Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strongest Moms in the world

   I just want to put down what is on my heart lately.

   In lieu of Mother's Day last weekend I really thought about Mom's.
   Because my kids are still so little, its more of like an anniversary or birthday becuase its the dad's that do everything. Yes, its odd but I was so happy that there wasn't much going on. I feel like although I am a Mom and a lot comes with that, a day right now is more to celebrate and thank my children for allowing me to be a mom.

   There are so many women out there who want to be a mom, and cant, mothers who dont get to hold their trophies, mom's who never got to meet their children, etc.
I know being a mom is a tough job, but I feel like my job is very easy compared to a large portion of women and on days like Mother's Days I just want to take time out to be thankful for what God has given me.

   Mothers take on a job they have no training for, dont know what to expect, have no idea what your body will do, especially your hormones. For some battling the body is a hard enough task, let alone trying to protect a baby that you have no control over. And that is just the small battle before your child arrives. You read all the books you can, you deal with strangers touching you, giving you unwanted advice, looks, comments, and everything any between. Then if you are fortunate enough to get to deliver your baby a whole new load of challenges come into play.

   I have to say if someone placed a help wanted ad in the paper for all the jobs a mom had to do, I dont think very many people would apply, and the biggest difference is that a help wanted ad is offering to pay you, but as a mom you end of paying them, yet you love every second of it.

   With all the choices a mother has to make; breast feed, bottle feed, nature vs nurture. I would not trade a single one for some of the things that other mothers out there have to live with, and the biggest difference is they didn't get a choice.

   To my Mom's out there who never got to hold your babies, or ones who only had days to love on them, or months to enjoy them or even years but were taken too soon.

   The mothers who dont have their "trophies" to show for their achievements are the ones that deserve the biggest trophies of all.
   Some say a child is never really yours, they are on loan from God.
   It breaks my heart that mothers dont get to have their babies and I appreciate every second of every day that I can hold my kids, but also every second of every day I think about the mom's who dont get those chances, and a part of me hugs and kisses my kids a little harder and more for them.

   I just want to say to all Mom's who have lost a child pre or post birth, you are the most amazing women to me and I admire your strength and ability to continue to be successful in life.

   If you have a woman you know that has experienced this please take a moment to tell them how much you appreciate and love them and admire their strength.

 I LOVE all my MOMS!

It was meant to be

   About August/September of 2011 I sat down with the Hubs and asked him to really think about what he wanted to do. Did he want to donate to our clinic and be done? Or continue with finding a couple. To my suprise he wanted to go through with finding a couple. Sounded great except he wanted to find a couple that would have slim to no chance to carry the kids. That was very difficult for me to handle and I took about a month to really pray about the direction we should take, and at the end of September I decided that I would no longer look into couple that contacted me but would search profiles myself and find ones that I liked and contact them.

~Yes I know Craig didn't want that but after we really prayed about it for weeks we both knew we needed a healthy young couple~

   I was roughly a week into my search when I got an email from a couple. Like I had said I was not going to entertain couples contacting us but for some reason the names and pictures looked familar. I didn't put much stake in it because I had been through so many profiles. So I just let it sit in my inbox and the next day I was looking over my chosen profile list and they were on it.

   Immediately I was like, yeah.... I liked them, but I needed to ask questions.

   In search for a "suitable" couple you have to be respectful of peoples personal information, and you dont just flat out ask why they are doing embryo adoption especially since they tried numerous fertility treatments without success. And you especially dont ask those questions in your first contact.

   I emailed the couple back, just letting them know we had not found a match yet, and I can remember the email I got back and it nearly brought me to tears. Tears of joy and relief and sadness, because she offered up all the "unspoken" information.

 **I will be having her tell her side of the story soon**

   All I can say is that we just fit, in so many ways. Our likes, dislikes, passions, faith, roles, etc. And what was an added bonus was that they had recently adopted a beautiful baby girl March of 2011, and they are foster/adopt family in the State of Texas, so they had a lawyer who was familar with adoption and embryo adoption/donation and made things very quick and easy.

   Long story short, and yes we will go into detail about the whole event, February 2012 the snowflakes had a new, loving, happy home.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What about our snowflakes

I look back and time has really flown. I seriously thought it was maybe last November that I last posted about my snow babies.  Nope it was November of 2010, yikes. Well a lot has happen since then.
The first half of the year was pretty uneventful. We did have the kids first birthday party (yet another later post) but really nothing besides catching our breathe from the holidays and birthdays.

   So about April we finally got everything caught up. It really feels like now with kids life doesn't slow down enough to catch a breath until after Easter.
After Easter we started looking at our finances, and that's when I noticed I still hadn't made a decision on what to do with our four snow flakes. For those of you who don't understand "fertility" terms snowflake is frozen embryos. And before I get to far I want you to know a little bit about Craig and I. I don't want to give the impression that Craig doesn't care about the snow babies but he is a guy and doesn't look at it has they are our kids because they aren't here. He agreed with our initial decision of finding a research facility but I am left to do the leg work, so when I said that wasn't an option he was ok with donating. We both were completely against the transferring at an inopportune time. Even though that didn't technically involve him he knew that was not an option. So it came down to donating. Now you already know it wasn't an easy decision. I was the one that had a hard time and of course looked at every aspect of it; cost, accessibility, control, etc. Craig on the other hand was fine with the decision and didn't have much of an opinion either way on if we knew the couple or not. He was good with how I wanted to proceed and knew I would be the one doing the leg work.

   I had explored the option of donation. I'm sure most don't think there are options but there are. We could donate to our clinic, strictly blind donation/adoption, or there are sites out there that are open, similar to putting a born child up for adoption, or sites in between.I encourage all of you who want to know more about this, or those who maybe faced with the decision to donate your snowflakes or want to adopt snowflakes check out Embryo Adoption Awareness Center. There is a ton of information on here, and its nice to know that others go through this.
Well, after drowning myself in information I decided that I wanted to have some control over who I donated to. So I looked into two main sites, Snowflake Embryo Adoption, and Miracles Waiting.  I again had to weigh all my options and what would be best for me, and I do say me because again Craig doesn't look at the details. I decided I would go with Miracles Waiting. I will say they are a little "old school" with their website and set up. Its slightly confusing, but once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy.  I wont bore you with the details, so basically I had to create our profile of us, a short version of what you fill out on your fertility paperwork, and then post. I was very shocked what happened next. I knew that I our situation was not common but I didn't know that I was one of few in the nation to do donate. Within days my email was flooded with potential parents. I have to admit it felt good, that our embryos were in high demand, but very overwhelming. What you don't think about it that you are going to have to turn people away. Also you realize that you get to be specific and for once feel like you get to be selective.
Because of the amount of people I held off on responding to majority of them, until I had a chance to look at the pool of potential people. The difference with this site is that there is not a middle person, unless you want to add a middle person. Its basically the donor talking with the recipient. Yes, very intense.
I was very "hardcore" for about a month, then it got to be too much.

I couldn't do anything with out thinking about it. so many questions filled my head;
*what if I make the wrong choice?   *what if they don't love my kids?   *what if they don't give them a good life?   *do we want a young couple?   *do we want an established couple?   *do we want to donate to an older woman who wants to be a single mom?   *same sex couples who this is their only chance of having a child? 
 Then went to questions like, *well maybe we don't want someone else having our kids, so should we pick an older couple that has had lots of trouble conceiving and the chances of it being successful highly unlikely, or do we want a couple that have a great chance to get pregnant?   *Why are people needing to do embryo adoption?   *what if they already have kids, and just want more?   *Do we want a couple that are close to our ethnicity?   *Have similar traits as us?  
Then you have questions like,   *if it does result in a child how much contact do we want?   *do we want contact?   *do we want to be close?   *how close, will the child want to know us, their siblings?   *will they be upset that we gave them away?   *will they want to know why?    *What if there is more than one kid? *can we keep track of all of them?   *will the couple try it once and if they get a child will they donate the remainder?

These are just a handful of the questions that went through my mind, so needless to say I had to stop and look deeper into my next step. This was something that I didn't expect. I didn't expect to be so concerned. For whatever reason I thought it would be easy, post the profile, have maybe two couples, and go with one. Never thought I would have over 50 inquiries in less than a month.

I apologize for those who are interested, I will have to continue another day, even just putting this to paper (to blog) its very emotional.
***Please, please, please I encourage any person who is experiencing fertility issues in any shape or form, does not mean you are the one going through the hurdles, that you feel free to contact me, or if you don't want to talk with me directly, I can give you great resources, forums, informative websites, etc. --I will make a reference post in the next week or so---***

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nanny, Home daycare, mother's day out, Daycare....

     I have so many things to share and most are so unrelated to eachother, so it makes it hard to decide on what is the appriopriate please to start.
Needless to say, I will get to everything eventually.

I guess the biggest event that we are going through right now, and I actually get a decent amount of questions on that I thought was odd, was what to have.... home daycare, Nanny, Mother's Day Out, or Daycare.  The only other option is being stay at home.  Well I wont be talking about that because I only stayed home with the kids while on maturnity leave. ~Actually I will at some point talk about working mom vs stay at home mom.  just not today.

So to give you a brief background, I made a commitment that if daycare was going to cost me more than my months pay I was going to stay at home. For my sake I am thankful I had an option that did not cost as much as my month's pay check, but I am very glad I was lucky enough to have a friend that not only had three kids, but also has experience with daycares, and had her own in home daycare. 

*A side note story, I actually met her through a fertility forum and introduced her to my doctor, and it does sound a lot worst than it was but I gave her my left over drugs.   (If you went through, going through or know someone who has dealt with infertility treatments, you would understand giving someone your unused drugs)*

In finding what to do with your kids, before they are born, is a tough choice. If I can give parents to be one bit of advice, have a back up plan. First decide if you want to stay at home, then decide if you can stay home, or if you want to do a full time daycare or a part time, such as a mothers day out program. Once you figure out what is best for your family, start doing your research, if you need to. And visit as many places as you can, because if it doesn't feel right, it wont ever feel right.

The twins are nearly 27 months old, and here is our timeline;
 1-3 monthsstayed at home, maturnity leave, recovering from c-section and extra time off.
3-14 months, in home daycare
14-16 months, nanny 1
16-19 months, nanny 2
20-current/ 27months nanny 3
20-current MDO, tuesday and thursday only.

And yes as you can say we went through 3 nanny's. Maybe at some point in time I will write about picking the best nanny for your needs, but for now nanny 1, had to commute almost an hr to and from our house, so it was just getting tough to be on time and expensive, plus needed a lot of time off during the summer for her prior church engagements. Nanny 2 lived close and was very high energy, a little too high and loved the idea of family a little too much (trust me it can be a bad thing), Nanny 3 we LOVE she and her husband just want to move back home to be around their family in Michigan and her husband got a job opporunity they couldn't refuse.

Here is how and why we did what we did. Let me also say that the hubs has opinions but didn't want to do any of the research or leg work, so ultimately since I would be the one dropping off and picking up and dealing with the workers, etc it was my decision. Plus momma knows best ;)

Also a thing you must decide, and you will figure out very quickly if you didn't know before your kid(s) got here, is what type of parent are you. Are you the one that needs to read ten books, before making a decision because you aren't sure whats best. Are you the one that goes off instinct and needs no information to tell you how to raise your kid, Or are you the one that knows enough to get by and listens to people who give you advice, but really dont have time or care to read books.

Well I am the one who has little time to read books, but I want to make sure I make the best decision, and I look way to deep into things. What this means is that I know I want my kids to be in an educational enviornment, but as babies I didn't need them learning how to read before they were 2,etc. As a baby my primary concern was that they got individual attention and love, but also wanted them to have social interaction.

I guess another thing I need to say is that you need to know what type of person you are. OCD, Anal, laid back, etc. Also how will that impact your parenting skills? I am slightly OCD and anal-I prefer to call myself very organized :)

I knew that I did not want to stay at home, although I loved my kids, it was hard for me to stay at home while on "bedrest" pre kids, I couldn't stay in the house, and with twin babies you need to decide when is it worth the 5 minute run to the store once hubs gets home, or you get off work, versus the hour long trip and everyone staring at your at the store for your 3 items.  Also I knew as the kids go older I wanted to make sure they had a schedule for activites, and had a decent routine, that was a combination of educational, creative, and relaxing. I knew I could not provide that to them daily. Although I love routine and structure I am horrible and doing something all day long every day, including weekends.
Because of having twins it was extremely important to me that the kids were on a schedule and stuck to the schedule, so I wanted to make sure they were in an enviornment that would keep them on a routine, but also could teach them things, that as a first time mom I would think about.
With that being said, as I mentioned earlier I had a friend who was helping figure out daycares and options, what to look for, the good and the bad, and long story short she offered to bring my twins in. Although she had not had her in home daycare open the year prior, she was debating on opening it back up (she closed it because she didn't need the income), so I went with her.  It was the best thing ever!

In home daycare was great because they got fed balanced, nutritionist approved meals, got to socialize with kids slightly older then them, and best of all she got the "daycare" ready. What I mean by that is she taught them to sleep in pack n' plays not cribs, and to put themselves to sleep. And because she knew I was very "organized" she had daily sheets but made sure mine were detailed. Becuase they started there so earlier I think it really helped with their seperation anxiety. I believe all kids go through it at some phase, but how extreme varies by kid and preperation for the seperation.
I know most are probably wondering why I left in home, well she primarily watched teach kids, so they were they at 7:30 in the morning and gone by 3:30 and my work schedule didn't really allow for that and I didn't want to be a burden, because she had her own family to spend time with. Also she had taken on two babies roughly a year younger than the twins that were extremely needy (their siblings were already at her daycare) and although she didn't neglect the kids, I could tell they were starting to "act out" slightly because of the shift in attention. They also started to "regress" a little because they weren't old enough to understand that all a baby can do is cry for everything, so they thought they needed to cry for every little thing. So just after a year we decided that a nanny was the best way to go.

The kids were going to the church nursery three times a week, so that social interaction we felt was there, so now it was time to give them more individual, and together attention. The in home daycare had help establish a routine and schedule so we just continued that with the nanny.
Now I want to make it very clear that most people think nanny's are extremely expensive, well we have been EXTREMELY lucky to have nanny's that took very little pay, because they didn't need the money.  To help put money in perspective, our in home daycare was 250/wk, and we paid the nanny the same. (not much money at all) so for you budget people you are looking at roughly 1k a month and a regular daycare for twins, was gonna run us about 1800. huge difference.

With a nanny, she was great with the kids, had a nice routine of learning video's, learning , sign language, play time and reading time, and art time. With this nanny we only asked her to clean up after the kids, make meals for them and keep track of their day. We did not have her do any extra things, like dishes, laundry etc.
Nanny 2 was great as well. She had just graduated college and was engaged and getting married in July, she had so much energy it was great because she would wear the kids out, and although our requirements were the same for her, she would do the kids laundry, all the dishes and make meals. -we were very spoiled. But nanny 2 liked family a little too much, she would have her fianc'e/husband come over when he wasn't working (and yes we said that was ok) and she would teach the kids to call him uncle mike, which doens't seem bad except my brother's name is michael.... slight problem. And they were taking pictures of the kids and posting them on their facebooks, which occasionally no big deal but often I didn't like.
Some of you ladies know what I am talking about when you can tell what time of pregnant woman a person is going to be, for example; you have the "Im pregnant I cant do anything even at 4 weeks, others are the ones that you cant stop them no matter what they are going to continue doing life as people." Well nanny 2 was the first example, and so I knew if she was thinking of getting pregnant that I would have very little time to get a replacement, so I continued to ask her, and she would tell me know what her facebook status would contridict that. Anyway, end of August she said she needed to get a job that had insurance because they were thinking about starting a family. So that brought us to Nanny 3.

Nanny 3 has been great, she and her husband actually went over seas for a missions trip to teach kids, so she had some experience and loved the thought of watching twins. She has been wonderful. She not only has them on a schedule and keeps track of their day but keeps the house picked up too. She is very timely and even can with her built in back up, if she ever got sick -her husband, who the kids LOVE. From the beginning she had told me that she was going to move back home before they thought of having a family, but also were semi actively looking to move back home. With that, she also pick and drop the kids off at mothers day out on tuesdays and thursdays.
Although Nanny 3 has been great it was getting to be too much running around and juggling people and schedules and payments to do mother's day out and nanny, plus MDO was only during the school year so we would have to go nanny full time or a daycare full time this summer.
I had said from close to the beginning that about age 3 I would put them in a daycare/pre-K and since the ideal school I want them to go to is out of our price range right now and wont take them till they are 3, and again going back to me being "organized" I want them to start out on a school year calendar, so I wont start them in Jan. it wold have to wait till they were 3 1/2. but that doesn't help me now. so daycare is where to go. Plus on the money side of things we went from paying 1k a month to 1100 when you add up nanny and MDO. Then the additional cost in utilities, and groceries, it only made since that paying 1200 for daycare will save us money. Plus the kids aren't stuck in the house all day.

Next step is daycare. The kids dont start till the 21st of this month so I will keep you posted.

I know this is a little lenghty so I apologize, but a quick recap

Nanny- The comfort of home, a mommy fill in.

In Home Daycare- a little more control for mom, and a little more personalized with a homey feel, with the benefit of social interaction

Daycare- less mom control, social interaction, and more emphasis on educational guidelines.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So I realize that I have not posted in roughly 6 months. yikes. I am not sure why blogging does not come that easily for me. I love writing and I think putting things on paper, or computer, helps me sort thoughts out.
I have decided that I am recommiting myself to blogging. Not only for myself but there are so many things in life thats happening that I want share with others.
Just a few points I will be getting to in the next few posts....
-Twins birthday
-superbowl/hubs bday
-and Embryos

Although most of these topics seem typical, not so much. Its more thoughts, philosophy, etc.
Also I am extremely excited about embryo updates. I will be having a guest blogger to help shed light on the topic as well.
and in general I want this to be a blog that people can review and learn something new, or have a different perspective on things.
STAY TUNED........