Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Benjamin and Asher!

I gave birth Friday, at 36 weeks and 1 day, to my twin sons!  After posting yesterday morning, my contractions picked up, coming about 3 minutes apart without any relief in between.  I had some more bleeding at one point when I went to the bathroom, and so I called my OB around 6 am.  He told me to come in to the hospital.  I woke up Eric (again) who took a quick shower and gathered up things to have at the hospital for the day.  I tried to get a few other things together to put in my hospital bag, but I could hardly stand up because I was in constant pain!  I called my mom to let her know we were going to the hospital, and she asked "Why?"  I said, "I'm in labor! I'm having the babies!"  So she said, "Oh!  Oh!  Ok!  Should I meet you there?"  I told her to let us get settled in and then we would call to let her know what was happening.

We drove the 2 miles to the hospital with me gripping the "oh, sh*t" handle above the door.  Eric dropped me at the main entrance, and there were no wheelchairs there!  So I stood in the lobby hunched over waiting for him to park the car, and a nice doctor came up and said, "Excuse me, are you alright?"  I said, "Oh, yes, I'm fine, I'm just in labor." (Obvious? With that belly, probably.)  He looked very worried and kind of hovered until Eric came jogging up.  He then said "congratulations" and pointed us to the right set of elevators.

I walked into Labor & Delivery and they took me to my labor room.  I stripped off all my clothes and got into a gown.  They asked me to sign a bunch of forms (god only knows what I signed, I was in so much pain I would have signed anything!).  I hopped into the bed, and met the nurses.  A resident came in to check my cervix and said I was already dilated to 5 cm and that Baby A had descended to -1 station.  I was thrilled! While she checked me, Baby A's water broke.  Fortunately it was nice and clear-- no meconium.

I immediately said I wanted the epidural.  The contractions were so much more painful than I could have imagined.  I now know the difference between a Braxton-Hicks and a real contraction and wow, what a difference!  It felt like someone was stomping on my pelvis while simultaneously pulling out my insides.  They told me they were calling the anesthesiologist right away, but it still took about an hour before he was there with the epidural.  I was so glad to see him!  He placed the epidural without a problem and said my back was an anesthesiologist's dream come true because I was not fat and he could feel my vertebrae.  What a nice compliment to give the giant pregnant lady!

Once the epidural took effect, I was totally comfortable.  My mom came shortly before I got the epidural, so she, Eric, and I sat around chatting, watching the monitors and just waiting.  My OB came in at 10 am to check my cervix again and said I had dilated to 9 cm and the baby was at 0 station.  He said that was good progress.  I was really hungry and began to get hopeful that I was going to have babies by lunch time and would be able to have a sandwich!

After that, we were basically left alone.  There was a blood pressure cuff that took my b.p. periodically so I would look up at the monitors and watch the babies heart rates and my contractions.  They continued to be regular, and I could feel them, but they weren't painful.  I felt the babies wiggle sometimes.  Writing that makes me sad... I was so caught up in being in labor, I wasn't thinking about how those were some of the last wiggles I would have.  I did feel somewhat sad knowing that it was my last moments alone with them, and that shortly I would have to share them the rest of the world.  But I was just happy that their heart rates were staying nice and steady through all the contractions.

We began to get bored!  I wanted to know what was happening but no one came in.  I figured everyone else went to lunch just like I wanted to!  Around 12:30 my OB came in to check me again and told me that I was complete and that Baby A was was at +2 station.  It was time to go to the OR and push!  Everyone got suited up, there was going to be my OB and 2 residents doing the delivery, and Eric and my mom had to get into their space suits (one size fits all... or fits no one).

I got wheeled into the OR and got onto the delivery table.  It was so cold in there!  I was shaking with the anticipation and maybe some of the epidural.  We all got in our places, this was around 12:45, and they asked me to practice pushing with my first contraction.  So I started to push, and what do you know, I peed ALL over the place.  It sprayed all over one of the residents!  She stood there politely and my OB said, "why don't you go freshen up?"  So she left but returned quickly.  We kept pushing, and they were really helpful in telling me the best way to push and in being reassuring about the progress I was making.  15 minutes later, at 1:02, my son Asher was born!  He came out waving his arms and legs and began to scream-- what a relief!  They gave me a second with him and I saw that he was as cute as I had imagined he would be.  Then off to the warmers to get looked at by the neonatolgist.  He weighed 5 lbs, 9 oz.  For a moment I was distracted from the labor by looking over at Asher and wanting to know all was well, but my mom went over to watch him while Eric and I continued with the labor.

I pushed a couple of times, and Baby B was still pretty high up, so my OB said they were going to help him out with a little vacuum.  I said, "Fine!  Just get me my baby!"  So with the vacuum it took 1 big push and then one half push, and Benjamin was here!  He also cried right away.  He was so little-- 4 lbs, 6.5 oz.  But perfect.

While they looked at Benjamin, I got to hold Asher.  My OB and the residents got to work cleaning me out-- two placentas and then some stitches.  I have a 2nd degree tear from Asher, which my OB said was not bad.  Not bad considering he came in such a hurry!  They had such a hard time getting the placentas out.  My OB was reaching for it at the top of my uterus, which was under my breasts.  He was knocking Asher, who was lying on my chest, around and Asher started to fuss.  It was weird, because I couldn't really feel him inside of me, but he was in up to his elbow.

Delivery is a big huge mess.  I ended up peeing at least twice on the delivery table, there was blood everywhere, I thought I had a bowel movement but didn't really see it.  So unglamorous.  But it doesn't matter, because I came out of there with two perfect, beautiful babies.

Things have been so busy since, my in-laws came down as a surprise (thank goodness, no grandma should have to wait 3 weeks to see her grandsons!) and we have had tons of visitors.  Everyone says the boys are adorable, which I think they are, but I have to admit that I am probably biased.  They are extremely snuggly and sweet, I have given them each hundreds of kisses.  I can't wait to go home and kiss their feet, and their hands, and their bellies...

More pictures and news to come!  But for now, I am one extremely happy (if still in shock) mommy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

36w1d: I think these babies are on their way...

It is 5:11 am.  Around 4 I woke up with a gasp (was I having a contraction?) and felt crampy and the urge to go to the bathroom.  I was unable to go (no pushing or straining!) but when I wiped and then looked into the bowl, I saw blood.  I began to panic!  I ran into our bedroom with my pajamas around my ankles and switched on the light and said, "I'm bleeding!"  I called my OB's message service and began running around the room, getting dressed and just generally waving my arms and being unproductive.  I told Eric to get dressed, but being his usual self he said, "I am going to wait til the doctor calls."

The doctor called and said that the blood was just "bloody show."  It's not really mucousy, but it's not enough to signal any kind of membrane rupture or serious problem.  He told me to wait til the contractions get to be 5-7 minutes apart and then call again to go in to Labor & Delivery, but that I did not need to come in that second.  Hmph, Eric was right again.

My contractions have started and really picked up the pace.  If they keep coming as fast as they are right now, I am going to have to call my OB back in half an hour!  These contractions are extremely painful and feel totally different from the Braxton-Hicks I had been having.  When they come on, all I can do is breathe and squirm.  And they are accompanied by the feeling like I really, really need to have a bowel movement (and I have been to the toilet with no luck in that area).

I can already tell this labor and delivery is not going to resemble my fantasy.  My fantasy: labor at home, breathing deeply, walking around, laughing and talking between contractions.  The reality: I am not having relief between contractions and don't want to move.  I want to go to the hospital NOW and find out what the hell is happening in there. 

My fantasy: Totally drug-free.  The reality: If I am in this much pain now, who am I kidding?  Epidural for sure.

My fantasy: a full night's sleep, I brush my hair prior to going to the hospital.  The reality: I am not sure I can stand up long enough to brush my hair.

But as long as my boys get here healthy, I am ok with an unflattering reality.  Check back for updates later!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ha! 36 weeks!!!!!

Well, we did it!  We made it to 36 weeks, which is considered full-term for my sweet little boys.  Hurray!  I am so proud of myself, and of course thankful for all the help I got from Eric, our families, and our friends as we went through 12 weeks of bedrest.  It was all completely worth it!  I am ready to have these babies, and barring any disasters, we will be able to bring them home from the hospital with us.  What a huge relief!

Today we had a non-stress test and our last ultrasound.  The non-stress test was completely uneventful, the babies did their usual performance and I didn't contract.  While I was lying there, my OB stopped in to say hello.  He asked if I wanted an internal this week, and I said no.  He said he thinks I am probably dilated.  Well, great, but if I'm not in labor and my water hasn't broken, who cares?  Then he pulled out his Blackberry and looked at his calendar and told me if I didn't go into labor, they would want to induce me sometime during the week of April 5.  And then left!  No actual date, no talk about the process...

I know it is silly, but I had really been hoping for some kind of pat on the back, some kind of comment that here we were, 36 weeks, after he hospitalized me at 27 weeks saying, "just get to 30, ok?"  But nothing!  I made some kind of comment, and he said, "Well, the babies are actually putting less pressure on your cervix now because they're bigger."  Ok, thanks.  I am not 100% sure how that makes sense.  Maybe now that A's head is bigger it won't simply slip out of my vagina but will instead have to be pushed? 

Later he came in at the end of my growth scan.  The growth scan showed that the babies have continued to grow (A is estimated at about 5.5 lbs, and B is about 5 lbs), and all their parts are continuing to function perfectly.  They are both using their lungs in there, which is great to see, since they are going to need those lungs once they are on the outside.  Fluid levels are also good.  They are all cramped in there, it really looks like a tight squeeze!  B's feet are all the way up under my breasts.  I knew this because he often kicks the underwire on my bra, but it was funny having the woman put the ultrasound sensor up so high trying to get a measurement of his leg.  At this point, I feel like baby measurements must be such a rough estimate, I can see that all their pieces are totally squeezed and the ultrasound tech is only getting vague pictures to measure.  So different from 20 weeks when they were swimming around with all the room they needed!

Anyway, my OB came in and so I fortunately got a chance to ask some more questions.  He said that he won't be delivering the week of April 5th, so if I need to be induced, the other OB in the practice (who I have seen, and like, but have not seen since 28 weeks) will do it.  So my OB didn't want to talk about induction and told me to make an appointment with the other OB to discuss the induction.  I also told him that I am planning to have a doula at the birth.  He said that was fine if that was what I wanted, but that in his opinion, we didn't need one.  He said that he thought doulas interfered and took away from the father's participation in the birth.

The doula we're planning to have is an old family friend, and I don't think that she will interfere.  In fact, when we last met with her, she said she would not tell us what to do during the labor, but would be there to offer support.  I am not worried about her interfering, and when we met with her, both Eric and my mom felt like they definitely wanted her around for the birth.

Overall, I kind of felt like my OB took the wind out of my sails.  I hate to feel that way, I shouldn't feel any less happy with our progress and accomplishments, or any less excited about the fact that I have two perfect, healthy boys wiggling away in my belly. And I don't, I just wish that my OB had reflected back some of that excitement to me (oh my god, what a therapist thing to say!).  It felt like getting twin pregnancies to 36 weeks happens all the time for him, so no big deal.  This kind of laid-back style worked well when I was panicking over my cervix, because it felt like, yes, cervixes shorten but we'll make it, no big deal.  It was calming and reassuring.  But now that I am excited, I want that from him and apparently that isn't in his repertoire. 

I contrast this with my fertility doctor, who gets hundreds of women pregnant every year, but still seemed overjoyed to see me healthy and pregnant.  In a way, I am hoping the other OB does my delivery, because he does tend to be a little more upbeat and positive at times, and if I need cheering on through the pushing, he might be more likely to give it.

Oh, and my other complaint is that no one ever called me with the results of my Group B Strep test.  It is negative, which is nice (although even if it were positive it would really not be a huge deal).  But no one called.  I ended up asking the nurse who does the non-stress tests if she could peek in my chart and tell me.

In the end, obviously my happiness and excitement outweigh the disappointment in my OB.  I have, for the most part, gotten excellent care from my OB and am so lucky that we got constant attention for weeks and weeks to reassure me that all was well with my babies.  And I am now overjoyed that we can happily wait for my labor to start, and when it does, we can leave for the hospital and look forward to coming home as a family.  I packed my post-labor hospital bag, with a coming home outfit for me (maternity pants, a nursing tank, and a sweater) and the boys' coming home outfits.  I chose for the boys these adorable blue and white onesies that my mom bought them in Paris.  They have bunnies on the front, and the bunnies have a small white button as their tails.  I just know the boys will be so cute that I could eat them up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

35w5d: a thank you note

So now that we are very close to 36 weeks and what would be considered "full term" for my twins, I just want to make note of just how much I appreciate how hard my body is working.  After needing fertility treatments to get pregnant, I felt like I was broken.  Until that point I had taken for granted my health and my strength, and I suddenly felt as though my body had failed me.

When I got pregnant, I felt elated.  I made good eggs; together Eric and I made healthy embryos!  I hoped that my body would just take it from there.  I had some bleeding in the first trimester that scared me, but the bleeding quickly stopped and the pregnancy continued.  I had an easy first trimester, with minimal nausea, no vomiting, no real weight gain or loss.  Everyone said I looked wonderful, and I felt great!  On into my second trimester, where I got to exercising, we ate better.  I felt like I was good at being pregnant.  I thought, "I definitely want to be pregnant again."

And then we found my cervix was shortening, and again I felt as though my body was failing me.  Why couldn't my cervix do this one job?  What if it dilated and I lost my babies?  It wasn't supposed to go that way.

I know part of getting this far is my compliance with bedrest, but the rest of it is pure luck.  Plenty of people have shortening cervixes, go on bedrest, and lose the pregnancy.  In my case, I can't say whether it was catching the shortening at just the right time, or using progesterone suppositories, or just that what small piece of cervix I had left would have stuck it out no matter what.  But, regardless, I feel grateful to my body for doing this job.  It is no small feat to gain this weight, to grow these babies, and to keep them in for all this time.  I am amazed that in the past 2 weeks, despite my regular activity, my cervix has still held on.

Everywhere I go I carry my belly proudly.  I want to tell all the people watching me waddle by, "Don't pity me!  I'm lucky to be this big!"  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I feel lucky not only that I have made it this far, but that I am relatively comfortable.  I don't have heartburn, I still have ankles, I can sleep most nights without any kind of pillow fortress.  I'm back to thinking, "I am definitely going to do pregnancy again!"  My stamina is quickly returning, and I feel like my body is strong and healthy.  So I wanted to express my gratitude.

Last night I noticed my first stretch mark.  It is not big, it is on my right side a little below my belly button.  It itches.  I'm a little sad because I was so excited to be getting out of a twin pregnancy without a stretch mark, but I am also pleased, because it means I have stayed pregnant long enough, and grown my babies big enough, to get one.  Now, if I could just not get any more before I give birth...

Tonight I cooked dinner all by myself!  It was one of the "fast" recipes from Bon Appetit (the April issue, it was shrimp and grits), so it was not meant to take long, but I did it all alone.  Then I helped clean up.  I really enjoyed making dinner and the feeling of independence.

Today my dad came over, and he and Eric hung the vinyl wall decal in the nursery.  It is a brown tree with a white owl on the long branch.  I love it, and I think that it will transition well from baby to little boy room.  Here is a picture (and please excuse that Eric left crap on top of the dresser):

Monday, March 22, 2010

35w4d: Mixed emotions

We are living what are obviously our final days without kids, our final days as just a couple and not a family, as just us and not as two little someones' parents.  I know that once I got pregnant the countdown started, and that with the short cervix scare our babies could have come much earlier, but now I know I will be a mom sometime between now and about two weeks from now.  Two weeks! 

My thoughts and emotions are very scattered.  There is the part of me that thinks, with every kick and shift, just how much I can't wait to meet my sons.  I look at the 3D pictures of their faces I got at 28 weeks and can't wait to touch their chubby cheeks, kiss their tiny toes, pat their little backs...  I love them so much and we haven't met.  I look at their car seats and imagine their little bodies settled in to come home with us from the hospital and I feel so eager to reach that moment.

And at the same time, I feel panicky about the end of our lives as we know them.  On Saturday morning, we woke up and the sun was shining.  We were just lying in bed, cuddling with each other and the cats, with nothing to rush off to or attend to.  In the back of my mind I thought, "What if this is our last weekend like this?"  I wanted to bottle it up and save it, those are the moments I love.  Just like I love the weekend mornings where we look at each other and just know that we both want brunch and we run out to one of our local brunch places to beat the families with kids. 

I love our freedom and our flexibility.  Sometimes on the weekends we just decide to go to New York, or DC.  Or do nothing at all.  I know that we can still travel with our kids, but I also know that we will be up early every day, feeding and taking care of them.  I know we'll be tired, and we won't get to just sit at the table after dinner talking and laughing, we'll be rushing to hold someone or feed someone, or do some other chore.

So I'm feeling very clingy, and like I want to spend every second with Eric that I can.  Of course, he wants time alone, because he loves his quiet time.  But I am valuing every second we have, every quiet moment I have in the bath, or sleeping in, or watching my garbage TV uninterrupted.

(Side thought-- if playing classical music while your kids are in utero makes them smarter, did I rot my babies' brains by watching crappy re-runs while on bedrest?  Will they come out knowing the dialogue to Friends re-runs?)

Tonight I am feeling very tired.  I didn't do all that much today, I did laundry in the morning, and then in the afternoon I did one outing and went to the grocery store (by myself!).  Then I stopped at my parents' house to feed their cats.  They went on a mini-vacation to Long Island to wine taste and eat.  They were going to stay until tomorrow, but I got a call today that they are coming back late tonight because my mom's tummy hurts from too much eating!  After my outing I came home and spent some time on the couch.  Eric and I cooked dinner together, and then back to the couch.  I feel like I've been having some very light contractions, but they are short and I have not been timing them.  I figure when real contractions start I won't be able to brush them off or say, "was that a contraction?" 

While resting today, I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (I think that's what it's called) on Hulu.  I got all upset with Eric for not eating enough fruits and vegetables and told him he needs to set a better example for our kids.  So I asked, did he want salad or raw snap peas for dinner?  He said snap peas.  Well, you should have seen his face when he ate the first one!  It was like I was trying to poison him!  He had some raw baby carrots instead.  I guess I now know that I better cook the veggies first...  I did offer to steam the snap peas, or make some frozen broccoli, or heat up some leftover asparagus, but he refused everything.  We have a way to go, it seems.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

35w2d: What a beautiful day!

We are having beautiful, unseasonably warm spring-like weather here.  All the trees are starting to bud and all our plants are beginning to come up.  I've been enjoying the past few days by going outside for a little everyday.

Today began with brunch with my friend Alex and her husband Michael.  We had good food, and good conversation.  They live in town, and Michael kindly commented on how spacious and sunny the suburbs are.  I am more accustomed to our city friends putting down the suburbs, so that was nice to hear!  One day perhaps they will join us out here with kids, too, but in the meantime they seem to have a great time in town.  When they were saying their goodbyes we realized that in all likelihood, the next time we see them the boys will be on the outside.

Then my friends Shoshana and Jen came over.  Jen lives pretty far away now so I haven't seen her since October.  This was her make-up visit since she missed my shower, but actually, this was way better than if she had actually been at the shower.  They brought picnic food, but we ended up eating out on the back deck (way easier for me than getting up and down off the ground).  We sat in the sun and had bellinis, baguette, cheese, fruit, and chips with mango salsa.  It was perfect!  You can see Shoshana and Jen and our lunch in the top picture.  While we gossiped and ate, Eric went out for a long bike ride.

Originally we had dinner plans with another couple, but they had to cancel.  Eric was fine with this because he does not like when I over-commit us socially.  We got Thai food take-out and then went out for an ice cream cone.  Eric said that a woman in the ice cream shop saw my belly and had a very shocked expression on her face.  Yes, I'm huge!  I told Eric if I go past 36 weeks I want him to print a T-shirt for me that says, "I am full-term with twins!" so that when I go out people will know why I am so big.

Eric tried to take a picture of me with Jen and Shoshana.  In the first picture below, he looked at it and said, "Hmm, that's not a great angle for you... you look like a giant body with a tiny head on top."  So I shifted, and he took another and said, "Hmm, that's not great either..." but we gave up and decided that at this point, I am out of good angles.  No matter how you cut it, my midsection is running large.  Maybe a picture from behind?  So, here is Attempt #1:
And Attempt #2:
I just have to say, these babies better be BIG and healthy when they get here.  I am so not used to myself looking like this.  And it's crazy, because I still have normal arms, legs, ankles, and face.  It is from the collar bone to my butt that is problematic.

Tonight Eric and I settled on the couch to watch a movie (Pirate Radio), and had to take a bathroom break.  While we were upstairs, Eric said, "Where are our babies?" (By babies, he means our cats.  Terminology that will probably have to change in the near future.)  He walked into the nursery, and there they were, Peanut sleeping in one crib, and Trouble sleeping in the other!  I sent Eric running for his phone to take a picture, but I was laughing so hard that Peanut got scared and leaped out of his crib and ran away.  Here is a picture of Trouble in his crib:
We are hoping that they will lose interest in the cribs when there are human babies in them.  Don't worry, we don't plan to let the babies (human) sleep with the cats and will do research to make sure it doesn't happen.

There is also some less-good news about our sweet Trouble.  He threw up on Thursday night and it was strange.  Not food throw up, and a lot of it and he seemed a little upset.  So as soon as we got home from my non-stress test on Friday (oh yeah, the non-stress test was fine, I'm still pregnant) I called the vet and made an appointment for him.  The vet is worried that he has Irritable Bowel Disease.  The first step was for us to change their food.  Eric and I had been feeding them an adult formula from Costco and the vet said that this is the equivalent of McDonald's for cats.  I was mortified!  I would NEVER feed my children a daily diet of McDonald's, so my cats shouldn't eat it, either.  We went to the pet store and got him a sensitive tummy formula.  The vet also recommended 5 mg of Pepcid AC a day.  Trouble has always acted his usual self, so I was surprised that he might be so sick!  He had lost 2 pounds since the previous summer, and the vet said that is unusual at his young age.  If Trouble's tummy troubles don't ease up in the next month, then we will have to get him an ultrasound to rule in or out the Irritable Bowel Disease.  My sweet boy, we will do whatever he needs!  He was clingy the rest of the day Friday and today is back to his usual napping, affectionate, handsome self.  Both Peanut and Trouble seem to adore their new food and have eaten quite enthusiastically.   It is probably 3 times as much as we were spending at Costco, but like I said, we will do whatever it takes for them.

Also, today is my dad's birthday!  Happy Birthday, Dad!  He and my mom went down to DC to spend the day with my sister so I didn't get to see him.  Tomorrow my parents are taking a short vacation to Long island, so we are going to have to delay my dad's birthday celebration for a while.  He is impossible to buy for, but he loves red meat, so our usual gift to him is a nice steak and bottle of red wine.  That's what he'll be having this year, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

35 weeks!

Well, who thought we would make it here?  I was pretty sure I would have my babies on the outside at this point, but I am so thrilled that they are still baking away inside me.  I definitely want at least 1 more week out of this, and know I can do it, physically I am comfortable enough and feel that I have enough stamina.  Now let's hope my body cooperates...  I am going to make it short tonight because it is late and we have to get up early for my non-stress test, internal exam (yuck!), and Group B strep test. 

Today was a good day-- we got our nursery furniture delivered!  The nursery pictures will follow this week's pregnancy stats:

How far along?  35 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  We are done talking weight.
Maternity clothes?  Yes... I am down to about 2 pairs of pants, several tank tops, and anything loose that will fit on my top.
Stretch marks? Still no stretch marks.  I have heard that sometimes they appear post-partum, but I hope this is not the case.
Sleep?  Pretty lousy.  I have trouble falling asleep because I contract at night, and then I am waking up to pee frequently, and I am tired of sleeping on my left side.  I miss sleeping on my tummy.
Best moment last week? Getting oohed and ahhed over by my fertility doctor and his staff.
Movement?  I am feeling a little less.  I feel B much less than A.  They are most active when I want to sleep (this habit better not stick after they are born!).
Food cravings? No real cravings.  We are eating healthily, and I have lots of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, etc.  I have always liked to eat healthy food.
Gender? Two boys!
Labor signs? Plenty of Braxton-Hicks.  I almost called the OB last night after having them 9 minutes apart for an hour and a half, but then they stopped.  Thank goodness, I would not have wanted to be at the hospital overnight!
Belly button in/out? It is still in.  It just might stay that way.
What I miss: Sleeping on my belly, going to exercise outside now that the weather is beautiful, and drinking a cold alcoholic beverage (I'm not much of a drinker even when I'm not pregnant, but this warm weather and sunshine seem to require an icy drink like a mojito).
What I am looking forward to: Making it another week... I really want to make it to 36.
Milestones: Yesterday I did a bunch of errands, and walking, and came home and cooked potato salad and crab cakes.  I feel like my stamina is returning and that I have a lot of my independence back.

And now, the nursery!  This first picture is of one of the cribs.  We will put way all of the blankets on top of the shelf in front of the window, those are all their handmade blankets and quilts, lucky boys!
This is the double dresser with changing pad on top.  We have a vinyl decal of a tree that we hope to hang this weekend over the dresser.

And, someone thinks the crib is for him.  I am hoping that this won't be a problem once there is a baby in the crib, but I think he just wanted to check out the new furniture.
I would also like some art or something to hang on the walls over each crib, but it is not a major priority at this point in time.  I don't think these pictures quite do the room justice, but it looks great and I am very pleased with the furniture we chose (Munire's Urban line).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

34w5d: Do they really let people like me have kids?

Well, I am hoping it is just pregnancy hormones/ pregnancy brain, but over the past few days, I have been more than a little klutzy.  I am trying hard to be helpful and take care of myself so that Eric can work, and I hope he knows how much I have appreciated him doing everything for me.  Unfortunately, it often backfires.  On Saturday night, I went to fill the Brita pitcher and put the faucet in the pitcher.... and walked away.  I poured water all over the counter and the floor!  Eric was totally annoyed, but I said, "it's just water, no big deal!"

So yesterday I was independently making myself a lovely snack (some apple and cheese, some toast, some tea) and then carried it over to the chaise part of our couch where I spend a great deal of my time.  I put the tray down and promptly spilled the entire mug of tea all over my right knee and the chaise and the cushions...  I screamed, because I burnt myself, and Eric came running.  I pulled my pants off and was running around the downstairs with my pants around my ankles, trying to get some ice on to my knee, and Eric was tearing the cushions off the couch and trying to clean up in the hopes that it wouldn't stain.  I seriously hope that no one saw us!  What is more scary than a gigantic pregnant woman with no pants on?  Eric was not thrilled.  I think he would have been happier to have made me a cup of tea than to deal with that mess.

To make up for it, I decided to make dinner.  No real cooking; my mom had left us a bunch of frozen meatballs and Eric's mom had left us batches of spaghetti sauce, so I got those going and started roasting asparagus in the oven.  The asparagus was done (perfectly done, if I may say so myself), and I pulled the tray out of the oven and decided to carefully place it on the countertop in a place where it wouldn't burn the counter.  In making room for the tray, I casually flung a dishtowel on to the lit burner that was on for the spaghetti water.  I didn't even notice until I smelled something burning...  Fortunately there are all of 12 inches between the stove and the sink so I threw the towel into the sink and doused it with water before things got out of hand.  But I'm not so sure I am safe around things like fire anymore!

Then I think, if I can't handle these simple tasks, what am I going to do with two babies who will require me to do things I've never done before?  Let's just hope I don't put them on top of a lit burner for safe-keeping.

We are definitely starting to nest.  Everyday we clean and organize a little more.  We've washed all of the babies clothes and linens and are now just waiting for cribs and the dresser to finish the nursery.  We're putting things away all over the house because our cleaning man comes tomorrow and we think it might be our last cleaning before we bring the babies home.  I have taken all of my pregnancy books off the shelves to give to someone else.  Today I put things in a bag to take to the hospital, because Eric is not 100% convinced that I'll be coming home from my doctor's appointment on Friday, so he wants the bag ready before we leave for the appointment.

Physically, I feel both good and bad in one day.  I usually wake up feeling pretty energetic, and by the evening I feel very tired and my uterus feels very sore.  Today I felt great in the morning, I got up and had breakfast, and my mom and I made plans for lunch.  We went to lunch, did some organizing, walked outside a little, and then I felt exhausted and like I was contracting.  My sleep at night is not great; other than last night I have had contractions late at night that keep me up, on top of waking up several times a night to pee.  The cats seem extra-clingy (see today's photo!) and usually pin me in place in bed, which makes my hips sore.  Sometimes I wonder how people make it to 38 weeks...  And sometimes I panic that these babies will be here way too soon.

We received our census form in the mail, and Eric wanted me to fill it out so we could send it back.  But the first question is, "How many people were living or staying in this house on April 1, 2010?" and we realized that we won't know the answer to that question until April 2, 2010.  So the form will have to wait.  But we keep having these moments where we realize how soon our lives will be changed forever.

Monday, March 15, 2010

34w2d & 3d: The Return of My Old Self

No, my old self has not returned with a vengeance.  34w1d did not find me on the treadmill, or vacuuming, or doing anything overly physical.  But, I did get out of bed and go straight to the babies' room to start organizing and putting away their books and toys.  And then I made my own breakfast.  I ran errands, and bought gifts for a shower I am going to tonight and for my aunt and uncle's 40th anniversary (Congratulations to them!  Jane and Ed have a very wonderful, loving marriage.  Ed always says he never thought it would work between them but I guess he was wrong.  They are the parents of 3 amazing children and grandparents to 4 sweet grandchildren.  I sincerely hope that Eric and I are headed in their footsteps).  I made my own lunch.  I helped empty the dishwasher.  And then I was exhausted!  I ended up on the couch and had a nice nap.

In the afternoon we had a visit from a good friend of Eric's from when he was in high school and college.  Kate was actually his girlfriend for a while, but that was long before Eric and I met.  She was a grooms woman in our wedding, and got married the summer after we did.  She is also now expecting!  She is 20 weeks, so our kids won't be too far apart.  She is taking a different route from us-- they won't find out the sex of their baby, and aren't discussing names.  She doesn't get weekly ultrasounds... and plans to work til the end of her pregnancy.  Eric and I are always astonished just how laid-back other people's pregnancies are.  Of course I wish I could have had the same, but we do feel lucky we have been taken good care of and have made it this far.

Then we had Friday night dinner at my parents' house.  We have Friday night dinner with my parents and aunt and uncle every Friday night, and suddenly I realized that we have a limited number of dinners left without our babies. These nights have a routine-- Eric and I go over around 6 or 6:30 and I generally help my mom finish cooking, then my aunt and uncle arrive around 7 and we have dinner.  We sit at the table and talk for a while, and then migrate to the couches in the family room and watch "What Not To Wear." Our evenings are very peaceful and relaxing; back when I was in school I was always exhausted on Friday nights and didn't have energy for more than that!  I know I will continue to look forward to Friday nights after the babies are here, because both my uncle Ed and my dad have the magic touch when it comes to babies, so I can count on them to calm the babies while I eat.  So I know I'll be eating one real meal like an adult even after the babies arrive!

... I didn't finish my last post, so I will include what we did Saturday night.  We attended the baby shower of my friend from the doctor's office, Elizabeth.  She is a little older than we are and she and her husband had a couples' cocktail party shower, which was really nice.  I got all dressed up (I had Eric take a picture but it helped me locate where else some of my weight gain has gone-- my upper arms-- and so I don't want to post it) and felt pretty cute.  My fertility doctor and some of the staff from the clinic were at the party, so that was exciting.  They all oohed and ahhed over my belly and repeatedly told me how good I looked.  I liked when people asked when I was due and I would tell them I was having twins and they were shocked!

Anyway, it was good to see all the people who helped us get pregnant.  I know they help hundreds of women get pregnant every year, but I feel attached to them, and their excitement over my pregnancy seemed genuine.  That is part of what I loved about the practice, that even though I knew they saw hundreds of women, that I felt known and taken care of.  I told my doctor I would call over there and give the information about their birth and bris as soon as they come, and he said he would love to attend their bris.  That would be so nice for us, too!  It was a really nice evening, but I came home exhausted from all the standing up and chatting.  I need to get my party stamina back, I guess.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

34 weeks and the end of bedrest

Well, here we are, the 34 week goal that my OB had discussed as the end of bedrest.  I think I am still in shock that I actually made it.  I can't believe that now I can sit up at an angle greater than 30 degrees if I want, or run some errands, or really, whatever I have energy for.  Given my feelings of panic and anxiety 12 weeks ago, and how much my cervix had shortened in so little time, I am in awe that the last 12 mm I had have managed to hold out all these weeks.  Well, thank you itty bitty cervix, I am so grateful that you gave my sons this extra time to grow and mature!

The boys seem to be growing and active.  I did gain some more weight (we are no longer discussing numbers), and seriously, look at today's picture, it HAS to be in my belly.  Do you see my ankles? Normal!  Face? Normal!  I am at the stage where people in public places are quite solicitous of me and I think they are all worried I am about to go into labor in the middle of their restaurant/shop/grocery store.  On my non-stress test today they were so active, I could have sworn they were in a big fight.  A couple of times they bumped the monitors off! 

I got a call in the evening from my OB.  He said that next week he wants to see me to do an internal.  He said, "you must be curious about that cervix!" and I said, "Nope!  Nothing has come out of it, so I'm perfectly happy with its performance at this point."  I am not looking forward to the internal, but I guess it is time.  I'll also have my Group B Strep test.  It is just unbelievable that I can now turn my mind from constant worry and precaution to planning for the birth and homecoming of my babies.

We still don't have any cribs... I am going to call tomorrow to see what the status is.  We ordered the cribs 14 weeks ago and were told 12-14 weeks for delivery.  I am anxious, given that no one has called me to schedule delivery.  My friend had a lot of trouble with the furniture store and I was sincerely hoping that we wouldn't, but if they still don't know when the cribs will be delivered, we will have a BIG problem.  I am getting ready to nest, and the empty room that is supposed to be a home for my boys does not make me feel very ready.

Tonight Eric and I had a lovely date in town to celebrate.  I chose a restaurant we had not been to before (I can now recommend it, the restaurant is Meritage, at 20th and Lombard in Philadelphia), and we had a very nice dinner.  It is fun to be out and feel normal for a little.  I get a little uncomfortable sitting in a chair for a long time, but I suffered through.  I had scallops to start, duck breast as an entree, and we shared a chocolate-espresso pot de creme for dessert.  I don't think we'll have any more big dates, though, because they sure do add up, and we still need some baby things.  But it was great to go out in the city again and celebrate this week's achievement.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Today's picture is of me when I was 4 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  I did not yet know I was pregnant (but I was drinking water, don't worry); we were at my cousin's wedding in Sonoma, and I was very worried, first of all because Trouble was missing back in Pennsylvania, and then because I wanted to be pregnant and still had to wait another 2 days to find out.  I am with my cousin Kyle and his mom Jennifer.  They live in Berkeley and are a lot of fun to be around.  I remember at the time already feeling bloated, and as if my breasts had gone up a size (they had).  But see how I had a waist? 

I have not written in a while for a few reasons.  One was that I was "busy," as modified bedrest goes.  On Saturday my mom came over and took me out for a walk.  We went up my street and back, twice.  Then I got back in bed!  It was tiring but not exhausting.  For lunch, my friend Dan came over and brought us some delicious food from a place in town called Garces Trading Company (Jose Garces is the newest Iron Chef and knows his way around food), and everything we had was very good.  Then on Saturday night we had our neighbors over, and I made turkey chili.  All by myself!  It was the first full dish I had made since getting put on bedrest.  I have apparently not lost all my skills in the kitchen, because it was delicious.

Saturday night as we were getting ready for bed I thought, "I feel really good!"  We got in bed and around midnight, contractions started.  Not regular, and not frequent enough to warrant a call to the OB, but enough to keep me up with gradually increasing anxiety.  I tried everything you are supposed to do to slow contractions: I drank lots of water, I peed a lot (the two do go hand-in-hand), I lay on my left side.  Around 2 I got up and took a bath, which was relaxing, and I hoped would put me to sleep (not in the tub, but after I got back in bed).  It didn't.  I was keeping track of my contractions, and the last one I wrote down was at 3:30, so sometime after that I guess I fell asleep. 

I felt better, but tired, in the morning.  We had my friend Shoshana and her boyfriend Jordan over for breakfast, and then watched "The Hurt Locker" in advance of the Oscars.  I had contractions off-and-on during the day.  It seems that they increase at night, not from 6-10 pm like my OB had said to expect, but more from 9-midnight or 1.  Maybe my contractions are on California time?  The past two nights my uterus has felt very tired and irritable, it feels sore almost all the time, and almost any movement or pressure seems like it will set off a contraction.  It doesn't help that around 10 or 11pm the babies seem their most active, and so I feel all beat up and bruised inside.  I complained to Eric about it last night, about how the babies won't let me sleep, and of course he pointed out that once they are born, they'll be keeping me up then, too.  Right. I forgot about that.  At least they won't be kicking my uterus after they're born, though.

So I haven't posted because I have been lying around feeling anxious about pre-term labor and uncomfortable with contractions.  I called the nurse at my OB's office and told her I'd been having increased contractions and she said that they aren't frequent enough to change my cervix.  In the back of my head, I still worry that I am about to go into labor any minute and so any increase in contractions could be the start of labor.  But it's now been a few days, and as far as I can tell, I'm not in labor.  I have gone online to look at other people's stories of babies and twins born around this point, and it seems like babies born around 34 weeks are generally healthy and spend about 2 weeks in the NICU before coming home.  So I tell myself this is not a bad outcome, especially given how fearful I was earlier in my pregnancy.  That and the fact that apparently the nurse and OB don't seem to think I'm going into labor.  I need to trust their expertise!  The nurse said 36 weeks is when they will just let labor progress should it start, so 2 weeks and 2 days from now.

For the most part, I feel like I just want the days to pass by so I can reach my next goal.  I am trying to enjoy the freedoms I've been given, and the little changes that are taking place.  The past few days have been warmer and sunny, and it is feeling more and more like spring.  I am so glad that my release from bedrest coincides with daylight savings time; as spring is here I am eagerly anticipating the birth of my sons and the beginning of a new stage of our lives. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

33w2d: Good news about my dad

Yesterday we found out, after many many months of waiting, that my dad will have a continued position at his work!  The company where he had worked since 1997 was purchased by another company about a year ago, and so we have been waiting since to find out whether he will be employed for the long-term.  This has dragged on FOREVER.  Over the summer he had to skip our trip to California, work through our trip to Cape Cod, and then he missed going to Asia with my mom because the thought they would make decisions the end of January.  Well, finally the decision has been made, and my dad has a job.  What a relief!  We celebrated last night with some champagne and cheesecake (Dad's favorite dessert, which Mom doesn't love and only makes as a treat for him).

I also had my non-stress test yesterday.  It was another quick visit, the babies did their thing and the monitor showed no contractions, and next thing you know, I was on my way home.  I didn't even see a doctor!  Back again on Thursday at 34 weeks, where I am hopeful about getting permission to resume "normal" activity.  I say "normal" because my movements and energy are so limited now.  It just means I can prepare all 3 of my meals in a day, go up and down the stairs, walk around the block as the weather warms up, and finish getting the nursery together (if our cribs and dresser ever arrive, don't even get me started on that).

The weather is finally starting to warm up here.  Today my mom stopped by and made me walk.  I didn't want to go up and down any hills, so we just walked up and down my street.  I did my street 4 times (2 times to the end of the block and back).  My legs feel fine and strong enough, but my belly feels so heavy.  I also made my own breakfast this morning, and plan to make a simple dessert for tonight-- our neighbors are coming over for dinner.  These little spurts of activity feel so good!  Of course, I then begin to panic that I'm about to go into labor.  I hope that next week when my restrictions are lifted that I will be able to do what I want to do and just enjoy it for what it is.

Last night I talked to my grandmother briefly on the phone.  I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving (I was 19 weeks at the time).  We were on the phone and I mentioned this blog and she went on the internet to see it while we were on the phone.  I knew she had found the blog when she began laughing hysterically... she had seen the picture of me from Thursday and thinks I'm huge!  She said my belly looks like a basketball.  Yes, everyone, I am huge.  But I should be!  I have two babies in there, and I'm 33 weeks.  The bigger the better, I want these boys nice and plump before their arrival. 

All is well here, and as each day goes by, I become more optimistic that they will continue to go well.  Last night as we went to bed, Eric had a moment of panic as he realized our 36-week goal is a mere 3 weeks away.  We take turns panicking over this, but the boys are on their way, like it or not.  Hard to believe that we will likely have our sons within the next month.  I am excited, and frightened, and thrilled.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

33 weeks

How far along?  33 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  I had gained another 4 lbs last week at 32 weeks.  I assume I have gained more since then.  I am not eating more than at any other point in my pregnancy, but I am growing everyday!  No more comments on how much I have gained, because I am going to weigh as much as Eric, and that is just a scary milestone to reach (and pass).
Maternity clothes?  You bet!  I have outgrown a few pairs of maternity pants I bought.  I still fit into them, but any pressure from a waistband anywhere on my stomach makes me contract, so I can only wear things that are loose, and those things are few and far between.
Stretch marks? Still stretch mark free. 
Sleep?  This depends on the night.  Some nights I am exhausted and sleep very well, except for having to get up to pee.  Some other nights I have trouble falling asleep, and then wake up about an hour later to pee feeling like it should be morning already.  I am just glad I get some good nights in there.  I am also SO hot at night.  The other night I was in only a tank top, with all the quilt pushed off me, and the heat in our house was set at 60.  And I was sweating.
Best moment last week? My shower.  It just went by way too fast!
Movement?  Lots of movement, fortunately.  My right side gets sore because both of their feet are over there, so I get lots of kicks.  I love feeling them move and I know I am really going to miss it after they're born.
Food cravings? Nothing in particular, I am trying to eat a well-rounded diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and good proteins.  But, being me, I still have a little dessert everyday. 
Gender? Two boys!
Labor signs? Just my Braxton-Hicks.  I feel pressure when I am standing up, but I guess that is inevitable with gravity acting on a giant belly.
Belly button in/out? It is still in.  It is very flattened out now and it should pop soon, if it's going to.
What I miss: Being able to bend over.  My mom had to come cut my toe nails the other day.  Pulling on a pair of pants is an aerobic exercise.  And other people have to tie my shoes, so I am wearing mainly slip-ons.  I can't wait to bend over like I used to!
What I am looking forward to: Really I am looking forward to 1 week from today, when all my restrictions will be lifted.  That will feel like a major accomplishment!  In non-pregnancy excitement, The Real Housewives of New York City comes back on tonight and I absolutely can't wait.  I love, love, love the drama.
Milestones: I spent a week doing activity everyday, and I am still pregnant.  I am still scared everyday that it will be too much, but so far no labor.  I am starting to feel more "normal" as these things go.

Today I went by my fertility doctor's office to drop off a box of unused needles and syringes, they were the end of my box of IVF medications and I wanted to donate them in case someone without insurance needed them.  Village Fertility was incredibly generous with needles!  The doctor's office asks that pregnant women or women showing off their babies come in the afternoons when there are fewer patients, which I understand and am happy to do.  Anyway, it was an exciting moment for me, to waddle through the door fat and pregnant after all the times I went in there nervous and disappointed.  Everyone was very sweet, and my favorite nurse was there.  She gave me a big hug and told me how great I look, and took me back to see my doctor, who had a free moment (miracle of miracles!).  He seemed really happy to see me, and said I'm "all belly."  I can see the areas where I've softened up, but yes, the belly surpasses all else!  I was happy to see them again, I have to say that I formed an attachment to the staff there, they are really wonderful and sweet and always seemed invested in my cycles and the outcomes.

Then I went to the library to re-stock on chick lit, and then my mom and I went to have a cup of coffee and to look at a cookbook together.  Again, someone in each place asked if I was due in the very near future.  I know some people get annoyed by questions like that, but I love it.  I get to tell people I'm having twins, and share some of my excitement.  I am just so happy to be pregnant and out in public.  

Tomorrow is my weekly non-stress test.  I am hopeful that it will be uneventful.  As far as I know, I am not regularly contracting, so that should continue.  This weekend we have a couple of visits from friends, and I am going to try to squeeze in some Oscar-nominated movies, which I have not been so good at doing.  And the weather is warming up, so even though there is still plenty of snow on the ground, it gives me some hope that spring is on its way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

32w6d: Our Indian Feast

Tonight we had Eric's boss and his wife for dinner.  This is the first time we've had his boss over, and the last I saw them, they took us out for a really fancy dinner before the holidays (and before I was on bedrest) and we had said, "We'd love to have you over!" Less than 2 weeks later I was on bedrest and Eric was just trying to keep the house running.  Now that we have our bedrest routine down, and I am allowed up for periods of time, we decided to have them over, fast, before the babies get here.

I helped Eric as best I could with food prep.  Usually I am the boss in the kitchen and he helps me, but now we are the other way around.  I found being on my feet for the 40 minutes I was helping to be really exhausting.  I kept pausing and leaning against the counter.  I got hot and was working in a tank top, guzzling ice water.  I felt like I had to pee every 5 minutes.  But I did it!  I hope I was helpful, but the credit for this amazing food goes to my amazing husband.  Every one of these dishes were made here, no store-bought food!  Here are some pictures of the finished products:

Chicken Tikka Masala:

Saag Paneer:

Potato-Chickpea Masala:

The only slightly decimated feast:

And the wine we had before dinner (I had a little, yes.  But everyone else took one for the team and finished the bottle before we even sat down).  This is from a winery we absolutely love out in Sonoma.  Every time we go, we stop in for a tasting.  So good, and so reasonably priced:

We will be having leftovers for days!  But the food was good, the company was enjoyable, and I would say that overall, it was a great success.  I think I'll be seeing them next at the bris.  How scary is that?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

32w5d: Pieces of news

Things have been pretty quiet here since the shower.  Cass stayed until today and kept me company.  On Monday we went to a shopping area nearby and I tried to get some exercise.  I walked up and down one street, stopping in a few stores, and I was exhausted!  After going one way, we went into Williams-Sonoma and I threw myself into a chair (a display chair? Who cares, I didn't break it).  An employee came and asked if I was ok or if I needed any water.  I said I was fine and just needed to rest.  She came by again and asked when I was due.  "Any day now?"  I told her it was twins, which people seem to take as a good explanation for why I am so large.  The employee was 29 weeks pregnant and had a very cute little bump.  Today Cass and I went to a bridal consignment store nearby and Cass found a beautiful wedding dress for her wedding in October.  It's a very romantic dress, a trumpet silhouette with lace and a train.  Cass looked beautiful.  I was glad to be a part of her wedding planning since we live in different states, and I thought between bedrest and the babies on the way, I would not get to be involved.

I am certainly enjoying being out, and it does make the days pass more quickly.  Unfortunately, in the back of my mind, I am still afraid something will go wrong, and my activity will put me in labor.  Every time I go out or am walking, I feel like I am extra-sensitive to any feelings of pressure.  Strangely, I almost never contract when I am out and about!  I think that I have spent so long being worried that I will go into pre-term labor, it is hard to accept that I might be somewhat stable and that doing previously-forbidden activities might be safe. 

At other moments I think, "Oh my goodness, I am going to be 33 weeks on Thursday!" and am so surprised and excited at how far I've come.  If I make my goal of 36 weeks, that means 3 weeks from Thursday (not that my uterus will get the message to go into labor exactly when I want it to).  That is really not much time.  At these moments I feel relieved and excited.

I get tired out from my activities.  My stamina is nowhere near what it was!  I am glad there is not much time left in the pregnancy because I am quite large and not entirely comfortable when I am up and about.  In 1 week and 2 days, I will be able to do whatever I want, that's hard to fathom, but I expect that I will be really tired when that happens!

In news, I returned Max and Ian to their rightful parents.  I miss their little faces and all their snuggles!  But I think Eric and I are both sleeping better at night without them fighting on the bed, or crawling under the duvet to nibble at us.  Since they left, Peanut has become very affectionate, as you can see in today's picture.  He likes to sleep on my belly while I'm on my side (which I usually am if I'm home).  Unfortunately this makes me very hot, and also gives me contractions.  So it is a constant battle where I push or lift him off and he climbs right back on.  I want to give him love and affection, especially in this time we have before the babies arrive, but I really don't think it's a good idea for me to just sit and contract for the sake of a cat's feelings.

Other (good) news is that a friend just got results from her first IVF-- she is pregnant!  I am very excited, we'll have a month of overlap in our pregnancies but my boys have another playmate on the way!  I am always happy when friends' infertility is resolved.  It is still early in the pregnancy and not yet time to buy the onesies, but I am hopeful for her and glad that she is feeling good.

Oh, there is another shower gift that is cute-- my aunt Jane got us two stuffed animals, a rabbit and a lamb.  Which is perfect, because my special animal as a baby/kid/young adult (yes, into puberty) was a stuffed lamb I called Lambie, and Eric's special animal was a stuffed rabbit named Runny Babbit.  I guess history repeats itself!