Happy Holidays! I cannot believe that next week is Christmas, I still need to finish up some last minute shopping, get stocking stuffers and wrap gifts. Where has the year gone?!
This has been an especially fun Christmas, it’s true that having children brings the magic of the holidays back. Seeing the wonder in a child’s eye is so special. Our little ones aren’t quite aware of what exactly Christmas is, but they do love to stare at our tree, smiling at all of the lights and ornaments.
Thinking back to this time last year makes me smile, thinking of being pregnant after our long journey and feeling the happiness that our last and final round of IVF had worked! There are several friends in real life and in my blogging world that I still am hoping and praying for, hopes that they will soon have a child in their arms. Hope and heartache, sometimes the two are so intertwined.
Jemma and Zoe are five months old and are so much fun! We are getting tons of smiles, lots of belly laughs, and they are full of curiosity.
We went on our first trip on an airplane earlier this month and the girls did awesome. My brother-in-law got married in California, so we had lots of family members along with us and lots of helping hands. Jemma and Zoe slept three of the four take off/landings and hardly made a peep on the airplane. The airport staff and flight crew were accommodating despite seeing us roll up with all of our gear and two babies.
The girls are almost rolling over, love sucking on their hands, cooing/talking a lot, sleeping through the night (almost every night!!!), doing much better with tummy time, reaching for objects and love looking in the mirror at themselves (especially Zoe). They aren’t showing much interest in food yet, we are going to wait until their six month appointment before we consider introducing solids. I’m reading the book Baby Led Weaning and plan on introducing solids using this method rather than spoon feeding. I’ve been almost exclusively pumping my breastmilk and plan to finish pumping around six months. I would love to give the girls breastmilk for longer, but it’s a huge commitment, especially since I’ve been pumping three times at work alone. I’m still getting up one time per night. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick more since giving birth than I have in years, I think my body is run down from the sleep deprivation and the fact that I feel like I’m going non-stop. I’m hoping to feel better when I start getting better sleep at night.
Arrival at airport after a successful flight
Family photo at the wedding
Five month photo
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!
The holidays are almost here! I love love love fall, it is my favorite time of year and fall is even more special to me now than it was in the past. It was about this same time last year that we had our last embryo transfer (a FET) and when, for the first time in my life, I was actually pregnant!
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year I had taken a HPT, gotten into the shower and checked it when I got out. The faintest second pink line was on the test and my heart leap, literally leap and felt like it was in my throat. I quickly ran over to our bed and woke Hubby up around 5 AM and made him come to the bathroom to see. After rubbing his eyes and putting on his glasses, Hubby agreed that there was a second line! I distinctly remember driving to work that day, full of guarded hope and listening to One Republic’s Counting Stars. That song still holds a special place in my heart.
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars
Having that first positive HPT was a special secret that Hubby and I could share for a little while before we told anyone that our last and final IVF cycle finally worked.
Looking back, my how life has changed since then. Today, I look at Jemma and Zoe and my heart overflows with love. To think of two small balls of cells that were once frozen to these beautiful baby girls is nothing short of a miracle. God is so good!
At four months, Jemma and Zoe are so much fun. We are constantly getting wide grins, occasional laughs, eyes of wonder, and snuggles.
Both girls still love their baths, love car and stroller rides, putting their hands and fingers in their mouths, love when we sing to them and both are quick to recognize us and their grandmas who take such good care of them when we are away at work.
Jemma especially loves when you talk to her and loves bouncing on your leg while you sing to her and spell out her name and loves having her head rubbed.
Zoe especially loves when you smile and laugh with her, loves kicking her legs, gives the biggest smiles first thing in the morning and loves when you dance around while holding her.
The girls had their four-month check-up last week and are both doing great. The doctor said they are definitely healthy and in fact called Jemma a “big baby”. Hehe!
Weight: 14 pounds 12 ounces
Length: 25 inches
Head circumference: 16.65 inches
Weight: 13 pounds 2 ounces
Length: 24.5 inches
Head circumference: 15.87 inches
Jemma is a bit bigger than Zoe in all measurements, so we’ll have to see if the trend continues.
We are looking forward to our first trip with the girls, a weekend down to California for my brother-in-law’s wedding and also looking forward to the upcoming holidays. This year will be unlike any other year of holidays, Jemma and Zoe’s first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Year and our first year as parents.
Jemma and Zoe recently were photographed for a children’s clothing catalog, Bunnies by the Bay, here are a couple of the photos:
Happy Thanksgiving coming up!
Wow, here we are again! Looks like I’m only getting to the blog once a month. Was really hoping to be here more often. I promise I’ll get back to my kitchen one of these days and post something worthy of sharing, not half baked box brownies, Thai food out of cartons or Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread.
Jemma and Zoe are now three months old and are so so so much fun! It’s amazing how interactive they have gotten in only three months of life. We are now enjoying lots of smiles, “talking”, giggles and their little personalities.
Jemma is our more outgoing, talkative, feisty and loud one. Zoe, on the other hand, is more introverted, quiet, happy to be by herself and curious. Both are just so sweet and the mornings are Hubby and I’s favorite time of day. Both are bright-eyed, smiley, and barely want to have their bottles because they just want to be social and give us lots of interaction.
We are still using the Playtex Drop-In four ounce bottles. Both girls are drinking somewhere between 3.5-6 ounces per feeding. They are getting a combination of pumped breast milk and Hipp Organic Formula, along with a DHA supplement, probiotics, and Vitamin D3 drops (which they love for their berry flavor).
Both girls still love bath time, love when we talk to them, sing to them, spending time on their playmat and their new favorite thing to do is to suck on their hands. They are almost unhappy if they can’t put their fingers/hands in their mouths. They also enjoy walks in their stroller and in the Baby Bjorns.
Jemma does not like tummy time and if she has to wait too long for a bottle. Zoe doesn’t like when she accidentally head butts you, but otherwise, doesn’t complain about too much.
Weight-12 pounds 10 ounces
Weight-11 pounds 9 ounces
Hubby and I took this week off of work and were a little worried how the girls would do with their sleep schedules since we would be taking all of the nighttime shifts (no doula this week), and both girls AMAZED us. We gave the girls their last bottle around 8-10 PM, zipped them up into their Woombies and almost every night they only got up one time somewhere between 2:30 and 4:30 AM to eat. The next time they got up was around 6:30-8 AM. We have been very happy parents this week, not only have we been able to spend lots of time with Jemma and Zoe, but we’ve been well rested enough to enjoy every moment. We only have a nighttime doula for a handful of work days, so we are hoping their routine will stick so that our morning routine of getting the girls fed, getting ready and getting to work on time will work out.
We are still loving our PEMS group, all of the couples are great and I hope that we will stay in touch with everyone. This past Saturday we went to lunch with another couple and their twin boys, it’s been fun going through this eventful time with other families.
I’ve caught myself crying happy tears this week, it’s still so hard to believe that I’m a Mom and that Hubby and I are parents to two beautiful and healthy girls. When we look at them, it makes every hard time we went through worth it. I wouldn’t change anything about our journey if it meant not having Jemma and Zoe in this world. We love them so much!
Jemma and Zoe today after our walk, this picture cracks me up!
Well, actually almost 2 1/2 months because I haven’t had the time to sit down and type this post. I’ll use the twin excuse!
So hard to believe that Jemma and Zoe will be 11 weeks old tomorrow, I know, I know, I say it in every post, but time really goes by so fast.
Both girls are doing great and we are falling more and more in love with them every day. We are starting to get smiles from them, be still my heart! And both girls are finding their voices, Jemma especially, she really likes to be social.
Not sure if Hubby agrees, but I’m enjoying our PEMS group, I posted about PEMS a few posts ago. All of the couples in our group are very nice and it’s great to have other people to share the experience with. We talk about highs and lows every week and luckily we’ve had more highs than lows to discuss.
We have finally moved onto the Playtex Drop-In/Natural Latch bottles, these were the bottles we had originally bought for the girls, but since they had been introduced to the small bottles from the hospital and I wasn’t nursing much, the girls have had a hard time opening wide enough for the Natural Latch nipples to get an effective seal. They finally are able to open wide enough and it has been so nice to have the drop-in bags that are disposable. We transitioned from the small two ounce hospital bottles to the Dr. Browns bottles (which are 5 parts! Too much dishwashing!) and now finally onto the Playtex. The girls take about 3-4 oz per feeding, Jemma sometimes taking 5-6 oz. We are still generally on a 3-4 hour interval with longer stretches at 4-5 hours and unfortunately, some shorter stretches of 1.5-2 hours. The short stretches are manageable except when they are at night!
The doulas we have hired for nighttime care on our work nights have been lifesavers. One of the two doulas comes from 10:30 PM until 6:30 AM Sunday through Wednesday. They are a little costly, but worth every dime to have a functional brain for work. Our original contract with them was for 5 weeks, but we will likely extend for another couple of weeks. The thought of being up for a 2 hour stretch at night (on a bad night) and then having to go to work for 9 hours seems daunting and gives me anxiety! The hope is that by the end of November the girls will give us 5 hour stretches on a regular basis. Both of our Moms are still doing our childcare during the day and we feel so lucky to have them to care for Jemma and Zoe.
Jemma and Zoe had their 2 month appointment on September 19th. Both girls have almost doubled in weight since birth and they were so good getting their 2 month vaccines, hardly any tears.
Weight: 11 pounds 4 ounces
Length: 22.75 inches
Head Circumference: 15.47 inches
Weight: 10 pounds 6 ounces
Length: 22.75 inches
Head Circumference: 14.88 inches
Jemma is a bit heavier than Zoe and she has my big head! Both girls are in the 90+ percentile for length, hopefully they’ll be tall like Daddy!
Both girls love baths, love car rides, love going out in their stroller, smile often, talk occasionally, think glasses on people’s faces are interesting, and love their swings. We’ve taken them out to dinner a couple of times and the louder the restaurant the better.
Jemma likes to be held…..a lot! And loves when you talk to her.
Zoe can “play” by herself and be content. She also loves to stare at your face and just gives you the sweetest look.
They dislike having their clothes changed, getting out of the warm bath and are beginning to startle more with loud noises, so much for doing whatever we please during nap times.
Sorry if this post is rambling on. I’m trying to remember all of the little moments because I know that they come and go so quickly! Hubby and I still can’t believe we were blessed not with one but two little miracles. Jemma and Zoe are more than we could have ever imagined and our hearts have to keep growing to contain the love we have for them.
Two month photo
By the way, I’m so happy it’s fall. Bring on the crisp air, pumpkin spice lattes, changing leaves, football games, Halloween and best holiday…Thanksgiving! I’ll try not to get ahead of myself.
I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Plan B Chronicles. Thank you so much for the nomination!
The criteria for accepting a One Lovely Blog Award are:
Seven Facts About Myself:
I know many of you have already been nominated and have done your posts, so I’m going to pass on nominations. There are many many Lovely Blogs out there and you can check out my Blog roll to see the ones I’m currently following.
Happy Labor Day! I hope all of you have the day off work and are relaxing. Even though summer doesn’t officially end until September 23rd this year, Labor Day always feels like the end of summer to me. Maybe it’s because I think back to the school days when school would start back up after the holiday weekend. Pencils sharpened, new school clothes in the closet, football games, anticipation of seeing all of your friends and seeing that school crush. This year Labor Day is bittersweet for me, tomorrow I return to work after a short seven-week maternity leave. I’m going to miss Jemma and Zoe so much after spending almost all day with them for seven weeks, but I am also looking forward to returning to work. I have an amazing team that makes each day great and I’m looking forward to seeing them and seeing all of my patients who I know are eager to hear all about the girls.
The girls are getting so big, we went to rent a second hospital-grade pump for me to take to work and were able to use the scale at the center to weigh the girls. Jemma is up to 9 pounds 9 ounces and Zoe is up to 9 pounds 1 ounce. Jemma is a very good eater and now has a half pound on her sister. Jemma also had a hip ultrasound at Children’s Hospital since she was breech and everything checked out completely normal. We were guessing her hips were okay because she kicks like crazy!
We also had our first PEMS (providing early multiples support) meeting, PEMS is modeled after PEPS (program for early parent support) and enjoyed meeting three other couples with twins. There will be another couple joining the group but they didn’t attend the first meeting, so will be a total of 5 couples. It will be 8 weeks of meetings rotating between homes covering topics such as arrival stories, sleeping, feeding, etc. The girls slept through the first meeting, but you can only imagine how some meetings will go with 10 infants all gathered in the same room!
I’m going to miss seeing these little faces tomorrow. Hubby will definitely have to send me pictures at work this week. I’m glad it’ll be a short week for my first week back.
I’ll be posting soon, hoping everything goes smoothly tomorrow!
So hard to believe that the girls are over a month old. Even though I see them every day, I can definitely see how much they’ve grown and changed.
Physically they are continuing to gain weight and length. We’ve started doing some tummy time and both Jemma and Zoe are lifting their heads and turning them from side to side. Both girls are much more alert and will look at you with bright and curious eyes. Their little inadvertent smiles are so adorable and just melt my heart.
Jemma has come a long way from being in the NICU. She is a great eater now and gives wide smiles. She loves to look at lights and we even catch her gazing at the TV.
Zoe is so sweet but can be our little drama queen. She likes to cry out when she’s eating, even though she is getting everything she needs. She loves to look at you when you are feeding her and gazes at your face, so adorable.
I’m focusing almost solely on pumping and decided not to take the Reglan. The side effects can be terrible, besides causing depression, it can also cause tardive dyskinesia. The tardive dyskinesia can be permanent. It is not worth a few more ounces of milk to me. I’m continuing to take 6000 mg of fenugreek daily and am drinking plenty of Mother’s Milk tea.
I’ll be back to work the Tuesday after Labor Day, I can’t believe how fast my time at home has gone by. I’m getting a little anxious thinking about leaving the girls, but I know they will be in wonderful hands. My Mom and Mother-in-Law will be sharing our child care duties. All of the little things the girls do will be what I’ll miss most during my time at work. But I feel lucky to be in a profession where I can work three and a half days and have long weekends with my family.
One Month Old! August 14, 2014 Zoe (left) and Jemma (right)
Sister time Jemma (right) and Zoe (left)
Happy Hump Day!
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