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Shower Prep, Daddy Reading, and . . . Onesie Designing?

8 Mar

“Another one came today.”

“Another box?” I asked.

“Yep,” Matt said. “A big one. I can’t believe such little people are going to need such large things.”

When I got home, I saw exactly what Matt meant. Sitting in the corner of the living room sat yet another giant box, piled with several others, all of varying sizes, most quite sizeable. We’d registered on Amazon (where we heard prices were best), and at Babies ‘R Us (where the employees screeched and cooed made a huge fuss over us when we registered, which was adorable). Weeks before the shower the gifts were already piling up.

Matt’s mom and several friends had secretly started planning our baby shower months ago, and we didn’t find out until they recently had to clear a date with us. (I’ve been traveling so much for work that they wanted to make sure I’d actually be in town for the big day.) Other than the date, the shower is a complete surprise. All the details are secret. We’ve been instructed only to be in a certain place at a certain time, and the rest will be revealed to us as it unfolds.

As each box arrives, and I imagine what might be inside, I can’t help thinking the same thing: “This might be the infant swing that our babies use”; “These might be the blankets we swaddle our babies in when they first get home”; “This box might hold the tub that we bathe our babies in.” I know it all probably sounds very obvious, but it also feels kind of momentous as each item arrives.

Everything is feeling very, very real.

parents magazine cover new dads on the blockAlso, just a couple weeks ago, our first issue of Parents magazine arrived. That was a crazy moment for me, because five years ago I was actually on staff at Parents, and wrote for both the magazine and their blog. I was a bachelor at the time, living the single life in Manhattan, and writing for this magazine for families. And now here I am, a few years later, a married subscriber with babies on the way.

While on all these recently work trips–I’m trying to squeeze in a lot of them before the kids get here–I’ve tried to mix in a little fun. One of the trips brought me near my friends Alisha and Cam in the Midwest. I wrapped up work on a Friday and then headed to their house for a weekend of hanging out and catching up, and they surprised me on the first night with a very cool craft project.

On Alisha and Cam’s dining room table sat several onesies, fabric markers and washable puff paints, and stencils. At first I didn’t quite connect what was going on.

making onesie infant baby fabric marker puff paint craft“I’m going to pour us all drinks,” Alisha said, “and then we’re going to make some awesome handmade onesies together.”

It was hilarious. And brilliant.

As you can probably imagine, the designs got only more creative as we finished our first drinks and started on the next round.

After a great weekend with Alisha and Cam, it was back to work for me. I had a few days in New York with Matt, and then I was on the road again.

Just last week, as a work trip wrapped up, I got the news that my 90-year-old grandma in Minnesota was in the ICU with pneumonia. I immediately changed my flight plans and headed to Minneapolis. Considering her age and health, and knowing that the babies are coming soon and who knew when I’d get to go home again, it seemed like the best thing to do. I’m really glad I got to be there for a few days with my grandma (who, luckily, got moved to regular care as her health stabilized). Matt’s grandma, who was such a cool lady, passed away last year as we were starting the surrogacy process, and it’s been hard to say goodbye to one generation as we prepare for the next one. It’s a big mix of emotions.

Combining all that with everything going on at our jobs, in conjunction with my work travel, and all the baby prep going on, things have been a little hectic. We’re trying to still take time to go see movies and sleep in a little bit on weekends, recognizing that in about nine short weeks all of that is going to be ancient history for us for a while.

I have no doubt, however, that it’ll be worth it. 🙂


P.S. For more photos from our lives, feel free to follow us on Instagram @joshcentral.

P.P.S. If you’re wondering how our final vacation before babies went, you can join us for a few minutes of it here.

10 Weeks Left!

2 Mar

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but there isn’t much to share at this point.  Our surrogate’s health reports have all come back perfectly normal, great BP, no bleeding issues, no heart abnormalities, and a total weight gain of 8.8 pounds in the last 25 weeks.  two-cauliflower-thumb17920959The fruit tracker blogs say that our babies are the size of two cauliflower… I can’t imagine how the surrogate feels about that.  Most twins are born around 35-36 weeks, so we are beginning to make our preparations for the trip back to Mumbai.  Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and support as we double the size of our family in a few short weeks!


Three Months To Go

11 Feb

For years now I’ve been saying I wanted to turn 30 out of the country. So, hello from the British Virgin Islands!

Matt and I are here on our final vacation before the twins arrive, celebrating my birthday with friends, and enjoying our last adult vacation before it’s all trips to Disney World and “Are we there yet?” coming simultaneously from two little voices in the back seat. 😉

Below are a few photos of the British Virgin Islands, taken by my best friend, Josh K.

bvi 01

bvi 02

bvi 03

bvi 06

bvi 04

bvi 05

We’re headed back to NYC (and winter) tomorrow. It’s hard to leave, to say the least.

It was a great way to ring in a big birthday–with my husband and friends, surrounded by white sand and blue-turquoise ocean–and toast to our final pre-kids vacation.

The twins are due three months from today. 🙂


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. 🙂


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

Week Fourteen Update

17 Dec

As of this weekend, our twins are fourteen weeks along.

From what we’ve read, that means the babies are likely about 3.5-4” each, crown-to-rump-length, and each probably weigh about two ounces.

The twins are now about the size of oranges. I’m sure this makes Matt particularly happy this week, as he’s a Syracuse alum. (Their mascot is an orange.) In addition:

  • two oranges“Your babies can now squint, frown, grimace, and possibly suck their thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, facial muscles are getting a workout as their tiny features form one expression after another. Kidneys are producing urine, which releases into the amniotic fluid — a process that continues up until birth. They can grasp, too.” (source)
  • “The liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it’s doing its job right — and the spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though [our gestational surrogate] can’t feel their tiny punches and kicks yet, their little hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.” (source)
  • “Now the size of your clenched fist, your babies are more fluid in their movements, so they’re no longer doing the jerk every time they reposition arms and legs. Other developments this week include a roof of their own (inside the mouth, that is) as well as intestinal activity: their intestines are producing meconium (which is the waste that will make up first bowel movements after birth).” (source)

Since our clinic tells us to expect about 35 weeks for twin gestation, we’re now about 40% of the way through the pregnancy.

It’s going so fast!


It’s Starting To Feel Very Real….

14 Dec

Getting the sonograms of the twins has been wonderful. Reading the online resources that tell you how big your babies are in the terms of fresh produce–the size of raspberries in early November, and the size of lemons as of last weekend–has been fun, too. Crossing the line into the second trimester was a big moment as well, relieving some of our worries.

But another big moment happened last week, and it wasn’t one I’d expected.

photo(2)I was on the phone with my best friend, Josh K, when I saw the Amazon box sitting on our table. As I opened the box, I felt my pulse pick up. On the recommendation of just about everyone we know with kids, we ordered What To Expect The First Year by Heidi Murkoff, and now I held it in my hands–something tangible, something right before my eyes.

I knew it’d be our go-to resource as we raised our twins for the first twelve months of their lives. Our babies, I thought to myselfthe ones coming in just five months. Adrenaline pumped through my chest and, just as unexpectedly, I got a little teary.

“Are you alright?” Josh K asked me, still on the line.

“I am,” I said.

And I was. Better than alright, in fact. But I also felt a little twinge, a little change.

More and more, I was starting to feel like a daddy. Daddy-to-be, perhaps, but daddy nonetheless.