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!