Category Archives: Pre-natal

Before the twins arrival.

Beep Goes the Machine

Several years ago, our chocolate lab Bailey required surgery on his little hindquarters. The veterinary assistant called me when he came out of general anesthesia to let me know he was doing “just fine.” Bailey was special.

While most dogs simply sleep it off in a kennel (or stumble around in a drunken stupor), our Bailey took it upon himself to accompany the vet on rounds, checking on the other pups in the hospital. Complete with the collar around his neck and dragging the IV along beside him.

This is how I have felt for the past four days.

Mostly, I am confined to the hospital bed. It’s not a comfortable place to be. Wires are attached to various machines. And other machines randomly beep – sometimes approaching hysterics. It can be very unnerving while trying to figure out if the frantic machine is attached to you or simply a general ward monitor.

As I was lying in bed, wide awake, trying to tune out the beeping machines and avoid entangling myself in wires, cords, hospital gown sheets, ties and various other accoutrements, I heard a newborn baby cry. This baby was NOT happy to have entered the world. I’m guessing it was a very healthy baby due to the size and strength of the child’s lungs. He made his opinion of birth extremely clear.

I had a little chat with the twins (over the angry machines and wailing children). Now, I don’t remember my life in-utero or my birth, but I let the boys know that – cramped as though they may be – their current home has got to be better than being shoved into this cold cruel world, attached to countless wires and spending months like a french fry under a Burger King heating lap in a small NICU plastic container.

I am hoping I encouraged them to stay put.

Yesterday afternoon got a bit better. My loving husband smuggled me in some wonderfully comfy contraband pajamas. (Good riddance to the blasted hospital gown! Oh, tangent – good project for the next season of Project Runway: hospital gowns that are slightly less miserable.)

The doctor came back to check in on me; the plan was to go home when everything checked out okay. Everything did not check out okay. The danger was increasing despite the forced bed-rest, IV meds and beeping machines. A minor surgery was the next step.

That was super fun. TMI to go into specifics. Needless to say, the surgery thwarted my chances of being sent homeward bound. Looks like I’ll be here about another week (in what feels like my homey little hospital prison cell).

All is well so far. The boys are still bouncing about and we’re all very hopeful for a future three months of bed-rest and boredom. As I have given up on the short-term quest to be released, I am now trying to pester the doctors into removing the IV stent. (“All patients have to have them as a precaution.” Yeah – well, babies are supposed to stay put for 40 weeks too.)

All movie and book recommendations are highly encouraged. As are visitors who entertain me. This blog has got to get more upbeat in the coming weeks! (And goodness knows I will now have LOTS more time to write.)


Normal is a State of Mind

Mom was right. Life isn’t fair. Twenty-two (and a half!) weeks pregnant and I’m on bed-rest lockdown.

Thirty-six hours ago, I was a normal pregnant woman in mid-second trimester. Life was good and the boys were bouncing. Twenty-four hours ago I checked in to my very first “regular” doctor’s appointment. This one was going to be a cinch – weight and blood pressure check, verify babies are growing appropriately and be on my merry way. Continue reading


Release to General Population

I am normal!

After what seemed like eons since our last visual visit with our little ones, Jon and I returned to the doctor’s today to see how the twins are faring. It has been four whole weeks since our last ultrasound. And wow – are they growing fast! You may notice in the photos posted below that there are none of the boys together. That’s because they no longer fit in a single photo. (Well, that and they won’t stop moving.) Continue reading


Into the Jungle

Apparently the Double Trouble blog is suffering from a lack of photos. Unlike the April Fool’s tabloid madlib (which was great fun), we actually did have a personal paparazza on our shopping excursion. As mentioned previously, Grandma Nancy (or Meemaw Nancy if preferred) joined us on our baby stuff getting adventure – camera firmly in hand.

A sampling of the madness:

Entering Lullaby Lane and taking in all the merchandise options.

Inspecting and checking out the gliders.

Jon also enjoyed testing the rocking chairs.

Debating crib selection and double (and triple) checking pricing and safety stats.

It was a very long day. I believe Jon is multi-tasking here: looking for food, playing a game, researching the new Nerf shooter capacity and plotting how to best use said capabilities on the dogs.

Two of everything, remember?

Car seats are ready to roll. (Granted not currently properly installed.)

More photos are promised as more photo-worthy things happen.

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Comments from the Peanut Gallery

I received my first comments from the peanut gallery about my pregnancy today.

“You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.” – Dave Barry (Tangent: Check out the book, “Babies and Other Hazards of Sex” by my hero Dave Barry. It’s hilarious and likely based not entirely in fiction.)

I was headed down the hall at work this morning, aiming for the elevators because I no longer do stairs. A random guy was headed down the same hallway in the opposite direction (he probably takes the stairs). As our paths crossed, he developed a very goofy look and pointed at me exclaiming, “Girl!”

Why yes, I am indeed a girl. Granted I work at a company with numerous engineering nerds – but I’d be willing to wager that about half the company population comprises female nerds, engineering or otherwise. Good observation skills sir!

It then occurred to me that he might be referring to my five-month large protruding belly. “Two boys,” I replied with a smile.

“Wow, I was totally off!” And he continued on his merry way – detouring into the coffee bar to caffeinate himself. I laughed, thinking, “You’re really lucky I am pregnant scooter.”

Jon posited that I should be pleased that people assume I am pregnant, not just fat. To be clear, this morning’s exchange didn’t offend me in any way. I thought it was funny.

Especially because today’s post on The Poop, the baby/parenting blog from the San Francisco Chronicle, is titled, “At what point do you acknowledge someone is pregnant?”

It concludes, “And that, among other reasons, is why the phrase ‘so … when is the baby due?’ isn’t in my vocabulary. It’s the royal flush of awkward situations.”

I am prepared to face more of these people – the touchers, those with “helpful” advice and, of course, the pregnancy police. I know they’re out there. And oh the stories I’ll share.

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Are You My (grand)Mother?

I never had much difficulty identifying my grandparents. I only had one grandfather. He lived in Southern California, so he was Grandpa. His wife, my mother’s mother, is Grandma. My father’s mother still lives in Italy; she is Nonna.

My mother recently decided she wasn’t a fan of how “Grandma Janet” sounded. So we begin round two of the name game.

When she was a tyke, children did not use adults’ first names. So it was Grandma and Grandpa Last Name. But when I offered to have the twins call my mom Grandma Cosaro, she did not waste a single portion of her next breath declining. Apparently that conjures an image of an elderly lady knitting a bonnet as she rocks in a chair on a porch. My mother does not knit. Nor does that description seem to fit the demeanor of the SoCal Assistant Superintendent.

I did a bit of research on what our options are regarding the typical names. The Internet tells me there is also a trend toward inventing something that sounds cooler than traditional names.

Traditional Names Modern Names Translated Names
Big Mom BeBe Chinese: NaiNai
Gram Bella Filipino: Lola
Gramma GiGi Flemish: Bomma
Grammy G-Ma French: Grandmere
Grams G-Mom French Canadian: Meme
Grandma Honey German: Oma
Grandmama Lovey Greek: YaYa
Grandmom MayMay Hawaiian: Tutu
Grandmother Mia Hebrew: Savta
Grannie Mim Italian: Nonna
Ma or Maw Mimi Irish: Maimeó
Mamo Nina Japanese: Oba-chan
MawMaw Korean: Halmoni
Mema Polish: Busia
Memaw Portuguese: VoVo
Mom-Mom Russian: Babushka
Nana Spanish: Abuela
Yiddish: Bube

Given my heritage, it seems a simple solution would be to call my mother Nonna and my dad Nonno. My dad may become Nonno Tavo, but we haven’t polled him on his chosen name yet. (He’s still busy trying to convince us the twins will be Gustavo 1 and Gustavo 2.) Nonna has been vetoed due to the Strega Nonna correlation (see more about this in the future post on children’s books I’ve promised).

What do your children call their grandparents? What did you call yours? Any preferences Meemaws?


It’s a Jungle Out There

Happy Easter! To celebrate spring and new life, we went shopping. Seven hours, 100 miles up, down and across the Bay Area. There are approximately 894 gajillion options/suggestions on stuff babies need. I think we looked at all of them.

Naturally, I have used the past several weeks obsessively researching and compulsively organizing lists of what we would need. I pestered all the mama’s I know about their experiences, I highlighted key recommendations in Baby Bargain and Consumer Reports books, I asked the Internet thousands of questions and noted all contradictions. I set out equipped with notes, books, spreadsheets, notebook and pen; I felt ready.

Our goal for the weekend was to procure the “big stuff.” Furniture and important gear like car seats. Furniture often takes up to 12 weeks to arrive, you can’t leave the hospital without car seats (who knows when the boys plan to make their debut) and more importantly – I still fit in the stores to look at the merchandise.

Our adventure expedition included me and the boys (naturally), my mom (Grandma Janet), my mother-in-law (Grandma Nancy), and Dad (my very brave husband).

First we headed up to Lullaby Lane in San Bruno, CA. It’s ranked as one of the best baby stores in the U.S.; it takes up three city blocks. Directly upon entering, I encountered the books. I was quickly dragged away. Jon laughed at me and Grandma Janet reminded me, “You can look at all these later . . .” Oh yeah. We were there to look at furniture. (I will return to the fun subject of baby books in a future post.)

I wandered among the cribs, checking model types against my rankings. Jon shared his opinion on style – noting we needed to remember that these “lifestyle cribs” will also be serving pre-teen and teenage boys. Grandma Nancy remained in awe, constantly repeating that babies were on their way. She followed us around taking pictures to document the occasion.

We decided upon our nursery theme: it’s a jungle. I figure this fits – two boys on their way and a room already decorated with a mural of trees and sky inhabited by a tiger. View the adorableness that is Coco Tails.

Example of the boys bedding (not our nursery).

Next we headed down the peninsula to Direct Buy to find bargains. Success! Grandma Janet bought the babies (and their likely very tired mother) a glider. She also surprised us with two additional Coco Tails minky blankets. No, I don’t know what a minky is either – but the blanket is adorable.

Food was absolutely necessary at this point as each of the above paragraphs took about an hour each to achieve. Nobody would share where they wanted to go, so I picked P.F. Changs Chinese food. The expedition crew didn’t seem thrilled about this, but everyone was hungry and I don’t think anyone had a better idea – or at least didn’t want to argue with the hungry pregnant lady. I tell you our lunch saga only to share the fortune’s Jon and I received in our cookies:

Tricia’s: “Good things come in small packages. Yours is coming!”

Jon’s: “Welcome the change coming soon into your life.”

Refreshed, reinvigorated and re-motivated, we steeled ourselves and entered Babies R Us. This is the scariest store known to mankind. 1) The one near our house in Sunnyvale, CA is haunted. (I am not making this up: 2) Everything has several brands and they try to sell you everything. 3) The salespeople are unhelpful and clueless.

The vast majority of their cribs received had an F ranking in my books and notes. One of the floor models was actually falling apart in plain view. Jon took this opportunity to wander over to the attached Toys R Us to investigate the new generation of automatic Nerf guns (now with 35 ball capacity!) Still a successful outing – we purchased two infant car seats. Ah, are you now remembering that we have to buy two of everything? Fun!

As it was now 4:15 p.m. PT, we made a break to escape from the haunted overwhelming toy store and dash over to Babyland – a baby furniture store that has been a fixture in not-the-greatest-area San Jose. (It is located directly next to the “world famous Pink Poodle,” San Jose’s strip club.)

Babyland may well indeed carry every single baby crib option ever made. Even more than the three city blocks worth in Lullaby Lane! We found our crib(s). Jon plans to return this week to pick them up. Already!

The dogs have already thoroughly sniffed and investigated the assembled car seat (yes, Jon put it together already), which is currently protecting the safety of a very fuzzy bunny Great-Grandma Winnie sent for the Easter holiday. And frighteningly not that much smaller than a newborn.

There is now a baby registry in existence. I’m still not sure if we’re missing anything or actually need everything on it. I guess the twins will let us know when the time comes.

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The Twins Achieve Celebrity Status at an Early Age!

Is Tricia Stream showing baby bumps?

Yahoo! – 1 hour, 39 minutes ago

LITTLE DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH?? Is Tricia Stream expecting a little bundle of joy? Tricia had a noticeable baby bump when seen leaving Pizza Hut in Denton last week.

“Now I know why she looked so cute and happy when I saw her at our kids’ elementary school prom!” said Eliza Dushku, when asked about her long-time confidante. The rumor has already gotten paparazzi following Stream each dawn as she walks her pet gnu Hobo on her estate in Spokane.

“I’m pregnant? Who knew?! I had friends from Mobile visiting last week, and we ate out more than that we should have,” said Tricia. But you read it here first – come February, we’re going to see a baby Stream. Or two.

Read more…

April Fool’s, of course – but this is the article that ran on the Yahoo! ZOMG site today. It’s a celebrity tabloid madlibs.

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Halfway There

Today marks the 19th week of pregnancy. Various calendars, books, Web sites, etc all claim different weeks to be half way. I have decided to mark today as the half way point since a typical pregnancy is 40 weeks and twins are considered full term at 36 weeks. So I’ve averaged the two points.

It was a rough start. Jon commented, “You mean we now have to go through this amount of time again? Seems like we should be done now.” I concur.


Pronunciation: ˈhaf-ˈwā, ˈhäf-

Function: adjective

Date: 1694

1 : midway between two points 
2 : partial

halfway adverb

The boys are starting to kick. Ok, they’ve been kicking, but I’m starting to feel them kicking. Some research suggests that the twinkies have now reached a point where they may be able to now hear voices (I have no idea what “some research” is, so I can’t cite it for you). Nevertheless, I have commenced reading aloud and conversing with them. Out of instinctual motherly love, I shall refrain from singing a happy tunes when the mood strikes (Auntie Ivy, however, is very much on the hook for this one).

Upon further consideration, and the fact that I am no longer arfing daily, has made me realize that instead of “we’re only half way,” “we’ve made it half way!”

  • If I were running, I’d have finished a half-marathon already.
  • If I were in college, I’d have finished two of three quarters already.
  • If I had a box of See’s candy, I’d discover there is a whole additional layer of chocolaty goodness under the protective brown bubble wrap.
  • If I discovered a 50% off sale, I’d be getting a great deal on a maternity dress.
  • If I were an athlete, I’d be in the All-Star game now.

Next milestone – shopping for baby stuff. I shall be sure to update you all on the trek through that jungle.


Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs

We know there are two of the rascals. And now we know they’re both boys. So naturally, the question of the hour is – what are you going to call them?

Right now, we call them “the twins.” I started calling them River and Creek. Thanks to an off-the-cuff remark from Jon, my brother has begun referring to them as Rocky and Bullwinkle. The doctors call them Baby A and B. And as life has come full circle from a code a friend and I created in the seventh grade – they’ve earned the oh-so-clever nicknames Boy A and Boy B.

Yet, as amusing as all those are, none fit the bill for a lifetime. (Boys, you can thank me later – after you’ve read this blog archived on some super-micro processor tech thing.) For the record, we’re not telling anyone until they’re born. That way everyone with “oh no, I knew somebody named that who . . .” will feel too guilty to say anything.

My grandmother never loved her name – Winifred Welker. She recalls working at an escrow company where clients would call and ask to speak “with the Pooh.” My mom has been in education her entire life; she has an unlimited list of “oh no, I knew somebody named that who . . .” stories. Naturally, both of them have taken on the naming quest with unmatchable zeal.

“What about family names? How about Leo?” my mother inquired. “My grandfather’s name was Raymond Leonard.” I made it clear that we were not naming our son after their dog.

My brother has focused on one particular name. He has begged and pleaded that Jon and I not name our child Andrew as that is the name he wants to name his future son. Here, I would like to note to my unmarried brother, “It’s good to be the oldest.” =)

Children seem to have an uncanny ability to adapt to their names as well – just to add additional pressure on the parents. One of my girlfriends named her son Henry James Harrison. I know, sounds like the next Supreme Court Justice to me too. And Henry (age 18 months) isn’t wasting any time – on a recent trip with them, Henry began waving at passengers in the airport terminal, shaking hands with passengers waiting to board and hugging babies. So we’ll need two very successful names.

According to one of the many baby Web sites with never-ending advice, there are eight major baby-naming no-nos.

1.     The nickname trap – Finnegan is out. Finn Stream just sounds funny.

2.     Embarrassing initials – Looks like my brother doesn’t have to worry about Andrew Scott Stream.

3.     A lifetime of corrections – I know I’m a horrible speller. Don’t worry, we promise to use standard spellings.

4.     Over-popularity – I had six Jonathans in my elementary class. And we’re not doing a Junior.

5.     Problematic name pairings – Hunter is out. As are any rhyming names.

6.     Humiliating e-mail handles – I’m not terribly concerned with this one as who knows what technology they’ll be dealing with in the coming decades.

7.     Names not to live up to – Yahoo! quickly cleared up this dilemna. Although there are a lot of streams in our world named after people.

8.     So-so meanings – The nursery has a Calvin and Hobbes mural, but Calvin means bald, so we won’t be going literal.

It’s nice to note that we already know the names of both of our sons. One of Jon’s favorite mantras is “Poor Planning Produces Poor Product.” We’ve planned early; we’re organized and ready for their arrival (well, at least when it comes to signing the birth certificates.)