Category Archives: Pre-natal

Before the twins arrival.

Don’t Rain on My Parade

This post takes the place of two that I previously planned to write. Originally, I wanted to share pictures of my baby showers – sitting on couches among friends and family, oohing and ahhhing over adorable baby boy wear. Then I was admitted to the hospital. There went those plans.

As I mentioned in the last post, several out-of-towners decided to come visit me anyway. The thought was to visit with family and have a Baby Cloudy with a Chance of Some Drizzles on Sunday with my mom, Aunt J, college roomie Becca and her beyond adorable seven-month-old daughter. But the contractions came back. (I thought they were a gonner, but the contractions came back the very next day. They just couldn’t stay away.) Sorry, I digress. Continue reading


Strega Nona

Strega Nona is an elderly lady who helps her fellow villagers out with their troubles. (I can see why perhaps Mom is opposed to this particular name for her grandmotherly moniker.) On a side note, my mother is here to help out for the weekend, as I am still very much bed-ridden. Lest anyone think this post compares my mother to a witch, note that the plot of Strega Nona revolves around a magic pasta pot; the women in my family do not cook. Continue reading


The Jungle Cruise

Hello everyone, and welcome aboard the Jungle Cruise. My name is Mom, and I’ll be your skipper, guide, social director and educational instructor for the next three months and 18 years.

Knock, knock… Who’s there? Safari… Safari Who? Safari, so good. Let’s get this cruise started. (Yes, folks, I did grow up in So. Cal. And I spent numerous minutes traversing the treacherous (humor) on the wild waters Jungle Cruise loop at Disneyland.) Continue reading

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Six Months and Determined to Wait Three More

I am rapidly approaching the end of the second trimester. Best part about this? Means the boys are still bouncing about on the inside!

Today’s doctor appointment revealed that the twins are moving and shaking exactly as they should be. I went to the appointment and returned back home on the SAME DAY!!! (And yes, the exclamation points were very necessary.)

Such good news, combined with the gorgeous weather that’s rolled in for the weekend, inspired us to document the pregnancy at 25 weeks. As of last week, the boys weigh 1lb. 6oz. each. Continue reading


One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Let’s play a children’s game shall we? Please sing along:

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

  • Cribs
  • Glider Rocking Chair
  • Infant Car Seats
  • Double Stroller (the size of a small SUV)
  • Coffee Maker
  • High Chairs
  • Sweet Children’s Book

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you’re absolutely…right!

Good job! You noticed that a coffee maker is not like the other items. It is not baby gear to help make the twins arrival more comfortable. Babies don’t drink coffee! And in this case, neither do their pregnant mommy or their daddy. Yet, the above lists items we have received as gifts for the boys.

Several days ago, a very insistent UPS man arrived at the door. He rang the doorbell, and waited. He knocked, and waited. The dogs continued to go ballistic (A friend! A friend! I must meet this very exciting person who obviously wants to say hello to me!!!) I finally decided it might be important and waddled over to open the door. “I need a signature” the UPS man greeted me.

I wasn’t expecting anything, so I assumed it must be something for the boys. We’ve been receiving packages for them recently since there were baby showers planned for me (now canceled). It was in a CuisinArt CoffeeMaker box. But hey – who doesn’t reuse boxes for shipping? (My brother received his Christmas gift bundled in a sewing machine box last year because that is the box I had lying around.)

Inside the box was a <drum roll please . . .> CuisinArt CoffeeMaker! It is a black classic 12-cup machine for the java aficionados out there. Now, we have a small espresso machine we received as a wedding gift that is used for the occasional tasty latte or mocha. And I’ve been known to indulge in a variety of tea colors (black, green, white). Then I saw the programmable caffeinator was from Grandma Janet (or Meemaw if no preferred name is settled upon).

I used my impressive deductive reasoning skills, honed from reading every single “Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective” book in my youth (let’s admit it – this one isn’t really a Sherlock Holmes caliber mystery). Grandma Janet had not sent the boys (or their parents) a coffee maker. Grandma Janet had sent herself a coffee maker.

My mother has been making more trips up to visit lately – from shopping for baby furniture to futility trying to comfort me in the hospital – and plans to spend more time once the boys arrive. Given that these are her first grandchildren, I assume we will be seeing a lot of her in the future.

Previously, my parents would visit for a weekend perhaps once or twice a year. Despite our lovely home, complete with a very nice guest suite (if I do say so myself), each visit saw a replay of a typical morning routine:

“Oh geez, you guys don’t have a coffee maker!”
“No, we don’t drink coffee every morning.”
“Starbucks. Where is the nearest Starbucks?”
“Around the corner, we’re (and by this I mean Jon) is happy to go get you something.”
“Phew. I would like a latte.”
“We do have an espresso machine. I can make you a latte.”
“No, I don’t like espresso.”

After a Starbucks run, my caffeinated parents would drink and discuss the tragedy of our lack of coffee awaiting them the moment they wake up. I did not previously realize their coffee addiction was so intense that my mother would need a 12-cup machine, but I’m happy to enable all future coffee junkies since I imagine having two needy infants will only intensify the need for the habitual morning coffee(s).

I for one, will stick with my tea. But if you come by – expect to be offered a cup of joe. Or 12.


Photo Ready

As full-fledged members of the Silicon Valley, Jon and I have numerous cameras. Our iPhones take quick clicks and we each have a decent point and shoot. But neither cell phones nor point and shoots do fabulous things for more focused or specific targets. Given how active the twins are currently – I am betting they’re not going to be the type to sit still for photo ops. (They already hate the ultrasound sessions.)

So we took the plunge. Jon ordered a Nikon D3000 SLR camera. Neither of us has any experience with operating such “fancy” cameras. But, since the world has ordered the boys to remain baking for several more months, we will thankfully take that extra time to figure it out.

The first step in this practice process requires obtaining said camera. In addition to the camera, we ordered an extra zoom lens and a memory card capable of processing multiple pictures quicker with a faster shutter speed. (Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?) Problem – we got a note saying the zoom lens was backordered and they’d ship everything together.

Jon undertook the task of trying to contact customer support. Please enjoy the transcript below. (Names have been changed to protect the customer service culprit until they really annoy me.)


Please wait while we find an agent to assist you…

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.

All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.

You have been connected to [CUSTOMERSERVICE1].

[CUSTOMERSERVICE2] has entered the session.

[CUSTOMERSERVICE1 has left the session.

CS2: Hello Jon. Welcome to [CAMERASTORE]. I will be glad to assist you.

Jon: Hello?

CS2: May I have the order number?

Jon: Yes, 1234567

CS2: Thank you for providing the order number.

Jon: When i ordered i did not know it was going to be backordered

CS2: Please stay online while I check the order.

Jon: i’m wondering how long the backorder is?

CS2: Thank you for staying online.

CS2: The Nikon 55-200mm lens is currently on backorder.

CS2: The Nikon D3000 and 18-55mm lens are in stock.

CS2: We are expecting the lens to be back in stock at the earliest.

Jon: Yes i saw that, but i also saw that you won’t ship one without the other

Jon: When?

CS2: I can make necessary changes to the order so that the in-stock items are shipped at the earliest and the backordered lens will be shipped once it is back in stock.

Jon: excellent that’d be great

CS2: Shall I go ahead and make the necessary changes to ship the in-stock item first?

Jon: yes please do, when do you expect the lens to be in stock?

CS2: We expect the lens to be back in stock in the next week.

Jon: ok great, as long as there won’t be an extra shipping charge, i’d like to get the camera ASAP and then ship the lens when it becomes available

CS2: The 8GB memory card has already been shipped on 5/05/10.

Jon: ok

CS2: The other items will be shipped shortly.

Jon: Meaning the camera will likely go out tomorrow and the lens sometime next week?

CS2: Would you like to purchase one of our Expanded Service Policy (ESP)?

CS2: We offer 1-year ESP and 2-year ESP plans.

Jon: no thank you

CS2: Yes, the in-stock items will be shipped tomorrow.

CS2: I can offer 50% discount on the Expanded Service Policy (ESP).

CS2: The ESP will provide your camera with coverage from almost every possible occurrence (except fire and theft) while you are using it.

Jon: no i’m good without it, but thank you.

CS2: You are welcome.

CS2: Would you like to purchase a camera bag or lens filter for the Nikon D3000 camera?

Jon: No, no more purchases I just wanted to get the shipping issue resolved

CS2: Is there anything else that I may assist you with?

Jon: No, you’ve been very helpful, thank you

CS2: You are welcome.

Jon: Good bye

CS2: Thank you for visiting [CAMERASTORE]. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.


Anyone else curious if we’ll get the camera before the boys start little league?


Missing: My Sense of Humor

Back in the hospital for observation,
Sigh. It seems they’ve revoked my probation.
Expecting two boys that are twin,
Each extra week is a win.
Oh the things a mom will do for the next generation.

Sadly, there is a high likelihood you deciphered my ingenious limerick correctly. I’m back in the hospital. I returned to the clinic for a checkup yesterday. The doctor noted he was not terribly “concerned” but more “anxious” and would feel better if I checked back into the Spa Materniteé (also known as Baby Jail).

My jovial attitude vanished. One could potentially make the argument I try to cover awkward or nervous situations with witticisms or pithy statements (often amusing only to me, but that is not the point). No, as I was wheeled through doors of Labor and Delivery, it was only me – Bitter, Party of One.

I should take a step back in time here to note that I have never been the ideal hospital patient. And patience has never been one of my many virtues. So it’s no wonder I tend to do poorly in situations that require patience in the hospital.

At 18-months-old, I finished my plate of spaghetti (which I’m sure was just delicious Mom). I decided I was done with dinner and hopped up to leave the kitchen. Problem was, I was still strapped into my highchair, but nothing a little baby James-Bonding maneuver couldn’t handle. The escape attempt resulted with both the highchair and me flat on the ground complete with my chin split wide-open. Apparently, a straight jacket and Nurse Ratchet-type RN were required to hold me still enough to receive stitches. So, that went well . . .

A scant nine months later, my two-year-old self was watching my mom get ready for work and thought it would be a fabulous idea to ascend a wicker basket. That way Mom could get a break every 3-5 minutes so she could remove me from my perch and say “No, Tricia. We don’t climb on that.” As you can imagine, that wasn’t a terribly effective deterrent. I scaled my peak again; my mom turned to reproach me again. Gravity decided to lend a helping hand. If I hadn’t bitten off the tip of my tongue, the soft carpeting would likely have made this a non-issue. But alas, it was off to the hospital.

Family legend has it that I ripped out/off all the wires/IVs (see I’ve NEVER liked those) and went stomping down the hallway. (The two-year-old off to demand her own release, against medical advice I assume.) I can only imagine the intercom announcements blaring through the hospital corridors: “Code  . . . um . . . Would somebody please coral the naked wailing toddler marching through Ward 200?” I’ve been told that trip also required a straight jacket.

Back to the present day, I am certain I was not their favorite patient. Now, I know better than to be rude to the nurses since we all know they run these places. But I wasn’t particularly averse to changing the rules of the game either.

First, the medical assistant at intake informed me that I would have to fill out all the pre-registration/sign-in paperwork again. Why? Because they throw it out anytime you come in before 34 weeks. This information about the hospital’s non-efficiency policy did nothing to brighten my spirits. She then handed me an electronic signature pad and asked me to sign. I inquired as to what I was signing and learned it was the “consent form.” When I asked to see said form she said they’d give me a copy after I signed. She actually seemed surprised when I shared I wasn’t signing anything until I saw an actual document.

Approximately 72 pages later I was wheeled over to Observation Room B. (This room is not very different from Observation Room A where I was observed last week.) “You know the drill. Undress everything and put on the [drafty, worthless, covers nothing hospital] gown.” (Ok, I may have paraphrased that quote a bit.) She looked shocked and quickly left the nurses to deal with me when I sweetly replied “No thank you. I’ll wait in my sweats.”

A new doctor came in to begin the observation and monitoring process. I was, just as I’m sure you are as well, also shocked that there was any personnel remaining that we hadn’t met during the previous week’s institutionalization. They wanted to get me hooked up to the TOCO Machine (short for tocodynamometer – I did not make that up), which tracks contractions. I was fine with this, albeit NOT shocked by the results concluding that I was indeed having contractions since that was the reason I was being readmitted in the first (second since I already played this game once?) place.

Then the doc noted they’d probably want to get an IV saline lock started. This is not an actual IV with medicinal purposes. This is a giant stabby tube thing inserted into ones wrist “in case of emergency.” I declined. I can only assume that this caused much consternation among staff since they appear to be extremely fond of their stabby tube things.

I have since gone on to request a new bed, a non-beepy machine, and that they stop coming in to check vitals every hour in the dead of night. I have repeatedly assured them that my heart is still pumping and the blood is still flowing through my veins. And five hours of sleep will truly benefit everybody involved in this drama. And, I think Jon has only tried to explain his sad state of a wife to one nurse throughout this process.

Luckily, I have discovered that Dave Barry (my hero) released a new book yesterday. Jon has been sent to Barnes and Noble to get a copy. “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead” – how can that not be helpful?


Home Sweet Home (the musical)

I’m home from the hospital now. And I’m hoping to stay here for three months. I now have weekly checkups/ultrasounds scheduled for the near future – and here’s to keeping them to their one hour schedule (that last one got a wee bit too extended for my taste).

I was so excited to finally come home I found myself singing my own verse from “Home on the Range.”



(Those of you who have heard me sing are likely very appreciative right now that you’re only experiencing this in written form.)

Home, home in my house
Where the Scout and the Cooper both play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the nurses don’t bother me all day

After approximately 24 hours of doing nothing but trying to actually get some sleep (and no panicked or emergency return trips to the hospital), I began reflecting on how lucky our immediate little family of four is to have such amazing friends and family. Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers and concerns during a very stressful time.

An Ode To Our Loved Ones:

Please sing to the tune of “A Few of My Favorite Things” because you are all our favorite people.

Mom’s who drive to the hospital in five hours flat
Husband’s who spend every bed-ridden day by my side
This is how much our twin boys are loved
This is how much friends and family care

Bright purple flowers with deliveries each day
Friends who bring Yorkshire Terriers to calm down my tears
Emails that make us all laugh ‘till we cry
This is how much friends and family care

All the thoughts and well wishes sent from afar
Visits from those who come bearing chocolates
Prayers that the twins will stay put and be fine
This is how much friends and family care

When the news is bad
When the needle pokes
When I’m terrified
I simply remember how much people care
And then I don’t feel so bad

Thank you again for all the care, concern, love and support you’ve shared.

From the legions of medical staff (and I do believe we must have met the majority of Kaiser’s maternity staff) – doctors, specialists, nurses and technicians who treated and reassured an extraordinarily nervous pair of parents-to-be, to the uniformed deputy who arrived on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department at zero dark hundred to order the twins to stay put. Among the bright beautiful flowers that brightened our sterile room(s), to the humor and laughter sent our way from afar. The twins have no reason not to hang tight and make their debut at a much (three-month) later date when all those loved ones are eagerly awaiting their healthy arrival.

Not to mention – I’m the mom. And I said so, that’s why.


Ain’t that a Kick in the Head

Ain’t that a Kick in the Head

As I mentioned in the last post, I discovered the babies kicking and contractions for the first time during my week in the hospital. It is truly amazing how much their personalities continue to develop (granted, this may just be occurring in my stressed out, hormonal world – but I have some proof!)

One of the popular activities in the hospital maternity ward is measuring baby heartbeats. This is not as stylish as the IV accessory, but very close in number to the blood test relay. However, I openly admit – the heartbeat measurement is my favorite activity.

In a normal expectant mother (please disregard my claim that “I am normal” from a previous post; it has been disproved), nurses use a fetal heart rate monitor to trace the child’s pulse. This involves a hockey puck-like disc that is strapped to the mom’s belly with a pink or blue giant stretchy thing.

Since our boys are still rather young, the hockey pucks aren’t always the most successful in finding their heartbeats. Many of the nurses used a small hand held dop-tone machine instead. Hearing their pounding hearts never ceases to make me smile. I even think some of the nurses may have checked on the babes just to help prevent a pending stir-crazy meltdown.

Approximately mid-week, a rather adventurous nurse decided that she was either a) bored or b) seeking a challenge and decided she was going to get a trace of our twins – using the hockey pucks. Using high-tech innovative notation developments, she wrapped a rubber band around one of the discs so we’d know who was A and who was B. (Get it? B is for Band.) And the search began.

Baby A wasn’t terribly difficult to find. It just took a few minutes of coaxing to get him to cooperate. Once we had his location pinned down, the puck was secured and I can only assume A returned to sucking his thumb. Baby B had other ideas.

Earlier in the week, Jon had suggested he get some games to keep us all occupied. Baby B apparently took this to heart. Based on his circumstances, Hide-n-Seek was the game of choice. The nurse and I could hear his heartbeat faintly in the background. The nurse continued to move the puck around on my stomach trying to track Baby B down. But B is very good at Hide-n-Seek. He was winning even though the nurse had the sound wave monitoring machine advantage.

Finally the determined nurse muttered at my tummy, “I know you’re there and there’s not that many places you can hide!” About a minute later I heard a strong heartbeat followed by a loud scratching noise.

“That’s him moving,” the nurse explained as she relocated the heartbeat and started securing the puck for the trace. (All the while, Baby A’s heartbeat contentedly beat away on the non-banded puck.) I suddenly felt a huge WHAM from inside my stomach. Baby B had adopted a new strategy at making his monitoring feelings known. That was the end of the trace.

Baby heartbeats are monitored a minimum of twice a day when you’re in the hospital. Seven days in the hospital, no fewer than 20 heartbeat measurements and Baby B was never once in the same spot. Twice a nurse was able to find him on the first try. Twice the dop-tone machine was immediately met with a swift kick.

Every time, both boys had strong heartbeats. And Baby B seems to be intent on battling any pregnancy complications for the duration. Well, that or he is just really bothered by the monitors. But I will say this. I CAN wait to meet them.

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All Summer in a Day

Any one out there remember Ray Bradbury’s 1954 short story? The story is about a class of school children on Venus. It constantly rains there due to the planet’s thick atmosphere. The sun is only visible for two hours every seven years on the planet.

That is what life is like on hospital lockdown. (Granted, the Bay Area’s fifth “final storm of the season” didn’t help this analogy.)

Naturally, last weekend was gorgeous – perfect 75 degree spring days. I could kind of see the light outside my hospital window. Mostly it was just bored friends and family sauntering around a mini-garden the hospital developed on the third floor.

On day five in the sterile ward (albeit stable with a bluish/purple wallpaper border to make the rooms seem “homey”), my husband convinced our nurse that the little mental stability I had remaining was in danger. Several minutes later the nurse returned to my room with a wheelchair for what my chart now reads as “prescribed sunshine therapy” (I am not making this up).

For ten wonderful minutes I sat outside in direct sunlight. But then we had to roll back into the ward so my medications wouldn’t be delayed. I can only imagine the roller-coaster of exhilaration to desolation those children on Venus felt during their two hours.

This entire pregnancy became an intense whirlwind during my seven-day stay.

  • I received a tour of Kaiser’s Labor and Delivery unit. This includes Observation Room A; L&D rooms 5, 10 and 11; Mom/Baby rooms 39 (twice) and 17; and OR 2. (Most people don’t get to see these rooms until baby birthdays.)
  • I learned how to deal with uncomfortable questions that I assume meant well. When we arrived in the Mom/Baby unit the first time the nurse worriedly questioned, “Where’s the baby?” (As though we’d forgotten him in another room . . .)
  • I took a glucose test for gestational diabetes. I made it an entire hour and five minutes before launching myself toward the restroom. My body did not take well to the sugar syrup “beverage.”
  • I learned what a baby’s kick and a contraction felt like for the first time.
  • I received a training period of what it’s like to get no more than two hours of sleep at a time.
  • I fully realized how much it means to me to be a mommy.

All pregnancy in a week.

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