Saturday, December 30, 2006

Confessions of a soon to be father of twins

Walker: I'm writing this post from the Deuce's nursery, aka "Twin Town," and I have a few confessions to make.

Confession Number 1. Looking around Twin Town, I have no idea what half of the stuff is or how it works. True, I chair the Twin Town Building and Assembly Committee, but Dana is the Chief Procurement Officer - just because I can assemble something does not mean I understand why it is necessary or helpful.

Confession Number 2. I've only held three newborn infants in my life. Three. And the longest amount of time I've held an infant? Under five minutes. That's right, I have less than 15 infant holding minutes under my belt. This fact produces anxiety.

Confession Number 3. My sisters babysat. I delivered newspapers and mowed lawns. I've never been in the sole charge of anyone under the age of seven, for money or otherwise. Is there a new dad dumb questions hotline? Thank heavens (or Al Gore) for the all-knowing power of the Internet.

Confession Number 4. The Twins are identical, and I fear I won't be able to tell them apart. I know, I know, and trust me, I want to believe you when you say that "parents can tell them apart from day one." I've heard it a hundred times, but I'm still 100% certain that I will mix them up. Fortunately, if I don't know, the Deuce won't know, and neither will anyone else.

Confession Number 5. I'm addicted to the snooze button on my alarm clock, and I feel guilty because I wish that the Deuce will come equipped with the same feature.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 5:11 PM :: (2) comments

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The latest...

Dana: I had another ultrasound this morning, and I'm pleased to announce that everything looks good. The boys weighed in at a healthy 5.3 and 5.4 lbs!

There are no changes in my cervix; it is still too short (1.2 cm) for comfort, but luckily it hasn't gotten any worse. The doctor says that I'm doing my job, and that she is happy that we've made it this far.

And the best news...she said that if I don't deliver by next Wednesday (34 weeks), I can go home! I'll be on strict bed rest there, of course, but I will be so happy to be out of the hospital and home with Walker.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 1:19 PM :: (2) comments

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Home for Christmas

Walker: Four years ago, when Dana and I decided to live together, we looked for a house that we could - over time, labor, and love - call home. The difference between the words “house” and “home” is immeasurable, and yesterday the vastness between them was as though the words are from different languages.

On Christmas morning we woke up in the hospital, and we immediately asked the nurse what time we could leave. The nurse explained that she would call the doctor after she monitored the Deuce. By 8:30 a.m. we were antsy to leave, but we had not received the “order” from the doctor that Dana could go. Finally, the nurse came in with the news: The doctor granted Dana an 8-hour pass.

We raced home.

Upon opening our door, the dogs greeted us with tails waging and gratuitous kisses. Dana was in doggie-heaven, lying on our bed with Chili Bean and Sedro giving her much-deserved canine attention. Meanwhile, I was in Dana-heaven. Our house just isn't the same without her around. After she played with the dogs a while, I took her on a brief tour of Twin Town, the Deuce’s room. She inspected my handiwork on the crib (which I assembled in less than two hours thank you very much), and she gave me a list of things that still needed to be done.

After the Twin Town tour, we sat down in our family room to enjoy a relaxing Christmas day together on the couch. Chili Bean and I entertained Dana by trying on my new Baby Bjorn (thanks VST volunteers!). After the fashion show, I made Dana a yummy egg & cheese casserole from a recipe courtesy of Jodi Arnold (thanks Jodi!). We opened gifts over breakfast. Dana gave me a pair of knee high rubber boots for muddy dog park trips and future puddle stomping adventures with the Deuce. I gave her the Post Secret books and a gift card for a much deserved shopping trip after the Deuce arrives. We gave the Deuce a cozy double-wide rocking chair for storytime in Twin Town.

After we opened presents, Dana and I caught up on one of our favorite shows, Top Chef, which inspired me to start prepping for our dinner guests. Our friends Obie and Laura came over in the afternoon for some Christmas cheer and my favorite lasagna, made with homemade noodles and without meat because Laura is a veggie. The lasagna was a success: everyone loved it and there are tons of leftovers. We ended the night with a raucous game of Scrabble, that Laura won fair and square (grrrr!) By the end of the game it was 8:00 p.m. We'd stretched our 8-hour pass to almost 12 hours, and it was time for us to head back to the hospital.

After Laura and Obie left, we packed some clothes for Dana, put the dogs to bed, and turned off the lights on our Christmas tree. We slowly made our way out to the street, and I helped Dana into the truck. Sitting in the front seats, we looked at one another. Going back to the hospital was the last thing either of us wanted to do. Back at the hospital, we watched "Moulin Rouge," a movie that figures prominently in the story of how we became a couple (All you need is Love!) to cheer ourselves up. I left around midnight after tucking Dana into bed.

On my drive back, I felt both thankful and sad. We have so much to be thankful for - the Deuce is healthy, we have a large and wonderful family, and we know in our hearts that 2007 is going to be an incredible year. Many women in the hospital did not receive a pass yesterday, and we are thankful that we were able to spend the day together at home. We have close family members who are overseas right now and were not able to spend the day with their family and loved ones. So when we put everything into perspective, we know that we're extremely fortunate, and for this, we're thankful.

Still, even though we're thankful, we're human, and we can't help but think of possibilities, the way that things could be. And we miss each other. We're in the final month of Dana's pregnancy, and it is emotional time for our family; it feels unnatural to spend so much of that time away from our home.

As I drove up to our darkened house last night - the difference between "house" and "home" was in stark relief. I can't wait for it to feel like home again. Soon enough, soon enough.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:57 AM :: (0) comments

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:34 AM :: (0) comments

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dana: As I mentioned earlier, I have received several emails from folks with well wishes and support. I just had to share a sentiment from one of the most inspiring emails I've received so far. It is from one of Walker's co-workers...a truly wise mother:

"...One day you'll be tucking your boys into bed and they will ask you to tell them yet again about the time they were born (this is a very curious question for boys and one they will ask many many times) so you'll tell them the story of how the doctors had to take special care of you and how you had to live at the hospital for awhile to ensure their safe arrival into this world. They'll look at you like you are a super hero and you'll feel love from them that you'll cherish the rest of your life."

I cannot wait to let them know how much they mean to me, even before they were born.

I keep reminding myself that I would stand on my head for a month if I had to...it makes bed rest seem like a cake walk :).

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 6:51 PM :: (1) comments

Still here...

Dana: It's day 11 in room 511, and all's well with the twins and me. I'm being monitored twice a day to record the babies’ heart rates and my contractions. The docs visit daily to let me know that everything is stable and looks good. Actually, things are looking so good that if my ultrasound on Sunday looks stable, the docs may grant me a '12 hour pass' to go home Christmas! I could not be happier about this.

The days have gone by much faster than I thought they would. Surprisingly, I have only watched 3 hours of daytime TV, and I still have a whole stack of untouched mags and books to read. Our friends have been amazing with all of the visits, phone calls, and emails. I swear this is the most social I've been in years!

Walker has been wonderful, bringing amazing dinners every night and staying until I'm almost asleep. The hardest part of each day is when he leaves to go home to take care of the dogs. The exhaustion of keeping up my strong and positive perspective all day overwhelms me, and I'm left feeling desperate to join him at home.

One thing I forgot to mention last week was my 'wheelchair privilege.' (The nurses call everything a privilege - bathroom privilege, shower privilege - just to remind patients that the privileges can be taken away!) For about a half hour, a few times a week, I can be wheeled out of the room. Last Saturday Walker drove the dogs over to the hospital, and he wheeled me down to the car to go see them. I've never been so happy to be covered in dog hair!!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:33 AM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sherpa


Walker: Every so often you get to reinvent yourself. The process is rewarding because you can explore a side of your personality that you may have suppressed or was altogether dormant. Perhaps this is why people love Halloween so much.

That said, over the past six days I've molted from my semester-long law student persona to full-time Sherpa. Sherpas, are an ethnic group of people from Tibet that live in the Himalayas, and many Sherpas have helped the world's most famous climbers reach the tops of the world's highest peaks. The most famous Sherpa is Tenzing Norgay who helped Sir Edmund Hillary (see above) climb Mt. Everest for the first time. Behind every great mountain climber is a trusted Sherpa.

Sherpas do all types of things, and but their main task is to help the climbers reach their goals. So, this is all to say that I'm feeling up to the task, and I'm enjoying my latest reinvention...

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:42 AM :: (1) comments

Monday, December 18, 2006

BellyDonna



Some pics that our dear friend Annie took a few weeks ago.
She is such a great photographer, we had to share them on the blog.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 1:39 AM :: (0) comments

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hijacked

The hardest part about being an optimist is the devastating shock that hits when you learn that things are not going as planned. Last Wed, as part of a day full of errands and working from home, I had my weekly doctor's visit around 3:00pm. By 4:45 I was staring at the ceiling of room 511, in tears, trying to remember if Walker was going to be home or not to feed the dogs. I kept thinking about all the Christmas presents and shower thank-yous that were in my car, awaiting my next errand to the post office.

It was a pretty dark experience for me, since I couldn't seem to fully understand what was really going on, and I was blind sided with self-pity. The only thoughts that repeatedly went through my head...I can't go home...I can't see my dogs...I can't be with Walker...I have so much left to do before the kids come...I'm not going to be able to breath fresh air for weeks...I'm going to go crazy...I can't go home...

But here I sit, 5 days later, staring at the ceiling of room 511 with a much better perspective on the situation. This is all thanks to my darling husband (my co-optimist), the encouragement and insightful information from the doctors and nurses, and all my great friends who have came by to offer their support, movies, magazines and snacks.

The goal has always been the same…a healthy pregnancy resulting is healthy baby boys. I have now come up with new objectives to reach that goal. The neonatologist really put it in perspective for me yesterday when he said that every day I can stay laying down, with the babies inside me is two days they won't have to spend in an incubator in the NICU. That definitely gives me the determination to fight through the poor-me times. I suppose I am just learning about parental sacrifice a bit early.

So, about my new digs…I’ve got basic cable (25 channels), wi-fi (SO NICE!), a decent view of downtown and the Puget Sound, and no roommate. Walker has stocked my fridge, put up a few framed pictures, hung some Christmas lights and brought in a nice lamp.

If anyone has any suggestions about how to keep myself occupied for the next 5-6 weeks that does not involve daytime TV or solitaire, let me know.

Thanks again to all our friends and family who have been so supportive. It is beyond words of gratitude.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 12:23 PM :: (3) comments

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Room 511

Walker: No news is good news in Twin Town.

We've moved into Room 511, and everyone here at the hospital is being nice to us. Yesterday, I strung Christmas lights up in the room, and today, Beckie brought us 3 little Christmas trees, which are a great addition.

It turns out that hospital food is as terrible as everyone says it is, so I've been making meals at home and shuttling them to 511. OK, gotta run...we're watching Talladega Nights...go Ricky Bobby.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:11 PM :: (0) comments

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The weather

We don't get mad about the weather for two reasons. First, there's nothing we can do it, so there's no point to getting upset. And second, even if it is crappy out - like today - it will be sunny again soon. It's only a matter of time.

Our weather keeps changing. Yesterday, the question was, "Bed rest or no bed rest?" Earlier today, the question was, "Hospital bed rest for four days or hospital bed rest for one week?" Now, the question is, "Hospital bed rest for three weeks or for the duration?"

We're keeping our chins up over here at Lockhart Laboratories, but the prognosis is that at a minimum we're spending the holidays here at the hospital. Dana and the docs are doing everything that they can to stabilize her cervix (it is only a 1/2 inch long right now), and ward off contractions.

The good news is that the Deuce is a combined 9.4 lbs right now - whoa! But the problem is that the Deuce is growing faster than Dana's uterus can stretch. So we're in a bit of a pickle, but we'll get through it. Thanks for all the well-wishes from everyone - they mean a lot to us.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:46 PM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Overachievers

We've had what we hope is a slight hiccup.

Dana went into her OB's for a routine 31-week exam, and the doctor noticed that her cervix had changed over the last week. Today, her cervix is funnel-shaped and maybe even a little dilated - that's not so good. It seems we have a slight misunderstanding between us, the Parents-to-be, and the Twins.

All along we've been whispering sweet in utero messages to them that we expect them to be overachievers. The good news is that the Deuce is listening to what we say. The bad news is that the Deuce got the wrong idea. They seem to think that overachieving means being born early...wrong!

Dana's fine, but the doctors want to monitor her closely for a few days at the hospital.

The wonderful world of Bed Rest has arrived. Please wish her well - we're just hanging out at our hospital meeting lots of nice nurses who are being very kind. (It sorta makes my Trusts & Estates final today seem a wee bit insignificant.)

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 7:58 PM :: (1) comments

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Introducing Elena

Uncle Walker: My sister Gretchen (mom x 3!) delivered a happy and healthy baby girl, Elena, early this morning. She and her husband Tim are tired, but doing very well, and we're so excited for them. We're also excited for Elena and the Deuce because they will be same-age cousins.

The special bond that develops between cousins can be very close, especially if the cousins are within a grade or two of each other. The summers when our family would gather at my grandparents house are more than just fond memories - those summers provided the foundation of how I think of family. Family runs in the family, I suppose. My father (granddad x 3!), his brothers, and all of his first cousins - there seems to be hundreds of them - still gather for a big get-together weekend every August to revisit old memories and make new ones. I know Dana feels the same way about her cousins too.

So here's to cousins and family and Elena, and many future gatherings where the Deuce and Elana can form those same bonds. Welcome Elena!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:03 AM :: (0) comments

Monday, December 11, 2006

4-D Imaging...

Walker: Last night, we watched the National Geographic television show, "In the Womb: Animals," and the show was fascinating - a captivating evolutionary science documentary. While the documentary was great, we were even more excited for the preview of, "In the Womb: Multiples," which is due to air on the National Geographic channel on January 11. We can't wait!

The short 30 second preview of "In the Womb: Multiples" was spectacular, and the technology is equally so. The twins in the preview were in utero playing, fighting, nuzzling, and sleeping with one another. The National Geographic website for the "Multiples" show isn't up yet, but it will be soon.

We only wish that it came out sooner!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:57 PM :: (0) comments

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Week 30 ultrasound pictures

Walker: The latest ultrasound pictures of The Deuce are in! Everyone is healthy, happy, and enjoying the holiday season.

Baby A


Baby B

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 4:54 PM :: (0) comments

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Boppy

Walker: Today I learned a new vocabulary word: Boppy.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:19 PM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This is just plain silly

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 1:58 PM :: (0) comments

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A few recent pics

This is me at 29 weeks.
Now it is clear why everyone remarks, " You can't possibly get much bigger!"
Oh, just wait...and watch me grow.


This next picture is called "Humerous Analogy".


I'm sure I'll feel even more like a cow once the babies start using me as a milk machine 24/7!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 6:57 PM :: (1) comments