Monday, August 25, 2008

I love My Little Dudes!

I'm a Bostonian born and raised, and an English major to boot - so how did the word "Dude" become such an important part of my vocabulary? Well, at the age of 30 I moved to Los Angeles, fell in love with a California "Surfer-Dude" and it's been a totally radical ride ever since. We were together for 6 years before we got married. We always knew we wanted to get married and have a family, but my "Dude" just likes to take his time about things ... like proposing, LOL.

We were married within 6 months of getting engaged and started trying to have a family immediately. I figured since I was one of 7 children and none of my siblings had any trouble, we'd be pregnant in no time. How wrong I was. Instead of that positive pregnancy test I was hoping for, I started having spotting and horrible pain every month. I went through multiple ER visits, MRI's and CT scans and finally had a laparoscopy to be diagnosed as having endometriosis. They removed the endo they found and we tried again - still no luck. We tried Clomid, but that brought back my endo pain tenfold. We tried IUI and were thrilled to finally see a positive pregnancy test, but it was not to be - we lost the baby at only 6.5 weeks. I was devastated.

We met with our RE and decided to move on to IVF. I'll never forget the day the doctor called and said to me "Peggy - congratulations, you are very pregnant!" My beta number was really high and she told me she wondered how many were in there. I have to say, the Dude and I were a little nervous about that. Sure enough, at our 1st ultrasound there were 2 little sacs - but one was much smaller than the other and did not have a heartbeat. The Dr. said the second one would most likely not be viable. We were sad about our Baby B, but happy to have a healthy singleton to focus on. Two weeks later I had some bleeding and we went in for an u/s to check that everything was okay with Baby A. Well - Baby A's heart was beating just fine, and so was Baby B's! The second sac had caught up and we were suddenly expecting twins!

Now I'm only 4'11", so this was going to get interesting. I laughed when I met a twin Mom trying on Maternity clothes who told me to buy everything in extra large. Turns out - by the end even XL maternity clothes didn't fit. We bought a minivan with adjustable pedals - but I still couldn't fit behind the wheel and had to stop driving by the time I was 6 months. I couldn't stand up long enough to take a shower without getting completely exhausted, so The Dude bought me a shower chair and helped me dry my feet and legs afterwards. When I developed PUPP's at 8 months, the Dude helped me in and out of oatmeal baths to ease the itching. He brought me protein shakes in the middle of the night and should have bought stock in Mint Chip Ice Cream. But through all the discomfort and challenges of a twin pregnancy - we were so fortunate that I never had any real complications. I carried those babies until 37 weeks 3 days when we scheduled a c-section since the babies were both sideways and I was just huge.

Our twin boys were born on March 7, 2008 and were both healthy and strong and the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. I was another matter - my uterus was overextended and refused to contract. I lost a lot of blood and nearly had an emergency hysterectomy. Fortunately they were able to save both me and my uterus, but I was put on strict restrictions for 6 weeks. So imagine, if you will, 2 newborn babies, a mother who can't lift them, walk without assistance and who cries at the drop of a hat, and new father who's never been around babies and has law school exams coming up. Somehow my laid-back Surfer Dude held it all together and we survived those first eight weeks. He took on the night feedings so I could rest and heal. He learned how to change a diaper, burp, and swaddle a baby in record time. With a lot of help from family, friends, and a team of wonderful post-partum doulas, we made it through - and he even passed his finals!

Now our sons names are Teddy (Theodore) and Robie, both family names we are very proud of. For the first 3 months of sleep-deprived chaos, however, they were pretty much known as either "this dude" or "that dude". As in "Did you feed this dude yet?" or "I just changed that dude. I think." or "Dude - this dude just peed (barfed, pooped) on me!" or "Get that dude a binkie!" My family visiting us from Boston thought this was pretty funny. They are now unanimously referred to by family on both coasts as "The Dudes". The Dudes are almost 6 months old now and every day is an adventure. It's exhausting and exhilarating and I love those little dudes (and the big Dude I'm married to) more every day. I can't believe how blessed I am to have such an amazing family - my family. The family I was afraid I'd never have.

I also have to thank all the amazing MoM's on the Nest Multiples Board. Their advice and support through my pregnancy and as a new twin Mom has been invaluable. It helps so much to know that you're not alone - that others think and feel and go through all the same joys, fears and frustrations that you do as the parent of multiples. If Twins are IN, I hope all twin (or triplet, or quadruplet, etc.) Mom's find themselves a support network as giving and caring and strong as the Nestie's I've come to know. You dudes rock!

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