"My Funny Valentine" - Babes in Arms

At this point, I have already celebrated many holidays here at the hospital, but they did have to be modified due to the circumstances. For instance, my Hanukkah menorah was made up of electric candles instead of real ones, I didn't drink any champagne on New Year's Eve, and most importantly, my awesome "Dirty Thirty" travel birthday plans were completely cancelled. Now with Valentine's Day on the horizon, I knew this February 14th would be very different from all of the ones before. Even so, my husband and I both had plans to make this Valentine's Day as normal as possible and use it as another excuse to express our love for one another. Before I get into the festivities, there were some major developments that happened the day before. Out of the blue I started having lots of contractions which was strange because there was not anything that I was doing differently with my activity level. I was still just lying in bed 99% of the day. About two weeks prior, my doctor did take me off of the anti-contraction medication I was on since my amniotic fluid levels were getting low, and that was a possible side effect from the meds. They were monitoring me closely to make sure that the fluid levels went back to normal, which they did, and that I was not having any more contractions. Everything was going just fine until February 13th when my contractions kicked into high gear. I have never been able to feel any of these contractions for whatever reason but they show up on the contraction monitor and alert the nurses that there is an issue. One or two contractions every couple of hours is not a big deal, but on Monday they jumped up to nine per hour! It was a good thing that I was not able to feel them because they were not very intense but the frequency was concerning because quantity could be dangerous regardless of the level of intensity. I was started on a new anti-contraction medication that night which gave me a lot of unpleasant side effects. The side effects did not hurt the babies at all but they made me very uncomfortable while my body was getting used to this new drug. In addition, I now had to be woken up to take the medication every six hours so at midnight and 6:00am my sleep was interrupted. Other than being woken up to take the medication, every time I was having contractions, the nurse would come in to wake me up to empty my bladder to help stop the contractions. If your bladder is full, there is less room for the uterus and contractions are more likely to occur until the bladder is emptied. Overall, this new fiasco meant very little sleep for me and more importantly a fear that this complication could get worse.

The next day after barely sleeping, Brett came by in the morning and surprised me with two bouquets of roses, balloons, and wall decorations for my room. He brought me an amazing gift as well which was one of our wedding pictures blown up onto a canvas. I cried when I opened it because it was so thoughtful and beautiful. I had already given Brett his gift the week before since all of my shopping had to be done online and shipped out. I ordered him a Burke Williams Spa gift card so that he can have some relaxation between taking care of me, the kitties, the bills, the apartment, etc. So far, my Valentine's Day was pretty awesome considering the circumstances. He left for work and then came back in the evening with take-out from Buca Di Beppo which was so much better than the usual hospital cafeteria food. Luckily, throughout the day, the medication had started to work with me having less contractions than before but still not as few as when I was on the first medication. Regardless of this new scary situation, I just focused on enjoying the holiday and visualizing my uterus calming down so that I could get another couple of months to have these babies cook. I never imagined that our last Valentine's Day without kids would be like this but in the end, we made the best of it and now we can look forward to sharing this holiday with our twins in the years to come.

*The song "My Funny Valentine" is from the 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Armsby Rogers & Hart. This song became a very famous standard after being in the show and most people today don't even know that it originated from this early musical. For me, this song represents how even though you may not have the most perfect Valentine or Valentine's Day, it really doesn't matter because love is what is truly important. I did have a "funny" Valentine's Day with not being able to go out on a real date with my husband and being stuck in bed with scary contractions, but we made it work. This whole bed rest experience has been about adapting to change and embracing it instead of getting upset that expectations have been skewed. Just one more life lesson to work on by the time the twins arrive.

 These put a smile on my face

These put a smile on my face

 Our wedding photo on canvas

Our wedding photo on canvas

"Beauty School Dropout" - Grease

There are a lot of sacrifices I am making while on bed rest and a minor one that I am really missing right now is my usual beauty routine. I guess you could say that I am pretty low maintenance to begin with regarding beauty. I have never been one to wear make-up on a regular basis and I go to a hair salon about twice a year for trims. Regardless of my lax regimen, I think I miss having the ability and freedom to spruce up my looks, especially since I feel pretty disheveled on a daily basis. For two months now, I have worn nothing but pajamas! To know what I am missing out on, let me explain what my usual routine was before I became bedridden. As I mentioned, I am not a huge fan of make-up so I would only wear some if there was a special occasion. My hair on the other hand, would eat up most of my time because it is very long and would take awhile to straighten and style. Other than a blow dryer and flat iron, I used about four different products in it to get my hair smooth and straight since it has a bit of a wave and gets frizzy easily. Luckily, I don't dye my hair anymore (I used to be blonde) so the only upkeep I had was the day-to-day grooming and occasional haircut. Lately, my hair is pretty much neglected. Sorry hair!!! It gets washed once a week in a sink and just stays pulled back into a ponytail most of the time. I don't even bother putting any products into it because they will only make my hair greasier as the days go on. Instead, I use dry shampoo as long as I can but that starts failing because it only works its magic up to a certain point. Overall, I have just learned to live with my new look and realize that this is only preparing me for when I get home eventually. Soon I will find out that even with the access to a real shower and blow dryer, I will not have the time to indulge thanks to my two little ones taking up all of my attention.

Other than hair and make-up, there is the issue of cleaning my body, shaving, and taking care of my nails while on bed rest. As mentioned before in earlier blog posts, showering is not an option due to how strenuous it is on my atrophied body so sponge baths in bed are the only alternative. They work and I definitely feel clean afterwards but you get cold in the process once water starts evaporating off of your skin. While taking these sponge baths, I am constantly reminded of the fact that shaving my legs is something that will have to be neglected for now because reaching over my belly is not the easiest thing...especially with a sharp razor in hand. The same goes for maintaining my toenails. I literally cannot reach them and since I have been here, they have just kept on growing. Guess those prenatal vitamins are working! My fingernails I am able to at least trim and maintain but I don't even want to bother with nail polish because I am bound to have some sort of spillage or snafu in my bed.

But recently...a miracle happened! One of my cousins decided to treat me to a professional mani/pedi where the nail salon came to me. Two women from a local nail salon came directly to my hospital room and made me feel human for an hour. I got my finger and toe nails trimmed and polished, plus I received relaxing arm and leg massages as well. I closed my eyes and just pictured myself in the salon itself...away from my hospital prison. It was so nice to feel feminine and pretty again after a couple months of frump. Even though my beauty has taken a backseat recently, it is all well worth it for my two little ones. So with two months gone and two months to go, my looks will be a little neglected here at the hospital as my focus is on making sure my babies look beautiful inside of my belly...beautiful strong heartbeats, beautiful development, and beautiful growth.

*The song "Beauty School Dropout" is from the 1972 Broadway musical Greasewhich was made into a very popular film version in 1978 (which I am sure you have seen about 50 times or more...I know I have). Lately I have been feeling like a beauty school dropout every time I look in the mirror because I am not used to seeing myself this sloppy looking. My beauty is obviously not my first priority while I am here and I know I am probably the only one who cares. It has nothing to do with what others think because I am in the hospital and this is what I am supposed to look like. It would be very weird to be looking put together and pretty when the only thing I am doing is lying in bed all day. The bottom line is that any shred of normalcy (clean hair, manicured nails, etc.) makes me feel better while going through this stressful experience. I am truly learning to appreciate the little things and not take anything for granted.

 Just like at the salon...minus the gurney!

Just like at the salon...minus the gurney!

 Pampered pregnant princess

Pampered pregnant princess

"Waiting for Life" - Once on This Island

Being at the hospital now for 50 days, there has been some turnover with the other girls on bed rest. They have either 1) delivered, 2) been stable enough to go home to continue bed rest without constant monitoring, or 3) are extremely close to their due date and are sent home to go into labor naturally. Due to my circumstances, going home before delivery is never going to be an option so seeing others leave is bittersweet. After a whole lot of patience, determination, and discipline they are in a sense, graduating. But instead of getting a diploma or degree at the end, they get a baby! I am definitely sad to see them leave our little community here but it gives me so much hope and inspiration that I will soon get there and I might just hear "Pomp and Circumstance" playing in the distance. Thinking back to all of the other graduations I have had in my life, it reminds me how special that time is and how each of those experiences have been preparing me for what I am going through right now. Graduation represents a new beginning or rite of passage where possibilities seem to be endless. It also forces me to think back on all of the hard work and accomplishments which made the graduation possible to begin with. College was of course much more challenging than all of the other schooling and education I have received as a child and adolescent. No one is holding my hand anymore to make sure I get to class or that my homework is completed. I also had to pay a lot of money to be there and if I didn't put in the effort, my money would be wasted and all the responsibility would be on my shoulders. College is truly one of the first adult tests that I faced which was vital in assisting me to have a successful career and future. Although, while in college I did still feel like I was in a safe bubble since expectations of success were not going to come until after finishing. This was the time to "incubate" and absorb all of the knowledge possible. I was in complete preparation mode just waiting to start my life after being in school for practically all of it. Then, the bubble gets popped and the real adventure begins.

For me, being pregnant is very similar to this experience since I have wanted to become a mom my entire life. Every life lesson along the way was been preparing me for this very moment. Being on bed rest is my final exam which if successful, will result in becoming a parent and getting to gleefully toss my mortarboard up into the air. I am mastering the art of patience which I know I will need once these two babies come into this world. I have the time now to study, focus on the end goal, and use my next 70+ days wisely. I started as "one small girl" but as I grow, my commencement draws near and a very important life chapter will begin as I transition into the role of parent.

*The song "Waiting For Life" is from the 1990 Broadway musical Once on This Islandwhich tells the love story of Ti Moune who is a peasant girl that falls in love with a rich man from the upper-class. At the very beginning of the show, she sings this inspiring song praying to the Gods that she is ready to start her life, find adventure, and love. When I was about to graduate college, I too was waiting for my own life to truly begin once school was finally over. I got to move in with the love of my life, get married, start my career, and ultimately start a family. Now, I am waiting for two little lives to begin and as each day passes, I see others around me starting this journey and reassuring me that there is a very bright light at the end of this long tunnel.

 My college graduation (2005)

My college graduation (2005)

"Putting It Together" - Sunday in the Park with George

I feel like I have become a detective lately...you know, the kind with the big magnifying glass analyzing every detail and clue. That's me. One major discovery that just happened was that I found out I actually do not have gestational diabetes. Yay!!! When I took the test and was getting my blood drawn every hour, the nurse kept coming back with news that my levels were still very high and my outcome was not looking good. Once the testing was finally complete, she told me that my numbers did not drop to where they needed to be and we had to wait for orders from the doctor to start testing my blood sugar. I immediately changed my diet and was anticipating the poking and prodding to begin. Days past with no finger pricks and my nurses were confused as to why there were no orders yet since they all saw the test results in my chart. My doctor is a very busy man so a delay was not out of the ordinary. Plus I was being very good about my new diet which lowered their level of concern. I got called in for an ultrasound a few days after my glucose test and finally got a chance to remind my doctor about the orders we were all waiting on. He informed me that I did in fact pass which is why orders were never written in the first place! Apparently, since I am having twins, the parameters are higher than the norm so even though my numbers were elevated, it was in the normal range for my particular condition. There could have been better communication between the doctor and nurses but in the end, I was very happy to have some good news come my way. Mystery solved! Another mystery which has been taking up a lot of my time lately is trying to figure out exactly what items to put on my baby registry. I am the farthest from knowing anything about babies or children, let alone what products are the right ones to get for them. Growing up, I was the baby of the family and never had the opportunity to change a baby's diaper, feed a baby, etc. Even as I got older I never got a chance babysit or look after anyone else's children. It got to the point where I realized that I would just learn all of these things once I had my own children and in a way, I liked that idea of starting from scratch. Before I get to tackle all of the day-to-day maintenance with my kids, the first order of business while they are still in the womb is to make sure I am getting the proper merchandise for their health and well-being.

Luckily, I have many resources to turn to since recently, family and friends have had babies and I was able to get guidance from them about what worked and what didn't. Other than their helpful tips, I knew I had to do my own research into a world that I knew very little about. To top it off, I was at a disadvantage not being able to actually go into the store to "test drive" certain products or see them in person. All of my shopping had to be done remotely from my hospital bed relying on customer reviews, consumer reports, and videos demonstrating different products in action. One huge advantage I did have was time...and a lot of it! I tore through my new "Baby Bargains" book which gives detailed ratings and information about what products are a waste of money, what products are vital, and how to get the best bang for your buck. There are so many different brands and options for every little item which is completely overwhelming to new parents. I remember in the past just going into Babies R Us to buy baby shower gifts for friends and leaving with my head spinning because of how massive the inventory was for this market! You would think that there may be a handful of different brands to choose from but it is more like dozens and beyond...for example, there are over 50 different car seats!!!

Putting together this registry was like teaching myself a new language. I had a lot of motivation to do this right because I wanted to not only have the highest rated products which were safe, but also the most convenient and user friendly. I know I will not have the time or patience to deal with a stroller that is more difficult to fold up or lift while I have twins screaming at me so taking the time to do the work and research now was essential. I realize how lucky I am to live in a time where I have the internet to get this done while on bed rest. Yes, it would have been fun to run around Babies R Us with my husband and the scanning gun doing this task together, but that was not meant to be. Instead, I got to play detective while he gets to play interior designer with the nursery. The bottom line is that in the end, the twins will have exactly what they need thanks to a team effort from mommy and daddy.

*The song "Putting It Together" is from the 1984 Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with Georgewith music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical focuses around the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and the artist Georges Seurat. In the show, the song is sung by George, the great-grandson of the painter who is now an artist himself trying to make his mark in the modern art world one hundred years later (the first act of the show takes place 1884 while the second act jumps ahead to the future). The song is very lyric heavy (like most Sondheim songs) and talks about how many minute details go into making art. "Art isn't easy" and I have found that neither are baby registries! I am normally a very detail oriented type of person so I approached this registry like it was a piece of art and took my time until I felt that I did get it just right. In no way am I an expert on baby products now but I do feel very well informed and look forward to getting to put these items to use this spring!

 Many hours spent on the Babies R Us website

Many hours spent on the Babies R Us website

 Back at home...nursery colors are being tested

Back at home...nursery colors are being tested

"Memory" - Cats

Last night I had an unexpected visitor. The woman who lived in this hospital room before I did came back to visit the nursing staff and also requested to take a peek at her old room. I was very excited to meet an alumnus of The BirthPlace who had made it out successfully with a healthy baby. She had been at the hospital for four months and experienced the exact complications that I am experiencing. For months she lived in this same room, ate the same food, stared out the same window, and probably had the same thoughts and fears as I do. Now here she was, three months later with a beautiful healthy baby in her arms telling me that every second she spent here was worth the wait. Then I wondered who I would be talking to several months from now in my room. The past meeting the present to not only find closure, but offer support and guidance. This experience brought back a memory for me from when I chose to visit my past and reflect upon a major time in my life. Last summer, I was in the area that I grew up in and decided to drive by the house I lived in from birth to the age of 16. This house had a lot of really great memories for me, but it also had some bad ones as well. When my family and I moved out, it was not by choice, but because my parents could not afford it anymore and foreclosure was the result. My dad was having trouble getting steady work, my mom didn't work, so they ended up refinancing several times until they were upside down and unable to make the payments. This whole experience was very traumatic for me because everything that was familiar was getting taken away and I had absolutely no control over the situation. I loved that house and never imagined that we would actually live anywhere else. I was going to miss all of the numerous parties and holidays celebrated there, the dozens of lush palm trees that made our house stand out from all the rest, and the mini pet cemetery in the backyard where all of our beloved furry friends were put to rest (don't judge...you know you have one too). I could take none of this with me...just memories.

I would need those memories as my husband and I pulled up to the house, well over a decade later. The new owners did not take care of the house at all and the front yard was just a bunch of dead grass with a few surviving palm trees. The actual exterior of the house had paint peeling off and it just looked so neglected. I could not believe how much had changed since I lived there and I was even more curious to see the interior. Unfortunately, no one answered the door so my tour was never going to happen. Maybe it was better that way. It's as if when we moved out, we took with us all of the life and happiness and left behind a sad shell of a house.

I think we are all intrigued as human beings to return to our past to relive our memories and reflect upon the events that formed who we are today. Moving out of the house you were raised in is a pretty common event, but for me, I was forced to grow up a lot and learn to embrace major changes instead of letting them bring me down. I was not like many of my other friends who already had experienced parents getting divorced or other life altering events. This was the first major crisis I had to deal with. After losing the house, change became much easier for me to deal with and I truly believe that particular event is helping me today with my complicated pregnancy. I am able to roll with the punches and just take all of the challenges thrown my way. I now have officially been diagnosed with gestational diabetes which means a major change in my diet and constant monitoring of my blood sugar. Of course I am sad that I have another restriction added to the list but there is nothing I can do to change that diagnosis...much like the "diagnosis" of foreclosure so many years ago. So instead of getting mad or upset, I am focusing on how to enjoy my new diet which I plan on continuing after I give birth because it will definitely help me fit back into my skinny jeans!

*The song "Memory" is from the 1982 Broadway musical Catswhich ran for 18 straight years and is currently the 2nd longest running show in Broadway history. This famous song is an emotional ballad where the character Grizabella, is deeply reminiscing about the past. I feel it is so important to reflect upon past events to help guide you in the present. Negative experiences might seem like a catastrophe in the moment, but once time heals, you realize that you learned a valuable lesson which has helped you grow and prepare for the future. Everything I am going through now is happening for a reason and I can't wait to share my story to the next mom who resides in this room. A new day will begin.

 My old house in shambles

My old house in shambles

 So many memories

So many memories

"Feed Me (Git It)" - Little Shop of Horrors

Like every pregnant woman, I am very hungry all the time...especially since I am eating for three. At the beginning of my pregnancy I did have some weird cravings which mainly consisted of wanting spicy buffalo wings for every meal, especially breakfast. Now that I am stuck in bed, it seems that my cravings for food are not as strong as they used to be. Possibly because I know that I am not able to satisfy a craving as easily as before, due to lack of mobility and having a limited menu to order from. It's a nice treat when visitors come by with snacks and food from the outside world to shake up my usual diet because the hospital serves absolutely no fried foods (my current craving)! Other than not serving fried foods, which I guess is the right thing to do at a hospital, I had a beef to pick with the cafeteria because of some errors happening when I did order their food. Recently, the hospital has been going through some transitions and construction which caused the cafeteria to be moved and they are still trying to get their act together. Over the past few days, food has been brought to my room extremely late, the order has been wrong, or they just forget to bring the food altogether. This would be annoying to the average person but to a hungry pregnant woman with raging hormones, any delays with food being served means war! Plus it's not just the fact that I am pregnant, but I am also completely powerless being on bed rest since I can't just get up and do something about it myself. I can complain to my nurses and then they call someone but by that point I have already raided my snack bag while I wait for the cafeteria to get it right. I'm also not the only one with these issues since all of my other bed rest friends are experiencing the same thing. Luckily, today I rattled enough chains to talk to the cafeteria supervisor in person and hopefully, everything will get better since now I have his number on speed dial.

In addition to the cafeteria drama, another black cloud regarding food might be on the horizon. I recently took a blood test in order to determine if I have gestational diabetes. I was given this disgusting drink (which contained 50 grams of sugar) to find out whether my body could regulate my insulin levels properly. Gestational diabetes is very common if you are having multiples because of the higher increase in hormone levels but luckily, the disease is only temporary and goes away once you deliver. Being on bed rest also increases the chances of gestational diabetes due to not being able to exercise or burn calories. With all of these odds stacked against me, I did not expect to pass and I ended up failing the first test. All hope is not lost because I have one more test to take which will give the final say on whether or not I get this diagnosis. The three hour glucose tolerance test is a lot more intense and I get to have more of that lovely sugar drink that actually tastes like flat Fanta but ten times sweeter.

The one silver lining is that for three days before I take this next test, I have to be on a high carbohydrate diet to get my pancreas ready for the marathon. Over these three days, I will give my pancreas a big workout by eating 300 grams of carbs per day. This way, when I take the test, my pancreas is prepped and ready to tackle that nasty drink. But if my body is not working the way it should, my pancreas will not do its job correctly and then I will officially have gestational diabetes. For now, I will fully enjoy my carb splurge since my diet might change drastically if I don't pass the test. The twins and I are all crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. Thankfully, even if I do end up testing positive, I am in a controlled environment with dietitians to consult and nurses to take care of me 24/7. I just don't like the idea of having to get my finger poked several times a day...but I'll give them a few drops if that'll appease and then I just need to worry about getting the twins to grow for me!

*The song "Feed Me (Git It)" is from the 1982 Off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrorswhich later was adapted into a film in 1986 and then revived on Broadway in 2003. Being pregnant and having this huge appetite, I sometimes can really relate to Audrey II (the man eating plant). In the song, Audrey II is desperately bribing his caretaker Seymour to feed him humans in order to survive. Other than the eating humans part, I am in a situation where I have to rely on people to get me food which is another reminder that I can't be independent. If I end up being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that will be yet another restriction to add to the list. Of course, I am hoping for the best and staying as positive as ever. Overall, I just keep telling myself that this whole experience is just a blip and before I know it, I will be out of here with two little babies singing this very song to me all day and all night.

 Nasty glucose drink

Nasty glucose drink

 On the phone while enjoying my carbs

On the phone while enjoying my carbs

"Seasons of Love" - RENT

44,640 minutes: How do you measure a month? Measure in love. I have reached my one month anniversary here at The BirthPlace and looking back over these past 31 days, I can't stop thinking about all of the people in my life who have reached out to me in my time of need to offer support and love. I am blessed to be going through all of this during a time when I can talk to loved ones many miles away via FaceTime and actually see them instead of just hearing their voice. I have also been able to keep up with what my cats are doing back at home using FaceTime as well! At the beginning of this bed rest journey, I was extremely scared, I was in shock, and I could not believe that I would be living in a hospital for the next four months. From the start, I had numerous family members and friends jump right in to make sure I did not feel so isolated and it has helped my well-being tremendously. Thank you!

Since this was my first hospital stay ever, I had no idea what it felt like to be the one lying in bed since I was always the one doing the visiting. Unfortunately, I had my fair share of hospital visits with my mom throughout most of my life due to her on-going illnesses. I remember that when my mom was admitted to the hospital in April 2007, no one knew if she would be released or if this was it. We realized pretty quickly that she was probably not coming home and she stayed hospitalized until she passed away in September 2007. For those five months, I was going back and forth to the hospital to visit her and saw her about every other day but that still was never enough for her. Now I know why.

Other than getting all of my feelings out through this blog, having visitors has been the best medicine for my emotional health. On days when no one comes by, it gets extremely lonely here and as much as I try to fill my time up with writing, reading, or watching movies, I still yearn for human contact. Thankfully, I typically have a steady flow of visitors, but I now realize what my mom was talking about. Even though this hospital stay is temporary, the day to day isolation is really hard to handle. I keep my outlook very positive because I am on bed rest for such a wonderful reason and I look forward to meeting my babies in the very near future. Even with this "glass half full" mentality, I still have my sad moments which pretty much only show up when I am left alone in my room, especially late at night. Luckily, my husband spends the night numerous times during the week which helps out a lot. Brett has his own bed since sleeping extremely inclined on a twin hospital bed is not too comfortable for one person, let alone two. The hard part is the next morning when he has to go back home to work and take care of the cats because I hate having to say goodbye. One remedy for my loneliness which keeps happening more and more is being able to feel the twins move inside of me. I am really never truly alone here because I have the two of them dancing in my belly! I know that the more these movements happen, the happier I will be because it means that they are growing and that we will all be out of here soon.

*The song "Seasons of Love" is from the 1996 Broadway musical RENTwhich is one of my all-time favorite musicals. This song opens act two and talks about how a year should be measured not using time (525,600 minutes), but measured with love. The theme of the song is how I am viewing my time here so that I am not focusing solely on how many days I have left...but none the less, marking an X on my calendar everyday is still very satisfying! I am thinking about the love I receive from everyone who is taking time out of their busy lives to visit me or connect with me over the phone or internet. I even got a huge surprise the other day from a visitor I was not expecting at all. My dad showed up out of the blue to visit me and it made me so happy because for my dad, getting out of the house to visit someone at the hospital is not something he does, especially after what happened with my mom. Even so, he came to see me for a brief visit and I told him that it really meant a lot to me having him here. Hopefully, this visit will not be a one-time thing and he will come back again. With one month down and three more to go, I will continue to measure in love and can't wait to spend more time with the important people in my life.

On a side note, as an added bonus for coming to visit, we have set up a "Splash Down Pool" for friends and family to gamble and guess when the babies will be born. Since this is like a Super Bowl pool, the winner will get the pool of money if they pick the correct date! Good luck!

 The start of 24 weeks!

The start of 24 weeks!

 Jump into the pool

Jump into the pool

"I Know Things Now" - Into the Woods

Sometimes when you finally get something you really want or desire, it does not turn out to be as great as expected. With so many freedoms and privileges taken away due to being on bed rest, any taste of normal should be celebrated, but I soon discovered that living in this altered life, normal is not worth the trouble in some cases. Let the shower story begin! So I was taken downstairs for another ultrasound which was great because I was able to escape my room yet again. This was a quick scan just to check that the amniotic fluid levels were not getting low since that is a common side effect of the anti-contraction medication that I am on. Everything was looking great so I asked the doctor if I could finally take a shower since it had been a month since I arrived at the hospital and these sponge baths were not the best. I heard from my other friends here on bed rest, that a five minute shower in a chair was an option if the doctor allowed it. My doctor said that he would have to think about it so I was not sure if it would actually happen, but I did inform the nurses about my request to hopefully expedite the approval. One amazing thing did happen on the way back up to my room after the ultrasound...I got to go outside! There was a small patio which I spotted and quickly convinced the nurse with me to have my wheelchair pushed out. It was the first time since December 21st that I got to breathe in fresh air and be out in the open. Even though it was only for two minutes, I took it all in and it was completely glorious.

My elation continued as later in the day I found out that my shower was in fact approved! I decided to take it at night because my hubby would be there to help me with this process since I would have limited access being seated in a chair the entire time. As the shower began, my excitement quickly faded once I realized that my so-called relaxing shower would be anything but. First of all, the water pressure was extremely low and there were no alternative settings on the shower head to fix this making it very difficult to get all of the soap out of my hair. In addition, sitting down while showering is a lot harder than it looks because I am so limited with movement and not everything is getting completely cleaned or rinsed due to my position. Also, the tub itself was so narrow that they had to place the chair in sideways so I wasn't able to sit properly on it. To top that off...I had only five minutes to get everything done so I was working really hard to meet that deadline with all of the obstacles in my way. By the time I was finished, I didn't even feel that clean and was completely exhausted. Because I am lying down 99% of the time, any physical activity is a huge deal. Just walking to the bathroom, my heart starts to race due to my extremely low activity level. Now I just spent the past five minutes feverishly trying to clean every inch of my body and it feels like I just ran a 5K without stopping. What I thought would be such a treat turned out to be such a let down and I realized that I wouldn't be able to take a good shower until I am home and back in my comfort zone.

For now I will have to just stick with the sponge baths and getting my hair washed in a sink once a week. It is not ideal, but far better than attempting to shower with limitations which don't make me feel good. Also, by sitting down in the shower, even just for five minutes and exerting myself the way I did, I realized it was definitely not worth it if it affected the babies in anyway. They probably only felt some extra movement than what they are used to but in the end, why risk it?

*The song "I Know Things Now" is from the 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woodsby Stephen Sondheim which mashes together several fairy tales set to an adult theme. The song itself is sung by Little Red Riding Hood where she talks about her encounter with the Big Bad Wolf and how in a way, she lost her innocence and learned a huge lesson about trust. The lesson I learned about my shower was definitely not as profound, but now I know that taking one is just not good for me or my babies. It is just one more lesson I am learning about making sacrifices for my children and focusing on what is in their best interest and not my own. I will take a really awesome shower when I get home where everything will be comfortable and familiar while the babies are safe with their Daddy. Until then, the shower alternatives at the hospital still get the job done so don't be afraid to visit me...I promise you that I am clean and smell lovely!

 Shower drama

Shower drama

"Day By Day" - Godspell

Being in the hospital, I am not more religious than I was before, but that I am definitely turning to my religion for support and prayer during this uncertain time. Even though I am in the safest place possible at this point, there are still so many things that can go wrong...specifically, the twins being born too soon. For almost a month now, my doctor has been able to stop the preterm labor from advancing with the cerclage procedure, anti-contraction medication, and me lying in the Trendelenburg position for about 23.5 hours a day. My biggest concern and fear is not knowing how long all of these interventions will last and can only hope that I make it to 37 weeks (full term for twins). Of course if the twins are born sooner, there is still a good chance of survival but I would hate for the babies to start their lives in the NICU with tubes and breathing machines connected to them. I know I should not think about these kind of things and stay positive, but I do need to mentally prepare myself for this possibility and not be caught off-guard if complications arise. Even so, I am still turning to prayer in order to try to prevent any negative outcomes. I have the hospital chaplain come visit me on a weekly basis to help me with the prayers and to talk to me about my feelings regarding my fears. This has been very helpful and it actually brings back a surprisingly nice memory of when my mom was in the hospital. I arranged to have a local Rabbi come visit her to recite the Mi Sheberach prayer which is the Jewish prayer for healing. She was so happy to have this prayer said to her but then she could not remember the name of the prayer afterwards once he left. My mom kept on calling it the "Mushy Bushy" which brought a little bit of humor and joy during such a sad time. Now I am the one asking for the Mi Sheberach to be recited to me, while under my breath pronouncing it "Mushy Bushy" in honor of my mom. :)

In addition to the prayers, I have been receiving a Shabbat kit every Friday when the chaplain comes to visit which includes challah bread, grape juice, and electric candles (so that the hospital doesn't get burned down). Prior to arriving in the hospital when I was living my busy life, I would rarely celebrate Shabbat at home and only attended services sporadically throughout the year. I am not that religious to begin with, but I do try to uphold traditions and holidays as much as possible. Now every Friday, I am performing my own little Shabbat ceremony since I finally have the time to do so. Shabbat is a time of rest and reflection which is difficult to fully participate in when your mind is constantly trying to remember what needs to be accomplished over the weekend. I guess taking part completely in the true meaning of Shabbat with no distractions is just another bed rest perk! Hopefully God notices this and gives me some much needed brownie points.

*The song "Day By Day" is from the 1971 Off-Broadway musical Godspellwhich later made its way to Broadway in 1976 (currently, there is a new revival on Broadway now). The song's main message about God is to "see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly" which I feel like I have been doing since the start of this bed rest predicament because I need all of the spiritual help I can get. Turning to prayer is the one thing that is really helping me focus on positive thinking while trying to silence the worried "what ifs" in my head. The song title itself is very fitting for my situation as well because I am constantly just counting down the days until that 37 week mark which I do hope I make it to (or very close at least). I have a calendar that is hanging in my room where I mark an X on each day as it passes. I have been here a total of 26 days so far, hopefully I have 98 more to go. Day by day by day by day...

 My Shabbat kit

My Shabbat kit

 Counting down the days

Counting down the days

"Part of Your World" - The Little Mermaid

With the majority of my freedom and independence taken away, I have really started to appreciate what I was able to do before being admitted to the hospital. Some things that have been taken off of my plate are a nice break (driving, cooking, cleaning, etc), while others, I think about constantly and can't wait to have my normal life back. For instance, I severely miss the simple act of going outside and getting fresh air, among many other small joys. My rules here on bed rest are this: I must stay in bed and only get up to go to the bathroom. Everything else must be done for me and I cannot leave my room. Granted, there are a lot of productive things I can do while lying down but at only three weeks of being on bed rest, I am already getting antsy. What would you do if your total time out of bed for the day was less than the length of a sitcom? However, this past Tuesday night, I got a huge treat which I am still smiling about. At 10:45pm my nurse showed up in my room with a wheelchair and told me that it was my turn to get an ultrasound and check up from the doctor. Other than the short ultrasound on my birthday to solely check the sexes of the babies, the last major ultrasound I had was right before I got admitted into the hospital. For three weeks, I had only left my room once and that was to go to around the corner to the operating room for my cerclage procedure. Now I was being whisked off in a wheelchair (not lying down!) to go all the way to the 1st floor where my doctor has his regular office. For weeks now I have been asking visitors to describe to me what the rest of the hallways, the nurses station, and the ever popular nourishment room looks like since I have become such a sheltered little creature.

I made sure that they rolled me slowly because I wanted to take everything in. Who knew that I would be fascinated by looking at a waiting room or being inside of an elevator?!? To add to my rising excitement, was the fact that I would get to see my babies again! It was nice to not have to wait to see my doctor because at my previous ultrasound appointments, he was so busy that sometimes our appointment set for 6:00pm would actually happen at 10:00pm. Luckily we could call in advance to get a better estimate so we were not sitting there for several hours but regardless, there was a lot of waiting involved. Of course, seeing a doctor in high demand is more reassuring than seeing someone who has a very empty appointment book, so it did not bother me too much. At least one perk of hospital bed rest gets me in to see my doctor immediately as well as the twins!

Thankfully everything looked good on the ultrasound so it was time for me to go back up to my room. I was able to convince my nurse to let me visit with one of my bed rest friends in their room before being locked down into my own. It is really amazing how therapeutic it is to talk to someone who is going through exactly what you are. To most people, bed rest looks like a mini vacation but it is a lot harder than it seems and takes a ton of discipline...especially to someone who is a busy body/mover and a shaker type of person (me). What I wouldn't give to just go outside and run a stupid errand! Again, this is very temporary and for such an amazing reason but hey...I do need to vent every once and awhile. I'm sure most people get tired of lying in bed when they are sick for a couple of days at home, but they get better and then life resumes. For me, my whole life is lying in bed.

*The song "Part of Your World" is from the 2008 Broadway musical The Little Mermaid, which of course was also an animated film that originally featured the song. In the show, Ariel is singing about feeling like she is missing out on a better life and wants to become human. I can truly relate to what she is going through because I really "want to be where the people are." When I was let out of my room for that brief period of time, it was like I grew legs and got to explore the great beyond...I even wanted to grab a fork and start brushing my hair! But seriously, you never have full appreciation for something until it's gone and I really do miss my old life. Maybe this is all happening for a reason so that I can have an easier transition into becoming a mom for two babies at once which will be a heck of a challenge and also take away many freedoms. I think I should start getting used to losing some independence and freedom because when the babies arrive, they will always come first, not me. I guess I have to stop being shellfish. :)

 My view to the outside world

My view to the outside world

"Elaborate Lives" - Aida

Guest blog post: While my husband Brett was on the cruise last week, he wrote me a love letter which I wanted to share in my blog. Right now, there is a lot of attention on me due to the circumstances and although my hubby is not the main focus, he is going through a difficult time as well. Everyday he is taking care of all of the business at home, commuting a long distance to see me, and dealing with his own sense of loneliness. Being on hospital bed rest not only alters the lives of pregnant moms in this situation, but their husbands as well. Dear Sweety Cat,

It has been since Saturday night, New Year's Eve since we last spoke. You were the last person I called before I shut my phone off, leaving me with no access to the rest of the world - and I have to say - its been really nice. We need to cut ourselves off sometimes from it all and just recharge. This is what I have needed from all that we have been going through. As I type this on my iPad 2, I can't help but be reminded of Aunt Betty's book, where Ira wrote love letters to Betty during the time before they were married, while living in separate parts of the country. What a time. Totally disconnected, with the primary form of communication being writing letters to one another.

Here we are, over 50 years later, and in a similar situation. Disconnected. I think about you probably every few minutes, if not more. I think about how wonderful you are, how sweet, loving, caring, affectionate, patient, understanding, strong, I could go on and on... From the day we first met up until a few days ago, I think we spoke at least everyday. Even on my trips abroad, we always spoke. This is an odd feeling being disconnected from you since I have absolutely no cell phone reception at sea. Especially at a time when I want to know everything that is going on in your life. How are the Ziggies? How big are they? How were their heart beats this morning? Which nurse do you have today? How was meeting the girls and their husbands on New Year's Eve? What did you do? I am sad I missed the first meetup of your crew, but I hope you plan more so I can meet them next time. Knowing you, you will.

I just think the world of you and what you are going through right now. I can't be more inspired and impressed with what a strong person you've become through all this. It must be incredibly difficult and isolating to be stuck in that bed - day after day - but the time will pass quickly. As we say, "its just a blip." You're smart to be writing a lot in your blog. This is a life event that you'll look back on and will be so happy you have the time documented to remind you of what life was like for four months before our kids were born. I'm also so proud of you for setting up the private Facebook group to communicate with the other girls on bed rest.

How sad is it that in our last four months together as a married couple before our babies arrive, we have to be separated? I know it's all for the better and a higher power is helping us out. Of course we did have over eleven years together to selfishly do as we wanted, whenever we wanted. We were so silly to assume that we'd get to have these last four months completely to ourselves. But these four months will be an adventure! I'm actually very excited about it. However, it's hard to go from living apart for the first six years of our relationship, to living together for the next five years, to going back to the way it used to be. Remember when you lived in West Hills and I in Westchester, and we were 40 minutes apart? Now with you in Santa Monica, it's about the same distance to Agoura Hills.

I have my new weekly routine all planned out in my head. You know what happens when you try to plan, right? In between work, off-season Triathlon training, and visiting you, I'll finish purging and rearranging the apartment, set up the nursery, and fall asleep on the couch each night watching episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" on TBS since you won't be there to cuddle and fall asleep with. Good thing we have four loving kitties that are looking after me, especially Mixie and Milo. I've never had such a big bachelor pad before, and two cars to drive.

But, imagine, after four long months, the excitement of you coming home with our babies. Suddenly I'll have three roommates; a family! One of the best times in my life were the months leading up to when we moved in together. That was January - March of 2006. I had two jobs, was working long hours, and saving up money for the furnishings of our brand new, high-end, luxury, 1-bedroom apartment home in Playa Vista adjacent. That was a fun time! Then on March 26th, I drove out to West Hills with a U-Haul to scoop you and your possessions up to live in sin. The nurses at The BirthPlace say you'll need a U-Haul when you leave. Ha ha.

I'm so excited for the future. This was all very scary and shocking on December 21st, but you and I are in a completely different head space right now. We are both so strong, driven, determined, and independent. I am very confident we well pull through this like pros. We always do. We are an amazing pair. We are so lucky and blessed to have one another. Who would have thought that almost twelve years later we'd be here? Izzy's Deli, across the street from the hospital is where we went the night we first met. And just up the street on 16th and Washington is where I grew up. Santa Monica is so familiar and nostalgic for me every time I come back so I am glad you are where you are because it makes it that much more fun to visit you.

As you always say, "there will always be others who have it worse off than we do." So considering that, we are very lucky! I can't wait to finally see you and speak to you again on Saturday. Until then my love.

With everlasting love,

Sweety

*The song "Elaborate Lives" is from the 2000 Broadway musical Aida with music by Elton John and Tim Rice. This song reminded me of Brett's love letter because in the show, the two main characters, Aida and Radames, are powerfully singing about their love yet they are forbidden to be together due to circumstances out of their control. They wish that things could just be simple but they have to face a huge sacrifice in order to follow their hearts. Luckily, our sacrifice is not as dramatic and very temporary but while we are in the midst of it, there are a lot of emotional feelings to deal with. Not only do we miss our usual lives together as a married couple, but there is a lot of concern for the health of our babies which is the number one priority. Brett and I continue to focus on the twins and are counting the days until we can all be together at home as a family!

 The day we moved in together

The day we moved in together

 Brett at home with Mixie

Brett at home with Mixie

"What I Did for Love" - A Chorus Line

In most cases, I don't think I have ever had an easy time getting something that I really wanted or desired. I had to work hard for it which I don't mind because then my appreciation level goes through the roof once I have achieved the goal or overcame the obstacle. Currently, I want nothing more than to become a mom and my journey has been more difficult than most, but I am willing to do whatever it takes and push fear aside. Another time in my life where I had to step out of my comfort zone and take on a challenge was when I decided to move to New York City. It was my first time away from home and my choice to leave was influenced by a new love in my life that I could not let slip away. In the summer of 2000, I started dating Brett and right from the start I knew he was my soulmate. I told my mom that he was the one I would marry after only dating him for one month. I told Brett as well but that freaked him out a little so I made sure not to mention it again. He had just graduated from UCLA while I had recently finished my first year at Cal State Northridge when we started our relationship. Soon after, he decided that he wanted to move to New York City to check out the Broadway scene. Brett had just received his degree in music and was interested in learning more about Broadway since he had already been a conductor and music director for several musical theatre pit orchestras. I was also a music major with a passion for musical theatre so I was very intrigued to give New York City a shot as well. Deep down, I did not really want to leave home and did consider a long distance relationship but I knew that if I did not go with him, I could possibly lose Brett completely.

By the winter of 2000, we had both made the move and settled into our two different apartments in Astoria, Queens. I was terrified of living on my own and the only other time I was away from my parents was my one experience at sleep away camp which left me extremely home sick and fighting to leave camp early. Living in New York City was such a culture shock and it forced me to grow up very quickly. I remember shortly after moving, I celebrated my 19th birthday but was in tears for the majority of that day because I felt as though I was the epitome of a fish out of water. I could not help but wonder if I made the right decision to leave all things comfortable and safe to see if my soulmate prediction was in fact true. After several transitional months, I really started getting the hang of living on my own and before I knew it, I was well versed in street smarts and memorized the entire NYC subway map. Throughout this transition of moving and creating completely new lives for ourselves, our relationship was really being tested and it was not always smooth sailing even though we were both getting used to our new surroundings.

We came back home to L.A. briefly during the summer of 2001. After dating for only a year, we had already been through so much by living across the country and away from our families. We were definitely going back to New York City so I made arrangements to transfer to Hunter College and would be heading back in August. Brett had to arrive a few months later because there was a delay with his housing situation. Throughout the summer, we were not getting along as well as before but I was definitely not ready to give up. I could have chosen to stop living in New York City and just stayed at home but I knew if I did that, our relationship would really be over. I left L.A. not knowing what our future would be but hoped that this rough patch would fade with time. I found a new apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn and started school but soon began feeling very lonely since Brett was not there with me and I did not know anybody at my new school. Less than a month later on September 11, 2001, the entire world changed and I was right in the middle of it all...alone.

Brett immediately called me once he heard the catastrophic news of what had happened to make sure I was safe and sound. It was at this moment that we realized how deeply we loved each other and knew we could not be apart or even think about ending our relationship. With all of the death and destruction around me, the one thing that helped me through this horrific time was to focus on love. Brett soon arrived back in New York City and our relationship quickly became stronger than ever. I ended up moving far away from Ground Zero and settled into a new apartment in Washington Heights. I finished the school year and then Brett and I decided that we had enough of New York City for the time being and we were ready to move back home in May 2002. I started back up at Cal State Northridge but decided to change my major to theatre after my NYC experience. I finally graduated college in June 2005 which prompted Brett and I to start looking for our first place together where we would begin the next chapter of our relationship. By November 2006, Brett realized that my early prediction was indeed true and I finally got a sparkly ring on my finger! The rest is history...

*The song "What I Did for Love" is from the 1975 Broadway musical A Chorus Linewhich is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history. The song is about not having any regrets when it comes to falling in love, whether it be a love of dancing or love for another person. This song really sums up my entire New York City experience because if I didn't fall in love with Brett, I probably would have never gone on such an adventure. Now we both face a new adventure with our unborn children and what we are doing for love is nothing that we ever imagined having to experience. I do believe that the growth we gained in New York City is really helping our outlook by staying positive and remembering to always focus on love, not fear.

 Brett and I just after moving to NYC (2000)

Brett and I just after moving to NYC (2000)

 Meeting Jason Robert Brown (2002)

Meeting Jason Robert Brown (2002)

 Recent NYC trip...it's still our 2nd home (2011)

Recent NYC trip...it's still our 2nd home (2011)

"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" - The Phantom of the Opera

Ever since I started trying to get pregnant, my mom was always on my mind. Now that I'm pregnant and in the condition that I am, she is even more present than before. When she passed away over four years ago, I was engaged to Brett and I couldn't stop thinking about how hard it would be the next year on my wedding day to not have her with me. Frankly, every process leading up to the wedding was hard because before she got really sick, I had the expectation that she would help me pick out a dress, plan the shower, give a toast at the rehearsal dinner, etc. Now that I am at the next stage in my life and about to become a mother myself, not having her here is 100 times harder than what I went through for my wedding. That was ultimately only one day, but having my own children will be for the rest of my life and she can't be there for even one minute of that. I do strongly believe in ghosts and spirits and know that she is with me right now in that sense. When I first found out that I was pregnant, I would tell people that my mom was the "behind the scenes production manager" making sure these babies are growing and developing perfectly. I even think that she had something to do with the perfect timing of catching my major pregnancy complication before it caused us to lose the twins. My mother is definitely my guardian angel so I take comfort in knowing that even though she is not here physically, she is working her magic in ways we can't see with the naked eye. Even with this reassurance of knowing that she is around me, it does not make up for the fact that my kids will never get to meet her when they are born or grow up with her as their doting grandmother.

At this point, I do not have any more anger regarding her death but only disappointment that her life was cut so short. Since she passed away from a disease that was completely preventable (COPD), it is frustrating to think that if she just stopped smoking at the first signs of trouble, she could still be around today. In a way, she chose her own death and with that choice came the consequences of not being around to enjoy her grandchildren. I stopped being angry about it because that ultimately was her choice and not mine. I had no control and there was nothing I could do to stop her from smoking. She would always tell me "why should I quit smoking today when I could get hit by a bus tomorrow?" or "I want my last breath to be mentholated." My mom had such a fatalistic attitude and never wanted to give up something that gave her such pleasure because in a way, she believed she would eventually die from something else or at least hoped that she would. She constantly told me about people who smoked just as much as she did that were never affected by smoking related illnesses which helped justify her decision to never quit. Unfortunately, fate would not let her be one of those "lucky smokers" and she passed away very slowly and in a lot of pain.

As I now lay bed ridden, I can't help but remember my mom at that time of her life when she was always at some hospital. Part of the reason for choosing my current hospital so far from where I live is because I have bad memories of my mom at pretty much every hospital in the valley. Regardless of my choice and being in the happiest ward possible, my father still has not come to visit me, probably because of his own bad memories of my mom in hospitals. I completely get where he is coming from but if the tables were turned, I would suck it up and do the right thing. Again, I have no control over his choices just like no one had control over mom's smoking habits. But at a time like this, if I can't have my mom with me, I would really love to have my dad.

With all of this time to sit here and think, I wish that I could at least just talk to my mom and ask her advice about pregnancy and parenting. I do talk to her late at night but the conversation is very one-sided and I get no answers. Luckily, I do have others to turn to and a bunch of family and friends to "fill in" for my mom but nothing compares to the real thing of course. I have a picture I look at everyday of her holding me when I was about two that I keep next to my hospital bed. I think about how much joy she could have had with the twins and can only pray that before they are born, she is able to spend time with their souls while still on the other side. Who knows...maybe my kids will be able to see and talk to her when they are little since most children have that ability to communicate with spirits at a very young age. Or for those of you who don't believe in that stuff...they will make a new "imaginary friend."

*The song "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" is from the 1986 Broadway musical The Phantom of the Operawhich is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous shows. In the musical, Christine sings this song about her late father when she goes to visit his grave. Even though this song of mourning is written about a father, ever since September 12, 2007, I hear it and instantly think about my mom and how I lost her too soon. Overall, losing a parent at any age is difficult. In my case, I was able to enjoy having her in my life for nearly 26 years which may seem short to most. But then I think about all of the people who have lost a parent much younger than I was, or never even knew their parent because they were too young to remember. I keep running into the fact that there is always someone else who is less fortunate. At least I have 26 years of memories and great times I can look back on so that I can tell hundreds of Grandma Trudy stories to my kids. Some people only have pictures with just a few stories that came from someone else's memory. The focus should never be on what was lost, but what was gained. Everyone who knew my mom was so lucky to have her in their lives for as long as they did. Even if they only knew her one day, that would have been better than none at all.

 Picture next to my hospital bed

Picture next to my hospital bed

 Me and Mom in Las Vegas (2001)

Me and Mom in Las Vegas (2001)

"How the Other Half Lives" - Thoroughly Modern Millie

I have been told that inquiring minds would like to know what a typical day looks like in my new life at the hospital. It is a pretty fascinating subculture that I am experiencing by living here and I am actually surprised at how much I can get done in a day...or not if my body is screaming for a nap. Being here two weeks now, I have begun to follow a routine which helps pass the time and ensure that I am as productive as possible. At 5:30am my day starts with the first of my medications being given to me. At this point I am barely conscious but once I am up, I cannot fall back asleep since my next medication has to be distributed at 6:00am. Both of these medications are given to help stop the contractions that I continue to have. The first medication is solely used to coat my stomach and the second one is the actual anti-contraction medication that apparently can be harsh on your insides which is why I get the first pill 30 minutes prior. After that second pill, I get out of bed for the first time of the day and quickly use the bathroom. The nurse has to take off these leg compressions which I wear at night to help prevent blood clots in my legs. In addition, I am constantly hooked up to a contraction monitor but only unplug it when I have to use the bathroom. The nurses watch the results of this monitor non-stop and if I am unplugged for longer than a normal bathroom break, I get someone checking in to make sure I am not doing anything else...big brother is always watching! I have to wait until 7:00am to order my breakfast so usually this is the only point where I turn on the TV so I can pass the time. The TV is annoying to use because I don't have the modern conveniences of a normal remote control or a DVR so all commercials must be watched or I have to flip through every channel since I only have two buttons which control going up or down. It's kind of like having dial-up internet again or using a rotary phone...thank God for Hulu and Netflix at least!

Once I have finished eating, my day nurse comes to greet me and checks all of my vital signs...always asking the ever important question "when was your last bowel movement?" Ahhhh...I will not miss that. After checking on me, the best part of my morning happens when they check the babies' heartbeats with the doppler devices. Most of the time, the twins are busy with their morning swim so a majority of the nurses take about 15-20 minutes just trying to find them and get them to stay still to hear steady heartbeats on the monitor. That sound is such music to my ears! After the assessment is complete, I am given more pills to round out my morning (baby aspirin, stool softener, iron supplement, Pepcid AC, and Tums)...yummy. Then my nurse hands me all of my toothbrushing supplies in bed and my carefully orchestrated teeth cleaning begins using multiple cups for rinsing and spitting in lieu of a sink. I am then set up to give myself a sponge bath in bed which makes me really miss hot showers. My hair only gets washed in the sink about once a week so that day is very sacred. Once finished, all of my bed sheets and linens are changed and I am now ready to start being productive and get very important things done...like this blog.

The rest of my day goes pretty smoothly as I tackle my new "job" of writing the blog. This is my main focus while I am here because not only is it therapeutic, but I love being able to document everything that is happening to me during this unique experience. Plus, I have been researching and signing up to various support groups online and sharing my blog with other women in the same situation. My blog is not here to just help me, but offer support to others since this bed rest thing can get pretty difficult and sticking together is important. In between writing my blog, I am logging on to Facebook to chat with my local bed rest moms next door to me to find out what is the latest and greatest. In between all of this time on the computer, my next round of stomach coating and anti-contraction meds are given at 11:30am and 12:00pm which reminds me that lunch needs to be ordered. Around this time as well, my room gets fully cleaned and the song "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" from Annie starts playing in my head. I relish the hotel-like room service with food I don't have to cook and cleaning that I don't have take care of. Plus, if I am really lucky, one of the hospital therapy dogs pays me a visit! I am sure that there will come a time after I have been home with the twins that I will wish I was back here!

The rest of my day consists of phone calls to loved ones, hanging out with visitors, answering emails, and reading which gets me through to dinner time where I eat and then have another assessment done by the night nurse. Yay for baby heartbeats to listen to! I get my prenatal vitamins and more Pepcid AC and Tums (lying down all day with your feet higher than your head doesn't make your tummy happy). I once again perform my lying down toothbrushing act and then settle down by either putting the finishing touches on my blog entry or watching TV or movies on my computer. I do not know how moms on bed rest handled it before laptop computers and the internet! I make myself stay up until midnight because I get my last round of stomach coating and anti-contraction meds at 11:30pm and 12:00am. At that point, I get strapped into my leg compressions and I fall asleep to the hum of my humidifier.

*The song "How the Other Half Lives" is from the 2002 Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Milliewhich is set in the early 1920's. In the song, two new friends Millie and Miss Dorothy, talk about how they want to try an opposite way of living and experience either a poorer or richer existence. Living in a hospital, the grass is pretty much always greener elsewhere because this is not a chosen destination for most. I am getting more used to living here and I do look forward to my daily tasks and new routine. However, it is hard to leave behind your life and sacrifice a huge amount of independence but thankfully, this is only temporary. My goal everyday is to make the best of it and constantly count my blessings. Poor...not me!

 My contraction monitor

My contraction monitor

 Hard working therapy dog

Hard working therapy dog

 Love at first sight

Love at first sight

"The New World" - Songs for a New World

New year. New adventure. New life (in more ways than one). So, I assumed that New Year's Eve would not be too fun being chained to a hospital bed, but I quickly realized that I had the power to help change that fate. For the past several days, I have been trying to figure out a way for all of my other moms on bed rest to be able to get to finally meet, while counting down to the new year. This is a little difficult when everyone is bed ridden and lack of space is an issue. In addition, we would need the help of several nurses to orchestrate such an event so that everyone can be moved to one centralized location. I was told by many nurses that this plan could be thwarted if they were too busy with deliveries or our doctor did not approve of us being off of our monitors. Plus, the one social room they had for this potential party was pretty small with no TV to watch. I quickly volunteered my own room to start to eliminate anymore answers resembling the word "no." The other moms also began sweet talking their nurses and a positive buzz was beginning to form around the hospital.

In addition to wanting to meet these other women, it was very important for me to not be alone or sad this New Year's Eve. Because my husband and I thought we were invincible, we opted to not get the travel insurance for our cruise which meant that we would not be getting our money back or any kind of credit towards a future cruise, regardless of my medical condition. I had gotten over the fact that I would not be going but was frustrated that we stupidly didn't pay extra for the insurance. After several emails and phone calls to the cruise line, the one compromise that was offered was that my husband could attend with a different passenger instead of me. Brett was a little hesitant because he did not want to leave me in my condition and knew that if he went, his mind would not be in vacation mode while he missed me not being there as originally planned. I quickly reassured him that I would be fine and encouraged him to go on the cruise. He was in desperate need of a vacation after dealing with so much stress and it would have been a pity to pay fully for a trip that we were not even going on. Luckily, his Mom was available to join him on the cruise in my place and the packing began. Saying goodbye was hard but I told him that he needs to focus on having fun and to not be worried about me. This is the first New Year's Eve in twelve years that we were not going to be together so it was very sad to think that I would not get to kiss my husband at the stroke of midnight, especially at a time when I needed that kiss more than ever.

Before Brett left on the cruise, he anticipated that my New Year's Eve party plan would happen so he got a bunch of decorations and New Year's paraphernalia for my room. We shared an early New Year's kiss before he left and I started back into my party planning mode to distract myself from Brett being gone for a week, and to hopefully solidify plans for a very fun night. The day shift nurses were able to talk to the doctor and got his blessing to allow this party, as long as we were all safe and the other patients in the ward were taken care of. Once the nurses for the night shift came on, it was clear that they had barely any deliveries and it would be in fact a slow night. My night nurse helped get my room prepped for the party and cleared the way for several beds to fit. At 11:30pm, the moms started to be wheeled in with their husbands, family, and friends and we finally met in person after chatting on Facebook for over a week. We watched the ball drop, drank sparkling cider, and ultimately shared a special connection and experience that none of us ever anticipated for this New Year's celebration. We all had other plans that quickly went by the wayside once our lives were interrupted, but the alternative made spending New Year's at the hospital a completely memorable time. All of us shared the same happy thought that 2012 would be the year that we will finally get to meet our babies for the first time.

*The song "The New World" from the 1995 Off-Broadway musical Songs for a New Worldis the powerful opening number in the show which talks about how one moment can change your life forever, hence creating a "new world." For myself, I thought this new world would begin once the babies were born which I was fully aware of and expecting. Instead, I was given an additional new world to deal with in between that completely took me by surprise. I was "suddenly a stranger" but quickly adapted and made new friends to help cope with the less than ideal situation. We not only celebrated the new year ahead but also celebrated our strength and the positive opportunities that were coming out of this world we discovered. I have really learned to let go of expectations and welcome the challenges that may come my way. Like the famous quote says, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it," and I needed to ensure that my response would be nothing but positive for the health of my babies and my own well-being.

 Decorations in my room

Decorations in my room

 It's gonna be a happy new year!

It's gonna be a happy new year!

"I Miss the Mountains" - Next to Normal

After a week of being stuck in bed, the solitude is already starting to get to me. I went from being extremely social and interacting face to face with several people a day to having a small amount of human contact since most of my interactions these days are by phone, text, email, Facebook, and now this blog. Even in this technological day and age, absolutely nothing compares to in-person interactions/communication. I don't think I will ever take this for granted again. I had a breakdown the morning of my week anniversary here at The BirthPlace because it was the first day that was very quiet. The nurses were concerned about my sad state so they sent in the social worker and hospital chaplain to offer some guidance. Since arriving, I have had a good amount of visitors for the holidays and my birthday because most of my family and friends were off of work. Now, work has started back up for most and the number of visitors are down to a slow trickle. This leaves long stretches of time where the only human interaction I have is with my nurses when they come in to feed me various drugs. Not only is loneliness setting in, but the loss of independence and freedom is equally as frustrating. Since I can only get out of bed to use the bathroom, all other normal activities must be modified versions which are to be done while in bed. For instance, I am not able to take a shower, wash my hair, brush my teeth, etc. unless I am lying down. Sponge baths are my new best friend. Washing my hair is also a challenge because the nurse has to do it in the sink and transfer me to a special gurney which lines up with the counter. Plus, the nurse can only do this in a moment of downtime since it is a little time consuming. This means that my hair is getting washed about once a week if I am lucky. Dry shampoo is another new best friend I have made. Not being able to leave my room or go outside is getting very claustrophobic so I am now leaving my door wide open so I can at least listen for signs of human life in the hallway and sometimes I even get to see one of these humans walk by!

The one thing that really helps keep my sanity in check is this new Facebook group I started shortly after arriving here. I quickly asked the nurses about other women in my same situation who are staying at the hospital too. They were able to confirm that there were a handful of others just like me but they could not give me their information because of patient confidentiality. Instead, I gave permission to the nurses to distribute my information in order for these women to friend me on Facebook. I added them to a private group where we could chat and share our stories with each other. Within a matter of a couple of days, we were all in the group and sharing up a storm. It was so refreshing to know that we all have such similar stories and experiences which helped make things a little less isolating and foreign. In addition, some of the women have either done this before or have been here long enough to give really helpful and supportive advice. On my week anniversary when the tears could not stop falling, I quickly turned to the group to let them know what was going on with me. Immediately, they were all responding to my post and telling me that they have been through the same exact thing and described what they did to make themselves feel better. This strange new sorority has truly been my saving grace and will continue to make this experience more bearable. As we all come and go, I hope that this group will keep going in order to continue to help future bed rest moms who are in need of support and friendship.

In addition to the new friends I have made, I received a very nice surprise from one of the nurses which has helped cheer me up. She arrived with a very large decorative sunflower to hang on my wall and a truly inspiring story to go with it. About three years ago, a mom on bed rest who was pregnant with twins bought this sunflower to hang in her room. Her twins were able to be delivered at full term and were very healthy so she suspected that this sunflower had something to do with the positive outcome. Before she left the hospital, she gave the sunflower to the nurses with specific instructions that this sunflower should continue to hang in patients' rooms for other moms on bed rest, specifically moms with twins on the way. On the back of the sunflower, everyone who has kept the sunflower in their room has their name listed and each and every one of them had the same positive outcome with their own twins. Not only does it brighten up my room but it has magical powers...just like those jeans in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Yeah, I know you're jealous of my magical flower. But seriously, this flower helps remind me that even though I have had a drastic change in my day-to-day life, the reason for me being here and making this huge sacrifice is to ensure that these babies stay alive and are born healthy and happy.

*The song "I Miss the Mountains" is from the 2009 Broadway musical Next to Normal which is about a mother named Diana who struggling with bipolar disorder. Not the happiest of subjects, but the show is amazing with great music...plus it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. I obviously don't have bipolar disorder or any mental illness for that matter, but this one song really describes what I have been feeling over the past week. In the song itself, Diana describes how she misses her life before her illness and that she yearns for normal again. Now I have a new version of normal which I am slowly getting used to but it is encouraging to remind myself how temporary this is. There is an end in sight where I will be rewarded with two beautiful angels in my arms and then the sunflower will be passed on.

 Magical twin sunflower

Magical twin sunflower

"30/90" - tick, tick...BOOM!

I never in a million years imagined my 30th birthday being celebrated in a hospital room with me lying down the entire day. The original plan was a few crazy nights in Las Vegas followed by a week long cruise to Mexico..I like to "go big or go home." Regardless of the change of plans, I was going to stay positive and make the best of my new situation. I did have a lot of people lined up to come visit me and that made me feel a whole lot better. The day seemed to go by so quickly and when friends or family had to eventually leave I wished that I could have them a few minutes longer. Even though I was stuck in bed, there were still a lot of fun activities going on. My brother brought a karaoke machine so I got to sing a few songs (lying down), there were numerous presents for me to open, plus I got some yummy cakes and food brought in as well. I only wished that I could blow out candles on my cake but since we are in a hospital room with oxygen coming out of the walls, that was not an option. But it would have made my birthday party pretty smoking hot!

The highlight of the day was when my doctor surprised me with an ultrasound in order for us to finally find out the sexes of our babies. He was supposed to check last Wednesday on the 21st but got sidetracked when he saw my cervix and I had to rush to the hospital. Now on my birthday he was giving me the greatest gift of all and it brought so much joy to finally know what our future had in store. Like my husband and I originally planned, we had our doctor write down in a card the results because Brett was still on his way to the hospital and could not be there while the ultrasound was being performed. I eagerly waited for Brett to arrive so that we could find out together. He finally got to the hospital and we opened the card which revealed that we were having exactly what we were praying for...a boy and a girl! Brett's reaction to seeing the results inside of the card reminded me of our wedding day about 3 1/2 years ago when he saw me for the first time in my dress. He was so happy and overcome with emotion and I think that the next time he has that kind of reaction will be when our children are born. I can't wait to see that look on his face again because it is so authentic and sweet.

After the excitement passed and all of the party guests left, it turned midnight making it not my birthday anymore. Then I started to get the birthday blues. Turning 30 is such a milestone and with twins on the way I feel like my life is officially starting such a new and different chapter. For nearly 12 years I have been with my husband and it has just been the two of us. So much has happened throughout our relationship and this latest occurrence is bitter sweet. We are finally starting a family but for the last several months before that officially happens, we have to be apart and live separate lives while he takes care of the day-to-day tasks with his job and our apartment. He visits as much as possible but selfishly I wish he could be here 24/7 because I miss him so much.

Other than just missing my husband and my former life before bed rest, I can't help but think about what my thirties will be like. My twenties were pretty typical of others...the college experience, moving out on my own, getting married, securing a career, etc. Now my thirties will be all about starting a family and raising the children. I guess some people turning 30 might not have a plan yet (not married, no set career, no kids, etc.), so I am very grateful to have a clear path that I am in the process of preparing for. I really do feel like a full blown adult now and this experience in the hospital is kicking my butt by forcing me to let go of my "wild and fancy free" twenties lifestyle. Even though my path is pretty clear, there is always that element of surprise and not truly knowing what will happen which is scary and exciting all at the same time. Life changes in the blink of an eye and everyone has the choice whether to embrace the change or run from it. I choose to embrace it.

*The song "30/90" is from the 2001 Off-Broadway musical tick, tick...BOOM!which is actually an autobiographical show about Jonathan Larson (creator of Rent). Jonathan wrote the show and performed it solo in 1990 which was the year he turned 30...hence the song title "30/90." In 2001, the show was revamped and became very successful during its run, now using a three person cast. Jonathan wrote the show at a time in his life when he was at a crossroads. Should he continue to follow his dream and write music or should he quit so that he could make more money at a 9-5 job and start a family like all of his other peers? Thankfully for us, he chose music but unfortunately it was short-lived due to his untimely death in 1996 from an aortic aneurysm. In the song "30/90," Jonathan talks about how turning the age of 30 can be extremely scary especially when you don't know exactly what the future holds. I really relate to this song because even though I do have my life pretty much set in place, everything has the ability to change just like that. You go to a doctor's appointment one minute and then the next, you are being admitted to a hospital for a four month stay. Or more seriously in Jonathan's case, your musical Rent is on the brink of opening and becoming one of the most successful Broadway shows of all time...but then you drop dead in your kitchen from an undetected medical condition. Fear of the unknown will always be there but you cannot live your life with constant worry. Live your life with this quote in mind: "No day but today."

 Searching for the sexes

Searching for the sexes

 The big reveal!

The big reveal!

"I Dreamed a Dream" - Les Miserables

Let's take a journey to the past for a moment. Before I ended up pregnant and on bed rest, I spent 2009-2011 being taught a huge lesson in patience. Having no knowledge that my body was flawed when it came to getting pregnant, I got off of birth control and the "trying" began. After nine months with no period and numerous negative pregnancy tests, I saw a fertility specialist and was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Basically, it was discovered that I had numerous cysts inside of my ovaries that were not harmful but caused a hormonal imbalance making it very difficult to ovulate on my own. The treatment for this syndrome is actually birth control pills because they regulate your hormones and provide regular periods. I was on birth control for a while and never noticed before that I had irregularity or any issues so this diagnosis was a little shocking, especially since my mom and sister did not have any issues getting pregnant. The big problem for women with PCOS is when they want to get pregnant, the treatment of birth control pills is not an option obviously. I was quickly started on an oral medication called Clomid which helps trigger ovulation. After many months of trying this medication in different doses, it was realized that my body was not responding at all. The most that Clomid ever did for me was give me a bunch of hot flashes and a false sense of hope that was quickly killed once an ultrasound was performed that revealed no action inside of my hot little body. After more research, it was clear that I didn't fit the PCOS mold and did not have a lot of the common side effects associated with the syndrome. I still had it, but a rare form which did not respond to the typical treatment. My pituitary gland was also showing signs of defects as well so my doctor had to start bringing out the big guns (aka big needles). The first time I injected myself with fertility drugs into my stomach, I screamed so loud and could not believe that this was my new reality. If this treatment did not work, IVF was the next step which costs about $15K each try and it is not guaranteed. The injectable drugs alone were about $1K per try so this was going to be an expensive endeavor if miracles didn't start happening. Can you believe that insurance refuses to pay for this?!?!? Apparently, getting pregnant is not considered a necessary act so any cost to try to make this happen is not recognized as a valid insurance claim. Yet when you get pregnant, everything is covered. Plus infertility continues to be such a taboo subject and many women with the issue keep it a secret because of the emotional feelings that they are a failure. How can numerous women get pregnant at the drop of hat on the first try and others have to empty their savings accounts and see a therapist for depression because they are the unlucky ones? To top it off, if you mention to people that you are having trouble getting pregnant, their initial reaction is "oh, you just have to relax and stop thinking about it" or " the minute to stop trying, you will get pregnant." Would you tell a cancer patient that their cancer would be cured if they just relaxed? Infertility is a medical issue...not a mental one and I wanted to punch people 's faces when they would tell me to get a little drunk and relax. So if I just relax, my defective pituitary gland will magically start working properly to create the hormones FSH and hCG and ovulation will occur? Oy Vey!!! The bottom line is that after a few tries and experiments with dosage levels, the injectable drugs ended up working for me. It wasn't magic...it was hormone replacement therapy since my body did not naturally make the hormones necessary to get pregnant.

Finding out that all of our blood, sweat, and tears actually paid off was very exciting and I was grateful that we did not have to go to more extremes than what we had already done. I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the women who are not as lucky and end up not getting pregnant at all. Now that I am not in the most ideal situation for pregnancy, being on bed rest and requiring surgery to fix yet another failing body part, I am still so blessed that I was able to get pregnant regardless of the complications I am now facing. Everyday I say a prayer to all of the women who are still on this journey and in a way I am glad that I travelled on that difficult road to gain such an important perspective. So please, if you meet someone who says they are in the trying phase of getting pregnant, never tell them to relax. Just simply say that you hope their dream comes true and you are sending positive thoughts their way.

* The song "I Dreamed a Dream" is from the 1987 Broadway musical Les Miserablesand it is incredibly emotional. I think everyone has experienced the sad reality of a dream dying. The lyrics in this song talk about the moment when you realize that a dream has been killed and all hope is lost. Pretty depressing I know, but hey...this is coming from a show in which the title translates to " the miserable ones." This song was constantly playing in my head throughout the two years of infertility issues I dealt with. Luckily, this was not my fate and my dream did come true but I do have to acknowledge where I was beforehand in order to make sure this new challenge is appreciated and not looked at as a burden, but a tremendous blessing.

 The twins at 10 weeks

The twins at 10 weeks

"Defying Gravity" - Wicked

After my first night at the hospital the initial shock faded and my brain was ready to process what was going on. I barely got any sleep and was constantly being woken up for medications, IV maintenance, and checking for contractions. In the quiet hours of the night when I was trying to fall back asleep, I started to think about what my late mother would say if she were there with me in the hospital. She would say "you are exactly where you are supposed to be" or "everything happens for a reason" or "focus on the things that are going right, not wrong." She truly believed in fate and it made me start thinking about how lucky and blessed I was. Thank God that my doctor caught this issue when he did! If he didn't or if I was on vacation with my ticking time bomb of a cervix, I would have been destroyed emotionally if I lost the twins. With my new positive focus I had to get on the phone and computer and inform my loved ones about what was going on because I was going to need all of the prayers and support I could get...especially since the one person who I needed most, was only able to be here with me spiritually and not physically. I loved being able to connect with a bunch of family and friends and it definitely made me feel less isolated because many people want to come visit. Now that I was getting on-board with the idea of what bed rest would entail, I began to learn about what my new daily routine would consist of. The first action plan for "Operation Keep Babies Inside" was to put me in the Trendelenburg position where my bed was kept at a slant (feet up, head down) to get the pressure off of the cervix. Since arriving at the hospital, I was being monitored for contractions and given drugs to stop them. The next big step was to have a surgical procedure called a cerclage in order to stitch the cervix closed throughout the duration of the pregnancy. I was scheduled for the procedure on Christmas Eve so I had a few days in between where I had to be extremely careful so that meant staying in bed constantly and only getting up to go to the bathroom. Everything else had to be done in bed (brushing my teeth, sponge baths, etc). It is really hard to give up my freedom but my eye was now on the prize...or prizes.

*For those of you living under a rock...the song "Defying Gravity" is from the 2003 Broadway musical Wickedand it bleeds girl power. Again, for the rock dwellers, the song comes at a pivotal moment in the show where Elphaba (the wicked witch) realizes that she has to go out on her own, become independent, and literally fly free. Ironically, the night that I found out I was being admitted to the hospital, I was actually wearing my green Wicked shirt which says "Defying Gravity." Little did I know that my twins and body were doing the exact opposite of that phrase which is what caused the whole problem in the first place! Now at the hospital, we are at war with gravity as we fight to keep the babies safe while I lie in bed in my slanted position getting a constant head rush. Other than the irony of the situation, this song spoke to me by telling me it was okay to give up the expectations and accept what was happening to me with vigor and focus. Even though my babies are being brought down by gravity, I refuse to be and I will do everything in my power to keep them alive. No wizard that there is or was is ever going to bring me down!

 Moments before we got the bad news...ironically wearing my Defying Gravity shirt

Moments before we got the bad news...ironically wearing my Defying Gravity shirt

"I Want It All" - Baby

December 21st, 9:00pm, Pacific Standard Time, from here on in I shoot without a script... At this moment I realized that the quote "we plan, God laughs" was going to be my new mantra from now on. Just an hour earlier life was as it should be. I was attending yet another routine ultrasound with my husband to view our twins of 19 weeks and we were so exited about the upcoming activities and events on our schedule. First, on December 23rd we would be driving to Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah with the family. Then on December 26th I would turn the big 3-0 and we were going to drive to Las Vegas for a couple more days of fun and celebration. To top that all off we were then going to hop on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera from December 31st-January 7th to complete the "Dirty Thirty Birthday Celebration Extravaganza" (aka Babymoon). With our schedule so filled up, what could possibly go wrong?!?!? Oh yeah...the twins wanted to pop out and join us!

We are at our ultrasound appointment eagerly awaiting our doctor to begin so that he can find out what the sexes of the babies are, then secretly write it down in a card which would be opened exactly at midnight on December 26th (my birthday) for the big reveal. More planning for God to then laugh at. Instead, our doctor quickly noticed something was very wrong and that is when the party ended. My cervix was deemed "incompetent," I was having contractions without feeling a thing, and I was getting close to losing both babies if we didn't act fast. We were instructed to go directly to the hospital...do not pass go...do not collect $200. I was informed that this would be my new home for the next four months.

To help rid my mind of the potential danger that my unborn babies were in, I naturally started focusing on the superficial tragedies that were completely of no meaning or importance at all. What about our upcoming vacations? Will we get our money back for the cruise if we can't go? Why didn't we purchase the traveler's insurance?!? My birthday is ruined! What am I going to do about work? Disability will only pay a portion of my salary! Blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah...STOP! As my late mother would have said..."rich man's problems." Luckily, my rock (hubby) brought me back to reality to start focusing on what was really important which I was trying to avoid thinking about because of how extremely scared I was.

It took us two long years of patience, frustration, and expensive fertility drugs to finally get pregnant. You would think that we would be cut some slack after all we had already been through. How could I be so close to losing these angels that I prayed so hard for? I felt like I was in a bad Lifetime movie that I was unfortunately starring in. We finally arrived at the hospital, took a deep breath, and a leap of faith.

*The song "I Want It All" is from the 1983 Broadway musical Babywhere pregnant women are singing about how they want to have a baby but also have everything else they want in life as well, which is hard once your child takes priority. This song really rang true for me because I was trying to cram in so many fun experiences before the babies were born. I wanted it all and knew that would not be possible come April/May so I booked up my schedule. Little did I know that the twins had a different plan for me and I had to let go of wanting it all because from the moment I became pregnant, they became the number one priority. Most Moms are able to get a lot out of their system before the baby comes and then shift their focus once the birth happens. This would not be my story due to the circumstances but the reward in the end will be completely worth it. Once those babies are born, I will truly have it all and nothing else will matter.

 Best news ever!

Best news ever!