Sunday, November 23, 2014

My happy ending

I feel I've won the lottery in so many ways.  I'm so happy, I don't want the days to go by, I find myself hoping time will freeze at so many different times during my day.  For so many years I would go to bed, put my head on the pillow and hope and think about the future, about getting pregnant, about a life with children, about an upcoming trip, these days I just think about the wonderful day I've had and the amazing life I'm living, and how incredibly lucky I am.  (wrote on 09/20/2014)

Hello everyone!  This is a long, overdue update, and my final one.  A little bit sad but mostly ecstatic to have come to the other side and be where I am today after all these years of struggle. Seriously, if I ended up here, after so many odds against me, after all these years, everyone can.  Do not give up.

We left Seattle at about 5 weeks after the twins were born.  Longer that I would have liked, I was so ready to get settled in my own home, desperate to feel like I owned these babies and ready to start my new life.  But we did want to spend time there with Cynthia and the family, didn't want to be ungrateful and be like "OK, we've got our babies now, bye!".

A big issue I was dealing with, which I never mentioned before is that I fell at work at the end of June, I slipped and fell on a wet floor, couldn't get back up for about 7 minutes from the excruciating pain but thought nothing about it (silly me!), thought I would get better in a few days.  Well, the pain started increasing, I did acupuncture, got chiropractic adjustments, did the cold and hot patches, magnesium salt baths, got a massage, nothing.  Then I went to take all my left over medications for pain that I had from my laparoscopy that I never took, etc, 800mg of Ibuprofen, nothing worked. Called my doctor for meds, he thought I may have inflammation from pulled tendons or something, he prescribed some more pain killers plus steroid pills.  By then I was walking with a cane, got an x-ray, nothing showed, pain kept increasing, couldn't move, Dan was in Seattle, babies were coming soon and by then I had missed 2 days of work.  Decided to get an MRI, it turned out I had an 11mm disc extrusion, no wonder!!  I explained my situation to the radiologist, he suggested and epidural and a few cortisone shots, I went for it but I had no relief, two days later I had to fly to Seattle, had someone take me to the airport and wheeled me into the plane.  Crazy timing, I know!

It was funny going to the last couple of Cynthia's appointments having her push me on a wheelchair while she was the one pregnant with twins, ha!  But I literally could not stand or walk for more than 30 seconds without my leg going on fire.   I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon there since I was told that with that size of an extrusion, physical therapy was not going to do the trick. I was also, by then, developing drop foot syndrome, and that could be non reversible if you let it sit and do nothing about it.  I got in on a cancellation with the best surgeon in Seattle the day after my babies were born! Can you imagine!  We were still at the hospital at the time, Dan and I were in the room next to Cynthia taking care of Jasmine and Dylan on our own, until Cynthia got released, the babies were perfect so the nurses would come in only a couple times a day, we were the ones feeding them, changing diapers and all.   Anyway, my brother in law took over, we went to the appointment.

Since I'm not the suing type, it took me forever to file an accident report with the building, they denied liability, then filed with Workers Comp but they wanted me to get back to California to get PT there and if nothing worked then surgery, I had no time for that and to be honest, I wasn't sure if I should trust a workers comp surgeon with my back, no offense to anyone.    So I decided to have the surgery in Seattle and do it through my personal insurance.  So glad I did because I left Seattle without having to use a cane, absolutely no pain on my leg and my foot back to normal.  I had all the restrictions of not lifting, bending, twisting, can you imagine with new born twins! How do you avoid that?! Dylan was already over 10 pounds by then.  But that was much better than staying longer with the pain and prolong the surgery.  I did the best I could before surgery and after, and to be honest, I was on cloud nine and would not let ANYTHING take away the joy of the precious moments I was living.

So I got surgery on Sept. 5th and drove back to LA, from Seattle on the 8th. 18 hour drive, which we did in a course of 3 days, stayed two nights in hotels.   We had the option of driving or flying.  Remember Dan had gone there early to help with appointments and around the house? He drove there with all his work equipment, computer, phones, files, he worked there for 2 months, so we had all his stuff, then there were the bassinets we had for the babies, all their clothes and stuff, my stuff and Olive, so we decided to drive back.   Under other circumstances, I think flying would've been a better decision, no matter how many germs there are on a plane :)

We left that Monday morning, Cynthia was so sad of course, I can't imagine how hard must have been for her.  The whole family was sad, it was truly a special time for all of us.   But I was so ready to get back home, I hope I don't sound ungrateful but I was so ready to be under my own roof, in the nursery I had prepared for them, I was looking forward to the moment where I felt I had finally the family I longed for.

The drive was great really, we had to stop every 3 hours to feed, burp and change diapers, but it was fun, a total adventure! Unforgettable times!  We set no goals for the day, just woke up, got ready, leave and stop for the night when we thought we had enough for the day.   We left as I said Monday morning and got home Wednesday afternoon, not bad at all.

Here's a couple pictures from our way back:

So we got home on Wednesday night and by Friday Dan was back at work.  I had a lady lined up to help me 3 nights a week, she had been highly recommended by a friend of my boss that had triplets, so I called her, it was going to cost me a fortune but everyone said it would be good for my sanity.  So on my way back I called her to let her know we were on our way.  She gave me the news that she had been diagnosed with Lupus and could barely stand or do anything without having pain in every joint in her body.  To be honest I felt relieved that I could safe that money.   I had been doing everything on my own in Seattle and felt I could handle this.   I was recommended by one parent from the Twin Group I joined, an amazing book called Twelve hours by 12 weeks.  He, the mom was the bread winner, he stayed home and sleep trained his twins following this book and swore by it.   I bought it before the twins were born and followed everything to a T.  I knew that if I wanted to go back to work, I had to get sleep.  I knew that if I wanted to be happy, period, I needed to get sleep.   So basically what you do on the first 6 weeks is mostly keeping your babies on a feeding schedule of either 2.5 or 3 hours, based on their weight and not creating bad habits for them, like not rocking them to sleep and so forth.   After week 6 the real training starts, only if they have reached a certain weight which Dylan had but not Jasmine, I started Jasmine 1 week later.   I have to honestly say this book is amazing, and absolutely no drama involved, I never had to let my babies cry at all, none of that, I kept them on their feeding schedule strictly, no snacking and slowly adding more ounces and stretching their times.  Believe it or not, not by week 12 but by week 11, Dylan was sleeping through the night and Jasmine caught up a week later.    I love this book and has allowed us to be happy during otherwise I very challenging time.  Nowadays, their last feeding is about 9pm, we chose that time because it's convenient for us, Dan comes back from work and has time to enjoy them and spend time with them.  In the mornings, I have to actually wake them up every morning around 8am on the days we go to work for "breakfast".    Otherwise they go to 9am with no problems.  So happy about that!   The book claims that this book works for everyone with any kind of baby, and that might be true, I just want to give credit to the formula I'm using because I believe it might have something to do with how good my babies are.   The American formulas have corn syrup (basically sugar) as their second, third or sometimes first ingredient, even on the organic ones.  The one I use is from the UK, Hipp it's called, has none of that and I think that helps.  Just thought I'd share.

Oh! But don't think if you are breastfeeding this book is not good for you.  It is, you just might need to pump to be able to make sure your baby is getting the amount of ounces total that he/she needs for the day based on his/her weight.

Cynthia was so amazing that she offered to pump for us, we rented a pump form the hospital, we were told those are the best, but Cynthia didn't have much milk, we got the colostrum, and a bit more but always had to supplement, which is really fine with me, I got to this point in time, I'm not going to be worrying about my kids not breastfeeding, they look so healthy and growing at a wonderful rate, even for twins standards, I'm really not concerned.  I was never breastfed myself, neither was Dan nor most people in our generation and we seem to be doing just fine, so I really decided not to stress about it.

So we got back on Wednesday night and Dan was back at work on Friday.   We got tons of visitors that weekend and the days after that, so much fun, such beautiful time!   I got back to work that following Monday.

My boss is amazing, as I've said before.  When I told him about the pregnancy, he told me he would be fine if I wanted to bring them to work. We have a large office with extra rooms and he said I could bring them with a nanny if I wanted to.   When he told me this I didn't know what kind of babies I would have, but by week 8 they were so well behaved I thought I could do it.  I hired this student, not very expensive, niece of a friend, to come with me, it worked out great for a week and a half but then her personal schedule would get in the way and I ended up at her mercy of when I could work and how many hours.  Of course I didn't like that.  A regular nanny for twins is so freaking expensive, I would be working to pay for the nanny and I didn't like that either, of course.  One day, this girl cancelled on me at 10:30pm the night before a crucial day where I had to be at work, I texted my boss that night telling him my problem and he said to just bring them without help and see what happens.  It turned out being a great day, I was able to have them by my desk, on rock n' plays, take breaks to feed, burp change and the rest of the day they would either hang out with me or with my coworkers, that are so in love with them!   Since that day, and it's been 8 weeks now, I've been working 3 days a week, ten hour days, with them alone.   I'm not going to lie, the days I work I come back home exhausted but then I have the next day to relax and get stuff done at home and it's been working great for everyone.    I work at a holistic clinic and we get tons of patients daily that come excited to see the twins, bring them gifts, take pictures of them, and my boss loves having them there, it's created this family atmosphere that he loves.  So it's been amazing.  What else could I ask for?

 So that has been my life the past few months.  It's everything I hoped for and so worth the fight.  If you are still struggling with infertility, do not give up and go with your gut.  Most people told me my eggs were no good, and look at my boy now, absolutely perfect, I knew it was not my eggs, it didn't make any sense.  So even when top doctors tell you something, remember no one has thought about your situation more than yourself.  And if you are reading this blog, chances are you have done already tons of research on infertility.   And if you end up having to go the donor route, like we did with Jasmine, I can guarantee you, you'll love that child exactly the same as your own.  I have one of each and there is absolutely no difference. I swear.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

Thank you to all the wonderful women that I've met here, and all the support I've received during the hardest years of my life.   I got the happy ending I hoped for and wish  you, with all my heart, that you get the same.  Motherhood is amazing and I wish this experience to all who want it.

All my love you to all! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Jasmine and Dylan's Birth Day

I got waken up  by Cynthia on Tuesday at 5:35am, "Wake up! wake up!  My water broke!", I had tears just hearing that, we all showered, called the hospital and got there as fast as we could, Cynthia, Dan, my brother in law and my sixteen year old niece.   Even though Cynthia has two children of her own, she's never had her water break before, first pregnancy was c-section, second was induced, she was shocked at how much water was coming out and kept coming out, I had no clue either so it was all new to all of us.  We got to the hospital and all the monitoring started, they had an emergency before us and since Cynthia was stable, we had to wait a little.

Let me tell you that EVERYONE at the hospital knew who we all were.  They had been touched by our story, by Cynthia's amazing generosity and by our many years of struggle.  The nurses started telling each other that we were ready for delivery and many started leaving their posts to come to our floor and wish us luck.  So amazing!  Such incredible people.  I felt all the emotions possible creeping up on me with every second.  With every one of Cynthia's contractions, every hug I got, every well wish, that moment were I would finally become a mom was approaching soon.

Even though they usually just allow one person in the operating room, specially with twins, they let me and my brother in law both be there.  It all happened so fast, they let me in an I remember asking Cynthia how she was feeling, telling the anesthesiologist that Cynthia was feeling a lot of the pulling and if there was something else he could give her, she was obviously in pain, and then I heard "baby girl!" and Jasmine started to cry and cry, I felt my heart was going to come out of my chest.  The amazing nurse saw me with my camera totally paralyzed and told me to get my butt to were she was and start taking pictures, I did, then I heard "baby boy!", OMG, it all was going so fast, they were born exactly 1 minute apart and I didn't know where to look, what to capture, were to turn.  They asked me if I wanted to cut the umbilical cord, sure! Those cords are strong!  I cut both of them and two seconds later the nurse took my camera away from me and handed me both of them.

I was living by far the most magical moment of my life.

I stared at them, went to Cynthia for her to see them and asked the nurse if I could show my husband.  Left the room with them in my arms and Dan was standing there.  As I type this, I can't stop crying.  His eyes got watery, he looked at me, looked at Dylan, looked at Jasmine and repeated that over and over and over again.   I wish I could have frozen everything at that time, I wish I could relive it forever.  I felt my heart was larger than the room and my emotions even greater than that.

Welcome to the world Jasmine Olivia, born on July 29th at 10:43am, 5 lbs even and 16.5 inches long.

and Dylan Jackson, born on July 29th as 10:44am, 5 lbs. 14 oz and 18.5 inches long.

No NICU for either of them and Cynthia is doing great.   We came home on Thursday and my life is now complete.    I have been blessed beyond words.   

Friday, July 25, 2014

36 weeks +2 days

and still nothing!   I had been so worried about them coming early and bugging Cynthia to stay in bed as much as possible, so hard to believe we had made it this far.  I am so lucky!

I arrived in Seattle last Saturday, so I've been here almost a week.  It's been great going to all doctors appointments and feeling my babies move.   We are thrilled they are still in but very eager for them to come out.  Cynthia has been walking more than usual and going up and down the stairs, at this point if they come early I know they'll make it fine, we are not worried, so she's free to do what she wants, she's been good for a long time now, she deserves to do as she pleases.   She has been a rockstar, her blood pressure is good, no gestational diabetes, fluid is good, contractions are 10-13 minutes apart, still 1 cm dilated (for a whole month now!) and absolutely no signs of imminent labor.   C-section is scheduled for August 2nd.  Wow!

Can-not-believe it yet!  I'm almost a week away, if not sooner, of holding my babies.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick update

Yes, I am now officially one of those terrible bloggers than once they get pregnant we never hear from them, sooooo embarrasing!!!  Sorry!!

The good news is we are 35 weeks as of yesterday, babies are doing awesome, Cynthia is 1.5cm dialated and 80% effaced, we are thinking it will happen next week.   As you know, Dan has been there almost a month on Sunday and has been going to appointments and helping out around the house since he can work remotely and I can't.  It's so awesome to hear him so excited after each ultrasound or NST, he has bonded with the babies so much already!  It makes me so happy to hear him talk :)

I am leaving for Seattle on Saturday, I'm flying with our little Olive and planning on staying there for a month.  That time is here already!! In about a week or two max, I will have those babies in my arms, unreal!  I'm beyond excited but it will sink in more when I get there.  I've been so busy at work leaving everything organized and at home, with so many things, that I've been very distracted.  Still cannot believe this is my life.

I'll update soon, with pictures, I promise. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Long time, me bad!

So sorry!   I was waiting for a good time to update, when I can sit and take time to write and lately there has been no time at all!  So I'm doing it now, no matter what, I've totally given up on a perfect moment to update.

Things are good, they are really great.  We will be 32 weeks on Wednesday and I'm very happy about that.   Of course I want them in there as long as possible but if they come today, I'll be fine and they will too.  So that is such a relief!

The pregnancy has been going good.  Cynthia has been on bed rest for over a month.  Her cervix, and I'm trying to remember if i had mentioned this on my last post... , had been shortening for quite some time, it was short to begin with but it went from 3.7 to 2.7, to 1.7, of course I started to freak out and wasn't super confident that Cynthia was really following the bed rest to a T, I felt the doctor wasn't really on it either, etc, etc. so I had a few days of paranoia and stress but her cervix has been stable at 2 for the past 3 weeks so all seems good and I'm so happy!!!

Dan drove this weekend to stay in Seattle and help the family.  Cynthia is on bed rest so theres meals to be made, things to do and we don't want to burden my brother in law with more than what he's been doing already, so we decided that Dan will go.  His job allows him to work remotely, mine doesn't work that way, I can do some but 80% has to be at the office, so Dan's officially living in Seattle and next time I see him we will most likely be a family of 5 already (counting little Olive of course!)

C-section is schedule for August 2nd, at 37.5 weeks.  Going by Cynthia's belly and cervix I doubt we'll make it that far, but we might all be surprised...  who knows.   The babies are doing great.   Last week my boy was weighing 3 lb. 7 ounces and my little girl was at 3 pounds 2 ounces.  I hear all the growth is in the next few weeks and judging by the size of Cynthia's belly as of today it looks like they might be over 4 pounds by now.

What else?  I am ready, I feel ready.   The nursery is almost done just waiting for a decal replacement to arrive.  We are doing just one crib until they start turning, our nursery is small, two cribs fit in there but we rather have it not so crowded for as long as we can.

Here are a few pictures.

Here is our FB announcement:

I have to say that everyone I know have taken this in an amazing way.   I prefaced the picture by saying that thanks to my amazing sister in law that offered to carry, we are now pregnant with twins, etc., etc.  Everyone has been so supportive, non judgemental, no one got too personal, no weird questions, just love, happiness and support from everyone.  I am lucky.  I was prepared for awkward moments and I can honestly say I've encountered none.

We had a beautiful baby shower:

And super cute cake:

It feels so real now.  It is really happening!

Cannot wait!!  ... Even though at times I wish I had a few more months to chill.

And for fun, what's your bet?   When do you think they'll be coming?  Mine is 2nd week of July, between 34 and 35 weeks.   I'll be so happy with that!