Monday, February 10, 2014

Where oh where do I pump?

I'm keeping a running list of all the unusual places I've pumped. I am firmly committed to breast milk feeding these babies, so I pump wherever and whenever I have to.

Here goes:
  • Flight from San Francisco to Auckland (and return)
  • Flight from Auckland to Melbourne (and return) 
  • Flight from Melbourne to Brisbane (and return)
  • Portland International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Auckland, New Zealand Airport
  • Melbourne, Australia Airport
  • Brisbane, Australia Airport
  • Gladstone, Australia Airport
  • the back of a BMW
  • the passenger seat of an Audi
  • the driver's seat of my Subaru
  • the backseat of my Subaru
  • walking down the street pushing my stroller after my OB appointment (I looked like Madonna in the late 90s with a crazy pointed bra!) (my favorite on this list!)
  • in bed
  • in my bathroom
  • on the floor in my living room while the babies do kick and tummy time
  • at my dining room table (while typing this up!)
  • the bathtub
And recently:

  • my office at work
  • an unused jury room in the courthouse I work in

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DE - from the other side

It was suggested to me by a friend and fellow blogger that I write a blog post about donor eggs from the "other side." Now that I have donor egg babies, how do I feel?

The answer is simple: like a mommy.

Most moments - scratch that, 99.9% of moments - I don't even think about them being donor egg babies. It just doesn't come up in my mind or my heart or my soul. These are my babies. My body grew them and birthed them. My body recovered from the 9 month experience (scratch that: the FOUR YEAR experience). My body feeds them. And they gaze up into my eyes and smile and coo and fall asleep, my body cherishes them. These are my daughters, no doubt about it. And when people tell me "they have your eyes" (because, honestly, they do!), my heart sings. When my own mother told me that they look like me, we both almost cried. That they don't have my DNA is simply a technicality, not worthy of much thought. This process helped me realize that making a baby takes more than just having sex and converging DNA. It takes daily consideration for what mom eats while growing baby (and, for me, it was really intense because of the single placenta and TTTS risk). It takes careful planning and attention to detail. It takes love and patience and longing. DNA is, thanks to modern medicine, an afterthought. And, thanks to epigenetics, these babies have more of me than I used to think possible. My body was responsible for switching on and off certain genomes. My body made and grew these babies, and it did it well. My body responds to their needs and as of about a month ago, they are both 100% breas milk fed babies.

As I sit here, typing this between spells of checking on sleeping babies, with the Portland snow storm happening outside our beautiful front picture window, my last day of FMLA leave being tomorrow and my first day of official "leave of absence" until September (read: unemployment!) begins Monday, you know what I am NOT thinking about? Well, you know. My heart is full, my family is complete, my life is amazing, and my babies are as mine as they could ever be.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Almost 11 weeks have passed

Finding time to do anything for myself, let along blog, is really hard with newborn twins. That said, we managed to fly to Australia with them! They got their 6 week inoculations and we boarded a plane the next day. My whole family is from Australia and my grandma was very sick. It has been a dream of mine for 4 years to the month that she would get to meet great grandbabies. Realizing we didn't have much time, we decided to do the unthinkable - and take the babies to Australia. They met her and 10 days later, she died. It was remarkable and I cannot help but think that the universe helped a little and the babies knew they had to come early and be healthy. Had they come on their due date or even been only 2 weeks early as opposed to 4 weeks, I'm just not sure my grandma could have held on.

The babies were AMAZING and didn't cry once the whole time. Seriously, I'm not kidding. And they didn't get so much as a cold or cough. Tough little suckers!

What else? Oh, the babies are entirely breastmilk fed! I am really proud of that. They don't transfer great from the breast, so I do what is known as the "triple feed" - nurse them, then bottle feed them what I pumped the previous time, then pump for the next feed. My mantra is two fold: "this is only temporary" and "my friends still in the trenches would kill for this opportunity." I actually love it and love feeding them, as exhausting as it is.

My hubby went back to work this week and it has been actually really enjoyable. I like having the day entirely to myself to schedule and do as things come up. Being in Australia (read: summer!) gave us the confidence to get outside with the babies daily. Now that we're home, I've committed to getting out for a long walk once a day. So far, it has happened and I feel great!

What else? Oh, I called my on call provider from Australia because I was bleeding suddenly a few days after arriving in Australia. I worried I was hemorrhaging. I explained my symptoms and the doc said "are you sure it's not your period?" There was radio silence on my end. Neither my hubby nor I (nor my family I confided in) had even considered that! I was only 7 weeks post partum and nursing two babies! Turns out my body really likes to recover quickly. Was it my period? I wondered until this week when, 26 days later, IT CAME AGAIN!

Apparently my body and nature think I can handle another baby?! God forbid I was a fertile (who had time for sex!) and I might have three under one year old. EEK! Fortunately, I have little to zero chance of that happening.

OK, babies just woke up from their nap with their dad. Gotta go!