Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meow, Woof, Muumuu

First off, a giant middle finger to everyone who has gleefully told me "Sleep while you can!!!" when finding out we are expecting multiples. Thanks for the assvice. YOU duct tape a bowling ball to your stomach, swallow 2 live ferrets, and then YOU sleep while YOU can, asshole. I have been waking up about every 2 hours at night, either to pee, or to attempt to pry someone out from under my ribs, or because I have inadvertently rolled on to my back and am slowly suffocating, or because the darlings have simultaneously decided that 2 am is a really ideal time to get the hiccups. Last night I woke up at about 4 am, because there was this strange rumbling sound. I opened my eyes only to be greeted by this:

That would be my cat Tink, about 3 inches from my face, purring her head off. "Well, hello," I said to her, "May I help you with something?" She just sat there, staring. Finally she licked my forehead, and disappeared into the night.

This maybe doesn't sound like a terribly unusual cat thing to do, but you don't know my cat. Well, maybe you do, and if that is the case I am sorry. My cat is not the snuggly, cuddle with you in the middle of the night type of cat at all. She likes me, and me alone, and mainly only when there is food involved. She has been downright rude to every self-proclaimed "cat magnet" who has ever set foot in this house. It's totally my fault- I got her 10 years ago when I first moved to Orlando, and I didn't know a soul here, so she was never properly socialized. I came to accept that she was more decorative than functional as far as pets go, and for some reason I love her dearly. Dearest, on the other hand, is not-so-secretly hoping that she falls into the pool and can't get out. ESPECIALLY since I have been pregnant and he has been stuck on litter box duty. Poor Dearest.

Lately, though, things with Tink the Standoffish Feline have changed. She is glued to me. If I am not moving, she is physically ON me (great, more living things in my personal space! Hooray!) or on the back of the couch with her paws on my shoulder, or on the counter head-butting me while I am trying to pee. What the heck is going on here? A few people have said "Oh, she KNOWS what's going on, see? She SENSES it." Makes me wonder exactly what she senses. I'm thinking she might be sensing that I am soon to be a source of dairy products and she is trying to chum up to me for that reason. Weirdo.

Coda, the ever faithful and loyal Wondermutt, has also been sticking within about 6 feet of me at all times, unless of course something that is a major THREAT occurs, such as a small child going by on a scooter, or the UPS truck pulling into the neighborhood, or a Sandhill Crane walking through the yard, in which case he goes into full alert mode, huffing and growling, hair on his back standing straight up, looking very menacing indeed, if I do say so myself. The way I am pretty certain that the babies can hear is that when Coda barks near me, they both jump. Really, he has been a great companion and I am already feeling some guilt, as I know how he is about to be displaced and there is no way to explain things to him. Poor guy.

In other mundane news, I ran some errands before and can I TELL you how much I would give for a full-service gas station? I have not seen one in this state, I guess because we don't have the freeze-your-ass-off factor that makes most people use full service. But for real. I don't know why, but I hate everything about pumping my own gas. I hate the fumes, I hate having to enter my zip code, I hate thinking I am going to get to clean my windshield only to realize that my pump is missing the little thing that holds the trigger down so I have to stand there and HOLD the damn thing, I hate getting ogled by icky Lake County guys buying Natural Light, I hate the new pumps that talk to you while you are trying to pump gas. I hate the whole experience. And I am not a ninny, I generally don't mind getting dirty,or doing things for myself, this one thing I just hate. Alas, there are no full service stations here so I stood boiling in the sun, forced to hold down the trigger and breathe the fumes. Grr.

Our little town has a little ghetto, as all little towns should. It's a pretty cute ghetto, as far as these things go, complete with many required ghetto components: a couple of thrift stores, a Dollar General (NOT to be confused with Dollar TREE, the far superior dollar store), a terrible Chinese Joint, a KFC, and a Bealls outlet. Also a Scuba store, which I really wonder about, like are people in the ghetto 60 miles inland really that into Scuba? Maybe they are. I just don't know. Anyway, I hit the Bealls outlet, just for an excuse to get out of the house, and I discovered many interesting things there. Did you know there is a whole line of baby Nascar gear? Oh, yes, there is! Little pink onesies that say "The Terminator" or whatever on them, and a little baby my-first-pit-crew plush toy set and everything. Woah. I decided to skip the pink burp cloths with "In Memory of #3" embroidered on them, but I did buy myself a couple of things. And by things I mean muumuus. That's right. I did not think I would buy myself a muumuu until I was at least in my 80's but for some reason, it just seemed like the right thing to do. They were light weight, inexpensive, and zip up the front! What could be bad about that for those first weeks home? So just a warning if you come to visit the babies, you might see me in a muumuu. Definitely my strangest impulse buy thus far.

That's all the news from here for now. 33 weeks. Stiiiiiiiiilllll pregnant.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cheater, Cheater, Cold Cut Eater!

Have I mentioned lately how good I’ve been? I have been SO SO good. Really good. Have I mentioned how long I’ve been pregnant now? 32 weeks. 228 long days.

I don’t mind being pregnant. It comes with a few discomforts and indignities, but mainly it’s actually really neat. Nice people strike up conversations with you (which usually I would find annoying, but being stuck at home the majority of the time has caused me to appreciate these exchanges), you get to feel the babies move and watch your body do truly amazing things, and you get to laugh your ass off with your husband every time you get off the couch. Maybe that last one is just us. But the less I’m wearing, the more absurd I look, and the funnier it is. We could be watching the most serious and tragic thing in the world on TV, but if I am in boxers and a tank top and I get off the couch to waddle to the fridge or bathroom, Dearest immediately cracks up, which always gets me going. I could never be one of those people who has self-loathing over their pregnant figure. I just can’t. It’s too funny.

But back to how good I have been. Did you know that when you are pregnant, you are basically not allowed to eat anything you like? All of my favorite things are forbidden: rare beef, blue cheese, cold cuts, hot dogs, caffiene, tiramisu, not to mention booze in general, particularly red wine. The aforementioned items were pretty much staples of my diet prior to the pregnancy thing. And I have been essentially perfect in avoiding them. Up until this week.

I’m not sure what caused me to hit the wall. Maybe the viability of the babies (our Dr. said at 32 weeks survivability is nearly guaranteed), maybe I’m just weakening for unexplained reasons. But let me tell you what I did this weekend. I fell off the wagon. Now don’t panic, I didn’t have a rare filet with a blue-cheese crust, 3 glasses of Molly Dooker and tiramisu for dessert or anything (GOD does that sound good!!!) but I did eat a sub from Publix. And had an iced tea. And it was damn good. And the babies are fine.

I know they are fine because we had an appointment yesterday at the schmancy hospital, and the doctor did not comment on any ill-effects on the kids from the sub and tea. (Imagine if he had? Like, “I’m sorry ma’am, it would appear that your babies’ growth is stunted. You haven’t consumed any caffeine have you? Also they have listeria food poisoning, probably from some bad ham.”)

Anyway, the darlings continue to do well, Sophie is 3 lb 11oz and Livi is 3lb 8oz. Sophie seems to be quite proud of her breechness, and she is staying stubbornly with her butt in my pelvis and her head on my right, and Liv continues to be transverse across the top, head on my left, feet conveniently in her sister’s face. So if Olivia gets going, she kicks Sophia in the head, and Sophia has no recourse but to kick me in the large intestine with her left foot, or my bladder with her right foot. Wonderful. I kind of wish that Sophia would get head down if for no other reason than that kids who are breech have a high rate of hip instability after they are born. If she stays breech they will probably do hip x-rays and ultrasounds on her when she is a few months old to be sure her hips are not displaced. The freakiest part of this month’s ultrasound was the fact that when they focused in on Livi’s face, she had her eyes open and was staring right back at us. We could see her blink and everything. Woah. Weird.

Things here have been pretty quiet other than appointments. Went to the Osh Kosh outlet today because, even though I don’t get all gooshy about the sight of baby clothes, something about little tiny jeans makes me squeal. I got lots of cute dresses and sleep-n-plays at the shower, but I was so excited to go get some denim for the darlings. I know it would have been sensible to buy them in a bigger size, since it will be hot here soon, but look. I just really wanted the tiny ones. OK? It was fun going to the outlets, but kind of lonely going by myself. It would have been better with a friend there to shop with, preferably the kind of friend who would push you in a wheelchair so you could go to more than 3 stores without collapsing into a huffing heap. I definitely did not get to do everything I wanted to, but I got the jeans and some nursing bras (HOT) which were the top 2 things on my list. Anyway, all of my friends who would have pushed me in a wheelchair were either working, or live thousands of miles away, or exist only as a figment of my imagination, so I was solo.

Only a few weeks left. I’m ready. Very ready. For some reason I have been very worried about the girls’ well-being the past few days, I keep thinking that I would feel better if they were right in front of me. I know you never stop worrying about your kids, but if you are worried about your external kids you could just walk up to them and be like “Hey, are you ok?” whereas when you are worried about your internal kids there is nothing you can really do to calm your fears short of call the doctor like a spaz every ten minutes. Which I totally want to do. But I don’t.

Just a few weeks left.

It's Olivia... and she's staring right at you...

Sophia's cute little... um... it's kind of her, like, spine? Or something? And her head? Maybe? Anyway, some parts of Sophia.

Liv's profile. Should I be concerned that their heads look... empty? Shouldn't they have something in there? Like brains? Oh well, guess they inherited my empty skull!

Monday, February 16, 2009

All Things Wise and Wonderful

I did something today that I have been putting off doing for 15 months.

And it wasn’t easy.

But I’m so glad I did it.

My grandmother passed away about 15 months ago. She was in her 80’s and “had lived a good life” as people say about someone who is elderly and has passed, in an effort to make their departure less painful. At the time she died, the family compiled pictures, set them to music, and made a DVD of her life. It played at the visitation, but since I was not there for the visitation, only the funeral and burial, I never saw it. I was given a copy of the DVD, I put it in a drawer at my house, and thought about watching it every time I opened the drawer. But I never did.

Of course I was sad about losing my Nana, really sad, I had a lot of respect and love for her, deepened by the fact that I lived with she and my grandfather for 2 summers when I was in college, an experience that allowed me to get to know her as a more dimensional human being than just “grandmother.” I learned what a night owl she was (she wasn’t waiting up for me, she stayed up that late whether I was home or not!), got used to the sound of her raspy laughter echoing through the house at whatever British sitcom was on TV, watched how she and my grandfather worked, unconsciously, as a team. She told me stories of her youth, shared things she had written and things she loved to read with me, named the species of every bird at the feeder, and taught me how to avoid ironing altogether for the rest of my life. I think she really liked having me around, and as I worked 7 days a week, I never felt like I was underfoot or cramping their style. We coexisted. And I learned that, at the end of the day, we had a lot in common. We were both independent, both had a passion for nature (as did Nana’s mother), loved music, loved kids. But there was something deeper than that, a kinship that I can’t put words to, that I still feel to this day, even though she’s gone.

So today, I finally pulled the DVD out of the drawer. I put it in my computer and listened to it spin up, with a little bit of dread in my gut. Why was I doing this to myself? Why now? Why had she been on my mind so much, almost daily, during this pregnancy? The DVD started, and I watched my grandmother as a baby, as a young woman, as a wife, a friend, a mother, a grandmother. I watched her with my dad as a baby, and my uncles, and with me, and with my cousins, and where I thought I would be sobbing, I was smiling. It was like another whole dimension of her opened up to me—all the moments of her life when I hadn’t been there, because I wasn’t born yet, or because I lived so far away.

My grandmother struggled to carry babies to term. She lost 2 that I know of, and she told me once that those were “her girls.” She didn’t seem morose about it, instead she was reflecting on what great daughter-in-laws and granddaughters she had come to be surrounded with. Of course my thoughts turn to my hard-earned daughters, and all of the possibilities open to them, the many paths their lives can take. My grandmother wasn’t perfect, and she didn’t live a life free from suffering. But she put a lot of emphasis on family, and she was happiest when surrounded by those she loved, scurrying back and forth between us and the kitchen. I have to admit that I got a little teary-eyed seeing the pictures of Nana with the great-grandchildren she did get to meet, since my little girls will never get the opportunity to be charmed and adored by her, but then I reminded my self: they will have their own grandmothers, full of charm and adoration, and no, it won’t be the same as Nana, it will be wonderful in a totally different way.

We chose Roselyn to be Olivia’s middle name to honor my grandmother. Picking the girls’ middle names was possibly the easiest thing we have had to do as expectant parents. I kind of anticipated a big reaction from my dad when I told him we were naming our daughter after his mother, but he didn’t say much. Maybe he expected it. Maybe he was shocked by it. Sometimes when things happen and I think that my dad will have a lot to say, those are the times he says the least of all. Sometimes that’s what I really like about him.

Nana won’t have the chance to get to know my kids. But I will see to it that they get to know her. I’m looking forward to showing them this DVD someday, to explain how she lived, what she loved, and how to go through life without ever having to iron anything.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Link to Photo Shoot

I think they are only going to be up for a couple of days. Have a look if you're curious!


I would like to invite you to view pictures at Soltren Photography. They
are located at

When you go to the website you will need to register. After that, click
the Access Gallery link and enter in the access code below:

Access code: 6733f023

After you do that you will be able to view our pictures!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Unchosen

Oh dear.

At some point I crossed the line from huge to gigantic.

So sorry. You can see the proof below, if you are so brave. I didn’t want to put it right at the top of my post, because I wanted you to have the opportunity to turn back should you be of weak stomach. There’s my disclaimer.

It’s been an unseasonably cold week here in Central Florida, with several nights of hard frost which were not at all kind to our poor tropical plants. They were also not kind to Dearest who was stuck mixing a parade in the Magic Kingdom until all hours. And he does not own any gloves. He does own some long johns, thanks to our trip up north last winter, so he layered up the best he could and set off into the sunset, spending from 9 at night until 4 in the morning in the park on the coldest nights Florida has seen in years. Dearest is NOT a fan of cold weather and said he is going to add a clause to his next contract specifying that he does not work outside in temps below 40, no matter how important the show.

Last week I had my breastfeeding class at the local hospital. The description of it said moms and dads were welcome, but my babies’ daddy decided that he would go ahead and opt out of that particular evening of education. There were some other dads there, but mainly solo moms like me. I called him when it was over and told him that he really missed out: we watched a movie that was full of naked boobies and there were free cookies to boot! He didn’t seem too sad about it though.

Yesterday was our prepared childbirth class also at the hospital, taught by the same nurse who did the breastfeeding class. Dearest was not exactly enthused to attend this one either at first, but with a little persuading on my part and much eye rolling on his part, he relented. He liked it right out of the gate because the lady teaching it apparently looks exactly like President Roslin from his favorite show Battlestar Galactica. Somehow this made the whole situation much more tolerable for him, although I am thankful that he did not blurt out “So say we all!” at any point in the class. I would tell you that we learned tons and tons during this 6 hour class, but that would be a bit of a lie. We started the class by being paired up with another couple and asked to fill out a “How much do you know?” pre test on pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The couple that we were paired with was quite knowledgeable, truthfully, but we knew the answers to every damn question except 2. It was almost embarrassing. We had to kind of pretend like we were really thinking about stuff that we could have easily rattled off, just so we would not look like know-it-all overachiever pregnancy nerds. (The 2 questions we were stumped on were the name for the lower 1/3rd of the uterus- we knew the upper third was the fundus, but the lower third got us, and also the weight of the average placenta. We didn’t have a guess on that one, the guy we were teamed with guessed 6 pounds. I knew that was way off but I wanted to give him a turn to answer one.) I guess the reason that we knew so much is because a.) We learned a lot about reproduction because of our fertility issues and b.) I am an internet-addicted freak. The best part of the class was being able to tour the whole Labor and Delivery floor of the local hospital. Yes, we already had a nice introduction to the triage area, if you will recall, but it was neat to see the waiting rooms and the operating rooms and where the coffee maker is and everything. Gave me a better idea of what our experience there might be like should we go to term and deliver there.

Part of the class was watching videos of pregnancy and labor (nothing horrifying, we have already seen all the gore on Discovery Heath Channel), but the intro to one of the videos nearly caused me to leave the room. They are interviewing this pregnant woman about what she expects from delivery, etc, and she says in reference to her knocked up state “We are just so elated to have been chosen to be parents.”


Chosen? By what? By who? Does this mean you somehow deserve it more than an infertile couple? Do you think God chooses (or blesses) certain couples and not others? Because let me tell you, I know some real idiots who have been “chosen” to be parents, and some really amazing people who have struggled to get pregnant. And if we used IVF, were we “chosen” to have that succeed, or are we just pregnant despite the decider’s best efforts to deny us? What do people mean when they say they are blessed? Is there a higher power blessing certain “deserving” couples over others? Or are some people just lucky?

End of today’s rant. Sorry if you really believe God is picking and choosing particular couples over others. Sorry if you feel like we screwed with God’s will for us to be barren. I just have to hope that God doesn’t operate that way.

Things around here have been good, we had a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and the ladies are continuing to grow like champs, probably close to 3.5 pounds each. Sophia (the bottom baby for those of you playing along at home) has decided that breech is the way to be at this point, despite my best efforts to persuade her differently, and she has also decided that kicking my bladder would be a lovely plan, causing me to feel like I am going to pee my pants at least once a day. Thanks dear. Olivia is still transverse, and thanks to her antics our couch occasionally resembles the set of that freaky scene from Alien. If she stretches when I am lying down, it is really really alarming to see. My stomach distorts, sure, but now you can actually see her foot, elbow, head, whatever she is pushing up with, as if there was only skin separating her from the rest of us. I can actually grab her hand if she pushes out with it. I promise to pull out the camcorder sometime this week and try to catch it, because you gotta see it to be properly weirded out by it.

Speaking of weirded out, somehow I don’t really think the swimsuit designer intended this to be a bikini, but it doesn’t bother me! I can’t see a damn thing from my belly button to my knees!

And now, for your viewing displeasure… the 30 week twin belly shot!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Inspector of Gadgets

Just got my newest installment of baby gadgets courtesy of my sister, and I have to say I really get a kick out of all of this stuff. I have spent a lot of time this week assembling various pieces of infant apparati, and every day Dearest comes home to some new primary-colored piece of modern art in our family room and says "What is that thing? What is it supposed to do?" followed by the modern parenting question "Where does my iPod plug into it?" Yes, from the swing to the Pack n Play to the stroller, the iPod port has become a necessity for baby contraptions large and small. Because what if, just what if my babies are lounging in their Pack n Play when, all of a sudden, they really want to listen to the Black Eyed Peas newest album? Or if we are out for a stroll and they can't go one more block without the soundtrack to the musical Chess? Or what if one of the darlings is relaxing in their swing but they really need some Dar Williams to complete the experience? Who hasn't been there? Do you think I could just pop in one of those CDs on any of the numerous CD players throughout our home? Well, yes I could, but that is not the point. The point is why WOULD I when I just have to plug my iPod into the convenient dock each piece of baby gear is now equipped with? I can already tell that I am going to need several additional iPods, because what if Sophia is in the swing listening to Busta Rhymes, and Olivia in the Pack n Play wishes to kick her legs to Alanis Morrisette? Then what about me? What if I want to listen to something on an iPod too? Apple should really issue everyone an iPod at birth. Then no one would have to share. 

So back to today's gadget. I received the Temporal Artery Scanning Thermometer. Sweet! In case you are not familiar with this new modern necessity, here is the scoop: this thermometer takes temperatures by scanning an artery in your forehead. It's kind of like a little flashlight that you put against your forehead, hold down a button for a couple of seconds, it beeps, and voila! your exact temperature on the read out. Pretty slick, eh? Because let me tell you, when my reading about infancy enlightened me about how people used to take babies temperatures, I felt personally violated. I mean that's how they did it when I was a baby. What? I am going to assume that no one had to take my temperature the "old fashioned way," because if I find out otherwise I am not sure I can afford the therapy bill to undo the damage. I spent my whole life totally convinced that the butt is NOT a place for sticking things, and it would just be too depressing to know that those I trusted the most found it wholly appropriate to stick things in there before I even got a say in the matter.

Sorry. I didn't see that tangent coming. 

Back to my new Temporal Artery Scanning Thermometer. I unwrapped it, batteried it up, and took it for a spin. I took my own temp. Worked great. Next I did what any logical (and home alone for way way too much time) person would do and attempted to take the dog's temperature with it. (Thought if it worked maybe I could spare him from the butt thermometer next time he goes to the vet.) Turns out it's not really made for dog's foreheads. Either that, or he's really really cold. He only let me try one time, after that he decided he was scared of the Temporal Artery Scanning Thermometer and would not let me come near him with it anymore. So then I moved on to the next logical victim, the cat. But she is too hard for me to catch, and she has a weird 6th sense about when I am about to do something experimental to her and I can never get near her when I have nefarious deeds planned. I would have taken the crabs' temperatures, but they don't really have foreheads. 

So anyway, I have only been able to scan one temporal artery today, but it seemed to work quite well and I am excited to add it to the arsenal of baby gadgets I can't live without. The only problem is that I can't figure out how to plug my iPod into it.