Archive | January, 2013

One Hundred Days To Go

31 Jan

Right now I’m on a work trip in Dallas, Texas. It’s been a crazy trip, partially because I’m trying to fit in as many client meetings as humanly possible before the twins arrive.

Today is also a big day for us, as it officially marks one hundred days until our twins’ due date of May 11.

Here in Dallas, while having lunch between work meetings, I got a text message from Matt.

“Hey baby,” the text said.

I immediately texted back and said, “Hey!” I thought he was just being sweet and checking in.

What I didn’t realize was that, if he’d spoken it aloud, his voice would have gone up at the end of the phrase. It wasn’t a greeting, but a tantalizing statement trailing off. My phone dinged again and in came a photo message that made my jaw drop:

twins car seat

I was speechless when the image first loaded. All I could immediately text back was “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Totally took my breath away.

He also sent a photo of the double stroller these car seats snap into, sitting right in our living room. That was crazy because the thing is at least two-thirds the length of our large sofa. It’s just huge.

Seeing these car seats is just amazing to me. Our kids are going to be sitting in these car seats. Before summer begins.

Tomorrow the baby countdown goes from triple digits to double digits….


VIDEO: Twin Sonogram, Week 18

23 Jan

On Monday, just hours before leaving for a work trip to St. Louis, a package arrived at our house.

“It’s from Mumbai,” Matt said. Immediately we were both excited.

“Do you think it’s the ultrasound?” I asked.

We knew we were supposed to get a DVD of an ultrasound eventually, but we didn’t think it’d be for another couple months.

“Only one way to find out.”

We sat on the sofa and put the DVD into Matt’s laptop. It loaded, and seconds later images of our twins filled the screen. It’s hard to explain how exciting, moving, and almost surreal it was to see our children.

The video showed the twins from many different angles. We saw heads, faces, arms, legs, hands, feet, and various on-screen confirmations from the ultrasound tech that the twins’ internal organs and developmental processes were right on track.

After we watched it I recorded about a minute of the 12-minute ultrasound on my iPhone. I wanted to watch it again on the plane.

There’s one sequence I kept watching, where you see a leg kicking around, and then the ultrasound tech pauses it on a perfectly formed foot, measuring in at just barely over an inch heel-to-toe. I kept thinking, “Oh my god, this is my son or daughter’s foot.” I played it again. And again.

So amazing. Enjoy. 🙂


Tales of an IVF Egg Donor

21 Jan

Matt and I have a good friend who happens to also be an egg donor. We asked if she might write a little something for New Dads, to share a bit of an egg donor’s perspective, and she very kindly obliged. Enjoy!

My name is Melodye, and I am an egg donor.  (“Hi, Melodye.”)  I also happen to be friends with Matt and Josh, and they asked if I would be interested in writing an entry from the egg donor’s point of view. Here I am, happily obliging.

My first experience donating (yep, I’ve donated more than once) stemmed from wanting to backpack through Europe. I brainstormed on how to make a decent sum of money to pay for this bucket list item, and upon discovering that donating eggs would earn me $8,000, I decided to go for it.

Although I didn’t know anyone who had done it (or anyone whose brain I could pick on the subject), I did extensive research online about the process and which service to use. NYU, Columbia and Cornell were my top choices, so I decided to apply with all three.

After having a couple appointments with Columbia, for some reason I just didn’t feel comfortable. I felt like a number there, so decided to retract my application. With NYU, I had a blood work appointment on my third visit (still during the application process—I hadn’t been matched with a recipient yet, but more on that later). There was a major storm, so I couldn’t make it. Even though I called to reschedule, they deemed me unreliable and declined my application.

Cornell was a welcome contrast to both of these experiences. From the first day I arrived, they were kind, compassionate, and made me feel that I was just as much a part of this process as the recipient.

The first step when applying is filling out extensive paperwork. This includes a full health history for myself and all family members—mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents (some of which can be very difficult to track down!).

Then there is a personality/psychological exam. There are hundreds of true/false questions to be answered. Some of the questions include: “I am troubled by attacks of nausea and vomiting,” “No one seems to understand me,” “I like mechanics magazines,” “I have a good appetite,” “I wake up fresh & rested most mornings,” “I think I would like the work of a librarian,” “I like to read newspaper articles on crime,” “My hands and feet are usually warm enough,” “I have never been in trouble because of my sex behavior,” “A minister can cure disease by praying and putting his hand on your head,” “I am liked by most people who know me.”

After 567 of these, your brain starts to swim a bit.

While they interpret the results, they take you through a series of blood tests to see if you are a carrier for certain genetic diseases. Lastly, potential donors speak with a psychiatrist about why they’re interested in being a donor. The psychiatrist also asks hypothetical questions about the future (i.e., “What would you do if the child wanted to contact you when they turned 18?”). If after all of this they deem you a suitable donor candidate, they walk you through what you can expect as a donor.

Once officially on the donor list with Cornell (and let me reiterate how wonderful it was to work with them), potential recipients can learn all about you. They never know your name or see your handwriting, nor do they see a picture (they will know your physical traits, however). If you want, you can also submit a photo of yourself as a child (totally optional; I opted “yes”).

At that point, it’s a waiting game to see who wants you. I assumed they were picking someone based on the physical and personality qualities the potential parent possessed (who was unable to genetically participate) and wanted in their offspring.

They warned that it could take weeks or months to get matched with a family. But then, by the following week, I had a match.

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Week 18 Twin Sonogram

14 Jan

Matt and I were so excited to get our Week 18 sonogram images a few days ago. Our clinic in Mumbai e-mailed us many images (including head, heart, spine, liver, arms, hands, feet, etc.), along with a quick report summarizing everything.

A few images:

Week 18 twin sonogram new dads on the block

Hello, twins! Check out their two little heads (above). It took me a couple viewings, but then I took a closer look at our baby on the right and saw that you can clearly make out eyes, nose, and lips. AMAZING!

Week 18 twin sonogram arm new dads on the block

Week 18 twin sonogram foot new dads on the block

The accompanying sonogram report is comforting in its very business-as-usual findings:

Dichorionic twin live pregnancy is seen. Twin peak sign and separating membrane is seen. Two placenta are seen along the fundal anterior and posterior wall. No obvious anatomical anomalies are seen. Normal  fetal cardiac activity and fetal biophysical profile in both fetuses.

Altogether, music to expectant dads’ ears.

may 11Our clinic tells us to expect a twin gestation of about 35 weeks, so now that we’re at Week 18, that means we’re officially half-way through. (!) If the babies were to gestate exactly 35 weeks, that would mean delivery on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Of course, they could be born before or after that date, but May 11 is our working, “bookmarked” due date at this point.

117 days and counting.

It’s crazy to think that in four months’ time, those little heads in the images above–sent to us electronically from 7,000 miles and many time zones away–will actually be cradled in our arms and preparing to come home with us to New York City.

“Excited” and “looking forward to it” barely begins to explain it. 😉


4 1/2 Months Left

3 Jan

It’s hard to believe how fast all of this happened.  We are about 4 1/2 months away from being dads, and I feel like we were just discussing our options. There is no manual or guidebook for any of this, and I am constantly asking myself questions about our preparedness and our timeline.  Should we be buying cribs and strollers yet?  When is too soon to pick out some baby clothes? I guess it will all come in time… I mean, with all of the billions of births on the planet, we HAVE to be better prepared than most, right?

On January 11th, we will be receiving our Week 18 sonogram pictures.  The last sonogram was quite a few weeks ago, and except for brief email check-ins with Dr. Patel, we haven’t had much communication with Mumbai.  In theory, the babies will be big enough that we could determine the sex pretty easily.  I was initially under the impression that once we had passed the first trimester and gone beyond India’s pregnancy termination cut-off, we would be able to have the sex of the twins revealed to us.  However, I learned that India has laws specifically prohibiting gender selection or identity, so we will not know the sexes before birth.  After reading about the awful birth rate of females in India compared to males, it makes sense and I fully agree with the laws.  Still, it would help us in planning for the shower and for the first few months of their lives.  Grandma is already crocheting two baby blankets in a pale rainbow of colors.  When they are born, we will still be in Mumbai for a few weeks, and it will give her time to trim them out in an appropriate color.

While we were visiting my family in North Carolina for Christmas, we finished putting together my mom’s application for an Indian visa.  She mailed it off to Washington earlier this week, and it will take a few weeks to process and return.  I’m thrilled that she has agreed to join us in India.  Her first grand-babies appreciate it, too.

Lastly, here’s a video of our holidays that Josh made recently on his iPhone. The video captures it all perfectly. Hope your holidays were great, too.


Happy New Year!

1 Jan


Happy New Year from New Dads on the Block!

This is the year we’ll become dads together.

We’re thrilled, and so grateful.


Josh & Matt