“Later, Laney” and 24 Weeks

Thursday afternoon, my phone is blowing up. I recognize the number as one I’ve seen a few times before but I don’t remember who it belongs to. First 2 times there is no voicemail. Third time they leave a message. It’s Laney’s case worker and we knew this call, this day, was coming. We were to drop Laney off at her usual visit with mom on Friday and then they would be picking her up and taking her to her paternal aunt after the visit. Callie was devastated. I was upset but understood from the moment that they dropped her off, that this arrangement was temporary. Callie on the other hand spent almost 24 hours a day with Laney and was definitely feeling it. Thursday night I went to work for my overnight shift and when I got home at 5:15am, I pulled Laney out of her crib and laid her in bed with Callie and myself and snuggled and cuddled her so she could feel how much we loved her. Friday morning, I got her dressed, brushed her hair, put her “smell good” on, and dropped her at her visit. Callie cried all the way to our OB appointment. I don’t think that tiny human will ever understand what she has given us in the past month and a half. She showed us that we can do this “parenting of an infant” thing even while completely sleep deprived. She showed us that cuddles are the best thing ever! That we swore up and down we wouldn’t do co-sleeping, walkers, propping bottles, playing in the crib with toys, baby Bjorn’s, but we lied…about all of it! She gave us more than we gave her and we are grateful that she was in our lives. So little time with us but such a huge chunk of our hearts were taken with her when she left. On a positive note, the caseworker gave the aunt our phone number (she asked first and we said whatever they needed we are available) and she invited us to her 1st birthday party in a few weeks, and called us family because it was obvious that her niece was well taken care of. Callie spoke with her on the phone for 30 minutes about feeding, sleep, and play schedules, thumb sucking and blankies and exchanged email addresses for swapping photos. All in all, we feel confident that we’ll stay pretty well connected to this little person we love so much! It’s not “good-bye” but more like, “Later, Laney”.

24 weeks! Can you believe it?!?! One weeks shy of our third trimester and these babies are a week sooner to coming home with us.

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Fetal movement has been CRAZY! Their kicks are stronger, sometimes even shifting Callie’s clothes! The past week, they have really been loving their sweets. Callie’s been having Skittles, ice cream, milky ways, Reece’s Pieces, homemade cinnamon toast, and pretty much anything sweet she can get her hands on. Not that I thought it was a very good idea to indulge so much with her glucose test this past Thursday quickly approaching, but how can I deny 3 PEOPLE all that sweet and chocolatey goodness!?!?! I’d be a bad Mamá! So I admit, I bought her a cheesecake from Juniors at Grand Central on my way home last Sunday from work and chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin spice latte from DD’s yesterday! We had a Dr’s appointment Thursday, where they did a scan to see what was going on. Looks like everything is still good and it seems that the bed rest has been working. Callie’s cervix went from 1.97 to 2.2 which is great! She is still on bed rest (which she is simultaneously loving ::no work:: and hating ::can’t do shit::) and spending most her days in bed with her Snoogle or on the couch with the kitty who hasn’t really left her side since the day she stared bleeding. The ultrasound showed 2 very healthy boys (2 fat chubba’s!) who are still measuring bigger than they should. No wonder mommy’s cervix is struggling! The nurse did our 1st 3D Ultrasound and I was in awe! I couldn’t believe how clear they were! I could see my boys! Like really see them and not have to imagine what they look like anymore. They look like real humans! It was incredible. I held it together pretty well though, right after I jumped out of my chair and stood up close and in front of the TV monitor. It was surprising to see our donors nose on one baby and lips on the other. Callie says you can’t really see that yet, but I can see it! And I’m excited about it! Callie has gained 4 pound from her pre-pregnancy weight and her bump is measuring in at a whopping 28 inches!! Aside from that, we are just waiting on the results of the glucose test and are scheduled to check in again in 2 weeks. Everyone, say hello to our handsome boys!

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Here are 2 pictures of our donor…am I bugging about the looks?!

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23 Weeks and…

Bed rest! It’s official…but we’ll get into that…

So we’re at 23 weeks, and my girl still looks amazing.  She’s growing 2 eggplants, and she’s sporting an adorable baby bump and a glow that still radiated and lights up any room she’s in.  I love that girl! This week, those bodies are:

  • Feeling when their mommies have random dance sessions while washing dishes or cooking dinner
  • Working the blood vessels in their lungs to prepare them for breathing
  • Having a growth spurt starting this week for the next 4 weeks or so
  • Forming their nipples (I found this extremely entertaining!)

This week Callie’s Linea Nigra started to show.  We’ve been watching for it pretty intensely, but nothing. Monday it wasn’t there but Tuesday morning, there it was! All dark and stuff…so cute! Also, Noah has had his first case of the hiccups and they have been non-stop since! That is so freaking adorable, I just leave my hand, and Mary’s hand, and Laney’s head all on mommy’s belly and laugh as that little guy hiccups away and makes mommy’s belly bounce.  How is it possible to be so in love with them and they aren’t even here yet!?!

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With all of that exciting stuff happening with our boys growth and development, there have also been some other things that have made this a pretty trying week.  Callie started to feel tons of pressure really low and just assumed that it was Braxton Hicks pains.  This has been going on for about a week.  When the pains started coming on a little stronger on Monday and were accompanied by back pain on Wednesday and Thursday, I thought it would probably be in our best interested (and the boys health) to call/email our OB and see what he thought.  I was convinced that Callie was in early labor.  She called the Dr.’s office and asked the nurse if she could provide us with the email address for our Dr.  She wasn’t to keen on that and asked if there was anything that she could help with.  When Callie explained that she just wanted to ask him about the pains, she put her on hold, came back 2 minutes later, and said that Dr. O wanted us to make our way over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital where we will be delivering.  We did of course, but first, Callie had to call her District Manager to let her know what was going on, wait for her assistant to come back from her mandated hour lunch break, find care for Laney (who can’t stay at her center if she isn’t there otherwise we have to pay full rate and $450 for the week is not ok when we get a 90% discount) and figure out who was going to get Mary after her bi-weekly visit with mom.  Luckily, Callie’s mom was home from work that day and was able to stay with them until we got back.  I had just arrived in Queens, NY to be there to support Marco at his sister’s wake (it’s all very sad).  I was able to stay for about 45 minutes ( I felt like such a horrible friend), and then made the 30+ minute drive back to our home, where I picked Callie up , and we made our way to Greenwich Hospital.

We were greeted there by one of the nicest nurses I have ever met in my life! The room was immaculate, the unit was quiet (were there really any babies on the unit!?!?!) and the care was like none we have ever experienced.  People weren’t lying when they said it’s more like a hotel! As soon as we got into our room, they checked for their heartbeats.  Noah was at 142/bpm and Levi was 136/bpm.  They seemed to be fine.  They put Callie on a monitor, and they did notice that she had several rather big contractions, and a whole slew of little ones.  They gave her a little button to press every time she felt one, and most of them she had no clue were happening.  They figured she might be dehydrated because that can bring on contractions (but we knew she wasn’t) so they gave her an IV of fluids, which didn’t do much, so they gave her another one, and although the contractions were slowing down, didn’t really show much more improvement.  After 2 bags of fluids and countless visits to the restroom, they decided they would give her a shot of Turbutaline (which we realized the next morning was only a temporary fix).  After another hour or so of monitoring and the best hospital food I have ever had (Salmon, green beans, baked potato, Hagen Daas ice cream, clam chowder, humus and pretzel, an orange and apple juice—I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!) we were sent home, and told that if she starts contracting again to come on back.  The doctor checked that her cervix was closed, and called our Dr’s office to make sure that they were able to give us an appointment in the morning for a transvaginal ultrasound.

ALWAYS IN HIGH SPIRITS

ALWAYS IN HIGH SPIRITS

We go home after about 5 and a half hours of monitoring.  We put the girls to bed and pray that everything resolves itself.  When we woke the next day, we got Mary ready for school, got Laney dressed for a visit with her mom, and went to the Dr. to see what was going on.  In the 30 minutes that it took us to get to the office, Callie had 3 contractions.  They took us in right away and we got to see our boys!

LEVI SAYING HELLO

NOAH SAYING HELLO

AND SHOWING THE GOODS!

AND SHOWING THE GOODS!

LEVI IS A LITTLE MORE MODEST AND SHOWED US HIS HANDSOME (SKELETOR) FACE

LEVI IS A LITTLE MORE MODEST AND SHOWED US HIS HANDSOME (SKELETOR) FACE

They took a look at her cervix and noticed that it was looking kinda short.  Normally at this stage of pregnancy you should be seeing any number over 3cm for the cervix but Callie is measuring in at 1.97, which of course, could potentially be bad.  Really bad!  So, the doctor recommended bed rest. Basically, Callie can go to bed, bathroom, and couch…And she’s struggling.  She is a serious A Type personality, that doesn’t really know how to delegate work, and doesn’t like being home.  I know that when the house is empty and she can catch up on some much needed sleep, she might be able to appreciate this more, but for right now, she is a mess.  She cried through most of the visit (my poor honey) and waddled her way out to the car.  She still keeps her sense of humor though but asking the Dr., “So I’m not gonna see a leg just pop out right?!?!” Which of course is ridiculous, and equally hilarious! The visual cracks me up!  So at least for the next week, until we reevaluate on Friday, she will be off her feet, and tended to by me, our families, and our friends (my sister Natasha came over Friday to help with the girls and cooking and cleaning, and my friends who came over last night and had a baking EXTRAVAGANZA while watching “The Hunger Games” and “The Blind Side”! Thanks Tia Nina and Tia Fi!) Hopefully, this will be short lived otherwise it will be a long 3 months for the both of us…

22 Weeks

22 Weeks! Wow!!! I can’t believe we are even this far along! You don’t realize how quickly life moves until you have something to look forward to every week, something to track, something to take account of.  I’m so blessed/lucky that our little guys are still with us and very healthy.  Callie has been experiencing a lot of discomfort, but nothing unbearable.  I do my best to keep her comfortable, but there is only so much I could do.  I wish there were a way to take at least half of it or all of it! Papayas y’all! Freaking PAPAYAS! She’s carrying 2 of those…madness!  As of week 22 Callie’s belly is measuring 27inches and she is up 10lbs from her 16 week visit, so in all she has gained 4 pounds from her pre-pregnancy weight. Not too bad!  She could have gained 10 pounds and she would still be the cutest, most beautiful, sexiest woman on this planet.  best part is, she’s all mine! And the boys. And Mary’s. And Laneys, but you get my point.

Gorgeous Girl

Gorgeous Girl

We had our 20 week (well, technically 22 week) scan this past Thursday.  You know when you have a big test, or a very important game, or a job interview, or a solo in the school winter concert and you can’t sleep the night before because your so wound up and so nervous?? That’s how most of my Thursday morning was ( I work overnights on Wednesday, so the morning is my bed time).  I could barely get more than 30 minutes in before I woke up from a ton of different dreams (not all of them bad, and some were so cute!):

  • The babies had an arm growing from the tops of their heads
  • One of the boy looked like me but had Callie’s coloring, eyes, and ginger hair.  The other one looked like Callie but had my coloring and curly hair and light brown eyes ( I woke up because I thought it was real and that I heard babies crying, but it was just my kitty purring in my ear to feed her…so annoying!)
  • Callie started having contractions and it was way to early so we went to our OB who told her she was making it up, and she driving home she had the babies in the car
  • the donor showed up and said he wanted the boys, but then changed his mind because they had red hair and red haired boys are bad! ( I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!)

All that worrying for nothing, because the scan was AMAZING!  Baby A (Noah) is measuring 22w5d and is well over a pound, and Baby B (Levi) is measuring 22w3d, and just over a pound.  Their hearts are strong, and it was so neat being able to see all 4 chambers.  Their little kidney look perfect, and the lungs are where hey should be doing their thing.  We saw all their little fingers (all 20) and all their little toes (20 there too!).  The perinotologist (who is usually really dry and to the point and does that weird thing where he closes his eyes and they flutter while he’s talking to you, almost like his eyes are spazing—always seems weird to me when people do this) lit up and got kind of excited when he say the boys playing together.  They were in a ying-yang position and looked as if they were paying Pat-A-Cake.  ::Swoon:: And at one point, it looked like Levi was rubbing his feet like his Mommy does all the time. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Noah kept rubbing his eyes and let us see his beautiful face a couple of times before the scan was over. Those perfect little noses, and those adorable little lips! I am sooooo in love!  All in all, our boys are PERFECT! More perfect than I remember from the last scan.  I will admit, I was disappointed when all 10 pictures that Dr. G printed out were all the same profile shots! I wanted those little hands and feet, but they are doing exceptionally well, and honestly, that is all I care about!  It looks like Noah has Mama’s profile and Levi has Mommy’s  and that’s exciting! Glad we chose that donor that looks like me!

Levi's profile that looks like Mommy

Levi’s profile that looks like Mommy

Noah's profile that looks like Mama

Noah’s profile that looks like Mama

17 Weeks and a Bunch of Other Stuff

So today marks 17 weeks.  My Sweet Pea and Pumpkin are still growing in there.  They will start filling out their skin this week with tons of chubby baby fat for Mamá to squeeze and love on in a few more months.  Their cartilage is starting to turn into bone so their little kicks and punches should be getting stronger and more pronounced in the coming weeks, The developmental milestone I have been waiting for the most finally here!!! My babies are sensitive to sound and can start to recognize my voice. As a gift to our babies (And Callie, I suppose), I ordered a “Sound Beginnings” belly band with headphones so the babies can listen to music.  While I was waiting for the package to arrive this past week, I thought I would make some recordings of my voice since I will be away this weekend and Cal’s can play them for the babies.  Before you know it, I was downloading karaoke versions of songs, paying a few bucks for a voice recording app on my Mac, and spending hours recording (and rerecording) songs that I plan to sing to them once they are born.  That way they get to hear music AND my voice.  I’m a pretty decent singer, () so I figured, why not!? Callie loved it and got all teary eyed.  5 out of 21 songs are already down!
1) Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
2) I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
3) Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
4) Colors – Amos Lee
5) I can’t tell you because it will give away the gender!

17 Weeks and still looking HOT!

17 Weeks and still looking HOT!

Today was also my first nieces 7th birthday.  I remember the day she was born so clearly.  I was at work, wearing thermals and a respirator, covered from head to toe in baby powder, insulating a new structure in 103 degree weather.  2 hours in and half a gallon of water later, my mom calls me and said, “She’s coming!!!” I told my boss, ran outta there, and drove 80mph on the narrowest, windiest highway in our area.  I made it about a 3 minutes after she was born.  I was in love! The second that I held her she became “my Lady”.  The Lady is the best thing to ever happen to our family.  She somehow managed to bring together all the severed ends and put them in one huge knot.  Our relationship is a special one. She still loves sitting in my lap when she’s tired so I can rub her back, pulling the curls of my “springy” hair, and just lounging at my parents house and reading books together.  I hope that my relationship with my new little niece (her sister is due 11/14) will be just as special.  She’ll always be the first granddaughter, the first niece, and my best Lady.

The Lady and I

The Lady and I

Time flies!

Time flies!

 

My Sister and My Love, both expecting, both gorgeous!

My Sister and My Love, both expecting, both gorgeous!

Tomorrow morning, my best friend Marco and I will be taking what might just be my last hiking trip in a while.  Well, at least my last overnight hiking trip in a while.  Realizing that, made me really understand that in a few months everything, my entire life, will be different.  Despite how hard I fight it and how much I tried to convince myself that things were going to stay relatively the same, I now know, that is not going to be the case.  Callie has been really understanding about me needing to take this small little overnight camping/hiking trip with Marco.  She had a slight meltdown earlier while we were cooking dinner.  She has 2 birthday parties to attend on Saturday for Mary, has to run a few errands, visit with her family , and I wont be there to help her. I feel guilty leaving her but I REALLY need this.  With her being pregnant, I have been carrying most of the weight of this family. Believe me, I’m not complaining, but it does get overwhelming sometimes. I do the bulk of the cooking, cleaning, organizing, errands, taking care of Mary, laundry, and whole ton of other things.  I need a break from life for a day and need to have a real deep heart to heart with my best friend.  So we hugged/kissed it out, and I am 6 hours from a 5 hour drive to hike NY’s highest peak, Mount Marcy.

And finally, the Anniversary/Babymoon vacation is booked!! WOO HOO!!! We have been alternating between our 2 favorite places every year, Provincetown on the cape in Massachusetts (the gayest little town ever) and Rainbow Mountain (a little gay resort tucked away in the Pocono Mountains).  This year is no different.  We will be spending a week in PTown to celebrate our anniversary and our upcoming little ones.  There’s some talk about possibly getting married out there! It’s still in the air, but we figured, why not! Just the 2 of us, with an officiant, on the beach during sunset.  Who knows! I might come back a married women.  I’ll get to try doing my first maternity shoot and try out some of my new photography equipment.  I’m really just excited to spend some uninterrupted time with my sweetie while we enjoy good food, good music, and each others company and undivided attention.  These 4 years have passed by in a blur but almost slow motion at the same time.  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us next. Wherever that is, I’m excited and ready for it, as long as Callie is the woman by my side…

Sorry about the quality, but I actually won this competition!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkYEZnqWwSg

September 15th

That’s our move in date! We finally found a 3 bedroom apartment after 4 months of diligent searching and stalking Craigslist, networking with people we know (and some we don’t), and calling broker after broker to see if they had something in our price range.  After seeing something like 9 places, talking to 13 different owners, 4 credit checks, 1 AMAZING place and landlord that loved us and spent an hour and a half chatting with us only to let us know that there are no pets allowed (and you know how i feel about my damn kitty), we found the perfect place. Where, you ask?  In the same complex that we live in now, one building over!

When Callie and I decided to move in together, about a year after we had started dating, we fell in love with a one bedroom in the complex where she grew up.  There are 12 buildings with 4 to each courtyard.  Callie grew up at 43.  We moved into 25 where we lived for almost 2 years.  We didn’t want to leave but when we decided to become foster parents, a 1 bedroom just wasn’t going to cut it.  So we looked, for months, with no luck.  Just as we were about to throw our hands up and give up on the prospect of fostering, our rental office called us and told us that they had a 2 bedroom available one courtyard over. We’d told them to keep us posted if something came up in our price range.  So we recruited our friends with the bribe of pizza and beer, our parents, and our siblings.  We shot over to the next courtyard to building 7.   We moved in about 4 hours, and by the time we were finished (about 7 hours in total) our WHOLE ENTIRE apartment was completely set up.  I still thank my mom for cleaning EVERYTHING and putting it away just as we had it before.

Tuesday, as we were saying, “UGH! We’re over this apartment search! I guess the twins will be sleeping with us for the first couple of months until our lease is up and we’ll just be devastated because we can’t put together the nursery we’ve always wanted”, we get a phone call.  A 3 bedroom 2 BATH (woo hoo!!!!!!!) opened up in the next door in building 3! We told ourselves we didn’t want to pay more than $2500 for rent and utilities, but where we live in NY that’s kind of hard to find.  When you live in the suburbs 20 outside of NYC, you’re looking at about $1500 for a one bedroom.  And the county that we live in has the highest taxes in the NATION! Well, since we have been such great tenants, paying our rent on time, getting great feedback from our neighbors, and it doesn’t hurt that the girls at the rental office love us, they gave us the apartment for $2200, down from $2350.  I KNOW RIGHT?!?! So we’ll be packing as much as we can in the coming week and recruiting our friends again (with the promise of pizza and beer as usual) to move us one floor down, 50 yards over, and 3 floors up.

Best thing about the new apartment (aside from the 2nd bathroom)? All the light! Lots and lots of windows and tons and tons of light.  Our current apartment sits in the middle of an “H” shape.  Because of where our apartment is, it doesn’t matter what side the sun is on, one side of the building is always casting a shadow on our windows.  This new apartment has windows on 2 different sides of the street (it’s on the top left corner of the “H”) with nothing blocking it! The room that we chose for the nursery has 2 windows, gets the most light, right next to our bedroom, and it’s the perfect size for 2 of everything (10ftx14.6ft)!  They are even giving us the key a bit early so we have a little more time to move, since Callie is pregnant and they figured we’d need the head start since she can’t do much.  They have no idea about the moving dream team!

So again, when we are about to give up, the universe keeps telling us to keep going. That everything will work itself out.  So I have the love of my life (when I was over love), twins on the way (after we told ourselves we were over trying to get pregnant), and a beautiful 3 bedroom apartment exactly where we wanted it (while in the middle of a conversation about making it work in our 2 bedroom).  This is a different kind of surrender.  I throw my hands up and let things work out just as they are supposed to…

The hallway in 6pm daylight...Look at all that light!

The hallway in 6pm daylight…Look at all that light!

The layout

The layout

Week 15

We have made it to week 15! We thank our lucky stars every day that we have been fortunate enough to have Callie be the host to these amazing little beings. It’s still crazy to think that there are two perfectly little angelic, tiny humans in that belly. That those 6-pack abs of hers have rounded off into this perfectly, divinely feminine bump containing all of our hopes and dreams and our entire future. Still surreal!

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We had our monthly appointment with our OB. We FINALLY got to see our little Pumpkin and Sweet Pea. They are so adorable! They were putting on a show for us. As soon as the sonographer turned the monitor on, we noticed that they were ying-yanging! Baby A (Pumpkin) was showing off its beautiful little profile and its tiny nose in all its perfection and Baby B (Sweet Pea) was looking right at us, yawning and smiling and rubbing its eyes! Sweet Pea was even being a little extra dramatic giving us its ever present “woe is me” face and a hand to the temple!

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The sonographer also noticed that at one point they were actually looking at each other and interacting. It’s almost like they were laughing and communicating. She said she’d never seen any twins do that before. Nice to know that even in utero they are BFFing! I love the idea of that! You hear about the special bond that twins have with each other, but there we were seeing it for ourselves! It was something I’ll never forget seeing, and it melted my heart instantly.

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Also, we were able to find out what the gender of our little Sweet Pea is! Pumpkin, who is currently breached was not even trying to cooperate. He/she was too busy playing around and kicking those little toothpick legs. But either way, we’re not telling anyone until our reveal party. Let’s see how well we fare not spilling the beans for another 4 weeks! I am so in love with these two little beings! Somehow, I feel like they were meant just for us, just for me! Can’t wait to see them again next Friday at our next appointment, and maybe Pumpkin will feel like cooperating. Something tells me, he/she is gonna be stubborn like his/her mommy.

Social Media

It’s been torture not posting on social media about this pregnancy. We’ve been waiting so long for this to happen and want to shout it from the mountain tops (I’ll literally be doing that next weekend) and share it with the world! Well, today was the day! Here ya go Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, WordPress, and Google+!

You’re welcome World Wide Web…ur welcome…

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Oh, and our official 12 week photo…

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