Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome Maya and Maxwell!!!

They're here!!!

Actually today they are 4 weeks old already! My due date was June 7th, but early in May I had to go to the hospital with pre-eclampsia (or high blood pressure). I was put on strict bedrest.

On the 12th I went in to have my blood pressure checked again and sure enough it was very high. I was immediately admitted to the birth center and by 6 p.m. I had two adorable babies via c-section at 36 weeks and two days.

Both Maya and Maxwell were sent to the NICU because of respiratory problems and were there for two days. We were so happy when they were released to my room!

Life since then hasn't been the easiest...there's been a lot of poop, cries (for them) and very little sleep (for us), but there's nothing like the feeling when I pick one of them up when they are crying and they calm down in a couple seconds and cuddle into my chest. I can't wait to see their first real smiles (although I've caught little previews when they are deep asleep!)

Sorry this is so short, but there hasn't been much time for the computer, as you can imagine! I did design their birth announcements above though.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


About 7 and a half years ago, Andy walked through the front door with a shaking mop of black fur and my life was never the same. I was never a dog person and was so nervous about being a dog owner. However, this little bundle of fur, known as Kelvin, grabbed my heart and became my best friend in every sense of the word.

Yesterday, Andy was with our beloved Kelvin as he closed his eyes and slipped out of this world.

The last couple days have been some of the hardest we've ever had to deal with...comparable with our miscarriage last June.

From the beginning, Kelvin was a nervous pup. He was nine months old when Andy brought him home because his cubemate's wife was expecting a baby and they couldn't keep the dog. Rather than seeing him go to the humane society, Andy offered to bring him home. It wasn't long before I fell in love.

Kelvin and I have had a special bond from the beginning. My favorite part of the day was coming home because he was so exciting to see me. His little butt would shake so hard that I thought his tail would fly off. He became my little Wiggle Butt.

Kelvin came into my life when I was extremely depressed. For nearly eight years, Kelvin has been there for some of the most troubling times of my life, including a five year devastating struggle with infertility.

However, Kelvin had struggles of his own. We don't know anything about Kelvin's early life and where he came from. It was apparent from the beginning that he had problems with dominance. We took him to puppy training classes and even met with a behaviorist. But Kelvin was extremely anxious. He barked at anyone walking by, hated when people came over and tried to dominate over Andy and I. Over the years, though, I became the alpha female in Kelvin's life, but that didn't stop him from lashing out at Andy and our lab Dakota. However, I constantly worked with him...trying to adjust his behavior.

Over the past couple years though, our training proved harder and harder, as Kelvin's outbursts became unprovoked. In a second he would turn into a different dog, not the sweet pup that curled up to me and licked my tears when I cried. He would go into a frenzy when anyone came to the door. If Dakota walked past him, he would strike out at her. Then he became extra protective of me, growling at Andy whenever he came near me, even biting him.

Then I finally became pregnant and we weren't expecting only one baby, but two. Many people say that dogs can tell when a woman is pregnant or at least know something is different. Both our dogs knew something was different. Each time we had a baby shower and brought more and more new stuff home, Kelvin became more and more anxious. He clung to me, never leaving my side and even wanting to come to work with me. Unfortunately, this made him even more hostile to Andy. Things came to a head on Easter Sunday when in "protecting" me, Kelvin snapped at Andy, then me for trying to correct him.

With the birth of our twins only a month away, Andy did some research on the Internet and read about Rage Syndrome, which is rare, but prevalent in spaniels. Reading the symptoms was like reading Kelvin's personality. Still, I wanted to speak with a professional. I made an appointment and after a long discussion of genetics vs. behavioral problems, we knew what had to be done...for us, our children and Kelvin himself.

God, I wish there could have been another way. I wish there was another option. For despite his problems, Kelvin, the TRUE Kelvin who struggled within his fears and anxieties, was the sweetest, funniest dog. If we could only rewire his brain! If only we could find a way to release him from the prison that was passed on to him from his parents.

The Kelvin I will treasure for the rest of my life is the puppy who looked up at me with those big brown eyes when he first entered our house and tried to hide under Uncle Steve's legs. I'll never forget his little Wiggle Butt dance when I got home. I'll never forget the time Andy brought him back home from the vet and he could barely walk, didn't want water or food, but when we brought out his ball, sprang into action, forgetting his charade. I'll always remember the time he dug into my knitting bag and found an apple I left in there and carried it around the house like a precious prize until I cut it up for him and Dakota to share.

Kelvin is the dog who turned an entire family into dog lovers. I grew up with an intense fear of dogs so we never had one growing up. But Kelvin was welcomed into my parents home for extended visits, even sleeping in their bed.

Kelvin, my buddy, wherever you are, you will always be my first baby. Daddy and I love you and will always love you and treasure you forever. I will never, ever forget you and everything you taught me. I'm so sorry, buddy. I love you.

Because I knew you...I have been changed for good.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Octomom is a loon!

Well...I tried to give her a chance, but this chick is a few fries short of a Happy Meal (well maybe the entire order of fries and a couple bites of hamburger, as well.)

I watched bits of her interview. First, the only people who support you are your parents and yet you tell the world you had a dysfunctional childhood? Because you were an only child??? Really??? Second, you have 14 children, but think that you can go back to school and get your masters degree? What kind of delusional, fantasy world do you live in???

There are 16 people in this story I feel so sorry for...her children and her parents. She may love her children, I don't doubt that, but if she TRULY loved them...she would not risk their lives like that. Apparently it's still unclear who is going to pay the $1.3 million hospital bill.

The more I hear about this story...the angrier I get.

Friday, January 30, 2009

This upsets me...

Everyone’s been asking me about the woman in California who delivered octuplets this week. Apparently I’m an expert on fertility treatments and multiples.

Usually I don’t pay attention to stories like these. But today I read that she’s also the mother of six other children. No one knows much about the mother (which I give her credit for), but from the article I read on msnbc, it sounds like she lives with her six children at her parents.

Now I hate to pass judgments on people I don’t know, without knowing their story, but I hate how the media romanticizes these extreme multiple births at the same time passing judgment on people who use fertility treatments to get pregnant in the first place.

A couple months ago, ABC News ran a story featuring the Jon and Kate Plus 8 family and the dangers of IVF. The story was the most ill informed story I had ever read. First of all, the couple they were using as an example didn’t even do IVF. They supposedly did a combination of fertility medications and IUI.

In a normal cycle, a woman releases one egg a month. If that egg is fertilized with a sperm, it may or may not implant into the awaiting uterine wall. With IVF, a woman’s ovaries are stimulated and harvested, then combined with the sperm and inserted a day or so later back in the uterus where it may or may not implant. Most doctors I have worked with, or know of, would never insert more than two or three (in the most extreme cases) to prevent the possibility of extreme multiples, a condition that is extremely dangerous to mother and babies.

You tend see more extreme multiple gestations from the combination of fertility meds and IUI. In these cases the ovaries are stimulated to release more than one egg. Sometimes the medications can produce 20 or more eggs (which was my case in many instances). At this point, most doctors will cancel the cycle to prevent extreme multiples or harvest the eggs for later IVF. But some do not.

When I initially heard about the octuplet story, I assumed it occurred from a combination of fertility meds and IUI, but the NBC story alludes that the mother had more than 8 embryos inserted into her uterus, which would actually be IVF. I’m hoping this is another instance of a poorly researched story, because I do not know of any doctor who would do such a thing….especially if the woman already has six children at home!

The story also mentions the fact that the mother rejected the idea of selective reduction, where they abort a number of the fetuses for the sake of the others. This is one of the cruelest realities of fertility problems…you finally are pregnant after so, so long, but have to make this awful decision. It was because of this that we were pretty conservative in our approach, but as someone who struggled for so many years without success, I can see the thought process of “the more you have, the more likely it will work.”

However, the story of the woman in California made me angry. I’m hoping there is more to the story than what has been printed so far, and I appreciate the mother’s decision not to go public. I guess I see fertility treatments as a way to help people, like us and many of our friends, to achieve the families they want. When I hear someone using such extreme measures to get pregnant, when she already has six children, I feel like she’s abusing and giving a bad name to a system that has helped so many.

I am very thankful for my twins. I cannot tell you how much I love them already. Both are pretty active, but shy away when Daddy wants to feel. I’ll be at 22 weeks this Sunday and have another ultrasound next week. My goal is to get everything out of the nursery (all the junk I’ve collected over the past 7 years) and basic furniture in by the time of my first shower the end of February. My birthday last week was fun, as I received mostly clothes for the babies.

Well that’s all for now. A bientot.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

It's a


It's a


We're having the perfect combination!!!! I cannot tell you how excited we are!!! Both babies are incredibly active and healthy.

Considering all we've been though, I can't believe how lucky we are!

I am on cloud 9!!!