Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something




The twins are napping, and for once, the house is so quiet I can hear the wind howling outside.

There are so many things to do. Laundry that needs to be started, floors that need to be mopped, toys that need to be picked up. Phone calls to be made, taxes to be started, dogs to be brushed/washed/walked or hell, even touched or spoken to with more than a “go lay down” when I nearly trip over them preparing lunch. I should make a budget, I should clean out the car (hey! I did one!), I should clean out the fridge, make a grocery list. Seriously, I could write an entire blog post on the things that are left undone.

Instead I sit here, staring at a blinking cursor.

Even when we went through infertility the thought of toddlers scared me. I wanted a baby. I was, in a way, afraid of toddlers. Now that I didn’t want toddlers, I was just unsure of how I would handle it. I can have a short fuse and very little patience if I’m in the wrong kind of mood. I really dislike HATE whining. I understand why it happens; the twins  are at an age where they want to exert more independence but don’t quite have the words to communicate that, so they cry. This morning, Abby threw a tantrum after she slipped and fell during a tantrum she was throwing because I took a long round peg out of her mouth so she wouldn’t hurt herself. Then, I laughed.


When she cried again for the 82738972348th time this morning, I had to take a deep breath.

I should pay more attention to them. I should read to them more.I should spend less time on this computer. I should make cutesy little crafts for them even though I am NOT a crafty person. I should be better at managing all of this. I should be constantly posting about how much I love my kids, all the time, especially after what we went through to have them. I should not feel a twinge of annoyance when they wake from a nap an hour early.

I should be honest and admit it isn’t always easy. Actually, I’m not even sure its the whining and crying that bothers me all that much. When other kids constantly whine and cry yes, I get annoyed, and sometimes when mine do I get annoyed, but really what I find I feel is guilt. Like I should be teaching them more words or somehow know how to stop it. But they are almost 2, they are going to have tantrums. I get that, logically, but emotionally I don’t always.

Sometimes I feel like life is testing me, and I have absolutely no idea how I am doing.

10 Thoughts Thursday – The One Liner Edition

1. It has seriously, seriously been difficult for me to come up with a cohesive, thoughtful post lately that doesn’t already involve some theme (twins monthly updates, marathon training recaps etc) because I seem to have that little brainpower left.

2. What do you call a bear without teeth? A gummy bear.

3. Is it just me, or does it always seem like there are 8 billion things to do and only 10 minutes in which to get them all done?

4. What happens to a frog’s car when its breaks down? It gets “toad” away.

5. I do not handle change well.

6. How do astronomers organize a party? They planet.

7. My confidence in my skills, all around, has been lacking lately.

8. A drunk walks into a bar with jumper cables around his neck. The bartender says, “You can stay but don’t try to start anything.”

9. I truly believe that laughter can assuage almost anything, which is why I tend to be sarcastic, crack jokes, and make every other thought something silly.

10. Two men broke into a drugstore and stole all the Viagra. The police put out an alert to be on the lookout for the two hardened criminals.


(I’m in) Double Trouble

One of my Speech Therapy kiddos was joined by his ABA therapist during his session yesterday. She, like many others, react to the fact that I have twins with a bit of shock. Though this time I didn’t get a comment as I’m carrying two toddlers out of daycare about how I have my hands full (literally – hold the door for me please). Instead, she told me she just one her own nine months ago, and to her, twin moms are like superheroes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the whole superhero thing, but as nervous as I was about how I’d balance twins, I’ve felt pretty pleased about the way I’ve handled things in general. Felt is the key word here. As we quickly approach the dreaded “terrible twos” and “threes that are way worse than twos”, I suddenly feel ill equipped.  I work with 2 and 3 year olds daily, dole out speech, language and tantrum advice often but more often than not feel completely lost as to what is the best was to go about the more difficult aspects of toddlerhood.

One of my two year olds yesterday decided that as he was leaving his therapy session would be THE BEST time to throw himself on the ground screaming. I see this daily of course so it doesn’t bother me, but poor mom was embarrassed and forced to scoop him off the floor with his voice still ringing in all of our ears.

Suddenly, I thought about the time in the not so distant future, when the two of them will undoubtedly decide that the middle of Target is an AWESOME time to throw a fit TOGETHER, and YES I REALIZE I’M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF BUT OMFG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!?!!?


Thoughts On the Mat

I pulled out my trusty yoga mat yesterday. I’ve been practicing once a week regularly since my injury and have only recently become comfortable enough with the routines (I use you tube videos) and strong enough to really appreciate the benefits of many of the poses.

A competitive person by nature (shock, I know), when I practiced yoga in college I was always trying to be able to do what the person next to me was doing. A few *cough* years later, I can finally appreciate the idea of practicing only for my own benefit without worrying where others are in their own practice. A few weeks ago I finally managed a headstand with both feet up in the air, but it was still several more weeks before I wasn’t fighting my weak abs and really understood why people want to “get upside down”.

I’m proud that I’ve come this far, but I still have a consistent, nagging battle that I fight, both on the mat and off. In all the classes I have taken (in person and on you tube), the instructor often talks about the importance of being present on the mat. That means simply being where you are, right then, and not worrying or thinking about anything else. I constantly have a million things running through my mind. No matter what I’m doing, I’m thinking about what needs to be done, what is next on the list, what has been left undone. I’m checking my text messages and my emails. I’m thinking of dirty dishes, the next days work schedule, the next mornings’ workout, calculating how much time I have before nap is over so I can complete said to do list.

I can write an entire blog about thoughts on the mat because I am horrible about keeping my mind from wandering. What I’d really like is to be able to title my blog post “Thoughts On the Mat” and simply leave the body blank. And it’s not just in yoga that I have this issue, it’s with the twins, with my husband, with my friends, at work, in bed when I should be sleeping. Every minute of every day.

Every once in awhile I’m able to really focus on the music, concentrate on my breathing, and put all of my energy into my pose. For those few seconds, I am calm, relaxed and, at the risk of sounding corny, zen.

I wonder how many things I am missing. How many little moments with the twins I let slip away or openings for a heart to heart with Bryan I let slide by. I’m afraid I’m going to spend all my time in the future, and wake up one morning and realize I’ve missed my life.

Anyone out there good at staying present?

Why There Probably Won’t Be a Number Three

I got an interesting, out of the blue request the other day.

The marketing department from the fertility clinic both called and wrote me an email, saying Channel 2 was interested in doing a news story on a patient who had taken Letrozole as part of their fertility treatment. Would I be interested in participating in this interview?

Honestly, at first I didn’t recall taking Letrozole, but once I googled it realized it was just the technical name for Femara, one of the meds I was given to take for our IUI cycle. The crappy hooray we have enough sperm to try an IUI canceled IUI cycle. The point of the interview, though (if I understood correctly) was to talk about how there is a smaller chance of multiple eggs and side effects (vs. using Clomid which I have not ever taken) and not whether it was part of a successful pregnancy, so I agreed.

I met with a photographer today who admittedly didn’t have much background on the subject of either infertility or the medication. I had no knowledge of what kind of questions they would ask, so we were both kind of winging it. He seemed confused as to why they would interview someone who had used it during a cancelled cycle and what exactly a cancelled cycle meant while I awkwardly stood in front of a camera trying to explain that the med had done what it was supposed to do and that the fact that my cycle was canceled had nothing to do with it. (This was all while trying to describe it to someone who had no idea what I was talking about.)*

As part of the interview, he asked me how it felt to have a successful cycle and how it felt to have a twins as a result (I am paraphrasing) and I meant every word when I said that it was an emotionally and financially taxing time, but that it was absolutely worth it and I would do it all over again.

I was kind of lying.

Right up there with my divorce, infertility was one of the most difficult things I’ve endured. I’ve written several posts before about how hard it is on ALL of your relationships, your emotions and even your sense of self. Even now as a mom it creeps in through feelings of guilt when I find myself annoyed over the 2nd middle of the night wake up.

Bryan sometimes expresses interest in having more, and while I watch some friends’ bellies grow, attend baby showers and coo over their newborn pictures I sometimes, briefly, think that it would be cool to experience again. For Abby and Miles, I would absolutely 100% relive every bad day and cry every tear. I would do it all over again, for THEM. But not for any more.

I have absolutely no interest in meds, injections, monitoring appointments and blood tests. No more appointments. No more transfers. No more anxiety.

I am just fine with two.

*I’m sure they will piece something together thanks to the magic of editing, unless they just decide to cut it altogether. Should I get word it is airing I will try to record and post it 🙂



On Becoming Flexible

I can be a fairly inflexible person, both literally and figuratively. I like to have a plan, and once I make said plan I want to follow said plan (as a matter of fact, I just ordered a planner). If someone or something puts a dent in my plan I don’t always cope well. My muscles it seems are much like my plans – fairly inflexible. It takes some time to work the kinks out. Motherhood has helped some since infants tend to not give two sh*ts about plans, but that doesn’t mean I still haven’t attempted to dictate feeding and nap times down to the minute.

After I injured my back/hip a few months ago one of the first things the chiropractor told me was that I was going to have to start incorporating more cross training into my exercise routine. I took a weekly yoga class in college that I really enjoyed but fell out of the habit once I graduated. The last thing I want to do is risk re-injury so about a month ago I re-introduced weekly yoga practice.

Power Yoga has always been my class of choice. I enjoy and benefit from the stretching and breathing but if I’m going to exercise prefer to participate in something that is going to increase my heart rate. (Plus its the class I took in college so its more what I’m used to.) After brushing the dust bunnies and dog hair off of the yoga mat that’s been sitting in my downstairs closet for years (and coughing and sneezing a few times), I rolled it out and scrolled through my You Tube video options.

My first attempt was…..interesting. While my imagination had me mastering the crow (or crane) pose the reality was after two chaturanga’s my arms were shaking like leaves. The good news was I found I enjoyed it as much if not more than before. The bad news is it showed me just how stiff and weak much of my body really is. Because not only did I have to hang out in childs pose during several plank to chaturanga transitions, for the next two days? I was SORE. In fact, when I returned to the chiropractor two days later with that report, he laughed at me (obviously the man has never done yoga).

Two weeks ago, Bryan lost his job. My first reaction was, like usual, to panic. Walking around in a ball of anxiety I worried about our finances. To worry and prepare some makes sense but the reality is we are not likely to go broke during this temporary bout of unemployment. Money is something I tend fret about, often unnecessarily.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), I found myself able to let go of some of these over the top worries each week while on my mat. I even found myself saying “well isn’t that what savings is for?”. As someone who wants to put money into savings and NEVER EVER TOUCH IT, this was a big forward step. In addition to that, I found myself become stronger and more flexible physically even with only a months worth of weekly yoga “classes”. Last week I was able to hold the crow pose for a few seconds and do several plank to chaturanga transitions without fatiguing. It takes less and less time to warm up and I’m able to bend and twist further into poses.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to change my thought processes to be more flexible quite as quickly, but I try when I start fretting to bring myself back to reality, or to put it off until the next time I pull out the (now non dust covered) mat. The injury that frustrated me to no end at first is working its way into something positive. Without it, my mat would likely continue to be a home for spiders (ew).

(On a somewhat related note, I’m tweaking my New Years Resolutions. Since running 6 half marathons this year is likely not possible, my new goal is to be able to enter, exit and hold a forearm balance in a controlled manner. Stay tuned for updates on this :))

Half Marathon Training Run 1: Why Long Runs Save My Sanity

Most of the time I come off as a blunt, sarcastic, don’t-care-what-you-think person. The truth is, though, I can be pretty thin skinned and sensitive. I can take everything to heart. I’m extra hard on myself. I worry needlessly about what others think. Little things start to become big things and I obsess over little details or mistakes. I can feel like I’ve failed at all the things. Like it or not, this has been a part of who I am for many years, and I didn’t always deal with it well because I didn’t have a healthy coping mechanism. I have toughened up over the years and can usually catch myself before any major spiraling happens, but I spent much of high school and college depressed. Then one day (very long story short), feeling completely overwhelmed with stress and emotion, I ran out of my dorm. I ran down the street until I felt like I could not breathe. I made it probably a quarter of a mile before my lungs felt like they might explode, but the point was I didn’t feel as overwhelmed anymore. I had an outlet.

Fertile or infertile, motherhood is a challenge. My emotions have been a little up and down the last few weeks. The babies are going through a lot of developmental changes right now. We’ve hardly followed a schedule for the last 2-3 weeks. They are waking sometimes several times a night (one of the main signs of these Wonder Weeks leaps is less sleep). They are crankier. Its silly, but difficult not to sometimes take the extra crying as a sign I am not doing something right. I’m not sure how to handle all of these new things and still make sure they are fed, happy and well rested. I question working because of its impact on “the schedule”. I obsess over feeding times, nap times, bed times and wake times. Sometimes so much so that I am missing the babies, and by that I mean their giggles, babbles and rolls. Their faces as they eat bananas for the first time. The smile they give me when I go in the room to wake them up. I’m realizing that one day I’m going to wake up and realize that I’ve missed it all. I swore up and down that I would appreciate these miracles I have been given, and while I realize that you simply cannot appreciate EVERY moment, I also realize I am missing too much over these obsessions.

Yesterday I went for my first long run post super lame toe injury. Running has this way of taking my brain out of its obsessions and back more into reality. As the miles add up the fog clears, the tendency to react in raw emotion lessens, and I can really think logically through the issues. The truth is I personally believe schedules are important, but realistically, what schedule is the EXACT same day to day? Within these schedules we need a certain amount of flexibility – something I have been really lacking recently. And not just in reference to the babies and schedules.

I’d been looking forward to this run all week. I didn’t initially take it well when it was postponed one day, and then two. When I made it out the door, I felt like I was ready to take it on full force. Then, I got a stomach cramp. A stomach cramp that lasted 2.5 miles. For a moment it sucked the excitement of the run out of me but I instinctually pushed through knowing it wasn’t going to last forever. Low and behold, it didn’t. I took it easy, took short breaks when needed. I was able to pick up speed for the second half, and finished feeling triumphant. I hardly remembered the cramp happened at all.

I know there will continue to be tough times and constant changes in schedulesDeep down, I also know they won’t last forever and it won’t be the end of the world. Sometimes, though, I really need that reminder.

And when I do, I’ll go for a run.

Honest Thoughts on Motherhood (so far)

Disclaimer – this post contains my personal thoughts and experience with motherhood so far  -both good and bad. I in no way intend to make it sound as if I am complaining – however,  if you think this post may be a trigger to you you  may want to skip over it.

While lost in the depths of infertility, when I heard the phrase “motherhood is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences” I admit I sometimes found myself sighing at the “hardest” part, swearing I would take every cry, shit and vomit in stride. I would be appreciative of the opportunity to simply be a mother. It is all I ever wanted, after all. I’m finding this to be both true and false. (And I do think I get a bit of extra leeway considering I’m mothering not one but two. Seriously, cut me a little slack)

I attribute both  my older age and experience with infertility for a higher level of patience. Part of it is the nature of twin-dom too, I think. I can only care for one baby at a time which means sometimes the other is going to cry. Until I get these milk issues sorted out, I can only feed one at a time which means sometimes one is going to wake up early and be mad. I get that getting out of the house takes an extra 20 minutes and that unless I feel like feeding in public my outings are limited to 2 hours tops- and that’s only if someone doesn’t decide to explosive poo through both their worn and back up outfit. I feel like I take all of this with as much stride as a woman with two babies possibly could. I truly believe that infertility makes mothering two babies easier. Not easy, mind you, easi-er.  As someone who worked both as a nanny and with babies and toddlers for the past few years I thought I understood that diaper rash happens, some babies spit up more than others, sometimes babies fuss even when you’ve checked everything off the list (diaper, food, temperature) etc. Some feeds are just going to suck. I expected that.

What I didn’t expect was that despite all of this knowledge, I was going to question my judgement anyway.

Let me just come out and say this outright: breastfeeding is hard. People told me that and I get it now. Its (so far) more often stressful than completely successful. My initial worry that I wouldn’t make enough milk for two babies turned out to be hysterical because I actually have the complete opposite problem: I seem to make too much, which results in the whole squirting the baby in the face problem I’ve joked about before (and do at times find genuinely funny). But it also causes other issues: it makes Miles gassy, it makes Abby spit up because it comes out so forcefully and the fullness often makes me ridiculously uncomfortable. Sometime in the middle of the night when I’m already tired, the thought of listening to my poor baby cry or cough just seems overwhelming.

Logically, both babies are healthy. Per the doctor, both are gaining weight appropriately. Per the millions of pages I’ve read (and my own professional knowledge) mild reflux is not a concern as long as babies are gaining and it doesn’t appear to cause lots of crying or pain. Squirming from gas could just as easily be from an immature digestive system as my supply issue. From what I’m told my supply should resolve itself sometime within the next month or two. Poor Abby’s sore bum is likely due to the ridiculous number of times they poop and is probably not due to some milk allergy. Sometimes lots of background, research and ability to find an answer at your fingertips is a bad thing. Logically, I understand all of this. Professionally I’d explain this to a concerned parent and tell them not to worry.

Emotionally, I tell myself not to expect the mother of the year award anytime soon. I wonder if I really am making the right decisions, if the reason why someone is crying is because of something I did or didn’t do. Because of something I should have known.

Logically, I understand that I’m doing the best I can with what I know. That it is and is going to be a lot of trial and error. That sometimes I’m going to mis judge hunger cues, or mix them up with “I need changed” cues or simply “I’m mad for no apparent reason” cues. That the babies are growing and gaining so obviously I have to be doing something right.

Emotionally sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out for this.

Its funny sometimes how you can understand something logically but the emotion tied to it is the complete opposite.

I look at these babies and feel simultaneously blessed and unworthy. I think I struggle a little more with my infertility history because I understand what it feels like to do nothing but wish for the problems I’m currently writing about. Because for some reason I feel like this means I shouldn’t ever be frustrated, confused or feel like I could use some support. Which is just plain silly, but doesn’t stop me from feeling that way.

I feel so happy to have the chance to be a mom – it really IS all I wanted. I tell Bryan often how amazing these babies are, how cute they are, how lucky I feel. Sometimes though, I feel like I am failing at the most important job I’ll ever have.

Welcome to motherhood.

Freaky Friday (and Being Kind to Myself)

I have not been super consistent with this plan to participate in Kindness Friday, and even though I’m naturally a couple days late I’m taking the better late than never approach.

In being so focused on reaching each milestone in this pregnancy, I seem to have forgotten to acknowledge something.

We are officially in the home stretch.

As in, we will have babies in 23 days or less.

I had planned to try to continue working full time until the end of April, however the physical stress of carrying 10lbs (or what I assume is 10lbs at this point) of baby  began to take a toll on my back and I was forced to stop a week early. Once I hit a point where I needed to leave work early twice in one week I knew it was time to stop. At my appt on Thursday I requested a doc note allowing me to begin maternity leave. Thankfully it was granted without an issue. I probably technically could have stopped that day but the OCD in me wanted to finish out an entire week and end on a Friday. (Plus I only work  a half day on Friday anyway)

Bryan pointed out that I seemed a bit crabby Friday morning and while I hadn’t felt particularly different, it was in the car on the way to work that I mentally acknowledged he may be right. The decision to stop working had been made somewhat short notice and suddenly it hit me that I was on my way to work for the last time. Well, I’m going back part time after the babies are here, so not the last time forever, but suddenly it hit me that

Bryan and I have a brief conversation daily about that, usually consisting of me saying we are going to have two babies soon and commenting on how challenging its going to be, Bryan responding “piece of cake” and my asking if he really has any idea what we are in for. He laughs, swears he does, and then we move on.

Friday, though, it really hit me. My usual work routine? Done. Really everything about usual is beginning to turn into a different usual, and even though this is what we had fought for for three long years, I’ll admit that for just a few moments I started to panic – mostly about  my abilities to care for TWO babies simultaneously. In those moments I was not very kind to myself.

I understand that its natural to go through periods where one questions her ability to be a good mother. I had just been fairly confident about it (while admitting to myself that it was indeed going to be difficult and I would likely have periods where I felt like a failure) up until then. It has taken quite a few moments of refocusing in the last few days to not allow myself to fall into a tailspin of “WTF am I doing I have no idea what I’m doing what the hell was I thinking?” I’m using this blog post to serve as a reminder:

Motherhood is going to be hard.

But I can do it.

One day at a time. I worked as a nanny for a time. I work with kids. I can and will figure this out. I am absolutely capable of caring for two babies, and believe, at least in this case that if I couldn’t handle it, I wouldn’t have been blessed with two. Do I have any idea what I’m doing? A little, but not much. But who does?

I can do this.

And on the plus side, being home from work gives me time to brainstorm a post or two for National Infertility Awareness Week.

Also, if you are here from ICLW, welcome! We are currently expecting twins after IVF and 3 years of infertility sometime in the next 23 days. Feel free to visit the pages on our IVF cycle, or even pregnancy pics if you’re feeling up to it. There is also a page on our infertility history.

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