Long time no blogging…cuz I had twins!!!

Standard

Hello Everyone:

I just happened to look at my blog because I haven’t been on wordpress in a while and I noticed my last post was with my maternity pics!  OMG…I didn’t let all of you know that I had two BEAUTIFUL twin girls!!!

On November 6, 2015, we welcomed Madison Jean & Ava Ray into the world.  In the picture with the Knicks outfits (taken at 1 month old), Madison Jean is on the left and Ava Ray is on the right.  Madison was born first at 10:08 and she was 7 pounds 4 ounces and Ava was born at 10:09 and she was 8 pounds 8 ounces!  We were the talk of the hospital because no one had seen twins that big!!!  I had a C-section and my recovery was phenomenal!  Both girls were very healthy but Madison had a short NICU stay because she had stopped breathing for a second after birth and they wanted to monitor her but she ended up being fine thank GOD.  My wife (Nicole) chose the name Madison and her middle name (Jean) was after Nicole’s mother.  I chose the name Ava and her middle name (Ray) is after my maternal grandmother who raised me.

Here is my crazy birth story.

I was scheduled for a C-section on Monday, November 9th.  We were happy with that date because my grandfather’s birthday (he raised me) was that day.  We also lost our son at 25 weeks gestation two years ago on that date so we figured it would lift our spirits on that day if our kids were born then.  The Friday before (November 6th), I was scheduled for a sonogram and NST at the same hospital where I was scheduled to have the C-section.  That morning, I noticed I was HUGE and I was in pain all day.  I even took a half naked pic of myself that day because I could not believe how much my body had changed from the day before.  When I was at the hospital, the ultrasound tech was telling me, “you are having a lot of contractions.”  I told her I knew that and they were pretty painful.  She said go home and rest and come back Monday for the C-section.  I told her I was having those babies today, I just knew it.  She called the doc, he checked my cervix and he told me I was not dilated at all and I should go home.  I drove home and cried the whole way home because I was in pain.  During my drive home, I called my wife and told her to get home NOW because I was in so much pain and something isn’t right.  She told me to calm down and I was fine.  I started screaming “I’M NOT FINE! I THINK I AM IN LABOR!!!”  I felt like no one was listening to me and I was so super frustrated.  I got home, laid in my bed, cried a little more and BOOM…my water broke.  It was like a crime scene in my bedroom because there was blood everywhere!  I was freaking out!!!  Thankfully, my wife was on her way home and got home like 5 minutes after my water broke.  She cleaned up a little bit, threw some crap in a bag for her (my bag was already packed) and we headed back to the hospital which is only 15 minutes away.  By the time I got back to the hospital, I was 4 centimeters dilated.  A few hours later, we had our miracle babies.

They are almost 3 months now and I cannot believe how fast time is flying by! They are the cutest babies I’ve ever seen and we are completely in LOVE.  I cannot believe God has finally blessed us with a family and the future is looking FANTASTIC!

Thank you to all of you out there who hoped and prayed for us. I can’t express how much we appreciate it!

I’m really hoping to blog more now that we have a routine but no promises because life is so crazy right now but more pics to come soon!

Complaints & Maternity Pics! Oh my!!!

Standard

Hello All:

I’m so sorry that I have been a horrible blogger! I really thought I would be blogging every week until the babies arrive. Yeah right!!! I’ve been working like a dog finalizing things at work before my maternity leave, getting the nursery and my house ready and just laying down because I just feel like crap honestly.

I’m currently 36 weeks and I have a scheduled c-section on November 9th at 38 weeks! I’m praying I go into labor sooner or they will move up the csection date but that is not looking likely. The only reason why I would like the 11/9 date is that it was my grandfathers birthday and coincidentally, 3 years ago on November 9th, we lost our son at 25 weeks so that would totally turn that day around in my mind. It’s so strange that my OB schedules the csection for that date!!! 

I would like to go early because I feel like crap. If one more person says “wow…you look like you are ready to go” I may just commit murder. My belly is huge, I’m up about 50 pounds, both ankles are swollen, my right knee is swollen, I’m barely walking with a cane, my hands are swollen, I can’t feel my fingers or toes and I have carpal tunnel in both wrists! Oh…and I forgot to mention that breathing is difficult and I don’t sleep AT ALL! Whoever said pregnancy was such a wonderful time in a woman’s life LIED!!! I’m really done with this!

The one thing that lifted my spirits is that I received a bulk of my maternity photos the other day. A friend of ours did them for us and they came out 1000 times better than I could have ever expected! My wife is anti-Facebook but I did go behind her back and post a few because they are AWESOME!!! Shhh…that is our little secret! Here are a few pics that I absolutely love!!!

Thanks for reading and I will keep you posted on when these girls finally want to make an appearance! 

    
    
   

30 Weeks…It’s crazy!

Standard

I’m NOT a fan of pregnancy!Don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed that after 5 years of trying, I am finally getting what I have prayed for but let me just say that being pregnant in the summer with twins is freaking hard! I’m big and I’m hot!!! Thank God the weather hasn’t been AS hot the past few days because I was really about to die!

Here is a list of things that are driving me crazy!
1. Cankles! My ankles look like cinder blocks and they hurt like hell. I fell two weeks ago and sprained one of my ankles. Now that ankle seems to never go down in terms of swelling. That ankle made the doc give me a cane and a handicap tag for my car! Aren’t I special? It’s funny to get dirty looks from people when i park in the handicap spot until they see me trying desperately to pull myself out of the car. Check out a shot of one of the cankles!
  
2. People’s comments! Boy did I think I got enough dumb as comments when I was trying to get pregnant. The one I get every day now that I’m 30 weeks is “Whoa! Looks like you are ready to have those babies tomorrow!” My reply is to give them the “kiss my ass” face and say “no I’ve still got about 6 weeks or so. “Twins! That’s why I’m so gargantuan!” I get that multiple times daily. It’s such a self esteem booster to hear how big and uncomfortable you look all day everyday!

3. No sleep! Insomnia has been a life long issue of mine but at least I could pop a sleeping pill every now and then. Even with insomnia, I would still get a few hours of sleep every night. For the past few weeks, there has been absolutely no sleep to be had except for the desperate 1 or 2 nights that I had to make Tylenol PM my friend. Sorry babies!
4. We are not ready! We have a lot of stuff for these babies but nothing is set up. My wife is working 2 jobs to save up some money so we can take as much time off as we can with our babies. Leave it up to the good old US of A for us both not to have any paid maternity leave! Our nursery is not set up yet and nothing is out together. I love my wife but anyone that knows her knows she is a bit of a hoarder so we constantly battle because I need her to get rid of stuff to make room for baby stuff! I’m in a total panic and I feel like time is running out.
On a brighter note, we had our baby shower this past weekend and except for a little bit of rain, it was a huge success! I’m so blessed to have the best friends and family. We had about 75 people which was CRAZY but pretty much everyone wanted to come and wow…everyone was SO generous! When I found out we were having twins, one major concern of mine was the cost. We already spent SO much on fertility treatments and now this is going to be another major financial commitment with 2 babies. I’m so thankful that everyone we know has given us such a great head start with all of the gifts and hand me downs! My shower was so much more than I could have ever dreamed of! Check out a pic of myself, my wonderful wife and the most beautiful cake!
   
 I don’t know what the next 7 weeks is going to bring but I hope and pray I feel good enough to finish everything we need to and to enjoy this last bit of my pregnancy. Even though I’ve been not feeling so hot, I’m so excited to see my daughters faces soon! My wife and I are FINALLY going to be moms!!! I really can’t believe it. Ava Ray and Madison Jean are going to be loved beyond belief! Here is me at 30 weeks!

  
For all of you that are TTC and going through struggles I hope you see through me that this can happen for you! Keep your head up, try everything and trust in God that you can get pregnant! I KNOW how hard it is and I never thought I would get what I’ve hoped and dreamed of during this 5 year fight but it worked. Sounds so corny but you have to keep the faith! It truly works. 

I hope to keep blog writing! Sorry I have been MIA but there has been so much to do! Thanks for reading!!!

What Worked…You Ask???

Standard

Many of you have asked me what worked after all of the failed IVF/FET attempts. It was a combination of things.

1. We went BALLS TO THE WALL! All other attempts we only transferred 2 or 3 embryos but this cycle we did four which I had to fight the fertility clinic to do but BOY…was it worth it!

2. I feel the embryos were different. Take a look at the picture I attached of the winning embryos! Do you see the one at the top looks completely hatched and the one directly below it looks like it was hatching? My embryos have NEVER looked like that. They were always completely closed. And this is with no assisted hatching…they did that all on their own. I believe those two embryos were the ones that created these two beautiful babies in my belly!

3. Intralipid therapy – talk to your doctors about this one. A lot of doctors in the UK use this to help people get pregnant but it is still experimental in the US. It is a IV infusion of fatty acids…that’s it. My doc had me go get this done a few weeks before my frozen embryo transfer and I said “what the heck…it can’t hurt and I’ve tried everything else.” You have to get the IV done in the office and I had to pay $55.00 for intralipid prescription because insurance would not cover it since it is experimental. Once I became pregnant, I continued the intralipid therapy every 3 weeks and my last therapy will be next week at 20 weeks! A big shout out to Voula, one of the nurses at my fertility clinic who is THE BEST at doing IV’s. I won’t let anyone else do it!

4. Acupuncture! I hate needles and I said I would NEVER do acupuncture because it was ridiculously expensive and I had to expose myself to enough needles with this whole IVF/FET process. So many women swear by this and I read so many blogs about acupuncture helping with infertility. A good friend of mine recommended an acupuncturist that was super gentle with me (knowing that I scream to holy hell when those needles come my way). I started with the treatments 6 weeks before I did the FET that worked and mid way through, she had to move!!! Fortunately, I found out that my wife’s cousin is an acupuncturist and I started seeing her with the family discount!!! Yeah boy!!! She was great too and I thank God for her and her sister (who coincidentally is an RN and did my progesterone shots every day because my wife was too queasy to do it)! All of this plus my flexible spending program at worked reimbursed me for the cost of my sessions. It really didn’t get any better than this!

5. Visualization & Manifestation – this is hysterical coming from me because I am SO NOT what I call the “crunchy type” that believes in this stuff. I have a good friend who always talks to me about manifestation and how it works for her. Shout out to MJ! I decided to try it but I wasn’t all that good at it. When I started seeing my cousin-in-law for acupuncture, she helped me even more with it. Before my transfer, she told me to visualize myself in a garden. I would plant the seeds and cover them with soil and water the garden…care for the garden. Sounds crazy but I played this over and over in my mind during each acupuncture session and every night before I went to bed. After my transfer, she told me to visualize the seed that I planted starting to grow and to continue to care for the garden and water it and feed it. I continued to picture this with every acupuncture session and every night. Sounds crazy to some people (including me previously) but I truly feel that this helped my body prepare for becoming pregnant!

6. YOGA – I’ve done yoga before but another good friend of mine recommended an amazing Yoga studio which coincidentally was the same studio that my first acupuncturist had a treatment room in. Shout out to Yoga Haven in Tuckahoe, NY! I warn you…this studio is like the MOST expensive studio in my area but I tell you it was worth it. When I went to my first class, I LOVED the instructor. She didn’t just take you through the motions, she actually explained what they meant and why it was so meaningful to the body. I happened to start at a time when they were going through the different chakras. Each class would concentrate on a different chakra and since I made it to the first chakra class, I continued. I tell you I don’t make this stuff up but the 2nd chakra (the Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana) has been used to care for your uterus and helps with fertility. That is ALL the instructor had to say…I was obsessed. I took two 2nd chakra classes; I started doing my own research about the 2nd chakra and I watched youtube videos at home and did the poses that were developed for the 2nd chakra. I drank the Kool Aid people and it tasted SO GOOD!!!

I really believe that I had a different mind set going into this FET cycle. I had to do things differently and I had to try things that I thought I would never do or that I never believed in. Part of it was out of desperation but another part of it was just putting hope into trying something different and STAYING POSITIVE, which is the hardest thing for me. Prayer helped too but I’ve always done that!!!

I hope some of you ladies out there struggling with infertility try some of these things and that it helps you too!

Love you for reading and thank you!!!

IT’S OFFICIAL! I’m back and I’m PREGNANT!!!

Standard

Well it’s official…I am finally pregnant!!! It has been a LONG five years of fertility procedures, injections, emotional highs & lows and just plain giving up but God has finally blessed me and my wife. The better news is that we are having two! That’s right…TWINS!!! Something we never expected but we are so overjoyed.

I took a huge break from Facebook and the blogging world because every time I would see someone’s pregnancy announcement, it would put me in such a dark place. All I could do was lay in the bed and cry. I cut off friends that were pregnant because I just couldn’t deal. I was embarrassed about my reaction to their good news and I didn’t want to “bring down their high” so I just found it easier to cut them off. Probably not the best way to deal with things but I had to take care of myself at that time. I can now say that I was steps away from needing to be institutionalized and the only way I could cope, go to work, get through more fertility treatments and continue a relationship with my wife was to totally take myself away from anything that had to do with pregnancy.

I want to apologize to all of my friends and family that I shut out during that period. Looking back, I realize it was a bit selfish how I handled things but I hope those people can put themselves in my shoes. I’ve never in my life been accused of being selfish. I’m not trying to make excuses but anyone who knows me knows that I spent a great deal of my life taking care of others. My grandparents raised me and as a young child, I had to look out for them because they were much older and couldn’t do a lot of things. I pretty much raised my brother for the first 8-9 years of his life because my grandparents just couldn’t do it anymore. I gave up going away to college because I had to be there for them and I spend most of my 20’s caring for them before they died. I always had to put them first and for the first time of in my life, I had to put ME first. That was the only way I was going to survive. Some of the people I shut out understood what I needed to do for me but some didn’t and I totally understand that too. I just hope they come around at some point because it was never that I wasn’t happy for them, it was just that seeing them or hearing about their pregnancies made me think that it was never going to happen for me and that tore me apart inside.

My best friend telling me she was pregnant changed everything for me. Even though, I didn’t have the greatest reaction to that news initially, I knew I had to turn this around. I had to be there for her. To this day, I still feel horrible that I wasn’t the overjoyed and supportive friend I should have been to her from the very beginning of her pregnancy. Because of that, I will do everything in my power to make that up to her. I know she understood my pain and I thank her for that! After she told me, every night before I went to bed, I prayed to God to get me out of this funk. I started to talk about my feelings in therapy and began acupuncture and yoga. Secretly, I started looking at Facebook again and trying to reach out to some other pregnant friends to get those friendships back. Anything to expose me to a little pregnancy stuff so I can get used to it and be ok with it not being me. Just when I started doing that, BAM, I got pregnant. I’m not the most religious person but I truly feel this was God’s plan. During that depressed time, I wasn’t ready to be pregnant. Now my bestie and I are both pregnant together and due just a few weeks apart. Our birthdays are only a few days apart so I think it was meant to be! You don’t get many friends in your life that are what I call “ride or die” so I am so thankful to have her and she will be the god mother to my children!

When I found out I was pregnant, I just cried and thanked God and when we did our first ultrasound and saw there were two babies, my wife cried which was so lovely. She has wanted to have a family just as much I have so it’s so wonderful to see how elated she is. Given the issues we had with our last pregnancy, we waited past the first 3 months to tell people except for close family and friends. We wanted as many ultrasounds and as many “you’re good to go’s” as we could get from my regular OB and high risk OB. I am now at 17 weeks and since our last appointment went so well (and there is no hiding my growing twin belly now), we figured it was time to let the world know.

We are treading lightly and trying not to get too excited because we know too well that nothing is guaranteed and anything can happen. I just can’t stop smiling though and even though I can’t feel them yet, I rub my belly just to make sure they are still there. My goal is to now find a church that accepts me and my family because I want to praise God for always being there even when I thought he forgot about me. I need to raise my children in the church like I was, and give them a good foundation of faith.

My due date is November 21, 2015 but the doctor said we will most likely do a scheduled C-Section in late October. I personally hope I can choose the date of November 9th. That was my grandfather’s birthday and coincidentally the date that Nicole and I lost our son about 3 years ago. It would be nice to turn that day around in my mind and honor my grandpa! But any day will do…I just want to hold my babies and tell them how much their mommies love them.

Thank you all for reading and I am so happy to be back. I know I have a lot of new followers and I have started to follow many more blogs so I’m excited to catch up on the lives of other lesbians trying to make babies!!!