26 Weeks

I wish it would just slow down.  I hope that time doesn’t got his quickly when the boys are born.  It makes me sad to feel that this is all going to be over soon.  I love seeing Callie pregnant.  I love the great mood and the positive attitude she has had.  I especially love coming home to my wife (hehe wife!) every day now that she’s on bed rest, because our opposing work shifts only allow for us to spend time together on Friday evenings and Saturdays.  It’s been so great to catch up on our TV shows and cuddle on the couch or in bed (kid free!) all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays when I have my overnights.  It’s amazing to watch her body change every week to accommodate our growing babies.

This week Levi and Noah are about the length of zucchini.  They should be weighing in at just over a pound half, but they are weighing in at (Levi) 2.2lbs and (Noah) 2.0.  The doctor says that’s great!  They continue to develop their lungs by breathing in amniotic fluid and then exhaling it.  They keep stretching their bodies out and pushing all over Callie’s belly.  I’m almost certain that they (because they are exhibitionists!) are sticking their little butts out for Mamá to rub.  Of course, I appease them!  Their fingernails have grown all the way in and will probably be really jagged when they are born.  Grimy and jagged nails are one of our pet peeves with kids! They might also open their eyes this week or next and begin batting their eyelashes (hopefully they’ll be long and I’ll be really envious!).  This week, their brain-wave activity is also the highest it has been throughout their development.  They are really starting to make sense of the warm pool that they are encased in, and all of the sounds around them.  Their sensitivity to light is also at its most sensitive since they have been able to sense it.

This week, at our OB and Perinatologist appointments, we were told told that Callie’s cervix got back up to 2.1 from a 1.94 so that’s great.  We were also told that the boys have quite a bit of hair, Noah more than Levi.  Callie also passed her 3 hour glucose test (phew!) but that she is sort of borderline so she has to monitor her intake of carbohydrates and sugars.  Unfortunately, it was Halloween Friday and Mary brought home enough candy to satisfy (10 times over!) Callie’s insatiable urge for sweets these past 3 weeks.  And by insatiable I mean, piece of pie, 10 minutes later sherbert, 30 minutes later candy, 20 minutes later more pie, 1 hour later looking for something sweet again.  Marco brought a pie, Crack Pie to be exact, for the wedding and it was AMAZING! Callie has been talking about it ever since.  No seriously, EVERYONE and their mother needs to have this pie.  If you have a Momofuku near you, make it your business to get a slice.  It’s pricey ($45/pie) but soooooooo worth it!  All of that said, everything looks  and seems to be going well. Our weekly appointments continue with the OB and bi-weekly with our Perinatologist.  I’m starting to get a little worried that we haven’t even painted the nursery yet, but I enlisted Marco for a hike and help with cleaning and organizing our storage unit and getting some stuff done in the nursery this Saturday.  Even on bed rest and with everything going on, Callie is still encouraging me to take some time to myself since I’ve been doing everything basically on my own for over 3 weeks now, so I’ll be able to really enjoy the autumn foliage this Saturday hiking Storm King Mountain and revisit the sculpture park at Storm King Arts Center down the road.

MY WIFE AT 26 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH OUT TWIN BOYS

MY WIFE AT 26 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH OUT TWIN BOYS

*BREASTFEEDING WITHOUT BIRTHING UPDATE*

I have been trying to induce lactation pretty much since we found out that Callie was pregnant.  I have done manual expression and used a breast pump 6-10 times a day (depending on my work schedule) for about 15-20 minutes each time.  I wasn’t having any success with the exception of 1 little drop, so I contacted a lactation consultant who put me on Domperidone.  After the second day on Dom, I had a few drops of clear liquid the next 2 days of pumping.  After those first few days, there was nothing else.  Not a single drop, but I never gave up.  I called the consultant to ask her if birth control was the way to go (I think my PCOS is preventing me from having the appropriate levels of estrogen and progesterone to really get the milk making ball rolling), but she said it can take more than the 1-2 weeks that everyone says it takes from Dom to work.  So a month and a half of taking Dom 4x’s a day later, and still nothing.  I decided to make an appointment for both Callie and I, so Friday morning we went there to discus with her our next options.  She checked to make sure that I wasn’t producing anything (which I’m not), and decided that since we still have time it would be best for me to stop pumping (thank the lawd!), take Birth Control to stop my period, trick my body into thinking I am pregnant by not taking the sugar pill and going right into the next cycle, and continue with the same dosage of Dom for the next 2 months.  Then I’ll stop the pill, keep taking the Dom, and start pumping with a vengeance like before.  HOPEFULLY, that will work.  If not, then there really isn’t anything else I can do besides get a feeding tube and supplement with Callie’s breast milk or formula.  I hear that once babies latch on, there seems to be an increase in milk production from non-birthing moms, and then I can start taking herbs again that will help with that as well.  So I’m still on this journey of trying to be the best Mamá for my boys.

WOULN'T BE SO BAD TO NURSE WITH A NURSING SYSTEM, WOULD IT?

WOULDN’T BE SO BAD TO NURSE WITH A NURSING SYSTEM, WOULD IT?

Domperidone

Nope, not Dom Pérignon, like my friends keep thinking! Domperidone.  It’s a medication that is technically used to help relieve nausea and vomiting and a slew of GI related stuff.  One of the side effects is lactation. Honestly though, can you imagine Dom Pérignon helping to induce lactation, aside from helping to get me pregnant from a freak one night stand, since I don’t drink, and when I do, welllllllllll!?! HA! Callie wouldn’t take to that very well!

I have been trying to induce lactation for a little over 3 months now, with really no success.  ONE DROP PEOPLE! One tiny, little drop! When that drop happened, Callie and I almost went out and celebrated with a lobster dinner! Since then, NOTHING, nada, zilch! Not a damn thing! I contacted the lactation consultant at the hospital where our boys will be born, and she didn’t really have much experience with inducing lactation.  She did however give us the information for a women who is a registered nurse, lactation consultant, and exclusively breastfeed her 2 adopted daughters. Luckily for me, she lives in my area (about 15 minutes away) AND takes my insurance! SCORE!  About 3 weeks ago, I went to meet with her and told her about how long I had been pumping and doing manual expression with no success.  She was actually surprised that I knew so much about the whole process.  I am pretty well informed thanks to Dr. Google and Ask Lenore.  She took a look at my breast (apparently they are perfect for nursing!), took my weight and medical history, and gave me a prescription for…tun-tu-dah! Domperidone!

So today I started the medication, taking 20mg 4x’s a day for 2 days.  I then go up to 30mg and then 40mg in 2 day increments.  I don’t think anyone understands how incredibly excited I am about this.  To think, that I will be able to help feed, nourish, and sustain my babies while creating a bond that I didn’t think would happen being the non-belly mama, brings tears to my eyes.  I didn’t think that Callie would be behind me 100%, but she is! I think she is more excited than I am!  I know that it’s possible (and more likely than not) that I won’t get a full milk supply, but I’m okay with that.  It’s more about the closeness and the bond than anything else.  Getting milk is a bonus! From what I understand and what I have been told, I should start seeing some milk (at least more than 1 freaking drop!) in the next 1-2 weeks! If that ends up being the case, I will start storing and freezing whatever milk I DO make, so that I can have it on deck in case we end up having to supplement with a bottle.  Oh, and Callie has decided that maybe she DOES want to nurse! That has been the best part of this whole process.  Those are going to be two very lucky boys!

I hope this all ends up working out.  If I don’t produce milk, at least I’ll make one hell of a pacifier!


*I haven’t had the opportunity to write a post about our Anniversary/Babymoon vacation, mainly because we just got home at 5pm and I had to be at work for my overnight shift at 9pm.  Tomorrow, after I wake up, I will upload my pictures and write a lovely post about our even lovelier trip.  Until then, I’ll just leave you with this picture of my gorgeous girl in all of her 20+ week beauty.  (Sorry about the quality.  It’s a picture of my Nikon screen)

Babymoon Silhouette

Babymoon Silhouette

To “B”-Feed Or Not To B-“Feed”

That is truly the question! Callie and I were talking about getting our kids on a schedule and how important it is, not just for us but for them as well. We both work less that favorable schedules, what with my 2 overnights, a school aged kiddo who is being shuttled back and forth, and Callie’s demanding job as the Director of a childcare learning center that is the Ivy league of daycare, scheduling and routine are our life! The subject of breastfeeding came up.

(DISCLAIMER: This will probably get a little too descriptive for some people, especially if you don’t get the whole breastfeeding thing, but even more so if you are my little brother or my male best friend Marco reading this.)

Callie has never really been into the whole nursing thing. It’s just not for her, and to each their own. It’s her body and her prerogative so whatever decision she makes, I support her but we both agree that it is important for the babies and their well-being. I, on the other hand, think it’s awesome, beautiful, bonding, and starting your kids lives off by giving them their breast (I mean best) chance. So after much conversation and a whole lot more research, we decided that “adoptive breastfeeding” was the course that we were going to take and a decision that was perfect for our family. I’m home 3 days out of the week and since the the babies would be with me, it was the perfect solution.

I didn’t think it was possible to not give birth and breastfeed. I thought that it was all based on hormones and that the milk came in once your baby was delivered. NOPE! Not true. It’s all based on your pituitary gland and how it produces Oxycontin. To put it simply, if you can trick your body into thinking that a baby needs milk to eat, it will produce milk. How do you trick your body you ask? Weeeellllll, let me tell you! It’s a process!

I have been using manual expression for about 3 weeks now to get the milk out, even though there technically is no milk being produced yet. After about 15 minutes of that, I use a breast pump for about 5-7 minutes. All of this is supposed to be done about every 2-3 hours for a minimum of 3 months JUST TO SEE A DROP because breast milk works mainly on supply and demand. I also do breast massage as often as I can, and take 2 different herbal supplements (3 pills 3x’s a day OF EACH) to help increase the amount of milk I make. I’m trying to do it as natural as possible without taking any hormones and things like that. I love the hell out of my babies already to be doing all of this, primarily because I know that they are really going to benefit from it.

I have some issues not being the belly-mama. I always feel like my bond with my tykes won’t be as strong or as prevalent as it is with Callie, who carried them. I know that is probably ludicrous, but it’s a legitimate fear. It’s almost the same fear as them growing up and being the annoyingly obnoxious teenagers that we were, saying things like, “I don’t have to listen to you! You’re not my REAL mother!”. Even the thought of that boils and freezes my blood all at the same time!
I also have some issues that I need to get over. Stereotype issues. Everyone has always known me to be the sporty type, always overweight, not ever feminine, more like the dad than the mom. I have pretty horrible PCOS which makes body hair my ultimate curse (especially in places that they shouldn’t be on a female and highly noticeable). I don’t think that anyone in a million years would think that I would want to carry (when I tell people this their usual reaction is “Really?!?! You?!?!), and the people that I told I was inducing lactation give me this face like, “Isn’t that gonna be weird for you? or “seriously?” Why? Because I prefer to wear jeans, polo’s and boat shoes over skirts and heels? Is it because of my outward appearance? I’M STILL A WOMAN PEOPLE! I still have very feminine qualities that I embrace and I definitely don’t have penis envy like some of the other butches I know. But how comfortable will I really feel when I’m at a public park and my 3 month old starts wailing cause he’s hungry, and it’s time to whip my boob out and nurse him? Will I hide my head in shame even though I know I’m doing the right thing? Will I all of a sudden rush home so that I can nurse in private? Will my face flush with the ultimate sign of embarrassment, or will it be a complete non-issue?

I don’t know the answer to those questions yet. I’m pretty sure I won’t know until my 2 little nuggets are here. But until then, I’ll keep pushing (or pumping) on. Gotta get things right as there are 2 little ones to make sure are well fed and plump. The only thing better than a little chubby baby is 2 little chubby babies. Callie may be going through the actual labor, but this adoptive breastfeeding thing is a true labor of love.

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