Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bringing Home Babies

I obsessively watched "Bringing Home Baby" on TLC for a few weeks before the kids were born. There is also a Canadian version "The Baby Diaries" on Discovery Health that is a bit better because it shows couples actually stressed - a little less formulaic than the TLC programs.

Yesterday was our version. We were out of the hospital by 11:00 am and I decided to pump before we left because I was worried how long it would take to discharge us. The pediatrician checked out the kids, they made me sign some paper work (primarily relating to car seat safety and what sort of warning signs to call a doctor about). I was actually glad they make you sign something! As a lawyer it is hard for me to imagine you can produce two human beings and take them home without any legal paperwork.

After all your wonderful advice about taking hospital items we did just that - diapers, wipes, sample size items (mainly bath), accoutrements (thermometers), whatever was in their bassinets except for linens - the clothes and the swaddling blankets. We did take the adorable hats though. I sort of wanted to take some blankets but I know they wash and reuse those so it wouldn't be fair to take those. Husband had to make 4 trips to the car before all that was left was the diaper bag and the 2 babies with car seats. I would probably recommend to other moms that they have someone help their husbands (another family member or friend) to help speed things along since just getting us to the car used up all my energy for the day.

Here are some photos of the room, along with Husband caring the kids in the car seats. The car seats are incredibly heavy. Husband had to stop several times to put them down and give his arms a break (it was a pretty long walk to the garage - the equivalent of about 2-3 blocks). My nerves were pretty frayed by the time we got on the road in our minivan now with filled car seats and I almost cried when some jerk cut us off and almost ran into us to beat us onto Storrow Drive. There was also lots of me telling Husband to "slow down". It will be a while before I feel confident driving my precious cargo around.






My mom stayed on Friday night to help us since Marlene (our baby nurse) doesn't arrive until Saturday night. We also had the cat meet the kids. I didn't think much about what her reaction would be, but when Scotia sniffed Ned in the papasan on the floor she backed away nervously and ran when he made too many noises. She's been nervous ever since.



I also read somewhere that crew socks stay on better than the infant socks - and they look so cute in them - very Bermuda style. Now if we can only find hats that will stay on...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hospital - Day 4

Today was our last full day in the Hospital. We had some good feedings but they are taking longer since we strip the kids down to wake them up - probably at least 1.5 hours per feeding that we do each 3 hours (from when you start). I think Husband would agree that: (1) My boobs are far too "on display" at all times, (2) breastfeeding (despite my warnings) is way harder than expected and (3) he has to help out more than he thought he would. And he's very good at helping.

Poor Ned did not have a good day today - he was circumcised. I didn't really care whether he was or not but it was important to Husband. We did a family trip to the nursery to check on him - Penny came too (in her bassinet - they don't let you carry your babies around).

Here is some video of cute Ned noises (with me encouraging Penny to eat in the background). He makes so many funny faces that we often hand him to visitors so they can stare adoringly. Penny is a super peaceful sleeper and she loves to sleep on me - as shown in our nap photo. Grammy also came for a visit and I included a photo of her with Penny. Grammy insists hats off in photos - grammies can be very opinionated!





video

Birth Story

It feels like I have been their mom forever already but Penelope and Ned were born only 3 days ago. Below is our birth story. It is a bit graphic but don't worry - it has a happy ending.

We had to be at the Hospital by noon on Monday, August 25th. We woke up around 8:30 am (I actually got up to snack at 5 am) and tried to be as normal as possible - showering, checking the news/blogs we like online and watching a bit of TV.

Driving into Boston was a bit surreal - after all, we were heading in to have our babies! I wasn't too nervous - trying just not to think of the surgery or what was happening in general. As soon as we arrived on the L&D floor they put us in a room and a million people were in and out of the room. A resident came to take my medical history - he looked about 23. I told Husband I didn't like that the doctors were younger than first year associates at my Firm!



The nurses were amazing - the woman above is named Susan so she loved that we were naming our little girl Penelope Susan (my mom's name and Husband's mom's middle name is Susan). The hustle and bustle helped keep us distracted. My parents arrived and came by our "waiting" room. They were going to wait while I had the surgery.

Finally - right at our appointed time of 1:30 pm it was time to walk myself down to the OR. The anesthesiologist said I walked quite fast. I was ready to get the show on the road.

The OR was smaller than I had imagined. I sat on this tiny metal bed while the anesthesiologist started the spinal tap process. This was the part I was most worried about - so I was shaking like a leaf. A nurse in front of me held my arms/hands and asked if I was cold - "no, nervous" I stuttered. A few trials later putting the numbing needle in (this is a teaching hospital so the anesthesiologist was a resident who was supervised by a full doctor). I kept noting that I didn't feel anything going numb but that is because it takes some time before they actually put the "medicine" in. Once it was in I definitely felt it! My butt and legs got tingley and numb. The numbness reaches all the way up to just under my armpits.

Right away I started feeling really weird - not sure how to describe it but like everyone was far away. Apparently my BP had dropped and they have to do some stuff to get it back up there. My legs were hoisted high in the air (they looked large, sigh). I knew that could happen and probably would with me since I have low BP to begin with. It took a few mins to get it back up and once they did I felt amazingly good. Just in time for them to start cutting me open. I guess they cut me open, put up the drapes and then Husband came in. See him in his scrubs:
The screen is right in my face - but I didn't feel claustrophobic about it. There were a couple of splatters of blood that I hoped Husband hadn't noticed (he's a fainter) but he assured me later he did. The anesthesiologists were great - telling me what was happening on the other side. I thought I might not want to know but I really did when the time came. The kids were both out within 20 mins (or less) of them starting to cut me. Ned was out first at 2:12 pm - 5 lbs, 5 ounces, 20 inches long. He didn't really cry - more like grunting. Penny was just 2 mins later at 5 lbs, 11 ounces and also 20 inches long. She cried and cried and cried - it was AWESOME! It made me feel like she was so healthy. Husband and I had guessed their weights and we were close - she was slightly bigger than we both thought and I was thrilled both were over 5 lbs. My gestating the last 2 weeks at home really paid off.

I tried to stay distracted by asking for their weights, measurements and apgar scores (Ned was 8/9 and Penny was 9/9)) but the sewing up took a LONG time. I kept asking - are they almost done? And the anaesthesiologist said a few times - only 3 more layers. Those last 3 layers took forever. Dr. Whatscooking was instructing a resident in doing the surgery. They did end up stapling me (I had heard he didn't use staples).

Husband, carefully not looking at any happenings on the other side of the curtain, went over and took some photos of our progeny (I'm pretty sure the first two are of Ned, last is of Penny).





Just like on TV they moved me from the operating table to a bed (my recovery bed) - it took a bunch of people. After a couple of hours they moved me to another floor. The kids were with us but checked a million times - especially Ned who was grunting and eventually moved to the transitional nursery for the first night. I even tried to put them both to my breast during recovery.



At some point my grandparents came but they couldn't see us until I moved to the post-partum floor. I will say it was rough having visitors - we were both exhausted and had our first night to get through with Penny (Ned in the transitional nursery).

The recovery is a bit tough but overall the whole birth process felt controlled which works well for our family. Husband thinks it was very "civilized" which of course will get my natural birth enthusiast readers up in arms but honestly I felt the same way. I was surrounded by so many professionals and didn't feel any pain and very little fear - especially once I heard the kids were out and doing fine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hospital - Day 3

Thank you for all your breastfeeding e-mails, comments and support. A lot of them made me laugh and I'm glad I'm not alone. [By the way this post is attributed to Husband but it is Mommy, Esq. - I'm hijacking Husband's laptop since mine doesn't work at the Hospital.]

Today was a very good day for the Esqs. Husband was out doing some important errands (including scoring me some Fenugreek) so he didn't arrive until 11:30 am. My mom came around 11:00 am. I managed to feed Penny both breast and bottle around 7:30 am and Ned joined us around 9:30 am (below are some duo pictures) but he took his supplement in the nursery. Of course as soon as my mom came it was time for another feeding! She was a big help so I did our standard plan - 15 mins for each on the breast (usually with them naked (with diaper - I don't want them to pee on me!), helper (this time mom) feeding formula (10-15 ml), with me pumping for 15 mins to give them more colostrum if I can. That should make it around 45 mins but usually it takes us 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins since I have to try to cajole them to wake up, pass them off, syphon off the colostrum, etc. To be repeated every 3 hours from when we start and couldn't be done without Husband handing me things and doing all the washing of the bottles and diapering and swaddling of the babies.

My friend Theresa brought us lunch (Mexican) which I scarfed down. It was much needed for Mommy, Esq. since I have not enjoyed the hospital food. Mom and Theresa left around 1:30 and Husband and I started the next round of feedings which went very well and then the whole family took a nap from about 3:45 to 5 pm (Ned needed to sleep with me a little which I totally loved - he slept right on my chest). Ned still isn't latching great but the lactation consultant said we were doing well and Penny latches well. Plus I got 2 ml of colostrum at most of my pumping sessions which is huge - I feel like I'm getting their auto-immune systems up and running.

Both have lost weight - Ned is down to 5 lbs and Penny is 5 lbs, 5 ounces. But they are eating well, peeing and I feel really good about how today's feedings went even though sometimes I have to "give up" a little with Ned (we still at least try for 10 mins).

This afternoon our visitors started with my dad (who helped feed them their supplemental formula), then Liz from the Firm, my Aunt Robin and cousin Katie all dropped by - well timed to be just after we finished a good feeding. Jordan, Jersey Girl's husband, is in town on business and he brought us Chinese food. I think I have him to thank for the gas that will get me out of the hospital on time.

I love the visits but beware that if you come near feeding time the breasts come out! I think pumping is way more embarrassing than just feeding them from my breasts.

I'm already comparing them - Penny is so quiet when she sleeps it makes me nervous. I must have looked at her a dozen times while we took our afternoon nap. Both like to sleep during feedings and Ned just likes to keep his gums clamped tightly when you try to feed him breast or bottle. It is amazing how beautiful I think they are and how much I love them. Napping and being surrounded by nurses does help. :) Neither look like me. Husband thinks Penny looks "exactly" like his grandmother Polly. I don't see it but I've only met her a few times.

Assuming I sleep okay tonight I promise the birth story tomorrow. See how my breastfeeding pillow also works as a laptop station for blogging? Any the photo of Husband is with Ned - he tried to part Ned's hair (he has cute side burns!) to be like Husband's.







New Lives; New Challenges - Welcome to the World of Breastfeeding

Hi, everyone! Sorry I've been absent but as you can imagine we are getting used to being parents. I will post separately all about their birth stories but for now let me just say that the hardest job so far is breastfeeding!

I knew that would be the case based on all the reports of friends plus the numerous books, articles and other research I've done but nothing quite prepares you for it. First and foremost let me say that I couldn't even be attempting if it weren't for Husband - he is amazing with the kids. He'll feed them supplement while I am fighting to put them to breast and pumping (nothing but air). He has done basically all the diaper changes and is a much better swadler than I am.

The first day I was able to put both on (separately of course) with a bit of tentative sucking on their parts. Penny was able to stay with us the first night and whenever she woke up I tried. I'm sure I was doing it incorrectly because man did (and does) it hurt! Despite being "tongue tied" (not sure what we are going to do about that) she is pretty good at latching and sucking. Unfortunately Ned was a grunter and had to spend the first night in the transition nursery and since we got him back he doesn't latch on particularly well. The biggest problem for both is that they like to fall asleep on Mommy, Esq. instead of nurse and it is hard to get them awake to feed. I know I'm comfortable. :) I try to strip them down and rub their chins, toes (such cute little feet) etc. but it is exhausting and honestly sometimes I give up.

I asked every time the nurses came in to see a lactation consultant and on Tuesday late afternoon (too bad Husband had run home) she finally came. Very nice and helpful but way too much information for me to absorb. I actually think it has been worse she since was here - probably because we have a "plan" and it is really hard to make it work. It was clear however that the babies needed to eat more so we started supplementing them Tuesday afternoon with about 10 ml (or slightly more) of formula at each "feeding" (hard to call it that when they don't get any food from me). I tried this tube thing along with a nipple shield to "pretend" they were nursing instead getting formula but it doesn't work too well and feedings have been taking so long we finally switched to a bottle. A different LC is supposed to visit today so I can hopefully ask more questions.

I got rest last night because Husband slept at home so I had them in the nursery between feedings and the nurses did the supplemental feedings. I just tried for each to spend 15 mins nursing (unsuccessfully) and another 15 mins pumping (also unsuccessfully). I managed to sleep about 2 hours between the first 2 feedings and almost 4 hours between the last two. I honest to goodness do think all those long hours at the Firm have helped me maintain my composure - only one little crying bout (by me) - mainly because the percoset had worn off and I was in some pain.

They sleep all the time so Husband and I have to be better about trying to wake them up since I know they need to eat.

I absolutely see why so many women stop. You feel like a complete failure when you get zero colostrum pumping and when it hurts like heck to even have them on your breast (I've been lotioning and using the shield to try to remove the discomfort).

How do people do this? How did millions of babies make it when for several millenia there was no formula? I hope I'll feel better once my milk comes in and I am determined to keep working at it!

[Check out the recent photos below in my prior post.]

My Precious Little Ones

Here are a few photos of the tykes - first up Husband with both of them, me gazing adoringly at my lovlies, followed by one of Penny and a few of Ned - he was a little easier for me to shoot last night during our breastfeeding attempts. And last is a photo of four generations of Esq. women!








Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome Ned and Penny

Sorry for the holdup in passing on the news--the hospital's WiFi didn't play nice with the Mommy's notebook.

Fortunately, there were no such incompatibilities with the delivery. Edmund was manfully ripped from his mother's womb at 2:12 PM yesterday; 5 lbs., 5 oz. and 20 inches. Penelope demurely and daintily followed at 2:14; 5lbs. 11 oz. and 20 inches. Mom and kids are all doing great.

I have to get back to the hospital with a new notebook (so the Mommy can blog at you some more), so just one picture for the moment. That's Ned on the left, and Penny on the right.



Thanks to everyone for the calls/e-mails/comments!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ready or Not, Here Come the Tykes!

Just a few more hours until we head to the Hopsital for surgery to welcome the tykes to the Esq. family. I thought I'd take a moment and say how thankful I am that this has been a healthy pregnancy and all I hope is that the kids are healthy after the 9 months plus they've been gestating. These last two "disability" weeks off work have been great - it has helped calm me down and feel somewhat organized (if that is possible). I also appreciate all your comments and interest as I've posted about the pregnancy, my job and my family (of only 2!) life. I have a feeling family life with 4 will be a lot more interesting.

I think Husband is getting nervous - he was in "household" mode yesterday which never happens. Probably his coping mechanism. In case you were wondering, after my initial thoughts that Husband should work this week we concede to the weight of public opinion and he'll be hanging out at the hospital with me and the kids. My dad (who is a surgeon) is also going to come with my mom - just to be on hand in case Husband is too nervous or God forbid we need any help in making decisions.

I did get up at 5 am for a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter plus gatorade since I won't be able to eat or drink for 8 hours before the surgery - breakfast of champions! Speaking of sports, I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night with a few friends (anyone else agree they went on for far too long?). Our own Olympics are just beginning. First up - surgery followed by learning to care for newborns with a special emphasis on breastfeeding - coming to you live from the Hospital.

As soon as we can we'll update the site with photos and information. We are excited for the babies to be born and can't even begin to imagine what life will be like with them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still Waiting

Nothing happened last night which was a relief. Other than waking up a million times and feeling uncomfortable. Husband took a few pictures last night so we could remember how large I was. My feetloaves are clearly a barometer of the pregnancy - they may explode before I give birth. I am drinking a chocolate milkshake in case you were wondering (I got one for Husband too) and hanging out with our cat Scotia. As you can see in the last photo I do look tired! You'd be tired too if you were carrying around 40-45 extra lbs in your belly (plus probably 5 lbs in your feet). Keep your fingers crossed that I last until Monday!





Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday Goal

Today quite a few people have been giving me the "wow, you are really pregnant" commentary and I have been waddling like a duck. I think they might see something in me that I didn't - one person even told me I looked tired! I managed to meet Husband and Theresa at Ole for dinner in Cambridge but I was feeling kind of crappy before I left to meet them and since I've been home.

Definitely not my peppy self and to use a few pregnancy buzz words I think I just saw my "mucus plug" and some minor "bloody show". Based on "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" I think labor is anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days off although they haven't dropped at all (probably because they are breech and there are two of them). I'd prefer the later since I would like to keep my schedule on track but I know there is no controlling these things or these tykes! Husband says I am just "trying to keep things interesting". I guess Dr. Whatscooking knew what he was about when he scheduled me for Monday!

I promise to keep you in the loop. As Husband said as we read the symptoms in the book - "Oh, God, I guess you are really having babies!" No need to notify the doctor - I have noticed an uptick in Braxton Hicks contractions but don't think I'm having any "real" ones.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Zzzzzz...ZZZZ!!!

Husband has been complaining for weeks now that I snore up a storm. I have been forced to reluctantly concede his point due to new video evidence. However, after the kids are born I assume this will no longer be an issue...mostly because we will not be sleeping at all.

video

Spic and Span and Silent

Yesterday our cleaning people (they work in pairs) were here. I had thoroughly picked up the house since they would be here and because my grandparents were coming over to say hello later in the day. After they left I sat on my couch and admired how quiet and clean the house is. At this moment in time the house is as picked up and clean as it will probably ever been again. Good-bye, life I never managed to get organized. I tried, I swear, but I know it is an uphill and likely useless battle to keep things "neat" with two kids about to join the household so I'm not holding my breath I will ever become an organized person.

Lunch with my grandparents was nice - and my mom came too. My grandmother was interested to see that I walk down the stairs the same as she does (turned to the side, one step at a time). I have been thinking lately that being very pregnant is like being elderly (don't worry, Mimi and Papa, I don't really think of you as elderly). You don't get around as well, there is lots of groaning when you get on and off of furniture, you don't sleep well and you drive more slowly.

We had lunch at Turner's and a woman took a look at my belly and said (very firmly) - you must be due soon. I acknowledged it was true - I consider my due date to be Monday even though technically it is September 13th for 40 weeks. She then said (also very definitively) that I must be having twins. When I said that was true she crowed triumphantly that she is a "great" guesser. What do you think - should she join the circus with her skill? I think my grandparents enjoyed driving through Melrose since that is where my great-grandparents lived and why my grandparents moved to Massachusetts (from Ohio where they went to college) in the first place.

I also had our car seats inspected by our local police. The officer turned out to be a dad of twin girls - not quite a year old. He tightened a strap here and there, advised as to safety measures and I was done. I figured Husband had done a good job (he had lots of practice when August was here) but it doesn't hurt to have a "professional" confirm. I actually called 3 police departments and had to leave messages. I was surprised that despite the message that I was having the twins on Monday he was the only one who called me back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What's Cooking? Only 6 more days until they are out of the oven!

Today was my last doctor's appointment - and I didn't really have to wait very much. I sat right next to a woman in the waiting room because I needed to share the footstool (my feetloaves are a sight let me tell you). She sympathized and when I found out she was 34 weeks I asked if she was having twins because she looked about my size. Terrible of me, I know - but I was right.

She also has Dr. Whatscooking and said she doesn't care about the wait because he is supposed to be so great. She is a cardiologist at the the Hospital and says he is highly recommended. I mentioned some stuff I didn't like (waiting, lack of bedside manner, no voluntary questions/information on his part) and she agreed that he does expect his patients to be pro-active and "know" what to ask.

In any event I had already heard that he does a nice C-Section so I stuck with him for next Monday at 1:30 pm (there was an 8:30 am slot with his colleague but I turned it down). With respect to the no eating/drinking it is an 8 hour rule so I can count back from 1:30 pm.
Ultrasound was uneventful - no measurements but general "biophysical" check looked fine - blood flow for Baby A is within normal. I don't have Group B Streptococous so no worries about infection if my "bag of waters" breaks. Finally, I'm done with GD - no need to continue recording but I'll still "try" to be good - but maybe sneak in some ice cream.

My hospital bag is mostly packed but I'm hoping the babies hold off until Monday - give them a little more time to grow and another weekend for Husband and me to complete chores. I'm still deciding how nervous I am about the surgery. One one hand it is done all the time, on the other hand it is surgery and I could die. It didn't help that I was watching Tori and Dean yesterday and she was crying and freaking out about her second C-Section. Right now I'm just trying to focus on the probable positive outcomes of two healthy babies and one healthy mom.

Family Calendar

This is the 100th post on my blog! How exciting - think I can syndicate? I've loved blogging - Husband never thought I would keep it up but I think it is thanks to all my wonderful readers and their interesting comments that keep me going.

I have a doctor's appointment today that I will blog about this afternoon but in an attempt to get organized for LWB (Life With Babies) I decided to start a "family calendar". The requirements were that it had to be online so it could be updated by both of us and easy to use. For right now I am trying Google's calendar feature. We will put in anything relating to the kids plus our travel or unusual work obligations and visitor schedule. I've been trying to line up visitors and keep track of them.

There are some features I don't love. For example, each entry shows up in red - I wish I could color code (of course then I might forget what the coding is for). Also, I wish I could "forward" from my work Outlook so I don't have to retype in work obligations. I can't "share" my work calendar on Outlook with Husband because of attorney-client privilege (plus I doubt I could do it anyway). An online tool was key so our (future) nanny would be able to access it too and update as necessary.

I hope to print up a schedule every Sunday night for the following week. Of course my work schedule changes dramatically from day to day but for the next 6 months this should hopefully work. Now Husband can't tell me - "oh, I thought I told you I was going to X". It only counts if he put in it in the calendar!

What did you find worked for your family?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby Stuff

The countdown begins - 1 week and 4.5 hours from now and our tykes will be here. Doesn't that sound so much nicer than "they will be cut out of me"?

I decided to turn our unused dining room into baby central for when we are on our first floor. I have to move some supplies down there (diapers, etc.) but here are some photos of the utilitarian space:
Look at the amount of stuff! And as you can see there are a few more boxes with "keep your kid quiet" contraptions that still need to be set up.

The next series of photos are of the nursery. For a small room we crammed in quite a bit - 2 cribs, dresser/changing table, nursing chair with side table and small bookcase.



The car seats have also been installed in the minivan. Sometimes I walk by the nursery or look behind me in the car and think - "oh, my God, soon there will be little people I have to take care of in here!".

Friday, August 15, 2008

Too Many Compromises?

I mentioned the other day that Husband's boss is an asshat. Husband has informed me (last night) that he will only take 2 weeks off due to job pressures. One of my friends who had a C-Section mentioned she didn't think I would really need him there for the few days I'm in the hospital after the surgery so I'm going to have him take off Monday August 25th (day of surgery) and Friday August 29th (my discharge) plus the following 2 weeks at home. He can come join me Tuesday-Thursday at the hospital for dinner/time with the babies after work. I am not going to make him sleep on that horrible stretched out chair. See how nice a Wife I am? I think it is more important he be helping me figure out how to be at home with the kids rather than at the hospital with all the nurses and other help.

We met our baby nurse yesterday in person. She is very nice but definitely opinionated - although "supportive" about breastfeeding she is big on making sure I get rest at night - having one night feeding with formula so I can get more consecutive sleep. I worry about that since I know it is so hard to get a supply established so I need to lay some ground rules about that and make sure Husband backs me up since I hear I'll be an emotional wreck for the first month or so. I don't think she fully understands how committed I am to the breastfeeding. The way I am looking at it is that for the first six weeks (at least) it is MY JOB - that means even if I am not sleeping or I feel like a cow, feeding all the time, it is MY JOB. My "bosses" just have to be managed even more than the ones at my Firm.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lazy Summer Days

Husband noticed I didn't post yesterday. While I argued that I posted on Tuesday afternoon and I wanted to give everyone time to assimilate the news of my scheduled C-Section he does have a point. See, I am boring right now so I don't have much to say. I do a few minor work items each day (can't break the habit), write a couple of thank you notes and watch lots of TV. I do manage to play a housewife from time to time - our kitchen is picked up every day and I started dinner twice this week. But the feetloaves hurt and are a good excuse to do nothing. The last items to finish are (1) pack hospital bag and (2) finish thank yous. I wonder if I am dragging my feetloaves so I don't finish up and then the kids decide "time to arrive"!

Tonight Husband and I are meeting up with our baby nurse for dinner. She's working with a family west of Boston and is all lined up to come stay with us on August 30th - or earlier if they come earlier.

One bit if Firm news - we were ranked high in a recent survey of Best Firms to work for by a very reputable publication. That should help with recruiting (which I will miss this fall because I'll be home with the tykes - I love recruiting season - the candidates are all so eager!). I may complain but I would agree my Firm is a good place to work with lots of opportunities if you stick it out to midlevel associate. I can also say that very easily since they've been so cooperative about time off (most of it paid).

Finally, my sister Allie wrote a cute post about new cousins for her son. I should remind her that Finn will continue to be a rockstar because he lives far from Grammie and Bumpa - but I'll get more help since I live only a few towns away. I wonder what kind of trouble-maker things Finn learns at day care that he'll pass on to my kids.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's Cooking? Slow Simmer

This time the ultrasound was the delay (1.25 hours of wait time). Since they don't usually make me wait and I am not working I tried to be better spirited about it than I usually am. It helped that Dr. Whatscooking took me right away.

The ultrasound technician did not check the babies' size - they wait a couple of weeks in between since the results are more a "range" than a precise science. Instead she made sure both were moving and checked Baby A's blood flow through the placenta - was within normal ranges. Baby B is also technically breach (I was thinking more transverse but their heads are together - above my belly button and to the left if you are looking at me directly).

I put on 2 lbs in 1 week (yikes!) and my BP was 110/70. Dr. Whatscooking was pleased with my blood sugar levels - he wasn't fussed about some of my (occasionally intentional) slip ups.

The surgery is scheduled for Monday, August 25th at 1:30 pm. He only operates on Monday (and only sees patients on Tuesday - what is the rest of his time - golf?) and all the morning slots were taken. I am going to ask my dad exactly how many hours I should go without eating - I don't think 13+ hours is a viable option for me. God, I'd be a bear. I'd probably be crying before they even cut me open!

I told Husband he could NOT work on that Monday morning. You may laugh but the man won't even come to my doctor's appointments anymore since his boss told him that his taking 3 weeks off showed a "lack of commitment" to his job. I think he should tell his boss to stuff it (or quit). I hope he is more committed to me and the kids than his job. Can you tell the asshat is single?

My mom came today to help me finish organizing the nursery but now my feetloaves are huge so I'm going to put them up and watch some Olympics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

Nancy, our weekend barbecue hostess, has "tagged" me and good thing since otherwise I would have bored you all with photos of my new minivan.

The subject is….“6 UN-spectacular things about me”

Rules:
  • Link the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the rules on your blog.
  • Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
  • Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
  • Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
1. In honor of the Olympics I will confide that I have zero athletic ability. Maybe it was being a very premature kid but really I think genetics has a lot to do with it. I was actually co-captain of cross country in my high school but since there were 4 of us as captains it wasn't that special. Somewhere I have 3 letters for cross country and track and field (or maybe 4) but you got those for showing up too. Good thing since I only ran varsity once and came in last.

2. I do not cook. And honestly, you don't want me too. I'll probably complain the whole time and still manage to read the recipe wrong. If needed I can do appetizers - if left to my own devices we'd eat like the mom in Moonstruck did.

3. I like talk radio - mainly NPR and Mattie in the Morning. Drives Husband crazy so we compromise - no NPR (too liberal for him) and he'll tolerate Mattie in the Morning. Since after the kids are born we are commuting separately this won't be a problem going forward.

4. I am not big on "music" - see #3. I'll listen to most of Husband's picks (he's into British rock) but I hate Pearl Jam. Oddly though I love XM Radio - they have stations that do a good job mixing music I remember from my youth so I can sing along. We just got BareNaked Ladies' Snack Time CD for the kids and that is pretty good (if you decide to buy it use our Amazon link on the right so we earn some money for the kids 529 plans).

5. I believe Netflix is for renting television shows. Like Nancy I am a couch potato but I will carry around a little DVD player to the kitchen or bedroom to "watch" terrible teeny bopper shows while organizing and picking up my house.

6. I like to play craps in Vegas with my Husband. He has fun and we play cheap tables so we can play for a while. In fact, I love Vegas - I think the first "non-kid" trip we take will be there - just because I can't think of a more fitting "un-kid" type place.

I hereby tag: Theresa at Boston Dish, Gret at Dandelion Garden, Allie at Uncontrolled Experiment, Sarah, Jersey Girl and Helen at 90210 Gossip.

No Sunday Blues

I haven't had the "Sunday Blues" in quite some time - and no reason to have them last night either since I am not actually going to work today. I have a few work calls today but I've handed off the baton on my deals so I'm just listening in for moral support and to provide tips.

My grandmother called to offer items to "keep me busy". Thanks, Mimi - but after 5+ years of too much of that and more to come once the tykes arrive I intend to keep a low profile. I will write those thank you notes that are woefully overdue but I'll also watch lots of Olympics. Her suggestion involved knitting but to be honest I am not a craft person - never have been. I'm more of a corporate lawyer. :)

It made me laugh this weekend to receive a Christmas card family photo from one of my favorite partners at the firm. She finally sent them out with new contact info because they are moving to Hong Kong (she'll be heading up our office there). Sounds like something I would do - have them made and never send them. I miss the old days when you could ask your secretary or wife to do those things. Ha!

And thank you to the Zimmers for our visit to the Zimmer Zoo - we had a lovely time and promise exposure to so many twins won't change our mind (too late for that!).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Warriors

Husband and I spent Saturday running some errands. I added "buy minivan" to our To Do List since he has been waffling on buying one. To be honest it's not like I really want one either but consensus is that we will not all fit in the Honda Accord so we have to find something more practical rather than my sinking money in my Accord to fix the stereo/brakes and then just turn around in a few weeks and buy a minivan anyway.

Husband thought I was being sly slipping it in our List like that but we did go to a few places and will be the (reluctantly) proud owners of a minivan by Monday. Husband will post about our experiences - he is very good with negotiating and knows lots of their "tricks" since he used to do work for GM (as a client at his prior job). I think we got a good deal and even pushed some on my own since I was annoyed by the "sales approach" used by the final place we went to (and bought at) - Atamian.

We also saw friends for dinner at Scampo - which is part of the very swanky Liberty Hotel (formerly a prison). I'll be sending Theresa a review for her Boston Dish blog on Monday but let's just say it was awesome.

My addiction to the Olympics is back in full swing. I think the commentary/back stories have only made me cry twice so far but it is early yet. Beach volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, diving and track and field (when they start) are all fabulous. I don't think I'd ever flip on ESPN to watch beach volleyball necessarily but I was totally engrossed when the USA team had their asses handed to them by Lithuania (although USA isn't out yet since it is "pool" play). At least the USA team had the good sense to admit they played like idiots in the post-game interview. And the Women's May/Walsh team is amazing - I remember them from the Athens games. I've been taping and watching on off times so I can skip commercials and buzz through things I'm not interested in.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Last Day of Work

I should probably say last day of work - in the office. Husband doesn't actually believe I won't be going in again but I'm not going to. The bid I worked on in July is closing in September so I may do some closing logistical help for my team from home - they are nervous about my leaving since they know how hard it is to reach the partner on "mundane" closing questions.

I've been wondering whether expectant parenthood has chanced my outlook on work. One one hand there can be no disagreement that I haven't been working very hard since I signed up my last bid in early July but I'm not sure how much relates to being sick of working and just plain being exhausted by pregnancy (especially since we haven't had a vacation since Christmas - no, Disney does not count). I've stopped obsessing over my blackberry on nights and weekends but I do answer emergency questions when I see them.

On the other hand I've given quite a bit of thought as to how I want to "come back" (still a work in progress) and I still very much care about my clients and projects - so my passion for deal work hasn't faded. I actually met yesterday with my department head and the partner who assigns work in our department. I outlined the "deal on/off" structure I've discussed on this blog. The department head was very enthusiastic and told me that he really wants us to "make it work" for me - even if that means we need to re-evaluate after a few months. The assigning partner seemed not very enthusiastic but he was on by telephone and isn't nearly as expressive as the department head. One thing I'm still mulling over is whether I should be "full time". I have no doubt that I can make our 1900 billable minimum with the "deal on/off" structure but after 4 years of billing 2400 I think I won't be "exceeding expectations" as I have been by just meeting the minimum. Since I have to write up the proposal and run it through some channels before I return in March I'll keep thinking on it.

It's been almost 5 years in this office figuring out what it means to be a "Big Firm Lawyer" and while I know I'll enjoy (and struggle with) raising our kids for the next 6 months I will miss my colleagues and the intellectual challenge of the job. But not enough to cut my leave short!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time on My Hands

For a couple of days (after I saw Dr. Whatscooking) I became convinced that I was having the kids before whatever date they schedule me for the C-Section. But after a couple decent nights of sleep and cooler weather I think I still have a week or two to go. This is my last week of work so I'm wondering what I can do to distract myself so I don't will these kids to arrive too early.

Limitations include lack of mobility and a need to "keep my feet up" because this swelling is driving me crazy. I have to write a million thank you notes so that will be project number 1. I have some half read books on breastfeeding that I could finish. I don't want to become a couch potato just watching TV and it is difficult to stand for long periods and bend over so I'm not sure how much headway I'll make on the closet cleaning project. If only Husband could be off too - I have a million projects for him since he's mobile.

Aside from making lists of things for Husband to do (sorry, Husband) what other activities would you recommend to occupy me so I don't stress about becoming a parent? Also so I don't call Husband every five minutes after 5 pm to ask him when he's going to come home. I need to save that for when the kids are making me lose my sanity.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Visual Verification

My sister Allie has been bugging me about a "belly picture" so Husband took a few last night. Of course he wanted it tinged with his own sense of humor - so I am holding 750 ml of Scotch. I am 5' 3'' (rounded up) if that also helps. We took these in the nursery which we should be done with this weekend so I'll post pictures then. I have to admit until I saw these pictures I didn't think of myself as "big". I am a pretty short person and my belly has been smaller than those of other twin moms but this photo frightens me a little. I love how everyone keeps telling me how "great" I look - even when they see the waddle. I think they expect me to be falling over by now or something. I wonder if they will say the same thing if it takes me a year plus to lose the babies weight. I also think our camera sucks (Husband picked it) - it takes blurry pictures.

I also wanted to show you my "feetloaf". "Cankles" no longer can describe the size of my feet. I had been referring to them as sausages but Husband thinks they look more like meat loaf hence "feetloaf". Husband held the foot for reference and compressed the fluid. This happens to me if I have my ankles crossed or a foot tucked under me - like they are made of dough.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's Cooking? Low Weights

Dr. Whatscooking was on time today! I'm already at work and it isn't even 10:30 am. First up was an ultrasound. Both the ultrasound technician and then the ultrasound doctor had a hard time measuring Baby Boy - he's down in the right corner (heads up as he has been for about 2 months) and is being overshadowed by his sister. Hmm...I'll have to make sure that isn't a pattern in their lives. The women in my family tend to be very dominant. At one point there was this red sound line with a "whoosh, whoosh" that the doctor displayed for Baby A. I found out later from Dr. Whatscooking that it was to measure the blood flow through the umbilical cord.

Baby A is only 4 lbs and Baby B 4 lbs 5 ounces. This puts poor little A in the 10% - a warning zone for fetuses. He has only grown about 1/2 lb in 3 weeks which isn't very much. The result is weekly ultrasounds going forward. Dr. Whatscooking assured me the other "indicators" - movement, amniotic fluid, blood flow through umbilical cord are fine. In truth I was hoping that both would be around 5 lbs. I know it is so much more difficult to establish a breastfeeding routine if they are in the NICU and/or very tiny and given how healthy my pregnancy has been (notwithstanding the GD) I really wanted to have them nice and big and ready to take home after my surgery recovery. The irony that babies tend to be larger when the mom has GD is not lost on me. Husband (who did not come) insisted I mention the clumsiness - I have dropped 2 glasses of water and 1 cup of coffee in the last couple of weeks. I don't know what Husband is talking about - I've always been clumsy. The only difference is now he has to clean it up. :)

Dr. Whatscooking said it is time to schedule the C-Section - for 36 or 37 weeks (I'm at week 34). Yikes! Sounds like he does want to move it up a little despite "not being worried" about the weight of the kids. If babies aren't growing well they deliver early in the hopes that the kids will grow more quickly outside the womb. He'll let me know the date next visit. They did not encourage earlier bed rest so next Tuesday is my last day at work but I'm really going to be done this Friday.

Yesterday I somehow hurt my back. I certainly haven't been doing much so no idea how that happened but I pinched a nerve or hurt a muscle or something. I ended up sleeping in the guest room (well, sleep is a stretch) last night which confused the cat who slept in the hallway to be between Husband and me. The bed in the guest room is lower and the mattress firmer. No, it is definitely not "back labor" - it is only in one spot and lying on my side aggravates it (fun!). I did have to take Tylenol around 3 am since I was getting very cranky which I was hoping to avoid - believe it or not I have not taken any medicine (cold, pain reliever, etc.) this whole pregnancy. Tylenol seems to control the pain so I'll be taking it until it clears up.

Thank you to everyone who commented yesterday about what to bring to the hospital. I was frightened by a few items I looked up (A, peri bottle? shudder - don't think it is relevant though for C-Section). I'll be packing my bag this weekend so keep those suggestions rolling in!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hospital Bag

We had a nice time in Maine including a trip to Two Lights Shack on our way back to Massachusetts that totally ruined my GD sugar count. Oh, well. I highly recommend eating there. I may try to get up to Maine one more time before the tykes are born - I slept much better up there than I have in my own bed. Maybe we'll go the weekend Husband was supposed to go on his bachelor party. Yes, despite his "blog guilt trip" of me in the comments section of my earlier post he is staying home.

I think it is finally time to start considering what to bring to the hospital. I realized that I'm at 34 weeks tomorrow so I should probably prepare a bag. Honestly there is starting to be less and less for me to do around the house - now we are down to mostly "nice to finish" projects like organizing closets and my "lift and carry" capacity is set to close to zero at this point. I wouldn't ask me to pick something off the floor at this point which is kind of funny because I have to make Husband follow me around the house where I point out items (like little scraps of paper) that I just couldn't get to. Husband thinks I should get a stick with nail on it. But I would probably just use it to prod him. Hee!

Okay, back to the hospital bag - I'm looking for advice as to what was useful and what was not. I will be there 4 days assuming a "surgical" birth (my new favorite term - so people remember you are recovering from major surgery). We check out A and B's positions tomorrow but Husband and I think we can feel A's head so think he's still heads up. Here is what I have thought of so far:
  • Breast Pump - I have Medela Lactina (got the pump for free and just had to buy new attachments for like $40 - good deal) and no idea how to use it. I hope they can show me how.
  • Pajamas - easy open/buttons for breastfeeding, not nice (like I have any of those anyway) so if they are ruined from bleeding it is okay.
  • Underwear and a couple of comfy maternity outfits - I have some black yoga pants that should do the trick. Socks - the kind with sticky stuff on the bottom (I need to get those).
  • 2 cameras (since we have 2)
  • Laptop - to keep you all in the loop. The hospital has wireless internet. Maybe a DVD or two. Husband just got Mad Men Season 1 on DVD. It comes in a case like a zippo lighter. Granted, it is probably not a model for raising kids but we also got Happiest Baby on the Block. The big thing is I hate commercials so not sure I can do regular TV. Maybe I should bring my old standby - Pride and Prejudice (the version with Colin Firth - yummy).
  • US Weekly/magazines. My 2 breastfeeding books - I'm halfway through both (that will be a post on itself) and they do have tips.
  • Fauxpod (Husband doesn't like Apple) - I'm not a huge music fan but I guess it might be nice to have to shut out noise.
  • Cell phone and blackberry to spread the word.
  • Toiletries (see photos above)
  • Baby Stuff: 2 baby blankets (that my grandmother Mimi made). Maybe a couple of onsies/hats/socks for them. This is where I really need help. Do you bring diapers/wipees? Doesn't the hospital give you most stuff?
  • My stomach pillow (I have that FoM type from Brookstone) that is filled with little balls (like sand by softer).
  • Husband will be in charge of getting me some good food and bringing to the hospital once I can eat again. I also fully intend to be one of those women who stays up until midnight the night before her surgery to eat a lot of protein and drink a gallon of water since you aren't allowed to eat or drink anything.
  • 2 infant car seats. I need to get those installed by Husband and checked out this week if possible. Since we might get a new car (minivan) this weekend I might as well have them installed in Husband's car just in case.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Weekend Away

Husband and I are finally getting up to Maine for a weekend away. My parents bought a house on Sebago Lake a few years ago. I was so busy working the first half of the summer and preparing for babies the second half that we have not yet made it up there which is a shame. Our friends Dan and Rachael are in town from D.C. and will be going up with us.

Dr. Whatscooking did ask how I felt about delivering the babies in Portland. No way is that happening! But I did feel my first contraction or two (I think). My uterus was like a rock and it sort of hurt all over. No worries though since I only had 2 and they were about 5 hours apart. I slept fine so off we go. Plus the tykes are under strict instructions to keep gestating for a few more weeks.