Archives for May 2011

Twin Questions

Since I got pregnant, I’ve gotten the same questions over and over. I thought maybe some of my readers would have the same questions, so I’ve doing a little round-up here for those of you that are into that kind of thing.

1. Do twins run in your family?

Before I got pregnant with the the twins, I would have said no. My husband has twins on his mother’s side and his father is a twin, but the twin “gene” is supposed to come from the mother’s side and didn’t know of any. Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever even known a twin before other than to say hello in the halls at high school. After I got pregnant, however, my mom’s uncle informed us that her maternal grandparents were both twins–her mother died when she was very young, so the family history is a little fuzzy on that side. So I guess the answer is yes?

Some people think the question about twins running in the family is a veiled question about whether or not we used fertility treatments. I think I’ve been pretty upfront on this blog about things and that would include fertility if it were an issue for me. So the answer is no–our twins are what the doctors call “spontaneous.” And for the record, medical personnel ALL ask–even Charlie’s doctors–but plenty of other random strangers ask too, which I find odd.

2. What did you you do when you found out?

I found out when I was nine weeks pregnant, during the week between Christmas and New Years. I was going in for one of those scans where they measure the size of the embryo to establish a due date. I’ve had the scan before, so I went alone. My biggest worry was whether or not there would be a heartbeat. During the ultrasound, the doctor took too long, I got incredibly nervous, asked what was wrong, and then he announced that it was twins. I don’t think I could have been more surprised. I was so surprised that I asked him if he was kidding about a million times and even point directly at the screen, at the smaller “Bean” and said, “that one doesn’t look like a baby–are you sure?” His response? “well, it’s got a heartbeat, so I’m going with yes.” On the way home I called my mom and cried. I was mostly worried about what my husband would think since he was a little apprehensive about having ONE new baby.

3. What did your husband say when you told him?

Truthfully, my husband used an expletive that I won’t use here on the bloggy blog, but he said it with a smile on his face, so I knew we were going to be OK. He’s got tons of twins in his family, so I don’t think he was nearly as surprised as I was.

4. Do you know what you’re having?

Yes. Two boys. I KNEW it was going to be two girls, so that was quite a surprise.

5. Do they have names?

Yes, their names are Louis and August. They have middle names as well, but those are under wraps!

6. Do you know which is which?

It’s actually very easy for me to tell the boys apart. One is very low and he thinks that my cervix is an ideal place to rest his little tush. The other is very high and entertains himself by kicking me in the diaphragm. I call the low one August and the high one Louis.

7. How will you know which is which when they come out?

Well, chances are good that August will be removed first since he is “Baby A”–the baby closest to my cervix. Even if that were to change, the babies are very different in size–Baby B is in the 74th percentile and Baby A is in the 37th. So we’re pretty sure we’ll be able to tell who is who. And even if we aren’t, it’s not really that big a deal to us–it’s just fun to call them by name while they’re in there rather than calling them Baby A and Baby B.

I think those are the big questions–if there are any more, just leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them.

twin ultrasound

An old ultrasound--they don't give me printouts any more :(

Medical Marvel

I’ve spent the last couple of months having doctors, nurses, and techs exclaim over what an odd ball I am (medically speaking, of course). They are, in particular, usually surprised by Parvo exposure with twins–the tech who often works on my ultrasounds says she’s never had a case of Parvo and twins and she’s been doing this for 19 years. My OBGYN and my Maternal-Fetal specialist have never seen it either.

Add to that my “extreme anemia,” which “almost never happens” and I’m just plain weird.

And then the other day, a nurse was exclaiming because the twins are both lying transverse instead of vertical. She tells me, “I’ve only seen that in a text book.”

I don’t tell them that I’m nothing special. Really. My oddness is a dime a dozen. The medical marvel lives at my house and hardly anyone exclaims over him–although they probably should.

This is a child they assured me was brain dead–except he wasn’t. This is a child whose only MRI report reads: “the damage is worse than expected,” and believe me, they weren’t expecting much. This is a child that a lot of people didn’t expect to be capable of much.

And here he is, recognizing his own name. He also knows “Mama” and “Daddy” and we’ve almost completely mastered “Buster” and “Max.”

and again:

And here we are beginning to use those skills to answer questions–I still have to hold out his pointer, but he does all the moving himself. Again, we’re still working on this:

Say what you want–I think it’s amazing.

Botox Redux

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you know that Charlie’s botox experience went very well.

You probably don’t know what it took to get us there.

As I stated earlier this week, I was waffling pretty hard about the Botox. I mean, you can call it by that cute name, but we are talking about Botulism Toxin. Do a quick Google search and words like “respitory distress” pop up–not so cute when you think about it like that.

When I’m feeling uncertain about something, my method of dealing with it is to simply act like it isn’t happening. Denial is a girl’s best friend. So I did absolutely nothing to prepare for this event: I wouldn’t put it in my calendar, I had my husband pick up the prescription for the numbing cream and I didn’t even locate the instructions until ten o’clock the night before.

While denial may be an excellent coping mechanism, it will bite you in the butt.

One hour before our appointment is when I was supposed to apply the numbing cream. First thought? Am I even supposed to be touching this stuff? Quick Google search reveals no issues, which was good because I certainly didn’t have a back up plan–I mean, nothing other than crying in frustration.

My second thought was that I was supposed slather the backs of his legs with the cream and then wrap them in saran wrap. Did we have any saran wrap? Why no, no we didn’t. I then had to take a brief moment to panic about the saran wrap situation. The clock is counting down, the kid should be gooped by now, and I’ve got nothing. I considered the crying option, but instead opted to MacGyver the thing–I took the plastic bag that some poster board had come in and cut it into strips.

boy and his grandmother rocking in a rocking chair

So, that crisis averted, I started gooping Charlie’s legs with the Lidocaine. There’s an expression out there about wrestling a greased pig and while I have no idea what that’s like, I suspect it is at least similar to greasing down a preschooler with prescription lotion. We talked about it, he seemed to understand, but what he couldn’t grasp was why he couldn’t actively crawl away mid-process–I had focused a bit too much on the whole “stay on your tummy” thing. Seriously, God bless single parents because at that moment all I could think about was how this was SO a two person job.

Once I had one leg lotioned, I ran into a new problem: my “saran wrap” wasn’t all that sticky and was coming off.  I located some sticky gauze that an OT had given us and wrapped that over it.  Still, the lotion was making everything un-sticky and this too was coming off. I was feeling very Lucille Ball as I kept adding layers and they kept unwrapping themselves. All this, while my wiggle worm was trying valiantly to get to the next fun thing on his agenda with not a care in the world about the cream he was getting everywhere.  I got desperate and tried to duct tape the whole mess into place–even that failed and I gave up. I cast about the room looking for some solution when my eyes landed on a stack of clothes ear-marked for the attic. I spied a pair of sweat pants so tight and small that Jane Fonda would be envious and knew I had my answer.  I quickly gooped and wrapped the other leg and dressed Charlie in his manpris.

At this point I am practically running out the door to make it to the appointment on time.  One little rule about handicap parking that you may not have heard: on a day that you’re counting on it, all the spots will be full. You know, like a day when you’re big as a house with twins and trying to hustle your non-ambulatory kid into the building as fast as possible. That’s the day where every spot is taken and the only available parking is involves crossing a road. Yeehaw!

We arrived and frankly, the procedure itself was so quick that I can’t believe how much time I spent worrying about it. Charlie’s doctor has done thousands of these procedures and works at lightening speed. He had three shots in each leg and started to complain a bit after shot three–he didn’t seem to be in pain–just mad that they were holding him down and messing with him. I brought his iPad, pretended to change the song, and that distracted him long enough to have the second leg done. Just as he remembered that he was aggravated and started to whine again, it was over. Seconds later, he was happily engrossed in his iPad as if nothing had happened.

We proceeded to have a “take it easy” day, which he found highly disappointing and today I packed him up and sent him off to school for his last day  His legs are already less tight and he’s in a delightful mood. As someone who has never believed in or sought out “quick fixes,” it’s strange to see how rapidly his legs are loosening up.

Maybe he’ll get a lot out of this and maybe he won’t, but the procedure itself went quite well and for that, I am happy.

boy in a child-sized rocking chair

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