Wednesday, November 26, 2014


One of the hardest parts of being a stay at home mom is the social aspect. It's easy to feel lonely at home all the time. As a result, I try hard to get out of the house most days to do something. I've worked hard at finding friends to have play dates with.

I'm lucky that I have a great group of friends. My little group consists of my friend Natasha and her twin girls that are two weeks older (and twice the size) of Lucy and Clara. Stacy has twin boys that are almost 2 months older than my girls, and Katie has a son (who was a twin until 27 weeks) that is 8 weeks younger. All of us primarily stay home with our babies. Stacy is a photographer and shoots about 15-20 weddings a year as well as family photos. She took our photos this fall. 

I met Natasha and Stacy through the local Multiple Moms Mingle group. Natasha and I had due dates that were only a few days apart. I met Katie at prenatal yoga and we bonded over the fact that we were both pregnant with twins. Katie's pregnancy was complicated by placenta Previa and IUGR. 

The four of us (and our 7 babies) try to get together regularly. Our babies are all very close in age, play well together, and we generally have similar parenting ideas and styles (thus far at least). We always have a group text going with discussions, advice, questions, recipes, etc. The best part? We all went through infertility so totally "get it". A few months ago we started a girls night out where we go out for drinks and dinner once a month. 

We recently celebrated "friendsgiving". Here's a group shot. 

That's not to say I don't still try to branch out and meet other mommies. Recently I had exchanged quite a few messages with a girl from high school. She has a son that is 3 days older than Lucy and Clara. We planned a play date at the museum of play for last week. 

We had a really fun day. Her son was adorable and about twice the size of the girls (hmm...seems to be a recurring theme). Our conversations were quite the reminder why I love my usual mommy friends. In all fairness, she doesn't know our history and what she said came from a place of blissful ignorance. 

As we were walking she told me she was pregnant. Only about 5 weeks and she hadn't been to the dr yet. She told me she was worried she wouldn't be able to love another child as much as her son. When I asked if they were trying she said they had been. She was disappointed they hadn't gotten pregnant in August because her hubby was a teacher and that would be "perfect" timing. Instead, it took her 2 months to get pregnant. 

In my book, the fertile teachers are the worst kind. They plan their pregnancies so perfectly that no only is there perfect spacing between their children, but they are also born at the end of the school year. This allows them to take the remainder of the school year and summer off. 

I sat in so many meetings in the spring time with those pregnant teachers when we were going through fertility treatments. It was hard because there was always down time and chit-chat about their pregnancies. Their huge pregnant bellies would be an easy topic of conversation. 

I wasn't jealous of this friends pregnancy. I'm not really ready for another baby just yet. I'm just jealous of her blissful ignorance. Her ability to time things and then get pregnant so easily. 

The thing about infertility is, I don't think it ever leaves you. It continues to affect how you respond and feel about pregnancies even once you've gotten to experience it for yourself, and it even has the ability to shape your friendships. I'm so grateful to have been able to meet such a great group of women to raise my girls alongside. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frozen Embryos

I used to joke that I had embryos all over the state. We have 5 here locally in Syracuse with Dr. K and then we have 2 that are currently residing in Manhattan at Dr. B's clinic. 

When we first started with Dr. K we bought a package IVF deal. For $7500 we purchased 3 fresh IVF cycles with unlimited frozen cycles. We signed a contract that all of these cycles had to be completed within a certain timeframe. 

After our second fresh cycle with Dr. K resulted in my third early miscarriage I met with one of the doctors. He told me I just needed to keep trying and that it was a numbers game. He didn't think my history warranted recurrent pregnant loss testing despite me practically begging for it. He was willing to treat me as if I had problems without actually testing for them (using intralipids, lovenox. etc). That didn't sit well with me so that's when we first scheduled a consult with Dr. B. At that point I had completed 2 of the 3 cycles we had paid for. 

Dr. B had different ideas for medications, protocols, etc for me. The thing was, I didn't want to jump in to that with a cycle already paid for. So, I got Dr. B to manage my last cycle with Dr. K. We did a freeze all since I used a Lupron trigger. We froze 7 embryos. The next month we transferred 2. Although I had faint positives on tests my HCG came back at below 5, so negative. At that point I was exhausted and so discouraged with treatments. I wrote Dr. B an email and he told me I needed to give it one more try before I decided the treatment didn't work. 

We thought about it for a while. Since I had transferred 12 embryos with that clinic without a take-home baby we decided if we were going to give it one more try we were going to go all in. We decided to do our last cycle with Dr. B at his clinic. I got pregnant with twins and we froze 2 embryos. 

Last year around this time I got a bill to continue to store our 5 embryos here in Syracuse. I called to speak with an embryologist because we were supposed to pay $600. I thought about keeping half of them so we didn't have to pay the full amount. When I spoke with them they told me they could put them all into one spot and only charge us $300. So, we paid it. 

The thing is, another year has passed. We once again got our $300 bill and W said, "I just can't picture paying it." 

If we decided to try for more children we would definitely use our 2 embryos in Manhattan first. As much as I'm not thinking any of those 5 embryos could be my future child/children, I hate the idea of just giving up on them. I went through so much to get them. I don't think I'd be comfortable donating them to another couple. Although it's not set in stone, both W and I have said we wouldn't want to go through another fresh cycle. 

So, we have to make some decisions soon. I'm hoping that W will agree to continue to pay to store our 5 little frosties here in Syracuse but we will see. I'll likely just put it off until they send me a final notice like last year. 

I know it's not a bad problem to have, but it really is difficult to make these decisions. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Back

This past weekend we all turned our clocks back for daylight savings time. The girls are on a pretty predictable schedule/routine. They generally get up around 7 AM, go down for their morning nap from 9:30-11, take an afternoon nap from 2:30-4 and go to bed around 7:15, 7:30 for the night. Maybe I'm a little crazy at times about our schedule, but that's because I've always tried to keep them on the same schedule. 

In an attempt to prepare ourselves to turn the clocks back we started last Monday. I had heard that by moving your child's schedule back by about 15 minutes every day (4 days that week), that by the time you turn your clocks back they will have already adjusted. So I decided to give it a try. 

I started on Monday by moving things back by 15 minutes. The girls didn't even seem to notice the adjustment. On Tuesday we stuck with the same 15 minutes. On Wednesday they went down for their first morning nap at 10 instead if 9:30. Getting to that point wasn't pretty, but we managed. On Thursday we moved back by another 15 minutes so they went down for their nap at 10:15. 

The problem we encountered was they weren't getting that whole sleep later in the morning memo. They were still getting up at their usual 7 am, sometimes even slightly earlier. 

Finally on Saturday morning they slept until 8:15. They were up earlier but we both grabbed a baby and brought them to our bed to snuggle. Luckily it worked and we all fell back asleep until 8:15. 

Saturday night was the true test. We put the girls down late (about 8:15) and crossed our fingers. Luckily it worked! They woke at 8:10 or 7:10 on our new time change. 

This morning was the same. Clara was up a little earlier, but nothing crazy exhausting. 

All in all, our first daylight savings change (that actually affected us) was a huge success. The only fail was that I can't manage to stay awake much past 9 pm. 

 How did it go for you? What was your strategy? 

Disclaimer: Don't read this and think both girls slept all night. Clara did but Lucy still got up a few times a night (will she ever sleep through the night?!).