Thursday, January 17, 2013

And they lived happily ever after...most of the time.

They tell you how they grow up so fast. They truly do. I look at my two new favorite pictures below and see how much their faces have changed and are full of personality.
Is it just me, or in some photos does it look like he has a 5 O'clock shadow?
I look at the pic taken of (almost) all the grandkids at Christmas and realize how grown up the rest of them are now.  It makes me feel old!

We have truly adjusted to life with twins at this point, despite all the complications. Even our dog Ralph has adjusted. He has laid claim to a broken baby swing seat, but otherwise knows his place.
"The dumpster. I think not! It's mine. You can't have it back."
I told my husband that in so many ways I can't wait to see them grow up and walk and talk to us. But then I want a switch that for just a few minutes would turn them back into tiny 6lb babies every now and then. As it is Tara is now 11lbs and Vivek is almost 12lbs. They now fit perfectly into 3 mos size clothes just like their corrected age, but I'm sure it will become snug on him soon.  

Today for a big change I took my son in for a doctor's appointment instead of my daughter. He had to visit the urologist for his circumcision consultation. I was wracked with guilt because we had postponed it due to our daughter's hospitalization, not knowing that when he reached 10 lbs they would no longer do the "ring" and instead it would be an inpatient or possibly outpatient procedure requiring anesthesia. But the urologist told me that since he has a slightly curved situation going on down there it would have had to be done at 8 1/2 months as an outpatient procedure anyway to correct that at the same time. So once again my Mommy guilt is alleviated. Turns out only 1 out of 150 boys has it, so my son apparently wanted to be a medical rarity as well.

I must say it is weird filling out the piles of medical paperwork as the parent/guardian. I have to remember to fill it out for the patient instead of myself and be sure to put single instead of married. Some things strike me as very funny because they are so small, such as marital and veteran status. Medical history gives me some chuckles too. Symptoms: Vomiting. Check. Uncontrolled bowel movements. Check. Frequent urination. Check. Difficulty speaking. Check.

Vivek and Tara both smile like sunshine all the time now, and she has finally started cooing more. We are working on tummy time progress and charting it everyday now to make sure we are more consistent. If the plagiocephaly continues to improve by us forcing their position with rolled up burp cloths, then hopefully no one will need a lovely foam helmet made for them when our pediatrician assesses them at their next appointment in two weeks. The incredible pulmonologist spent an entire hour discussing her case with me in great detail, even calling my husband and sending a detailed summary of our discussion and conclusions to our pediatrician who raved about his thoroughness! Thank you Dr. Sah from Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Specialists! In the end we have decided not to change anything regarding the diuretic/24cal/sodium chloride to keep her lungs dry, but can add lactolose to help with her constipation that has her screaming for 30-45 minutes at 10:30am every day. You could set your watch to it. 
Sleepy little angel...for now.

"I like Dadoo. He's funny! But why does Dadima keep calling me Conner?"
As a funny side note, I saw a posting on a Yahoo Group for Indian surrogacy the other day asking about the pros and cons of doing surrogacy in India. I was too busy to reply at the time, but planned on writing something later to mention my blog so they could hear our crazy tale. Funnily enough, before I could someone else replied and named my blog as an example of "what could go wrong" to help them consider the con side of it. Ha! I'm glad my blog exists to help folks out there consider everything that could go wrong so that they are prepared for what can happen, but I hope it doesn't discourage anyone completely because we would still do it all over again.  My advice: Think about what you will do if you have twins. Think about what you will do if they are premature and have to have an extended NICU stay. Think about what you would do if they had to be medi-vaced out to your home country. And to my gay and single friends out there, research the impact of the newer regulations India is putting out there as well as your home country's most current rules to be sure what risks you are taking on so that your children won't be without a country or without a recognized parent.

And while our situation was tougher than most, it could have been tougher with even more severe medical problems like our wonderful Bernadette and her family have had to deal with. But the true worst case scenarios to me would be failed attempts, loss of the pregnancy, surrogate health being affected, and worst of all stillbirth or infant death. But the fact is these same things can happen anywhere you do surrogacy and you can't control them beyond taking reasonable precautions. So as long as you find a reputable clinic (Ex: Akanksha/Dr. Patel, SCI, Rotunda)  I say go for it. But if you can afford alternatives in the US or a more developed country for goodness sakes do it there! The reason I say that is because the NICU care in India cannot compete with the U.S. at the highest level of care in more complex medical situations, and that is the only reason that would have mattered to me in the end if I had any other choice.

A lot of things are uncertain about the future, particularly when and where I'll be working full time again. But amazingly I'm not worried about it and am able to adapt and be flexible about whatever happens next. Fortunately there are plenty of opportunities out there for me due to my training and experience, and I've had some response already from some jobs that might work better for our current schedule of medical care for our daughter and our in laws helping out. That is truly a gift that my children have given me, because those that know me will recognize that not being obsessed with how to get a crystal ball is a major step for me.

One thing is for sure, I know I wake up everyday and look at the two of them and still can't believe I finally got my happily ever after!
It took about 50 photos to get this one with both of them looking at the camera and not thrashing into wierd positions.

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