Journey To the Finish Line

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



Dear Babies

Dear Babies,

Tomorrow is your eviction birth day. I say eviction because it sounds funny but in reality am still so glad we made it to full term…and some beyond! To be honest I’m not sure the reality has sunk in yet. I can’t believe  that you will both be here in less than 24 hours. That we will be holding, feeding (well I’ll be attempting feeding) and snuggling the both of you. That you’ll have a line of family and friends waiting to visit you. That today is the last day it will feel like aliens in my tummy. The last day of hiccups. The last day watching my stomach move. Even this morning I looked at my reflection in the mirror with my big belly where you are both living, and stared at it in wonder for awhile.

I get asked all the time if I/we are ready. Even after 3 years of infertility I can’t definitively answer that question. As soon to be new parents we only know whats in store in theory. I’m sure there will be thousands of both challenges and rewards to come parenting twins. The reality is that we’re as ready as we’re gonna be – and I think that is ok.

I can tell you both a few things for sure. I can tell you that I’ve dreamt about your birth day for the last 3 years. I’ve imagined first kisses, first cries, first snuggles with daddy. I’ve imagined comforting you both when you cry, and I’ve imagined crying with you when I can’t figure out WHY you’re both crying. (Hey I’m a realist here) I’ve imagined laughing when I’ve been peed on for the 10th time in one day. Or maybe crying. I guess it just depends on how that day went otherwise. I’ve imagined first smiles. And because I’m a total nerd, I’ve imagined our first jogging expedition as the three of us, hoping you’ll both enjoy it as much as I do. I’ve imagined Bryan as a daddy – taking care of you, playing with you, taking you both on outings. I’ve imagined both of your personalities and wonder who will be most like me and who will be most like Bryan.  Even though I’m admittedly nervous I imagine all of that and deep down I know that even though we’ll often feel overwhelmed we will be ok. We will be a family.

Tomorrow marks what will probably be the most life changing day the both of us will ever experience. We can’t wait to meet the both of you – our two children who have been present and living in our hearts for the past 3+ years. The ones who made the difficult journey worthwhile. The ones that are absolutely worth the wait.

See you tomorrow.


Mommy (and Daddy)



Nearing the Finish Line

When I first started this blog I sat for a long time trying to figure out an appropriate name, particularly because the point was to blog both about the marathon I was training for and the long road down infertility lane.

A race ends when you cross the finish line.  Our journey through the murkiness of infertility would be over when we crossed the finish line: bringing home a baby. Over the years I’ve learned that neither is quite that simple. Yes,  a race is over when  you cross the finish line but there is always more to learn and do to do better on the next one. Similarly, there is no real finish line to infertility – baby in the end or not. It’s something that stays with you always.

Four days – almost exactly- from now, we will meet our babies. The ones that, from start to finish, we have waited almost 4 years to meet. It feels very surreal. It also means the end, or the finish line, of the pregnancy – something I’ve found I have very mixed feelings about.

Finding out we were expecting twins I went into this knowing there is a good chance this will be my only pregnancy and in a way this makes me sad. Perhaps later down the road we will decide to try again, but for now two seems a good number and I in no way shape or form desire going through the ups and downs of the treatment process again – available frozen embryos or not. I actually think I’d like to donate them, but that’s a topic for another day.

My pregnancy, particularly for a twin pregnancy has been…..well….pretty easy. Aside from the few partially self induced scares surrounding all the Braxton Hicks contractions, it has been pretty free of complications and all in all mild discomfort. This isn’t to say I’ve enjoyed EVERY second, for example:

I won’t miss purchasing witch hazel wipes and other related products. Though I did feel less embarrassed about it given the belly.

I won’t miss taking a daily pill to keep me from vomiting thanks to reflux, and I won’t miss having to drink Miralax every morning to keep my digestive system moving.

I won’t miss hitting everything with my stomach. Well maybe a little – because it is kinda funny.

I won’t miss not being able to find a comfortable position to sleep in for more than 30-60 minutes. Though my sleep is soon to be interrupted for a totally different reason.

I won’t miss not being able to exercise.

I say that knowing that many of you out there might be reading this and thinking you’d give your left foot for vomit and an inability to sleep. I get that because I’ve thought it too. I want it to be understood that this list is not meant as a list of complaints. I always have and continue to feel amazed and blessed that I was able to experience it at all. Heck I may even find that I DO miss it a little. I’m just saying that I’m sorry but NO journey comes without some discomfort, regardless of what it is.

I’m pretty sure though, that when I think back on this pregnancy I won’t be thinking of the above list much anyway. I’ll be thinking of all the belly dance parties, watching it grow while wondering how it could possibly get any bigger (and it always did), the ultrasounds to check growth, hearing the heartbeats. I’ll be thinking about all the compliments I’ve received about how cute I look and how I don’t look pregnant from behind. I’ll be thinking about Bryan talking to my belly at night before bedtime telling the babies how excited he is to meet them. I’ll be thinking about the weekly pictures we took, the beautiful maternity photos, the fabulous baby showers and sharing the news, story and journey with everyone along the way.

I am very excited to meet these babies in 4 days, but a part of me will grieve the end of the pregnancy a little. I’m determined to enjoy these last 4 days as a human incubator (albeit a huge one) as much as possible. To stop and really feel when they move, take a few more pictures, eat a few more desserts. Like nearing the end of the marathon where the finish line is starting to come into view I feel simultaneously excited and sad. Excited to see the finish because it means all the determination paid off….and because everything hurts. Sad because its the end of another journey.

It is bittersweet. With races I sometimes look at the medals and remember them fondly. The same to be with pictures and memories of this pregnancy. The good thing, though, is that in both cases – there is still so much more to come. This journey may be ending, but a new one is about to begin.

Being Thumped (22 weeks)

Holy cow time is flying

The Good

  • Movement is definitely more frequent now – many times a day, and about half the time you can feel it from the outside. I always joke with Bryan that “someone thumped me” because that’s kinda what it feels like. I notice it most when laying down or after I eat.
  • 2 weeks to viability!
  • Not peeing quite as much. I’m lucking out at once a night right now, strangely always at about 2 am.
  • It looks like my gain 24 pounds by 24 weeks goal is totally gonna happen
  • Scheduling maternity pictures!
  • Registries are started – not complete but started.
  • Beginning to plan the nursery
  • It looks like I may be able to return to work part instead of full time after maternity leave. Its not set in stone yet but this makes me very excited.

The Bad

  • The cough is back again-the cough that won’t go away. I got a flu shot last week and promptly caught a head cold. The head cold caused (naturally) congestion, which caused a cough that I now again can’t get rid of. I’m gonna try a breathing treatment this time and hope it helps so I don’t have to take steroids again. It does beat the flu, though.

The Weird and Amusing

  • Dude, my underwear doesn’t fit right. I was prepared for the pants and shirts, but underwear? Bah. It makes sense I just totally didn’t think about it.
  • So, because I’m a little on the paranoid side there have been a few days where I swore my ankles were swelling. I realize that some swelling is normal. But after closer inspection I finally realized that my ankles aren’t swelling – the 23 pds of extra weight is simply making them slightly fatter. A strangely relieving but also disturbing realization.
  • In a similar respect – so are my fingers.
  • My husband tells me that I look the same except for the belly. He’s totally lying but I appreciate the gesture anyway.
  • Its going to be time to start car shopping soon. I want an SUV. Hubby wants a minivan (totally backwards right?). As a compromise for not taking a job out of state I gave in to the minivan. However, I am in no way, shape or form excited about said minivan shopping.

As always, updated picture at Bubbles and Squishy

The Grandfather Passage

The Grandfather Passage is a reading passage sometimes used in the field of Speech Therapy, usually with adults. It doesn’t make a ton of sense as a story when read line by line, but is used to assess things like speech fluency and voice. The first line begins “you wish to know all about my grandfather….”

Trips to my grandparents were fairly frequent when I was little. I called them Pap and Precious. Apparently I started calling her precious because she would comment on something I did or said that was precious and so I called her that once and the name stuck. I can’t remember why Pap was Pap but pretty much everyone called him that. When we visited he and I would often take walks to get the newspaper and I’d sometimes get candy from Warfield’s, the local store. I really enjoyed those walks. That stopped at some point, I assume because I was probably too cool for that. Then of course as I got older we didn’t visit as much, particularly during college and once I had moved to South Carolina.

During our trip to Ohio at Christmas we traveled to Pennsylvania to visit him at the nursing home. We did the same the year before, and Bryan was able to meet him and my aunt for the first time. Wheelchair bound and suffering from dementia  but still able to able to converse, still mostly cognizant. Pap and I fancyChristmas 2011

I’ve said before that it’s crazy what difference a year can make. After a bout of aspiration pneumonia which landed him in the hospital, he had just returned to the home a few days before. He knew about the pregnancy and I had shared the news of the sexes with my aunt during his hospital stay, and he declared their names should be Isadore and Isabel.  Unfortunately the day we visited he was not very responsive and I wasn’t sure at first if he even knew who I was. He hadn’t eaten much and was running a fever. At one point, though, he looked over at me and pointed at my belly. He knew. It made me sad that he probably wouldn’t ever get to meet them in person, as we expected this would be his last Christmas.

As the days went on his health continued to decline and eventually two or three days ago  he stopped eating.  Bryan and I are not regular pray-ers, but we did that night for him, my aunt, my dad, and the family in general.

When my phone rang this morning and read “Dad” on the screen, we knew. He had passed about 7 this morning. It was time. His passage from earth was expected, but all the same hard to hear.

As I left for my walk later this morning I thought of the ones we used to take together. Today’s walk was me, the dogs, my IPOD and Pap….with the periodic shout at the dog to stop pulling me.

We miss you down here, but know you are happy up there. Now, you can walk with me and the babies every morning. Pap kiss

A Little Late (19 weeks)

The Good

  • Babies are the size of mangoes. I like  mangoes.
  • Movement is still inconsistent, though a bit more frequently, but you can DEFINITELY hear it on the doppler.
  • Starting to actually think about things like baby showers and nursery themes  (debating between owls and ocean – would fit with Bubbles and Squishy!)
  • Despite the extra 16-17 pds of weight, I don’t feel any slower…..yet.
  • Still sleeping pretty well!

The Bad

  • As the anatomy scan gets closer, I get more nervous. Since we didn’t have any first trimester screening done, naturally I’m afraid something is going to be wrong. I’m also nervous about pre term labor and pre-eclampsia, even though neither are usually a worry at this point. I guess if I don’t have something to worry about I’m just not sure what to do with myself.
  • A bout of random barfing a couple of nights ago – I’m still not sure what caused it, but it was coming out my nose. GROSS. Also, the lack of appetite following that made me lose a pound. Fail.

The Weird and Amusing

  • OMG I just keep getting bigger! (and yes, I realize that is what’s supposed to happen)
  • Buttering up my stomach every morning in hopes of warding off stretch marks, but if that doesn’t work it at least helps the itching.
  • Keeping track of my pee tally at work. Most so far (in a 9 hour day): 9 – so roughly once an hour. Thankfully not every day constitutes that much peeing…..yet.
  • I’ve not had any true cravings so far.
  • Driving to and from Ohio meant breaking the trip into two days and spending a night in a hotel. The days of making it in 11 hours are gone forever!

New pic at Bubbles and Squishy!

2012 Recap

Using the same format I used in 2011, a recap of 2012:
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

  • Get pregnant! (darn it!) – WOO HOO!
  • PR 2 more race distances- even though I didn’t run the last 4 months of the year I still managed to pull this one off! – WOO HOO
  • Live more in the present – the jury is still out on this one
  • Take a vacation – took a mini vacation to St. Augustine – not sure if this counts.
  • Find a church- didn’t happen


  • Run a half marathon distance (or race) before the end of the year (after taking 10 months off, not sure how long this goal will take to achieve!)
  • Live more in the present – I’m keeping this one with the babies coming – if I need this one I need it now more than ever as I am sure they will grow like weeds and one day I’ll wake up and wonder where the time went
  • Be the best mom I can be
  • Be flexible
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
  • Jenny gave birth to Landon in the fall
  • Megan S. had Harper this summer
  • Jenna had Nolan in the fall
  • Tiffany is due in a few weeks (again not in 2012 but close enough)
  • Megan H. had Lucas early this year
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
  • Does Ohio count? Because its a really long drive.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
  • Job stability
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • January 14 – crossed the finish line of my second marathon. My favorite picture of this year was taken that day
    • me-kim-audri
    • February 20 – Bryan burns himself making fried chicken.  A trip to the VA ER is made.
    • March 11 – I learn that I have been running incorrectly – for the last 10 years. I spent the better part of the next few months trying to fix this
    • May 8 (ish) – Natalie graduates from college and we have a super fun weekend with contact paper in the process. We take pictures showing our immense maturity.faces
    • May 12( ish) – I decide to let go a little. We build a fence. We buy a new washer and dryer. We replace the downstairs floor.
    • Memorial Day – Rachel gets married. I get to be in the wedding. YAYme-and-rachel
    • July 12 – Our IUI cycle is canceled.I AM PISSED.
    • July 28 – I get my second tattoo
    • August 1 – I begin BC pills for the IVF
    • August 19- my 30th birthday. I attempted to make it big by skydiving, but it got canceled. Twice. I play a long weekend of softball tournament instead. We win. 🙂
    • September 18 – my first ever positive pregnancy test
    • October 4- we learn that both eggs stuck – we are having twins!
    • December 14 – we learn that Bubbles and Squishy are a girl and a boy!
    • December 25 – we publicly announce the boy and girl news
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Finishing the marathon. Even though I’ve done this once, training sucks so much out of you that I consider both a huge accomplishment
  • Finally letting go a little (see above)
  • WOO HOO we’re pregnant!
9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Spending over half the year worrying and stressing about getting pregnant. I’m not even sure how much time I wished and stressed away. (unfortunately this still holds true from the year before – though I think I did better overall this year)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  • Other than the standard infertility and allergies, not really.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
  • New floors!!
12. Where did most of your money go?
  • Mortgage and bills, IVF
13. What did you get really excited about?

  • Running races, pregnancy
14. What song will always remind you of 2012
  • songs remind me more of events than years. So I guess maybe Titanium.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • – happier or sadder? happier!
  • – thinner or fatter?  HA Fatter!
  • – richer or poorer? About the same
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
  • Vacations – mini or otherwise
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
  • Stress about money – everything turned out to be fine
18. How did you spend Christmas?
  •  Went to Ohio to visit my mom, dad, sister, grandfather and aunt. It may very well be his last Christmas this year. 😦
19. What was your favorite TV program?
  • Modern Family
  • Dexter
  • Sister Wives
  • Breaking Amish
20. What were your favorite books of the year?

  • 50 Shades of Grey ( I know, I know ). I was lame and did not read much this year.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

  • The new Muse album
  • Maroon 5 – One More Night
  • Ace of Base – I resurrected this one
  • Bruno Mars – Locked out of Heaven
  • Titanium – David Guetta
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
  • The Hunger Games
  • Flight
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
  • The big 30! I was supposed to go skydiving with a friend, but it was canceled due to weather. We ended up having dinner where B and I got engaged with a few friend who could make it last minute, and spent a night downtown.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
  • You know…..nothing.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

  • I so don’t care. I just buy what I think is cute. And on sale. Bonus if its both.
26. What kept you sane?

  • My husband
  • My friends
  • Reading
  • Running
  • Blogging
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
  • Expect the unexpected. Sometimes there just isn’t a good reason why things happen. In the end, though, I think it all turns out ok. At least it better.

A Christmas Surprise

We cheated.

This is a pretty smart idea
This is a pretty smart idea

Image source

After a Google search early on the in the pregnancy I discovered that there was a local place that specifically does extra ultrasounds….and claimed they could figure out the sex as early as 16 weeks. Not only did I really want to know what we were having, but we also hadn’t seen the babies since the 8 week ultrasound when the babies were the size of gummy bears. I couldn’t resist. I just couldn’t. Plus, this would give the opportunity to reveal the sexes to my parents on Christmas. I had originally planned to schedule it right before we left, around 17+2, but when I called the lady told me more often that not with twins one doesn’t cooperate and so you’ll have to go back. (If they can’t figure it out the first time they’ll do another for free within 14 days) So we actually scheduled it for 16+2, just in case.

The business, called See Me 3D, was a mere 10 minutes away and operated out of an old house. Basically it was a little waiting area and then a larger room with a ultrasound machine that projected onto a large TV on the wall. The entire thing was recorded onto a DVD set to classical music, and included 2d and 3d images. I’d always thought 3d ultrasounds looked a little on the creepy side, and actually still do, but when its your baby/babies up there, its much more miraculous than creepy.

As instructed I consumed my coffee (caffeine to help them be movers) and felt appropriately hyped up and hopped up on the table. The lovely cold goo was squeezed onto my stomach – my first ever non dildo wand ultrasound.


The babies – they looked like babies. Like little humans. With arms and legs, noses and eyes. I was mesmorised by the bones, the spine, the fact that I could see two brain hemispheres. It was just about the coolest thing ever. In fact I kept commenting on how cool it was that  I could see all of that. And they were moving.

They didn’t cooperate well at first. One had legs crossed and the other with a hand over the money shot. After about 10 minutes she had me get up to pee and try again, saying sometimes it’ll create a little more room.

It worked.

We saw Baby A first. A boy.

Baby B took a bit more wriggling. But in the end she finally gave up too. A girl.

A boy and a girl.

Bubbles and Squishy are a boy and a girl.

How perfect.

Yay one of each!
Yay one of each!

Later on we bought the two bears seen above- Bryan made the tags. We wrapped them up and gave them to my parents to unwrap at Christmas. My mom was totally surprised. My dad said he suspected we might, as apparently one of us mentioned having some sort of special present to open. Considering I barely managed to keep my mouth shut for the week and a half beforehand, I’m surprised neither of us said anything more.

Best Christmas Ever.


An Ode to Prednisone

And this one is NOT sarcastic.

I wrote in a recent post about my coughing issues. To provide a history (its kinda boring so I promise to keep it brief), I caught a cold once about a year ago and something about that cold triggered a cough that would.not.go.away. Bryan SWORE up and down I had asthma but I refused to believe it, despite the fact that I’d come in from runs sometimes with a coughing fit so bad it was difficult to catch my breath. After this cold and cough though I finally went to the doc who delivered the news I already was in denial about – I had asthma.

The good news was that its mostly seasonal, meaning it flares up in the springtime and summertime when its humid. In SC, though, its humid 8 months out of the year. Still I consider myself fortunate in that I can control it by taking a daily allergy med and using my albuterol inhaler before I run. Unfortunately any time I get a cough it tends to last for at least a couple weeks.

So lets backtrack to about a month ago.My congestion flared up considerably, which, predictably, caused me to start coughing. Because I’m partly an idiot and because I was afraid to take anything, I hoped (like an idiot) that it would run its course and go away. (it didn’t, thus proving my idiocy)

2 weeks later I was still coughing. And as I explained in my last post, I tried a couple of other things before finally going to the doctor. At this point I’d been coughing for 3 weeks or more, often accompanied by wheezing when I took a deep breath. It is funny how you kind of get used to something. As annoying as hell as the cough was, I actually thought it might be stuck with for the duration and sort of resigned myself to this fact, finally going to the doc only because I was worried about the wheezing and asthma.

3 days of prednisone and I was still coughing, further proving to me that I was quite possibly stuck with this. And then, this morning, an amazing thing happened. I realized I had slept the whole night (well, minus the pee break) without coughing. I could take deep breaths, and not cough. I could laugh and not cough. I could go for a walk and not cough. I spent the entire day taking deep breaths just because I could.

I realized I kinda forgot what breathing normally felt like.

Sheesh. How dumb is that?

So to you, happy help me breathe steroids, An Ode:

I’m just back from my walk (cough)

Geez all I did was talk (cough)

I sit down on the chair(cough)

I go to brush my hair (cough)

I try to breathe in deep (cough)

I wake up from my sleep (cough)

But with a helpful little script

My lungs can get a freaking grip

Woo hoo I can breathe!

Cough It Up, Already (16 weeks)

The Good

  • I am 80% sure I’ve felt some movement in the last week or so.
  • Finding out the sexes soon!!! And hopefully that we have two healthy babies, since we opted to do not do any first trimester screening.
  • I’m up 12 pds!
  • Getting tons of gently used maternity clothes on a swap site for way cheap.
  • OB Appt Monday – no ultrasound till the anatomy scan though.
  • The hilarious gift from my doc in an effort to ward off germs.

Good Luck, Germs

The Bad (please note in these posts I’m really using the word “bad” lightly – I just decided I liked this format)

  • Well my ears have cleared up but replaced with a cough, one I’ve actually had at this point for over 3 weeks. After 2 weeks I finally called the OB’s office asking if I could take a Claritin daily for a bit with my inhaler to see if that cleared it up. After 3 days, no dice. Then I called my doc. She suggested I use my inhaler (albuterol) 4x a day with the allergy med (vs 2x a day) for 2 days. No dice. So I went IN to the doctor, and was put on prednisone. I was not happy with the idea of a steroid, but per my doc, what I can tell from doctor Google AND my OB, its safe in short courses. And the issue is not only the cough, but the fact that 80% of the time I wheeze and/or cough when I take a deep breath. If it were just a cough I’d deal but I worry about my asthma and its possible effect on the pregnancy. I’d be lying if  I said I didn’t hope this kicks it, but if I have to deal with it through this pregnancy I will. (Also, please no negative comments about this – I have had enough issues about it as it is)

The Weird and Amusing

  • Watching the scale hoping it will go UP.
  • My emotions are starting to run a bit high. I’m irritated more quickly and easier to cry. But I guess that kinda goes with the territory.
  • No funny stories – I guess I need to start doing more stupid things.

You know where to find the pic, if so desired 🙂

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