Going it Alone!

"If I am not for myself, then who will be? And if I am only for myself, then what am I?
Life is not for what you make of it today, but for the people around you that make up your tomorrow.

-Going it Alone-Jan 2014!

28 February 2010

WEEK 28!




It's still hard for me to fathom that in a matter of weeks - - Lara and I will be doting 1st time parents of not 1 but 2 adorable baby boys!
LB has been such a trooper throughout this whole process! Seriously, I don't know if I could go through all that is required to GET'er'DONE.
Saturday morning @ 4am - Lara awoke w/what she thought was stomach pains - - but at 1st she described the symptoms as small stomach cramps - then nausea - then stomach sickness and after a quickie Google search - we concluded that she was having preterm labor pains and mild contractions... Walk w/ me here - Imagine the movie - 'She's having a Baby' (I love that movie), Remember when Kevin Bacon (her husband) realizes his wife is going into labor and dashes out of the house to get the car ready only to jump in his BMW and race off down the road for the hospital - and realizes seconds later, he left his pregnant wife @ home on the curb. THIS is putting it mildly for what I felt like this morning. Thankfully, we made it to Seton Medical center safely and in one piece! Running red lights and sliding into the emergency room like a professional Daytona speedway racer. We were welcomed w/ open arms by the friendly staff and wheeled up to the labor and delivery wing w/haste. They promptly placed her on heart-rate monitors, IVs, probes, fFN test, and twins monitoring equipment. All in an effort to make Lara as comfortable as humanly possible and subside any fears. IN other words, make her as comfortable as humanly possible when she is carrying 2 ever-ready fighting 'baby-ninjas'. I'm reminded daily of their skillful kung-fu 'wash-on-wash-off' techniques inside her belly and on-going battles w/increasing strength.
Upon arrival - sweeter was given the full arsenal of anti-nausea medicines and drips of all different sorts (in an effort to hydrate, stop the labor pains and get her contractions under control). It would appear the gauntlet of drugs have worked - temporarily. The fetal fibronectin test result came back positive - which from what the doctors have said can be hit or miss when predictions are calculated. Negative results are a more accurate indicator that it is unlikely that preterm labor will occur in the next few weeks - positive results mean that 'bed-rest' is critical and that preterm labor 'may' occur in the coming weeks - but when is never an exact science. We were told she has a 1/30 chance of delivering in the next 2 weeks. That % increases as the weeks progress, as we close in on week37. I'm 'betting she makes it to 36weeks (quite the optimist) - Dr Grogono's bet is closer to 32weeks with Stephanie wagering she makes it to week 34. Steph and I have discussed creating a wagers pool in vegas for when L actually crosses the finishline.' All in an effort to take our minds off the reality that is quickly approaching and to help w/rattled nerves! We'll have to wait and see! What is blatantly clear - is the timeline for honey-DOs has decreased substantially and w/greater urgency. There is still much to accomplish before our little noodles arrive!
Today is the start of week28 - HOORAH! The past year continues to spin a weave in a magical blurry bliss. We feel so blessed and regularly pinch ourselves w/the ever-impending sweet reality awaiting us @ the end of the tunnel. We are reminded often by friends and family, to get as much rest as possible now, and store it, b/c the first year will be insane and we most likely will feel as if we took a time machine to 2011 w/how fast everything happens around us. We are preparing for the homeward stretch!! It is still incredible to me, that just a few 'mini-months' ago we were holding our breath and counting our blessings in the hopes of having the opportunity to become parents. Now that it is ALMOST here, we are dancing and celebrating and putting final preparations together and keeping our fingers crossed that Lara can make it to week 36 if not 37 if we are really lucky! Many close friends speak idle chatter such as: 'prepare yourselves for the total Annihilation that awaits you both for when those little munchkins actually do arrive'. Cavalier and Proud - I laugh it off, hiding my trepidation and excitement and secretly murmuring the words - bring it on - we can do it - we will know nothing else ;))! "famous last words hey".


This week what to expect - by this week, your babies each weigh in @ about 2.25lbs (like 2 Chinese cabbage) and measure ~~14.8inches from head to heel. The boys can now blink their pretty blue eyes and sport lashes. With their eyesight developing, they may be able to see the light that filters in through the womb. They are also developing billions of neurons in their little brains and adding more body fat in preparation for life outside of the belly.



(See what fraternal twins look like in the womb @ week28)











27 February 2010

CLOSET!


I ADORE baby clothes. They are so small and cute. We have found that when you find a cute outfit that you love for the kiddos, you better buy it, or it may be gone. Even though our little angels haven't arrived just yet, one of the most enjoyable things to do as we prepare for their arrival is slowly filling up their closet w/adorable outfits for them to wear.
OH MY GOSH - the little guys' outfits make you want to snuggle and squeeze them RIGHT NOW! I can't wait to hug and hold them and dress them alike! They will look SO cute. I'm a little surprised how excited about their little outfits I am - I never took myself for someone to get so amped up about something like baby clothes - but it must be the proud papa in me, b/c as the weeks & months have clicked past, and the closer we make it to their impending arrival, the more excited I get to enjoy every moment with them. Each expression, gurgle, wiggle, their little feet and hands, their sweet smiles and laughter, koos and ahhhs. And yes, even dressing them. I received a savvy and very helpful TIP from a long-time friend/fellow blogger/Mommie of TWINs that has been invaluable - (Thanks B)! She recommended for as long as they will let us - to dress them alike - which will make life fun for mommie and daddie as well as create some speed and efficiency when getting them ready. So buy 2 of everything is what we have been doing! The tip has turned out to be golden! It not only carries a cute factor of 10 on a scale of 1-10, but it is also a great conversational piece, fun and functional .


So for memories sake, I snapped a quickPIC of their ever-expanding closet of layers. Items ranging from newborn - 18months of age - so when mommie and daddie look back as the years come and go - we can enjoy the blink of time when they were tiny-tiny and relive the moment w/glee.

23 February 2010

SNOWDAY!





About 2.5in of snow has fallen on the ground and accumulated so far, with maybe another 0.5-1.0inches or so before mother nature decides to turn off her snow blower and call it a day ;). Our friends up north are most probably laughing their tucus off at us for even considering to take today off from work - - but let me tell you what friends - we are taking it and loving every minute of it.


Here are a few quick-PICS we took primarily from our backyard while the dogs ran and played tag in the snow. Eat your heart out Floridians :)). *click on the pictures 2 enlarge*  Snowdays in austin come few and far between.  It's been 4 years or more since our last slushy day off.  When we awoke this morning to the sight of snowwhite and the seven dwarves on our front lawn, enthusiasm was an understatement.  Snowshoes and Snowgloves were quickly put on and out we went to enjoy the crisp cool day!






























UPDATE: Lara was put on 'official' bedrest by her OB on Monday 2/22/2010 (again ;)). It appears this is going to be permanent until she delivers. She was 1.5cm dilated. And although our Perinatologist provided encouragement after the fetal fibronectin test results came back negative - that doesn't mean those tests are fool-proof. She is 'unlikely' to experience preterm labor in the next 2 weeks but our OB is taking a more conservative approach and 'forbid' her to get off the couch unless it was absolutely necessary. She basically told her to get comfortable w/the idea of becoming a 'seriously-committed' couch potato b/c that is where she is to stay. I'm home today, helping her cope. I'm quickly learning the art of mastering the 'multi-task' so as I take care of Lara's every need, I'm also knee deep in paint, Dell work, Homework and taking care of the household choirs :)). Good practice for the superbowl of all multi-task efforts soon to be underway w/ the forthcoming Twins!!

 















21 February 2010

THIRD TRIMESTER!



Week Twenty Seven: Welcome to the third trimester. You are 27 weeks pregnant. Eyes can now open (fetal age 25 weeks). The fetus weighs approximately 2 pounds and is about 14.5 inches long - the size of a cauliflower.
The heads are over 2.5 inches (7cm) in diameter. Baby's hearing continues to develop. The eyes can blink, open and close.You have made it 2/3 of the way through. It may be hard to believe, but your baby now appears much like he will look like at birth. Babies now have eyebrows and eyelashes and hair is growing everyday. The muscle tone is improving and his body is getting plumper. Your little one's brain continues its rapid growth. Don't forget to share music, conversation, and even books with your baby. Baby may start to recognize your voice as well as your partners, so be sure to say lots of nice things. The retina at the back of your baby's eyes is beginning to develop. Those beautiful baby eyes can open now, and the baby will notice and may turn his head if you shine a flashlight against your belly.At 27 weeks, your baby's length will have tripled or quadrupled from the 14 week mark. If your baby is born this week, the chances of survival are now at least 80 percent.





20 February 2010

NURSERY CEILING!

For weeks, I have been ebbing and flowing and negotiating w/ Queen bee on when to post pictures of the Twins nursery room! The majority of the action items have been completed. i.e. Painting - check! Cribs built - check! Dresser's - check! Rug - check! Ceiling decoration - check! iHOME apple speaker supporting the iPOD w/acoustic sounds and more(Thanks Sis and Bro - Megan and Alan for this tip) - check! Name letters install - check! Bookcase install - almost! Nursing chair - ETA late March! (this is the real bugger that is holding up production people).
I have been itching to post pictures of the twins nursery b/c we are so proud of the way it has come together. Trying all the tricks in the hat, cunning, art of persuasion, but Queen-Bee will not budge! It must be fully furnished before a full scale picture is distributed, otherwise, we are not providing the 'total' picture - she quips:)!
SO, you will have to be satisfied w/ a teaser pic of the twins decorated nursery ceiling that was done w/ clouds, until next month when the nursery chair arrives and full unveiling will occur!



19 February 2010

PLAYROOM!


We have looked high and low for a large PLAY MAT that would be functional, colorful & cost effective for the boys. Something that provides a barrier between them and the Hardwood floor in their playroom as well as allow for spills and create an environment of durability. Of course, leave it to my Jedi-wife aka (super-savvy-deal-finder) to come up w/the perfect solution. She found this colorful puzzle piece play mat that fits together like a puzzle would and functionally works like a charm. We have assembled it in the munchkin's 'future' playroom and it didn't cost us one of my lungs on ebay to procure it. We assembled them all together over last weekend and even threw in a few toys that her sister gratuitously donated for affect.




Voila! Presto! Bam!

18 February 2010

WEEK 26.4!




My lucky penny!  She's so beautiful! I am such a lucky scallywag. Today proved extraordinary when it came to picture taking - I was super-lucky to captured some very 'rare' group pics of the family +_) @ the Austin Perinatal and Associates office prior to our appointment w/ DrBerry (our perinatologist). Today was our follow-up checkup and 2nd round of Corticosteroid shots. DrBerry said he would call tonight between 5-7pm w/a update on the fetal fibronectin results. Keeping our fingers crossed the results are negative :)) so we can breathe easy for a few weeks. Lara says she feels great!


We'll let you know what the results kick back! Stay tuned.


Latest update - tests results for the fetal fibronectum test came back negative :))) yeah!!! Lara is safe and sound for at least 2 more weeks and 'We' are forging ahead w/reckless abandonment towards 37weeks.

17 February 2010

WEEK 26.3!

Today's doctor's visit had all the expectations of a fun-filled 'typical' day @ the office, with the hopes of standard doctor bedside shtick we had grown accustomed to hearing of the twin's progress garnering positive checkmarks across the board. We were hoping to swoop in, check the boxes, get the approving nods and grins, grab a quick sonogram of the boys (if they were willing to play nice) and be on our way


What we received in return was anything but your standard typical report! It was more like a 4hour goat rodeo with all the bells and trimmings. If we have learned anything @ this stage of the game w/a TWINS pregnancy, 'nothing' should be taken lightly or considered typical. We quickly picked up the surprised expression from our trusty OB (Dr Grogono) that our typical meeting had quickly turned into a meeting of a different type, and a scurry commenced.




This was Lara's 26.3 week checkup and she was Dilated 1cm. Without panic, the mad scientist, (ERR, I mean doctor), jumped into action and pulled in an array of monitoring devices and various personnel to assist. After a thorough review of each babies heartbeat, contractions monitoring equipment was quickly assembled with straps and sonograms ablaze. Thankfully, We were notified within minutes, that Lara was not experiencing any contractions and the boys hearts were beating strong and steady just as the doc would like to see. We were then dispatched to see our multiples specialist Dr Berry, (our perinatologist) for his 2nd opinion and recommendations on what to do next.


Dr Berry is great! He is always calm and cool and very thorough. After a extensive review of Lara's test-results; Dr Berry encouragingly recommended the best course of action at this stage of the game (w/the 3rd term trimester literally days away), that he would start her on a round of steroid injections called Corticosteroids. One injection today(2/17/10) and one tomorrow(2/18/10).


It goes without saying, We both want the very best for our babies. So we asked oooodles of questions about the benefits of the corticosteroids and learned that these types of steroids are one of the most important and common recent advances in caring for pregnant women w/TWINS in the later stages of their pregnancy and a proven method in (halting pre-term labor *IF* that was occurring as well as *expediting* the development of the babies soft tissues and lungs while still in the human-oven.


So 2 injections : 1 was done on Wednesday and 1 will be done Thursday with a follow-up test called a Fetal Fibronectin test which tests for the protein produced by fetal cells and a type of fibronectin around the uteris. *IF* labor was to occur or going to occur within the next 2 weeks - this test is a sure indicator for catching it. It's a fancy word and one I had to google to fully understand, so click on the blue underlined word above and have a look-see for yourself. This test is a very modern timetable litmus test, which basically provides ratios and probabilities for if/when mommie is going to deliver, OR if there are signs of that happening. Fetal Fibronectin tests, provide snapshots @ 2 week increments. With a negative test result, we can rest assured that 2 more weeks of 'human-utero-baking' time will commence w/out delay and mommie may go about her business as usual w/out much more than a blip on the radar. The corticosteroids injections 'help' too. They speed up development by 2 week increments, so within 2-3 days of administration, our babies will have advanced their progress by ~~2additional weeks farther than they were today. So basically, these injections are already spurring on the growth of the boys important tissues, lungs and brain fibres. By spurring on the development @ a 2x/3x multiplier - by Saturday, they will have lungs that are as developed as an approximate 28week old baby and by week 28 they will have reached approximately 30weeks and and on and on - gaining momentum each week until they decide they simply won't ripen anymore and want out - and poof a stork will drop by our house w/ 2 angels.

We expect the test results to come back FINE. SO, Don't worry! And our doctor's are still forecasting that Lara will make it to 35-36weeks of gestation. From the data and news from our perinatologists, aLOT of woman dilate @ the start of their 3rd trimester w/TWINS and with a steroids shot, move into a holding pattern for weeks. So we are hopeful and positive that all will move along according to God's master plan and not start freaking out - just yet :)). There will be plenty of time for that, once the boys are here >;))P


For the next 6-10weeks, we will be testing each week and monitoring the boys closely. All in an effort, to keep a little closer eye on the boys progress. Lara is likely going to have to return to some form of bedrest fulltime as she progresses further into her 3rd trimester - this is very typical w/ TWINS.


It's important to note, the kids are fully developed in utero, they are now fattening and ripening and getting bigger every day. Results from Wednesdays exam, showed that Jake was 2.0lbs and Cole was 2.1lbs respectively.
What the steroids will do over the next 3 days, is speed up the lung development and put a halt on the uteris from contracting if it was to occur. I've included a little summary below identifying the steroids Lara is currently taking and how they will help!


For now, Lara has been placed on mild bed-rest for the next 2 days until we get the fetal fibrenectin test results. I'm sure all will be fine! But it's better to be safe, than sorry ;)


Corticosteroids
If you show signs of delivery prior to 34 weeks, receiving corticosteroid injections can greatly improve your baby's chances of doing well. This discovery is one of the most important recent advances in caring for pregnant women in the early stages of delivery.
Steroids are usually injected into one of the mother's large muscles (arms, legs, or buttocks). The injections are given two to four times over a two-day period, depending on which steroid is used. The most common steroid,
betamethasone (Celestone), is given in two doses, 12 mg each, 12 or 24 hours apart. The medications are most effective from two to seven days after the first dose. Corticosteroids are not the same as the body-building steroids used by athletes, and multiple studies have shown that they are very safe for mothers and babies. Human studies have not shown any significant risks associated with a single course of steroids. One study followed infants whose mothers were given steroids during pregnancy until the children were twelve years old. These studies showed no adverse effects from the steroids on the child's physical growth or development.




DrBerry. Our rockstar!



15 February 2010

SCHOOL - YEAR 1 BEGINS!



A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step!
That which is at rest is easy to grasp.That which has not yet come about is easy to plan for.That which is fragile is easily broken.That which is minute is easily scattered.Handle things before they arise.Manage affairs before they are in a mess.A thick tree grows from a tiny seed.A tall building arises from a mound of earth.A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Laozi, (Taoist philosopher, China, 4th Century B.C.)





OH! Look @ the time - I better get to class..

14 February 2010

VALENTINE'S DAY & HALF-MARATHON - 2010!

Today was the culmination of month's worth or preparation! All the pain and suffering from daily treadmill miles to trail runs and more, finally coming to fruition. This morning @ 4am; my adorable 26w pregnant Valentine, (gently) nudging me out from under the warm and cozy comforter with her bare-feet, sweet smile and words of encouragement, in an effort to provide the much needed 'support' in order to face the 35+ degree temperatures and catch my 4:45 carpool ride downtown. Lara's sister Stephanie graciously picked me up along w/her convoy of crazies (I mean) carpool mates in a joint-trek-effort to make it downtown before the start of the annual Austin MARATHON & HALFMARATHON. 30,000 other patrons were also nutty enough to clamor to the Start of the race which was set in the wee-hours of Sunday morning @ 7amSHARP=_). All for the singular purpose of completing a task some consider a modicum of senility.








2hrs45m later - yours truly circled the Austin Capital enroute to crossing the finish line. My cheerleader-esk lovely valentine standing at the finish awaiting her main-man's arrival w/her trusty friend Max by her side, cheering and celebrating w/ open arms :) and a well earned HUG.
QUADriceps are definitely 'screaming' at me from within right now and will likely continue well into the middle of the week, but the success of victory and pride in crossing-that-finish-line after a grueling 13.1miles, is sweet enough to warrant a few muscle aches. Will I be back next year for more, we'll have to see.










Snapping a few photo's along the way - to paint a little picture of the road-less-traveled - enjoy! I particularly enjoy the port-a-potties w/their appropriate color coding for today's Valentine runners - pretty cute - blue for boys and pink for girls - very valentine's day-ish.














WEEK26 is the last week of the 2nd trimester. YAHOO!




Week Twenty Six: Second trimester ends

You are 26 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 23 weeks)
The baby measures 14 inches long and weighs over 1.7 pound.
Baby measures 35.5cm long and weighs over 760 grams.
The feet are 2 inches (5cm) long. Hands are very active.
The baby's eyes begin to open around this time.The fetus makes breathing movements, but there is no air in the lungs yet. Hands are active and muscle coordination is such that they can get a thumb into the mouth. Thumb sucking calms the baby and strengthens the cheek and jaw muscles.The fetal brain scan will show response to touch. Touching and playing with the baby is possible now, as they may respond to your touch through your belly wall. Brain growth continues with brain wave activity for the visual and auditory systems starting to develop. Baby is probably very active in the womb, as the most active weeks are typically between weeks 24 and 28. You may begin feeling your belly tighten and relax at odd moments or irregular intervals. These are Braxton Hicks
contractions. They are painless and help the uterus prepare for the birth. Many babies have developed a predictable routine for sleep and active periods. Twins may have entirely different routines from each other.If your back is feeling the strain of your growing belly, try doing some pelvic rocks to relax it. Stand with your back against the wall, knees slightly bent. As you inhale a breath, press the small of your back against the wall. Exhale and relax your back. You may be experiencing shortness of breath as the uterus is very close to the rib cage at this stage. Some moms are not able to fully expand their rib cages; however, this does not negatively affect the baby in any way.This week marks the end of month six, which is the last month of the second trimester.








HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

11 February 2010

NAMES!

Boy, does the responsibility of providing your kids with a proper nomenclature carry a heavy burden! As parents, we consider all the possibilities. We scour up and down, far and wide, through magazines and books in hope of finding those perfect name(s). Does it carry that ring you want, does it roll off your tongue w/ the proper number of syllables. Does the spelling make it easy to pronounce. What is the meaning of the name. So many questions that require answers prior to the most important day of our lives together 'actually' transpiring. Some parents we have met, acknowledge their desire to 'simply' stare into their babies eyes @ birth and let the name spontaneously combust into their membranes as he or she looks back at them through their google haze.


I'm don't have the faith it takes I guess, to allow our baby-boys the time it will take and the patience it would require, to postpone a 'massive' and 'all-important' decision such as this - for those fleeting moments, just as they are born, in hopes a name that we both agree on will hit us both right out of the gate upon arrival. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe my train left the station a long time ago, but I admit - coming up w/ a name that we like - prior to the birth has been a very BIG deal to us and rated as very important and ever so daunting.
Needless to say, we did it!
Well, Lara came up w/ the name Jake. How she did it, that still escapes me, but for about as long as I can remember, she has commented that if we have a boy, she wanted to name him Jake! Anthony is her great Uncle's first name, Uncle Anthony (tony) Boromei from her mother's side and she is her closest living relative. So as we found out we were having a boy - Lara immediately labeled him Jake Anthony while the other twins gender remained TBD (b/c he/she at the time was being very aloof and shy and made Lara all the more affirmed in her mind that we were having boy/girl twins).
So once the sonogram reported a 2nd boy was in the oven, it became 'yours truly's' responsibility, to pick a name for the little munchkin.
Now, let me provide a word of caution to all those wannabe parents out there, when you pick a name that you decide is the perfect name for your little boy or girl-to-be.. Keep it to yourself, b/c the moment you share, the 'suggestions' and 'opinions' come flying like warm baby-poo.
Everyone has their opinion to give and it's never that friendly to the name you just decided on - but more like 'how bout this name', or 'I like the name ***'. None of which is helpful, only aggravating and mind-blowing which ultimately causes you to 'immediately' re-think your decision and sometimes cause you to 180 in your naming decision which can be lots of fun - NOT. This is also known as screwing w/ your brain (not recommended).
Well, as good natured and well-intentioned as all those family and friends mean to be - I understand now, why parents-to-be, keep the name(s) they pick to themselves until the new-born is actually here. B/c who is going to try to change a name for a kid that is already present? Answer=d)Nobody.
In all honesty, we love the suggestions and comments we get, but now we just say - the names are picked and final and we even have them written above their cribs so there is no changing them.
OH - I didn't tell you the name I picked out did I? B/c I'm not going too. hahahahahaha. j/k. Ok, Ok, - I will tell you. I picked out Cole Edward. Edward comes from his daddies middle name and Cole I just liked the sound of it. It struck me as a good ole Texan name. I love Texas. I love living in Texas and I loved the name Cole.


Now onto what they each mean:

Jake (means supplanter or held by the heel) Anthony (means worthy of praise)
Cole (means victorious people) Edward (means wealthy guard)
So that's it - No Take Backs!

TFC!


Dr Natalie Burger was the specialist that was our attending physician and she was just great! We could not have asked for a more nurturing, informed and talented doctor to take care of Lara. During this trip - that would later prove to be Ooober successful, was the moment when our twin boys would begin their journey inside mommie's belly. BOY, will this allow them some memories to enjoy (or better mommie and daddie;)) later in life, to look back and say, this is when 'our little angels' began, b/c this is the moment when we had the joined embryo's re-instated back inside Lara's tummy so development could begin. ;0)
Stephanie Thompson (Lara's sister) accompanied us to TFC, and snapped these pictures w/ her iPhone along the way. I'm very happy she did, b/c I wasn't thinking about bringing a camera or phone or much of anything else @ the time. I was IN the moment and thinking about taking care of my little peanut (Lara) and HOPING everything would go smoothly. SO, a big THANK YOU to Stepher for taking these quick-pics. Thanks Sis!

OH, and if you were curious about Dr Burger's credentials, as I was at the time - here they are for all to see - :))


GO TFC!!

10 February 2010

ANGELS!

Lara and I get asked all the time: Do TWINS run in your family? Are they identical? Boy do you two have your work cut out for you. Well, allow me to shed some light on the myths, the legions and the reality.

Taking a step back, I think it would be a good idea to chronologically capture, just how our little men began!


On 9/6/09, Lara and I officially took the plung with In vitro fertilization aka IVF.

For months and months, we both tried everything in our bag of tricks to 'naturally' reproduce. Birth-control had been put aside LONG ago - in fact - almost 2 years to the date before we decided that something outside of our control might be going on here. After quite a lot of practice ;) and little to show for it, minus the broad grin plastered across my face and the hope and bated anticipation on my wifes. Only to come up w/ negative pregnancy response from the 10s of 100s of pregnancy tests we must have taken. We made the decision to look @ ourselves under the microscope and understand 'medically' what might be going on within our own bodies.


What we learned, was that in a surprisingly high percentage of men, low sperm count is a leading contributor for infertility challenges w/ couples trying to concieve. We were told by a fertility specialist, that we could try and try until the cows came home, but if the sperm wasn't reaching the egg, and we didn't provide some added 'punch' which was his friendly way of saying, your boys need jetpacks sown to their rocket-suits if you want a chance on this green earth of having a baby naturally.


Of course, we were gangbusters to try anything that would 'UP' our chances and decided the best path for us, was to try IVF. With the choice of IVF, the parents-to-be, get to choose how many fertilized embryos, they want 'put' back in. IN our case, Lara and I chose 2. This provided us w/ a 75% chance, one of them would be successful, w/ a 35% chance, that both of them would take.


Low and behold, to our surprise and glee, the 1st attempt worked like a charm! And less than 6 weeks later, we learned, Lara was not only pregnant but pregnant w/TWINS.


We were so happy to learn that we were successful and we were going to have not 1 baby, but 2 babies of our very own! The rest my friends, is history in the making :)


In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the womb, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first "test tube baby", Louise Brown, was born in 1978.

09 February 2010

WEEK 25!


GOD works in mysterious ways!  The past few weeks have been fraught w/land minds of hope, fear, joy and miracles. Every few weeks, we climb into the family truckster and driver over to the doctor's office for our multiples check-up by our specialist (Dr. Berry-our Perinatologist). During Lara's 22nd week sonogram, we were told that Lara's cervix had 'thinned' to an alarming rate and it was extensive enough to cause major alarm bells to go off. The specialists believed and told us, that she could potentially go into labor if her cervix was to get any 'thinner' and put her @ high 'risk' for pre-term labor. Average cervical length is 3.5cm-4.0cm. Lara's cervical length (or neck of the womb) had dropped from 3.2cm to JUST 1.8cm. Many women, who's cervix length drop below 1.0cm - experience pre-term labor.


This news set off fears and worry like a rocket in both Lara and I, and Lara was immediately placed on 100% bedrest.
The following day and night, prayers began circulating and positive juju surrounded our little men, in a way, words cannot describe. Lara was adamant, to do whatever it took in her power, to ensure her little men were given the best possible care. Even if that meant, for the next 15 weeks, she was forced to stay bedridden.
2 days later - with a return visit to see our Perinatologist - Lara's progress report had miraculously changed 180 degress. We were witnessing a MIRACLE! The neck of her womb, had "DOUBLED" in size - something - doctors 'rarely' see (less than 1% was the ratio we were told). Lara was now showing 3.3cm(33mm) in length and proof in the sonogram illustrated that she was progressing 'brilliantly'. As if nothing had ever happened just 2 days previously.
Needless to say, we felt so compelled to thank everyone that prayed for the safety and security of our little angels - we sent out emails to all our family and friends to alert them of the good news. We truly believe God's hand was at work inside Lara's little belly. My mom said it best when she commented: 'God must have something very special in mind for those 2 little boys, too grant such a miracle to happen'. I could not agree with her more.
Today, is week 25+2days, with the latest checkup providing Lara w/ a perfect bill of health - a very positive '2-thumbs-way-up'. Lara is doing great and was taken off bedrest @ the start of week 24!
Check out my beautiful baby and her adorable belly @ the start of week25.

God works in mysterious ways!

Week Twenty Five: Exploration continues

You are 25 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 23 weeks)
The unborn child is 34 cm in length and weighs almost 690 grams.
Baby is around 13.5 inches in length and weighs 1 and half pounds.
Bones are becoming solid, hands are now fully developed.
The brain is growing rapidly, the brain cells are starting to mature.
The sexual organs are fully developed.Baby is now pretty well built portion wise even though it still has little body fat and its skin is thin. The structures of the spine begin to form -- All 33 rings, 150 joints and 1000 ligaments. The tiny brain is growing rapidly, and the baby is starting to fill the space in your uterus. The uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball and mom looks pregnant.
Your baby's hands are now fully developed, although some of the nerve connections to the hands have a long way to go. Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and clasp objects placed in palm. Exploring the structures inside your uterus may have become baby's prime entertainment. Fascinated by the amount of tactile stimulation a fetus gives itself; it touches a hand to the face, one hand to the other hand, clasps its feet, touches its foot to its leg, its hand to its umbilical cord. Twins will explore each other and begin their bonding. See: Twins 3D sonagram movie.Blood vessels of the lungs develop. Your baby's nostrils begin to open. The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. Their swallowing reflexes are developing. Baby can hear sounds outside the womb and the brain cells are starting to mature also. Already it can learn and remember and can recognise its mother and fathers voice.Babies at 25 weeks of pregnancy stand a 50% chance of survival.

WEEK 24!


Reaching week24 is critical for viability. We made it!  Hooray!












Week Twenty Four: Practices breathing

You are 24 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 22 weeks)
The child is now gaining around 3 ounces (90 grams) a week.
Baby weighs about 1.3 pounds and is 12 inches long.
Baby weighs about 600 grams and is 30cm (crown to heel) long.
The eyelids can be seen very clearly.
If born at this stage is officially considered viable, they may well be able to survive.Your baby is producing surfactant. This is stuff that keeps the small air sacs in our lungs from collapsing. The unborn baby is covered with a fine, downy hair and the skin is protected by a waxy substance. Some of this substance may still be on the child's skin at birth at which time it will be quickly absorbed. The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into developing lungs.Baby gains about 3 ounces this week. The weight is in muscle, bone mass and organs. The body begins to fill out with his appearance increasingly becoming more like a newborn. Taste buds begin to form. If mom drinks something strange or bitter, baby may be observed showing his or her distaste. Little creases have appeared on his palms. The muscular coordination of the hands has improved as they sucks their thumb. Over the next week or so, the sweat glands will be forming in the skin. The lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily. After this week your baby is officially considered viable. 36% of babies can survive
premature birth at 24 weeks - However, serious complications are still possible. Baby now weighs about 1.3 pound (600gm) and is around 12 inches (30cm) long.

WEEK 22.2!


We wanted to provide a quick report on Lara’s ‘miraculous’ condition. As reported on Monday, we were put into a panic when we learned of the compromised cervix that Lara was showing @ this stage of the game.
Wednesday, we went in to see the Perinatologist for another ultrasounds and discuss our options. Given the scare we had on Monday – we were apprehensive @ best. Lara has remained on bedrest for 2 days. We honestly believe, the outpouring of prayers and positive juju we received over the past few days from friends and family provided us w/a miracle. W/in 2 days – Lara had improved ‘exponentially’ and so much so – the specialist was shocked by how much of an improvement and reported he was looking @ a cervix that had almost doubled in size – from 1.8cm – 3.4cm which is EXTREMELY impressive. If you recall – the average mother w/a single typically measures around 3.5-4.0cm. W/the latest ultrasound – the Perinatologist remarked what a miraculous cervix he was looking at and that he was not seeing any thinning at all – and was flabbergasted at what a ‘perfect’ sonogram he was getting – he even printed a picture for us to illustrate to her OB what a ‘perfect’ cervix should look like. He then commented that her improvement was so dramatic, that he didn’t think she needed to remain on bedrest – but thought it wise to remain conservative until we get past week24 (1st of Feb) and then do light rest until the start of her 3rd trimester which is march 1st. We asked him – what kind of variance he historically see’s w/a compromised cervical length, when someone comes in and measures w/such a severe decrease. He was very direct in his answer; 0.2cm-0.3cm of variance is common – but ‘never’ a 1.5cm jump and typically once a cervix is compromised – it is highly unlikely for it to rebound and less than 1% have jumped w/ a swing such as we saw w/in 2 days. He was so positive that He even predicted a delivery date well into Lara’s 34-36 weeks – which is incredible and amazing if she could make 36 weeks – which would be almost full term for twins...


We feel God is truly watching over our boys as they grow stronger and stronger everyday inside their Mommie. Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement – it means so much to us, to have such a wonderful family supporting us and standing besides us every step of the way.
We’ll keep you posted as Lara and babies progress :_)


22weeks + 2days and counting..


"Call upon Me in the days of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me." (Psalm 50:15)
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2