Sunday, December 29, 2013


Now that I'm pregnant with twins, I've been thinking about fertility a lot lately. It's a funny thing. There are those few people who know exactly how many kids they're going to have and exactly when they're going to have them and everything goes according to plan. But I know so many more people whose baby plans are thrown off.

I know people who had two or three kids really close together and then were never able to have any more after that. I know people who space their kids out 5 years apart. I know people that have a set of older kids and then a set of younger kids. People who had honeymoon babies and people who waited 10 years to have kids. I know families with only one child. We have family friends that have 10 kids. We have friends with no kids. We have friends with adopted kids. We know friends that have in vitro babies. We know friends with surprise babies. With kaboose babies. Mixed families. Couples that have been trying for months/years to get pregnant or even adopt. Some finally get their wish. Some don't. Fertility is so different for everyone.

My family fell into two of the above groups. We had an older set of kids and a younger set of kids. And some adopted kids. My parents have five kids, and I'm the oldest. I was the only planned baby. My younger sister Tashi was born 16 months after me. She was definitely a surprise (a good one) and my parents felt like they were going to have a million kids by the time they were 30 years old. But then, they weren't able to get pregnant again for 14 years after Tashi. So my sister and I were the older set. My parents never found out why they couldn't get pregnant. They tried everything. They tried adopting from several different countries and long story short, we adopted two healthy Japanese newborns (Mia and Noah) that weren't biological siblings, 3 years apart. 3 years after that, my parents had another surprise biological baby - Susanna Grace. Mia, Noah and Susanna are the younger set. And although Mia and Noah were adopted, they feel just as much as my siblings as Tashi or Susanna.

I didn't know all the struggles my parents went through while they were trying to get pregnant or adopt, but it bred in me this anxiety that I was going to have the same problem. It sounds silly now, but a few months after I got married I was having extreme anxiety that I would never get pregnant. Bear gave me a blessing that I would be able to get pregnant. And I did. (Bear's family is extremely fertile. I didn't take this into account). And now I'm pregnant again. Apparently my anxiety was just plain silly. I do feel like we will deserve a break from getting pregnant for a while after the twins are born. But who knows - what if we can't get pregnant again after the twins, even if we want to? The thing is, you never know.

I just shared a lot of personal information but I wanted to make a point. We want to be nosy about other people's fertility. The thing is, it is very personal. We don't know people's financial situations or the pressure they're getting from in-laws or the fears they have of passing on a genetic disease etc etc. Having only one baby doesn't make you a bad parent. Having 10 kids doesn't make you a bad parent. We don't know people's intentions and fears. Some things are planned, some things are chance - like twins or down syndrome or miscarriages (not that I want to compare having twins with the terrible loss of a miscarriage). So my point is, fertility is a little fickle sometimes. Which is hard, because having babies is such a life-changing event (usually for the better). And we really can't judge others. We don't know if that couple that didn't have a baby until they were married for 10 years did that on purpose and their plan went perfectly, or if that same couple have been trying from day one. We also don't know if the couple with 10 kids knew they wanted that many from the beginning, or if they all came as a surprise. But does it matter? As long as you're providing for your kids and trying to be the best parent that you can,  it really doesn't matter. People are going to be nosy. But life is life. Live yours, and be the best parent that you can. Sometimes you can't control fertility. But that doesn't make you a bad person or a bad parent. You can do it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Now my thoughts are racing all day. TWINS?!

While I had a very healthy pregnancy with Lachlan and he was born right on his due date, this pregnancy will be very different. I have anxiety, and I imagined every little thing that could go wrong while I was pregnant with Lachlan. He had a rather difficult delivery, but everything turned out the best that it could have, given the situation. I didn't have to have a C-section or use forceps. He has been a very healthy baby and either right on target or ahead of his milestones. I had great blood pressure, didn't have gestational diabetes, and worked out throughout my whole pregnancy.

I know that just because Lachlan was so healthy doesn't guarantee that every pregnancy after that would be. But it did give me a little more piece of mind than my first pregnancy. Of course there's always the chance of having a preemie, down syndrome, the cord around the neck (and the list goes on and on), but I felt a little more confident this second time around. I haven't taken as many pregnancy tests as last time and I felt like I could handle any surprise the doctor threw at me. I was wrong.

We're in the middle of finals (our last semester at SVU) so there's been a lot of stress tied up in that. Like I said earlier, I can't keep secrets, so we told parents right away that we're pregnant, but we decided to announce to the public after the first doctor's visit, like we did with Lachlan. And let me give a little more background. The doctor I went to with Lachlan only took a urine sample and asked if I was taking any medications. So basically they told me what I already knew through home pregnancy tests but it was nice to have it confirmed by a doctor. At that office, they didn't give ultrasounds until 13 weeks, but we were moving to California to work for the summer so we asked if we could get an ultrasound before then. They said no, and I assumed that it was just standard procedure everywhere. Well...our insurance didn't work in I didn't go to the doctor. I had a lot of people scold me for this. Whatever. Things turned out fine. My mommy intuition told me it was okay. But I was able to find a 3-D ultrasound place while in California and at 20 weeks, I finally got to see Lachlan. It still hadn't seemed quite real up until the point that I got to see a picture of him and find out that he was a boy. When I was pregnant with Lachlan, I had a lot of dreams of twins and really hoped that he would be. So I was a little disappointed when there was just one baby on the screen. I wanted a boy and girl twin. But I got over that disappointment quickly once Lachlan was born and I found out how challenging just one baby can be.

Fast forward to 2 days ago, I just wanted to get the appointment over with because I assumed that they would only be taking my pee again. Bear was in a final and I had to take a friend to watch Lachlan in the waiting room. I switched to a different office because I had more friends go there and love it, and they had certified nurse midwives, which I wanted to go with this time around. Now I see why my friends liked this place better. I got an ultrasound at 8 weeks! I was so surprised but happy that my 45 minute drive to the office was going to be more worth my time. The ultrasound nurse was very kind and was trying to show me my ovaries at first (it all just looked like grey matter to me). But when she kept moving over my uterus, it looked weird. I could tell there was something in there, but it was hard to locate the baby. It must be because the baby is only the size of a kidney bean at this point and I might be seeing the yolk sac and placenta, I thought. She zoomed in, and I saw the baby's heartbeat fluttering away. I was instantly in love. But wait. Why is there another heartbeat above it? Is that the placenta pumping blood? Then the nurse said, "I have no other way to tell you this, but it's twins!" Then I saw it was two separate babies. Two little kidney beans. I literally said "Ohmygosh" 10 times in a row. Everyone asked if I cried, but  I didn't. My eyes just widened and I've been in shock ever since.

I had had a dream the night before the appointment that it was twins, but thought that it was just like when I was pregnant with Lachlan and didn't think anything of it. So I had to check that I wasn't dreaming while in the ultrasound room.

They're identical because they're in the same gestational sac (the black part in the picture - this couldn't happen if they were fraternal). This means either two girls or two boys because they split from the same zygote. And if they were in separate gestational sacs, there would literally be a line in the middle of my uterus and there would be two black sections. They share a placenta, so there's a little risk with that, but they are in separate amniotic sacs (which is a good thing). Otherwise, they could get tangled in each other's cords or compress each other's cord and restrict oxygen. Identical twins are 3 in 1,000 births. Funny that I was ready for depressing news from the doctor, but this news was the last thing from my mind. All twins are 33 in 1,000 births. The nurse said they'd been having a lot of twins lately.

So now we need a lot more baby gear, even if they're boys. Bear really wants them to be boys, I really want them to be girls. I'm afraid if having 3 boys that close in age, they'll get into all sorts of trouble and just egg each other on. Poor Lachlan has no idea what's coming. Now I'm having different anxiety - about not having the full 9 months to prepare for a baby and that they'll come super early and have all sorts of health problems and I'll have to leave them at the hospital and they'll be in incubators...or that I'll go full term and look like a whale. And how the heck am I going to breastfeed twins?! I feel as unsure as a new mom again. Twin pregnancies usually have to have more checkups and are more high risk and are more likely to end in C-sections (NO!) Hopefully they'll each have smaller heads than Lachlan and they'll both slip right out. (Fingers crossed)

Bear loved having Lachlan sleep on his chest (and still does) - I don't. It makes it so I can't breathe. So yesterday Bear's eyes lit up, and he said, "now I get to have two babies sleep on my chest at the same time!"

I thought life would slow down after graduation. Then we got pregnant. Now it's twins. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor sometimes. ("No sleep for you!")


Q: Do twins run in my family?
A: They haven't been able to prove that identical twins are hereditary. Scientists aren't even sure why the fertilized egg splits in the first place, and if it's because of the mom or dad. Fraternal twins are hereditary because hyper-ovulation is hereditary. Even though it hasn't been proven, my dad's younger sister has identical twin girls and my dad's dad has two different siblings that each have their own identical twins...this will be the 4th pair of identical twins in 3 it has to be genetic.

Q: Was this a surprise pregnancy?
A: We were thinking about getting pregnant again soon, but definitely after I had graduated. Right when we thought that - WHAM! The same thing happened with Lachlan. We were thinking about it, but a few more months in the future. So it was a little bit of a surprise, but not completely out of nowhere. The twin thing was a surprise for sure though.

Q: Are you going to go natural?
A: I would love to not have a C-section and to have a healthy birth again. But twins are more high-risk. So I'm going to be switched to a doctor, not a nurse-midwife. I'd love to try natural again, but if their heads are anything like Lachlan's were, I might give in an get an epidural again.

Q: Have you been feeling extra sick?
A: No, just super hungry. With Lachlan, nothing sounded good so I wasn't eating as much and lost a lot of weight. Now I just want to eat a little bit all day. If I don't eat, I feel sick. I've only thrown up twice - once because of the smell of giblets cooking the night before Thanksgiving, and once when I gagged myself on accident while brushing my teeth. I have felt a little nauseous here or there, but I can usually eat and it will go away. I haven't been bed-ridden because of it.

Q: Do you know if they're boys or girls yet?
A: No, because I'm only 8 weeks along. The earliest they can tell is 14, but usually wait until 20 weeks just to be sure.

Q: How far apart will your kids be?
A: If the twins are born right on their due date, 20 months exactly. But they'll probably be closer together than that now

Early pregnancy

I want to do better at documenting this pregnancy.

The PTSD of labor and delivery is creeping back. And I automatically think baby=baby+school. I have to keep reminding myself that by the time I have this baby, I will be done with school. It's just hard to imagine what that will actually be like so it's hard to talk myself into it.

I'm so glad that I'll be done with school. I don't think I would've ever finished if I had taken a break.

I'm scared because we don't know where we'll be living in July, when this baby is due.

I am the worst at keeping it a secret.

Some things are still very similar to Lachlan's pregnancy. I want to take a million pregnancy tests all day just to make sure. I can't wait for my first doctor's appointment to confirm. I feel like Sue from SNL. I can't keep secrets. But we're going to wait til 7-8 weeks to announce this one too.

I kept thinking of Lachlan as a baby until Sunday when I took my pregnancy test. Now I keep thinking of him as the older brother and think of him as a walking, talking toddler.

I would love to have a girl, but I'm trying to not get my hopes up and be happy with whichever - boy or girl.