to resort to. I never imagined I'd become a pro at giving myself injections in the stomach thrice daily. Or that I'd never get over the pain of the intramuscular injections Hubs had to give me with a needle as long as my pinky finger.



I remember this day so clearly. It was cold in the examination room. My teeth were chattering. Hubs and my mom were there with me. I couldn't stop crying. Our day had finally come. This was our 2nd round of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and it was heavy with anticipation. I'd decided I couldn't handle another round, so if this didn't work, our plan was to start talking about adoption. This photo was taken as my doctor was loading our embryos up into a catheter. I'd had Valium to relax me, but when you're sharing a room with your potential babies, there is no being calm. They are tangible. They are right there. They are on the verge of becoming your dream fully realized. Yet they might not survive. And there's absolutely nothing you can do because you have no control over any of it.

I remember Dr. B looking at the screen with us and saying quietly, "These look really good. I'm thinking twins." The tears doubled. I was scared to hope, and I almost wish she wouldn't have said it because I heard her saying it over and over in my head.

I started bleeding 7 days post transfer (7 days after they put the embryos into my uterus). I became hysterical and called my nurse. Although it was too early, she agreed to let me come in for my blood test the following day. I needed closure, I wanted to move on and accept that this IVF had failed, too.

I couldn't wait for labs, so I took the last home pregnancy test I had. The faintest second line showed up. I started to hope. But I didn't understand why I was bleeding.

I went in to the lab after lying awake all night. Numbly watched the tech draw my blood. I couldn't speak. I couldn't look at anyone. I resented the wall of photos of everyone else's babies the clinic had helped to create/conceive.

Two long hours later I got the call that I was indeed pregnant. The bleeding was due to low progesterone, which simply meant more injections for me for a while. We were excited, but nervous. We didn't know if it would stick.

Then, six weeks (and lots of nausea and exhaustion) later, this:

Two sacs. Two fetal poles. I was pregnant with twins!

Approximately 33 weeks later, I looked like a beached whale:






On December 7-8, 2005, we had a large snow storm. Hubs took me out to lunch on December 8, where I chowed down on the best grilled cheese and fries I'd ever had. That meal has since been affectionately referred to as "The Labor Lunch," because strong contractions set in that evening. I was in active labor although I didn't know it. The following morning, December 9, I went in for a regularly scheduled non-stress test. I was 34 weeks pregnant. The nurses thought I looked a little funny in the waiting area, so they whisked me straight to the back. They checked me. I was 4 cm dilated and fully effaced. My doctor came in and checked and said, "Baby A's head is right there!" I couldn't believe it! They scheduled my C-section for 1:00 p.m., which gave Hubs enough time to go home, get my overnight bag and shave the beard he'd been growing for the last two months.

At 1:46 p.m., Abigail Jane was born:




And at 1:47, her twin sister, Isabel Grace was born:







Mommy & Abby the next day



Abby is on the left, Izzy is on the right. They had feeding tubes b/c they weren't very interested in eating (common for preemies)




The girls in Daddy's arms. Izzy is on the left, Abby is on the right.


Shortly after their birth, my aunt gave me a Celine Dion cd. Now, I know what you're thinking (because I was, too). But I heard this one song and that was it for me. I played it over and over and over again. And cried every time. I listened to it on all the drives back and forth to the NICU over the next 3 weeks. And even after that. It is exactly how I feel.

"Miracle" by Celine Dion

You're my life's one miracle

Everything I've done that's good
And you break my heart with tenderness
And I confess it's true
I never knew a love like this 'til you

 
You're the reason I was born
Now I finally know for sure
And I'm overwhelmed with happiness
So blessed to hold you close
The one that I love most
Though the future has so much for you in store
Who could ever love you more

The nearest thing to heaven
You're my angel from above
Only God creates such perfect love

 
When you smile at me I cry
And to save your life I'd die
With a romance that is pure in heart
You are my dearest part
Whatever it requires
I live for your desires
Forget my own, your needs will come before
Who could ever love you more

There is nothing you could ever do
To make me stop loving you
And every breath I take
Is always for your sake
You sleep inside my dreams
And know for sure
Who could ever love you more

I am so lucky to be their mama. I hope I'm not scarring them for life. There are long days when I wish for peace and quiet. And then I have a flash of anger at myself because of how quickly I've forgotten how desperately I wanted them. How quiet it would be at home without them. And how empty my heart would be.
 
I am so, so lucky.
 
Thank you for taking this walk down memory lane with me.
 
The girls today (recently):

Izzy is on the left and Abby is on the right.

p.s. if you really want to see pics of my boggy uterus, email me. And no, I'm not kidding!

8.12.09

Post-It Note Tuesday, Short & Sweet Edition

If you want to play along, please go check out Supah Mommy's blog!















****Another friendly reminder to check out my GO GREEN GIVEAWAY which ends this Thursday (12/10/09) at 7:00 a.m. Check it out--a cute set of 6 reusable produce bags plus a coffee coozie!

7.12.09

I scored Saturday night! We were at the bowling alley, get your minds out of the gutter!


** Please don't forget to enter my GO GREEN GIVEAWAY, which ends this Thursday, 12/10/09, at 7:00 a.m. CST. A set of 6 reusable produce bags and a coffee coozie! Great gifts for yourself or for your favorite Greenie this holiday season.**


Friends, I was on fire when we went bowling with friends on Saturday night. My previous high score was 100. I beat that! So of course I had to take a photo of the scoreboard. Obviously I'm "Ernie," which is my nickname from childhood. My younger brother Mark couldn't pronounce "Erin," so Sesame Street presented the perfect alternative. Anyshizzle, here it is:

I also got several strikes, which is virtually unheard of. You see, I am a complete klutz. I have no atheletic ability to speak of and I was always last to be chosen for teams in P.E. And on our wedding night, my Maid of Honor really did warn Hubs in her speech about my ineptitude, citing the time I tripped and fell unconscious in the gym. We were playing volleyball. Who knew?!


As you can see, I'm gloating very pleased with myself. Note the bowling pin shaped beers. I wish I could say I'm the gorgeous girl on the right, but that's my friend Julie (a.k.a. Demi on the scoreboard). I'm the geek with the grin on the left who is laughing hysterically.

Then on Sunday we took the girls to Mazel Tots, a program for little ones at our synagogue. This week's theme was Hanukkah because it starts on Friday night. They colored, ate some latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganyiot (jelly donuts), sang the Dreidel song, and listed to a Hanukkah story. It was great fun!






The girls' 4th birthday is on Wednesday, so stay tuned for a very weepy thoughtful post mid-week. And I'll be back tomorrow for Post-It Note Tuesday, which I missed last week. I'm in serious withdrawal!

6.12.09

Sunday Stealing -- The Can't Sleep Meme

If you'd like to play along, please check out Sunday Stealing.

Would it be hard to kiss the last person you kissed?no. unless i'm really tired and afraid that kiss will lead to something else.




When is it hard to kiss someone? when one or both of us reeks of garlic. or when I'm really tired and afraid that kiss will lead to something else.



You're trapped in a room with your most recent ex for three days, what do you do? tell him how lucky he is that he didn't marry me & that he escaped unscathed. It was really for the best since his parents hated Jews.



Does it matter to you if your significant other smokes? I made Hubs quit before we moved in together. I don't like my stuff smelling like smoke. And it's bad for you! Of course I just mean ciggies. Were you referring to marijuana? Bring on the pot, baby! BRING IT!




Have you ever regretted letting someone go? Yes, but I bet they were thrilled to escape from me



Where would you go if you were butt naked and locked out of your house? um, I would hide in the bushes like a secret agent while I fashioned panties from leaves and wait until Hubs got home. Or maybe I would pretend to be the Venus de Milo in my yard.



Do you want to please everyone? yes, but I fail miserably



Have you ever been called heartless? not yet, but there's a first time for everything, right?



Someone calls you at 3:00 AM, who do you expect it to be? my pimp



Does it matter if your significant other drinks? no, as long he doesn't drink my Mommy Juice. He needs to find his own!



Could you go the rest of your life without doing drugs? I have to say that I could, but what fun would that be?!



Which is better, amazing eyes or an amazing smile? Smile. But only if the teeth are all present & accounted for.



Do you want to get married and have children one day? done and done.



Are you easy to get along with? um, methinks most people would say no?



Do you ever want to go to sleep and not wake up? yes.



Are you shorter than your Mom? nope, taller. Just call me Amazon Woman.



Describe your life currently in one word: fun



Are you on medication for anything? birth control pills (not to prevent pregnancy, seeing as my ovaries are defunct, but instead to keep my hormone levels where they should be so I don't grow excessive amounts of facial hair and start to resemble Cro-Magnon Man) and thyroid medication.



Who would you allow to read your thoughts for one day? holy crap, NO ONE! Well, maybe just that John Edward guy and then I could be on tv!



Are there things in your life that you will never be able to get over? yes--the fact that Johnny Depp was voted People's Sexiest Man of the Year. Also that peanut butter Twix are really hard to find. Oh, and that Panera charges you $1.39 for a pitifully small tub of cream cheese EVEN WHEN YOU ORDERED A BAGEL. Seriously.



If you woke up naked next to the last person you kissed, what would your reaction be? Didn't we just do this? I'm off duty for at least another week.
 

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