Archive | November, 2012

We’re Expecting Twins!

28 Nov

Good news: Matt and I are eleven weeks along with healthy twins! 🙂

Two healthy babies is wonderful news, of course. However, we were pregnant with triplets initially. Our medical team in India let us know their concerns about the health and well-being of the three babies, and our gestational carrier, due to the multiple pregnancy. Their concern was great enough that they let us know they felt it medically necessary to reduce the pregnancy from triplets to twins.

Matt and I were, of course, saddened by this news, and talked a lot about it. We did plenty of reading and research about the subject and found some important information about reducing a pregnancy from triplets to twins.

Carrying three babies to term would more than double a woman’s risk of developing the most severe diseases of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. The average triplet is born two months premature, significantly raising the risk of disabilities such as cerebral palsy and of lifelong damage to the infant’s lungs, eyes, brain and other organs. By reducing the pregnancy to twins, [there is a] decrease in the risk of severe prematurity. (Washington Post)

We were also able to find medical journal articles, and studies, about reducing triplets to twins.

First trimester multifetal pregnancy reduction can be performed in order to decrease the risk of complications associated with multiple gestations. These complications include extreme prematurity before 32 weeks, low birthweight infants, fetal death in utero, high levels of perinatal mortality, and high levels of perinatal morbidity, which includes cerebral palsy and necrotizing enterocolitis. (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology)

What we read led us to believe that our medical team came to the right conclusion.

On top of all that, our gestational surrogate is five feet tall, which makes it obvious that carrying three babies to full term would be impossible. Not only that, but it could put our surrogate’s health at risk as well, from more minor health concerns, to potentially life-threatening complications. Matt and I are so grateful to our surrogate for carrying our children for us–more than we can ever even express–and it only seems right to do everything we can to assure her health, as well as the health of our children.

Matt and I spent a quiet weekend together, sometimes somber and still doing a lot of thinking, but came to a place of acceptance with what our doctors felt was medically necessary. This week we’re working to focus on the fact that we have two healthy babies on the way. We couldn’t be more thrilled about that, and we’re so excited to meet them this spring.


Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

When I was a teenager, I remember making one of those “life goals” lists. One of the items was “Run a marathon before I turn 30.” That list, and that bullet point, stuck with me for years. Since I’m now 29, with the big Three-Oh coming in February 2013, this fall became my last shot to cross that goal off my list.

And, of course, with kids on the way, I had more than one person say to me, “Do it now. Before kids.” Not that it’s impossible to train for a marathon when you have children–hundreds of thousands of parents run marathons every year–but I’m betting it’s a lot easier to train the many hours and miles for a marathon as empty-nest newlyweds than as parents of infants.

I spent the last five months training to run a marathon, clocking more than 400 miles during the training process. You can imagine my heartbreak, then, when I got a terrible case of pink eye, and a nasty chest cold, the Friday before the race. I also had a foot injury that had just healed after three weeks of rest, with not a single mile run during those last weeks leading up to the race.

Friends and family asked, “Do you think you’ll still be able to do it?”

Truthfully, I didn’t know. But I put on my best brave face and said I’d be going for it no matter what.

The Friday night before the race I flew to Philadelphia directly from a work trip in Oklahoma City. I spent some time with Matt, and our dog, Butter. My best friend, Josh K, and his boyfriend, Trent, bussed down from New York to root me on at the finish line.

Sunday morning, November 18, was the moment of truth. Josh K knocked on the bathroom door as I pulled on my marathon outfit, long before sunrise. I opened the door. We both laughed.

“Oh no,” he said. “You look terrible.”

“I know!” I said. “Watch what happens when I smile.”

When I did, my red, swollen, itchy right eye closed almost completely. Then my laughter turned to a nasty hacking couch, and I spit up something unmentionable.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt sexier. (Ha.)

But I was determined.

At 7 a.m., when the fog horn sounded and the race began, I hustled off with more than 20,000 fellow runners, some running the full marathon, others the half-marathon.

Four hours, twenty-eight minutes, and five seconds later, I crossed the finish line.

Overjoyed doesn’t even cover how I felt. I was ecstatic. I called Matt and, as we talked, I was so overwhelmed and happy–and just plain relieved–that I cried.

It was an amazing day.

Four days later, it’s Thanksgiving. The cough is fading. Thanks to prescription eye drops, the pink eye is mostly gone, but because of the risk of contagion, we had to cancel our plans with my family in D.C. and Maryland. That was a huge bummer. But it did also open the opportunity for something we’ve never done as a couple: Thanksgiving for two.

This year probably marks the last time Matt and I will ever have Thanksgiving just for two. Next Thanksgiving we’ll have five-month-old babies. And, barring any seriously contagious ailments, we’ll be surrounded by family, which will be great. That will probably be the pattern from here on out.

But this year? We bought a small chicken, rubbed it in herbs and spices, and popped it in the oven. Matt made green beans and croissants, I made Stove Top stuffing (my favorite part of any Thanksgiving meal), and even baked my very first cake. Ever.

It turned out to be kind of sweet, this holiday for two. It gave us time to contemplate the future, and time to think about how much we actually, truly, have to be grateful for.

This Thanksgiving we want to send very special thanks to our surrogate, in India with her family, and to our babies, whom we look forward to meeting (so much!) in six and a half months.

And, of course, a very happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope it’s a great one, filled with great food, family and/or loved ones, and much to be thankful for.


Josh (and Matt!)

First Wedding Anniversary & The Second Sonogram

11 Nov

A year ago today, Matt and I got married at Bethesda Fountain in New York’s Central Park. Our wedding took place on 11/11/11, exactly three years from the day we first met.

Surrounded by thirty-three people, all dear family and friends, we exchanged vows.

It was such a fun, easy, relaxed day.

After exchanging vows, we had champagne at the Boat House, just steps from Bethesda Fountain, and then had dinner with our wedding guests at Buddakan (at the long table, seen at the 0:14 mark). I travel a lot for work, and saved a lot of hotel points, which allowed got us to get a suite at the Le Parker Meridien that night. After dinner, our wedding guests joined us at the hotel for drinks, coming and going at their leisure, the last of the guests leaving after midnight.

It’s such a cliche thing to say, but it really was probably the happiest day of my life (so far). When else do you get all your friends and immediate family in one place at one time to laugh and eat and catch up and listen to music and harass each other and tell embarrassing stories and stay up late drinking cocktails, toasting to the fact that you just married the person you love most?

The first year went fast, and it was a great first year of marriage. Matt and I started taking serious steps to have kids in May 2012, and by July we were in India, working with our surrogacy clinic to get a pregnancy under way.

Now, on our first wedding anniversary, we’re staring at the second sonogram of our pregnancy, nine weeks along.

We still have three healthy babies, and so far everything is looking normal and good.

At nine weeks, babies in utero are about one inch long–each about the size of a blackberry–with tiny fingers and toes. Hair, fingernails, and toenails are starting to develop.

Matt and I have so much to be grateful for. It’s crazy to think that a year from now, on 11/11/13, our second wedding anniversary (and five years from the day we met), we’ll have five-month-old children (God willing!).

We can hardly wait.


Week Eight Update

3 Nov

Today our pregnancy is eight weeks along. Hurrah!

Matt and I are especially thrilled because reaching the eight-week mark means that our chance of miscarriage drops from 15% to 3%. It’s a nice (small) sigh of relief as we make our way through the first trimester.

Our babies are now the size of raspberries. They are 3/4 of an inch from the crown of their head to their rump (what they call CRL, or crown-to-rump length) and can now kick. All major organs, muscles and nerves are present.

Keeping our fingers crossed! Likely less than 200 days to go.