Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Big Announcement

So we wait until week 13 to tell everyone, though close family already knew and everyone I worked with knew about the trip and could tell from the look on my face that it worked. So we just made the announcement via Facebook. 64 likes and 38 comments. A personal record!

 Bonnie Mae Hoggatt Wonderful, blessings to all!
 Danielle Nowell Congratulations! So exciting! I am so happy for you. I was starting to wonder with all your pinterest pins of kids and baby things :).
 Kate Gengo Congratulations!! So happy for you!
 Laura Sears Nikolaou Oh Sweetie....congratulations!!!!
 Jaelyn Connally Whorton Emily, what wonderful news! Having gone through years of infertility myself and now having our baby boy on the way I can just feel your excitement of these wonderful blessings! Congratulations!
 Nancy Baker Bryant in India?
 Mackenzie Johnson Casall So exciting!!! Congrats!
 Ryan Baer Congratulations! Twins are the best!!!
 Lisa Whitlock  That's wonderful! Congrats!
 David Elliott congratulations!! I know you & Vinnie will make EXCELLENT parents! I'm very happy for both of y'all!! XXOO
Puja Malik Chopra Wow, gr8 news. Congratulations, so happy for u guys!!
 Erika Nielson Yey! Yey!! Love you!
 Amy Sawyer congratulations
 Missy Angel May Congratulations! Wonderful news!
 Emily Scates Grover The 40 week mark is Oct 19th, but no way that will happen. I'm hoping for Vinnie's Birthday on Sept 29th myself. Hello flexible airfare dates!
 Danitra Hyde Congratulations!! That's GREAT news!!! So happy for you 2!
Amy Lavine So happy for you Emily and Vinnie!
 Sheryl Kieffer I'm gonna wish for my son's bday of sept 30 or mine of October 17..haha anyway congrats!
 Dee Lawton Masterson Congratulations!!!
 Heather Kleinschrodt Parrott Congratulations!!
 Stephanie DeFoor Berger So excited for you!!
 Amber Pyeatt Congratulations to both of you! That is wonderful news and such a blessing!
  Scott Horton Congrats!
 Ope Bakare Score!!!! That's awesome, congrats to you all!
 Anita Kilam Arora Wonderful new . Congratulations !
 Bob Gaffin Congratulations!!! Very exciting news!!
 Vidhu Kapadia Good luck and best wishes!! Twins... U might as well sleep nap enjoy hot coffee food now... Ain't Going to get much of that after they arrive
 Corey Woodall-Krick Congrats! So exciting!
 Marianna Seaton Congratulations, Emily and Vinnie. Please let me know how your friends at Horizon can help when you bring those babies home!!!
 Sally Estes Wow, Emily! That is SO great! Will they be newborns, or is that really a picture of them?
 CarissaJeff Flournoy YAY!!!!!!!! So happy for you!!!!!

 Roxanna Johnson Yay! So happy for you!!!
 Emily Scates Grover They will definitely be newborns, and with a little luck we'll be there at the birth. And bringing these babies home is an expensive proposition, so we could use ANY baby stuff you or anyone you know no longer needs! Thanks everyone for your wishes and support, and send all your prayers to our surrogate.
 Roxanna Johnson An officer I work with just brought their adopted son home from Ethiopia so it's a long road but worth it.

 Marissa Sawyer Congrats to you both, Em - now for the hardest part...waiting!
 Susan Sullivan Carr Congrats! So happy for you guys!
 Jorge Cruz Oh wow! You guys give a whole new meaning to the phrase "hitting the ground running!" Congratulations!
 Amy J Moman-Smith Nina is so excited, I can hardly wait to spoil the little carpet creepers!!!! 

It was beyond fun to finally be the one sharing such good news X 2! I knew that we would be spending a lot on the trip to India to pick up our babies, and the likelihood of NICU care meant even more money. So I got busy freecycling at and had a few very generous friends offer me their baby stuff. I knew you were supposed to wait until the end of the 2nd trimester to get ready, but I decided to not let superstition and caution guide me here and finally surrender to joy. Besides...there were a lot of baby items I would need and all I had so far was two cribs, a changing table, and a UC Berkeley tie-dye onesie and matching hat I had gotten on our first anniversary trip to San Francisco. The sooner I get started, the better.

I made up my registry list like a freecycle hit list, and checked so many things off the list that the house was full of baby stuff by the end of week 16!  I totaled it up and after months of driving all over the metroplex I aquired $8000 worth of baby stuff for absolutely FREE! It is an accomplishment I am proud of, and I can't wait to donate back everything I got to two families that don't have anything once our kids outgrow it.

Amazing how much stuff is still left on the registries though...but Amazon and Walmart seem to have stuff for the cheapest prices so I went with them. So I get great advice from so many friends and learn how to get fantastic prices through the Amazon Mom membership/ and good diapers for cheap will be delivered to my door for no shipping charges in bulk! Unfortunately baby clothes are VERY gender specific thanks to modern sonogram technology, so any little boy of mine might have to wear pink in India if I have trouble getting all the onesies I bring washed faster than they can urp on them. Oh well.

I'm not sure whether I shoud be concerned that Vinnie test drives every freecycled baby item I bring home with the dog first. But Ralph seems to enjoy the ride.
My Mom helps me get cracking on house renovations, and there is a lot to do there too. I store piles of large baby items in the guest room that just needs a coat of paint to be done.  It looks like a baby store, and by the end of July it will be time to start spreading all the baby contraptions through the house, slap on some paint, install the car seats, and call ourselves ready!

I go to Home Depot and buy up paint for the entire house. I am painting it all by myself, though my Mom helped me out in the Kitchen/Den area. They are making a lot of money off me at that store!

Here is the nursery so far with my green on one and a half walls. I am almost done putting up an awesome willow tree rub on transfer wall decal that is 7 feet tall. It will look like a custom mural was painted when I'm done, but right now my arm hurts from many hours rubbing with a popsicle stick.

I dyed the huge unhung canopy in the pic green after looking everywhere for a dye that worked on polyester. I may not be able to outdo the legendary nursery of Mariah Carey's twins, but a beautifully draped canopy will go a long way in completing my dream nursery.

I hate double shifts. I am getting tired of overtime at this point, and I need a vacation. Oh well. I sign up for as much overtime as I can get and religiously disinfect my shared work console so that I don't get sick and use up any of my paid sick time I'm conserving for FMLA leave. No vacation days for me. I don't get to be pregnant, and while that part does still suck but I am mostly over it and can look at the bright side of how hard I can push myself and how I won't have any recovery time from birth.

So I work hard with crazy hours. It would be easier if I just moved into the work break room. I can rest when the babies get here. Oh I can't. I won't care though, and all the hard work will finally be worth it. It doesn't stop me from complaining a bit, although I enjoy Mother's Day for the first time in years. It was "You're Not A Mother Day" to me for so many years and aside from a card/gift and quick phone call to my Mom and Mother-in-Law I would hide in my house in a dark room and felt sorry for myself. All those who suffer from infertility know what I'm talking about...Mother's Day is the worst day of the year, and Christmas and Thanksgiving are almost as hard.
Books. Lots of them. I learn that there is such a thing as "feeding philosophies." There are several extreme schools of thought, and I immerse myself in the literature partly to make myself into a better parent and partly because it is interesting and I have lots of time to read.  I know not to read too many books and get overwhelmed and overworried, but it is hard not to do because every book gives you something new to think about or worry about if you let yourself. I select what I consider to be a small number to read, focusing on sleep & scheduling in twins because my Mothers of Multiples club all swears by it as the only way to maintain sanity and health with two babies. 

I do okay until I attend my first La Leche League Meeting. I am planning on trying induced lactation. I meet a room full of attachment parents who don't know they are attachment parents. It is my own fault for going to a mid-week middle of the day meeting, which of course was all stay-at-home Mom's who weren't in that similar of a situation. Though admittedly I doubt I'll live long enough to meet another working woman who is in the same situation of having twins via surrogate in India and wants to do induced lactation. That really does throw a lot of folks when I tell them, but I do enjoy how interested they are and everyone asks so many questions because they are curious. I've always enjoyed educating people, and this topic is one most folks are not knowledgable about.   I realize even though I don't get the attention that a pregnant woman gets, in some ways I get even more because my situation is so unique. And no strangers try to touch my belly or comment about my baby weight, so there is a silver lining there too.

I expected extremists to seem more extreme, but they are all so nice and supportive. But the message was that the baby will make everything you read worthless because nothing will work out as planned, and that it is perfectly normal to have a baby latched for hours for comfort alone and nothing else will work. They make reading books sound so naive and useless, and the baby will dictate everything and "tell you what to do." The gal I call "Zombie Mom" said she showed up looking like a zombie to her first LLL meeting after 4 days of no sleep, and it was all due to the evils of trying to do scheduled feedings. Something had to be wrong with this picture, but it scared the bejeebers out of me anyway. They all said "do whatever works for you" but then would contradict themselves without intending to.

It really did throw me for a loop, but I was scared I might never sleep again. I had my wonderful Mothers of Multiples club and a few friends talk me down from the ledge, and I realize I've had my first round of "too much advice" that is common to new mothers. I'm now part of that club after all. But LLL is a valuable resource for many and others have had a much better experience, but for me I decide to borrow some really good books on breastfeeding they loan me that are custom to my concerns about prematurity, twins, and "Defining Your Own Success" when you may not produce a full supply. And if breastfeeding is truly so hard that you need to hire a "lactation consultant" to do it then I'll use them for recommendations. Though I doubt they will know any that will skype with me in the middle of the night while I'm in the middle of the day in India. I'm thinking it is a better plan to learn how to say "help" in Gujarati to the NICU nurse and hope she manhandles me and shows me how to ensure a good latch.

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