Saturday, April 30, 2011

Meet the Board: Robin W.

These are my twins, Wren and Grayson:

At 26 months, their senses of humor are really starting to stand out. I took this picture about a month ago while we were eating lunch. My son has a tendency to get down from his chair, and he took me literally when I said, “Get on your chair, Bubba!” His sister joined in the fun without missing a beat.

They seem like pretty typical two-year-old goofballs to me, which is why I’m always surprised when I’m asked the fourth or fifth most common question of parents of twins: “Were they natural?” (The most common question, of course, is, “Are they twins?” Next, unless the inquisitor has any common sense at all, comes, “Are they identical?” And then, “Were you surprised?” (I hate that one, actually. What exactly are they getting at?) And then, occasionally, “Were they natural?” I keep wanting to fire back a sarcastic response – “No, mostly plastic” – but my wit usually catches up 30 minutes after the conversation is over.

I will never forget the morning of May 24, 2008. I went for a walk before our IVF embryo transfer appointment and thought about how many embryos to transfer. I’d already had a singleton and knew how difficult an infant could be. Was I prepared for the chance of twins? My final thought was that I’d have far more regrets if I transferred one and the cycle failed than if I transferred two and had twins.

Here are my twins about 39 weeks later, a day or two after they were born in February 2009:

Looking at pictures from the first few days always makes me a little emotional, a little nostalgic. But doing so also gives me heart palpitations and a little bit of post-traumatic stress from the memories of the first three … no, six … no, twelve months. Having twins has been hard. Rewarding, yes; hard, YES. Occasionally, I’ve second-guessed that May 2008 decision, but I wouldn’t undo my Wren or my Grayson no matter how bad a day I’m having.

This is my older son, Soren:

Being a big brother to twin siblings pretty much turned his world upside down after seven years of being the center of his only child universe. In those early months, when the babies took 110% of our parental attention, it was good that he was old enough and independent enough to entertain himself. By the time they were about nine months old, though, we realized he’d gone a bit feral and had to start redirecting more of our energy to him. He’s mostly recovered.

Finally, this is us, Robin and Gary, the parents of this crazy crew:

We’ve mostly survived the last 39 weeks and 26 months of our twin experience.  Mostly.

Being a part of Full House MoMs & Dads has been, hands down, one of the best parts of being a twin mom. Through the club I’ve learned invaluable tips like how to shower with infant twins in the house. I’ve laughed at others’ sarcastic responses to the questions we’re asked by strangers in the library or the grocery store. I’ve scored great deals on a used play kitchen and tricycles. And, best of all, I’ve made great friends, friends who understand what I’m going through, friends who also need to get away for a drink now and then, friends who don’t hesitate to grab my son’s arm as he careens down the hiking trail because they know I’m wrestling with my daughter 20 feet back. Sometimes I think there is nothing “natural” about trying to meet the needs of two same-aged children, let alone handling another sibling and the general demands of a family and life; but being in a community of people who understand my struggles makes it all the more manageable.

Robin W.
2011 FHM Social Co-chair
“Natural” Mama to Soren (8/01), Wren & Grayson (2/09)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meet the Board: Robyn R.

My pregnancy story:
We found out that I was pregnant on π day (March 14th).  My original plan, to have a son born on pi day so I could name him "Patrick Issac Rhys Rose" (so the initials would be PIRR, or πr2.  You can't get much more dork than that.)

My husband’s grandfather was an identical twin, and while we know there’s not a genetic link, we got a lot of teasing before hand about the possibility of having twins.

We went to my 8 week appointment, which we were very excited for. Thus far the only sign of pregnancy was peeing on a stick, and we were excited to find out from a doctor and not a dollar store test, that yes, I was actually pregnant. As my OB was doing the exam, he made a point of saying (and sounding rather surprised) "Wow, you seem to be almost 10 weeks along". Since I had been charting, I was surprised, but figured I was just big (oh great).

As we're wrapping up with that, the nurse brings in the portable ultrasound and heads out to take care of something. My OB is a pretty cool guy, so we're talking with him and asking questions and whatnot, and mention (as he's turning on the ultrasound) that Aaron’s family has been teasing us about having twins. He chuckles and says (his words): "Ha ha, well we'll be able to put all those comments to rest in just a moment." Then he starts the ultrasound…

It doesn't take him long, but when he finds what he's looking for, he gets a slightly embarrassed look on his face and says "Uh, well, it looks like there's two". Now, at this point, Aaron and I think that he's messing with us. He has been really easy to talk to, he seemed like a really cool guy, he laughed with us... basically, we wouldn't have put it past him to joke around about this. Now, we're not used to seeing ultrasound images, so basically we're looking at a pixelated mess of shades of gray. We can’t make sense of anything. I say “two what?” convinced that my baby has two heads or something. At that point the nurse walks in and says "Oh my God, you're having twins! How exciting!"

We don’t remember much of what happened after that. We somehow made it to the parking lot and called our parents from the car. In between phone calls we spent most of our time laughing and crying, unable to drive.
Life before babies:
After having kids, I often ask myself how it is that I didn’t do MORE before these kiddos arrived. I must have had HUGE amounts of free time and cannot recall what I did! We used to enjoy going skiing/snowboarding, sleeping in until noon and eating out. We don’t do much of that anymore! :) I taught math and coached speech and debate before I had kids. At this point I have struck a nice balance of working half-time and coaching. For me, working part time makes me a better mom to my kids. :)

Advice to New Moms:
  1. Find friends! Being a SAHM can be really lonely, it’s nice to have someone else who understands what you are going through.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I am still working on this one, but it is important!
  3. Do your own research. I firmly believe that you can find a “study” to support pretty much anything you want. So, do your own research when it comes to your kids, so that YOU are comfortable with your decision and aren’t just doing something because everyone else is.
Favorite things about having multiples:
Watching them interact with each other. 

What would you do with an extra hr each day?
With an extra hour each day I would spend it sleeping!

Robyn R.
2011 FHM Social Co-chair
Mommy to Logan & Zach (10/06) and Annabelle (5/09)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Q: Outdoor playgrounds for little ones?

There's a park somewhat near our house with a fence around the playground where I used to take the twins and my older son to play when they were almost two and four.  I loved taking them to that park even more than the ones right near our house since there was only one gate they could actually open, which I, of course, still had to keep an eye on!  Little escape artists. Without a doubt, while pushing one in the swing the other would try to escape!  It was the only park in the immediate area where I could somewhat relax (as if parents of multiples EVER truly relax at the park) while they played.  (Hard to see #4 in the picture, but my husband is entertaining four just turned 3 year olds while the big brothers are in swim lessons at this park.)

I still worry about the twins wandering off, but they tend to stick together now, not like when they were two and literally RAN in two different directions!  Finding "safer" parks to play at was such a big deal a few years ago.

So, where do you take your young children to play outdoors?  The warmer, drier weather is coming.  I just know it is!  (Parents of older kids, please give tips to the parents of one and two year olds on where to go! :)  Parks with fences, limited openings, etc.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

March for Babies

It is not too late to join the FHM team in the March for Babies Walk.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
9:15 am
3K Family Walk
Rose Quarter Commons Start

If you can't join us on April 30, please donate to our team from this page. It's fast, easy and secure.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Q & Forum Chat: Mini Van Recommendations?

 Member forum post::


We need to upgrade to something bigger for our family! We want to buy something that accommodates 7-8 people. I am looking for recommendations for this search. What do you have and are there features you really love with your mini van?



Power doors are a must! I love that I can have the van open and ready for us before we even get to it!

Add power tailgate to that too. I am so bummed when I drive my husband's pilot and I have to put the tailgate down myself. I am spoiled now. It is nice when you are getting a stroller in and out of the back all the time.

I don't know if everyone would agree, but the one thing I would kill for my minivan to have is the 3 seat option across the middle (so I don't have to put anyone all the way in the back - so the 8 passenger vs 7), but if you only have 2 carseats that may not be as important to you...good luck minivan much as I dreaded having to get a minivan, I have to admit that I really love it!

We just got the 2011 Honda Odyssey & are expecting twins in a few weeks (and have a 2.5 year old). We love it!! The new 2011 Odyssey is the only mini van that allows three car seats in the middle row, so no one has to climb in the back (if that is important to was our biggest selling point!). I also second the auto doors & tailgate. We decided to go with the upgraded version to get leather seats, which are much easier to clean. Already our 2.5 year old has made this worthwhile! Another nice thing about the Odyssey is that the entire back row folds up into the floor, so you can have a flat back area for a stroller and lots of other "necessities" if you don't use the seats. I think other mini vans probably do this too, but can't remember all the details when we were shopping. You can also fold 60% or 40% of the back row down if you need a seat or two, but want a little extra space for cargo. We also thought the Sienna was very nice & had almost all the same features, but just couldn't accommodate three car seats in the middle row safely, so we'd have to crawl in the back to buckle in small children (ugg!). Hope this helps...I sound like a car salesman:)

I love our Touring Honda Odyssey for it's function. I will fully admit I'd love to have something sleek and sporty and maybe one day, we'll get a fast sporty two seater to satisfy that need, but the mini van is pretty functional. The power doors on the sides and rear are a must, I love the back up camera, leather seats are amazingly easy to clean mess off of, tons of cargo space, 24 cup holders!, DVD and Nav system, 6 disc cd changer for hours of children's music, it has the works! It has made traveling a breeze for us. One thing I liked about the Honda was that it seemed like it tried to be sportier than the other mini vans. I could almost pretend that I was driving my MDX when we traded that in. Hope that helps!

LOVE the Honda Odyssey. We have 4 Britax marathons in it and it's still roomy. Huge trunk too. And make sure you get the automatic doors, a must have!

We recently got a 2007 Honda Odyssey (finding used with low mileage and excellent condition not easy, though!!) and we love it! I agree with other posters...Power-sliding doors are a MUST with the kiddos !! I also love the built in sunshades, the heated seats and the fact that I can wipe the leather off easily. Several seat configurations for the middle row which I love.

        *                   *                    *                  *                    *                    *                    *                  *                   *                   *

From me:  I find it very interesting that not one Toyota Sienna recommendation popped up (so far).  We have an Odyssey, too.  And we're on the lookout for another.  Yep, that's right.  We're going to become a two mini van family if we can find a used one for the right price.  Transporting three kiddos in a Honda Accord just isn't realistic.  The only feature we have from above are the remote sliding doors which are AWESOME.  

Even though the Sienna wasn't mentioned above, I feel this video appropriate to view, especially for us Mommies looking for a little "Me" time:      Mommy Like Swagger Wagon

And just maybe this is why my husband is good with another mini van #2:   Honda Odyssey Commercial

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kid Convo

This conversation isn't with multiples and isn't even with any of our kiddos, but we'll all have elementary aged children one day, if not already, and all I can say is that teachers know more about what goes on at home than you'll ever care to discover.  In this case, it's just funny, not too embarrassing.  (In my opinion.)

Today while subbing in a third grade classroom, I conducted a survey presented by their school's yearbook committee.  The question:  What's your favorite TV show?  I expected the usual Disney or Nickelodeon shows to pop up and did hear a few of those- iCarly, Phineas & Ferb, SpongeBob.  Then there were some later evening shows like Survivor and American Idol.  The best contribution to the list came from a little boy who beats to his own drum- Amazing Cake Stories.  I was speechless, doing my best to maintain composure.

It made my day to hear this little boy share his love of Amazing Cake Stories, be it because his parents watch or just because he loves to watch it himself.  The best was during the silent heads down, eyes closed, hand count for your top three choices- Amazing Cake Stories received not one, but two votes by two little guys in the class.

One of Julie's amazing cakes! :)

This post is for Julie N., whose children could likely choose this show as their favorite one day, and who should go on Amazing Cake Stories, although I have to admit it's a show I've never even heard of until today and I'm not entirely sure it even exists. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

He's Our Miracle . . . Right?

Evan’s journey started in the summer of 2009 when Ben and I found out that we were carrying not one or two, but three babies! It was presented to us as a very high risk and unusual pregnancy as they were all sharing one placenta. We were shocked, “how does this happen?” we asked so many times. We soon realized that it doesn’t happen to that many people at all and we embraced our 3 little miracle babies and had to believe that they were given to us for a reason and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Evan, Payton, and Riley were born at 32 weeks on January 22nd, 2011 after I was on hospital bed rest for 4 weeks. Evan was the biggest at 4lb 1oz and pretty much sailed through his 40 day NICU stay with only minor bumps along the way. Evan (Baby A, #1) was named “Easy Evan” as, for the most part, he just went along with the flow and liked to sleep through his brothers fussing while providing a shoulder for them to cozy up to.

After having all 3 boys home together for just over 2 weeks we had quite the routine going and were getting by on minimal sleep. We started to worry about Evan though when our “big boy” started to not be interested in his bottles and started a new cry that sounded like he was uncomfortable. After a long Saturday night we decided it was time to take him in to the ER on Sunday morning, March 27th. They treated him for dehydration as he also started having diarrhea once we were being observed. I was concerned that his first BM was really large, specked with blood, and looked rusty orange, which was new, but the RN was more concerned about the wicked smell and the large volume. They were now treating him for a virus, possibly rotavirus they thought, and at this point they decided to keep us overnight in the ER for observation. Since it was just me and “Easy”, he reaped the benefits of 100% breast milk (not supplemented with formula) and I think this really masked how his bowel was growing increasingly sick, as the breast milk is much easier on the gut than formula. We were sent home Monday morning with instruction to follow up with our pediatrician on Tuesday. Evan was still not back to normal, still very sleepy and only eating about half his normal amount. We thought we just needed to encourage feeds so he didn’t end up dehydrated again.

We started getting worried about Evan again as Tuesday progressed. Our pediatrician even called to check on him, hoping to find out he was doing well and possibly save us a trip out of the house (so nice to have a pediatrician who understands the complexity of multiples!). I told her that we thought his abdomen looked a little distended, he was sleepy and refusing feeds again and his poop was turning a rusty orange color once again. She had us come in so she could check him out. I left Ben home with the other boys thinking I would be home soon after getting direction to wait out the “bug” that Evan had caught.

I have never seen a baby get so sick, so fast.

The next few hours in the Dr’s exam room was h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e. Evan was now having large bowel movements consisting of pure frank blood and many of them. He turned white as a ghost, felt like an icicle and was limp in my arms. Dr. MP arranged for a direct admit to the Peds ICU so that he could have tests done asap and get taken care of. The wait for the ambulance was excruciating and once they arrived they spent an hour trying to get IV access on him to no avail. I signed consent to have him transported without access knowing that if an emergency raised they would have to stick a needle directly into his bone to give fluids/meds since they didn’t have direct IV access. Thankfully this didn’t happen. They had me sit up front as we battled rain and traffic on highway 26 to get to Doernbecher Children's Hospital. I remember feeling like a bad mom because I didn’t turn around in my seat to look at him, I was too afraid of what I might see. I hadn’t heard him cry for hours, not even during the 7 or 8 failed needle sticks he endured. My baby was too sick to cry.

The next timeline of events is a blur. I remember calling Ben and telling him that I needed him there with me. We had never both been away from our boys at the same time before, no one else had ever even helped us with a feeding since they left the hospital, it was time to put trust in others…fast! When Ben arrived they were STILL trying to get access to give him the fluids he so desperately needed. Ben found me in tears in the hallway watching a very large team work on our baby. At some point it was confirmed that Evan had necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and a very extreme case. We knew this wasn’t good as we had heard a lot about it when they were in the NICU and we knew that surgery was a possibility. The plan was to watch and wait to determine if they could medically cure Evan or if surgical intervention needed to happen. We were confident in the care team watching over Evan, he won the hearts of many very quickly.

Eventually Ben needed to go home to relieve our friends and care for Payton and Riley over night and be there for Brody when he woke up in the morning. Neither of us got any sleep. I was living a nightmare as I watched Evan be “bagged” before being asked to leave the room at 3am so they could intubate him; he had just choked on his own vomit and aspirated bile into his lungs. Evan was in Critical Condition. The next afternoon the decision was made that surgical intervention needed to happen due to his decreasing labs and increasing redness on his distended belly, showing on the outside just how sick he was on the inside. I once again called on Ben and told him it was time for him to come back to the hospital. Luckily my mom had now arrived from ND to care for the other 3 boys at home. I finally got to hold Evan after countless hours of crying over his bedside. All I remember saying to Ben when they placed him in my arms was “He is one of our miracles, they are a package deal…they can’t take one away from us now, right?” I can’t even write this without the overwhelming gush of emotions and tears. We knew that there was a chance that he may not make it out of surgery or that it could be possible that his entire bowel was too sick for repair. We called on family and friends for prayers to get us through and boy did they come through for us! It was absolutely amazing to see our blog and facebook explode with prayers from our family, friends, the FHM multiples group, church groups, friends of friends of friends, etc. and hundreds more of people we didn’t even know. I remember Ben and I scrolling through facebook on our phones just sobbing, appreciating every post but finding them so hard to read at the same time. How did we get here, we kept asking ourselves?

Evan came out of surgery missing 17cm of his small bowel and 2 stomas of bowel sticking through his abdomen. The surgeon was thankful they made the decision to operate when they did as his entire bowel was very, very sick and they removed as much of the necrotic bowel as possible with plans to put him back together at a later date. We were overcome with joy just to see his precious face come through the doors and the smiling faces of the entire surgery team. They did good!

We are still living the long road to recovery which has of course come with highs and lows, progress and set backs. At this point he is doing well with his feeds, slowly but surely. They are increasing the amount by 5ml a day in order to make sure that he doesn’t have any scar tissue strictures that could cause an obstruction and possibly start this whole nightmare over again. The best case scenario will be for him to continue to improve with no problems and only have to have one more surgery to put his bowel back together and no more surgery to take out any scarred or necrotic bowel. Evan has a lifetime of concern ahead of him according to the doctors. Anytime he vomits, refuses food or gets distended we need to consider the possibility of obstructed bowel due to a stricture as a concern. If this was to happen the same decisions would have to be made- can it be treated medically and with bowel “rest” or does surgical intervention need to happen again. My hope for Evan’s future is for the best possible outcome involving only one more successful surgery and a full recovery. Hopefully someday we can look back on this as a distant memory and not a condition that continues to haunt him.
Holding Evan after getting initially stabilized, not knowing what to expect next.

Evan out of surgery. We never shared any of the few pictures we took during this time, it was hard enough for us to live through- we didn't want our families to see him like this as we thought the image they had of Evan while they were praying should be of the strong baby they all knew.

This is the extent of what we shared with our family, we tried to keep what parts of him we could looking like the cute baby he was ;)

Payton and Riley missing their brother.

Evan got even bigger the days after surgery.

Big day- the first time Evan opened his eyes in almost a week.

Progress! Looking so good off of his vent and losing some fluid weight.

Evan had a step-back and had to be put on CPAP, we brought in his brothers for healing and support!

Looking much better on his road to recovery with support from his brothers.

Sweet Evan 1 week prior
Ben and I are optimistic that this strong boy, along with the outpouring of love and support from so many, will be carried through and eventually get to the point of thriving along side his brothers, our 3 little miracles.

from FHM member Brooke Waind
Read more about Ben, Brooke, and their boys, and keep up with Evan's journey on her blog:

Volunteers from Full House Moms and Dads have been working hard to help the Waind family through this difficult time. A Care Calendar has been set up to facilitate meal delivery to the family every other day and has been almost completely covered since two days after Evan went into the hospital. In addition, ABC Doula Service has donated doula time to help the family care for the children still at home. They have also agreed to match any donations hour to hour so that the Wainds can receive more doula help while they are juggling their time between home and the hospital. If you are interested in helping with either effort, please contact Taira at

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Q

I'll keep it simple and sweet- especially if you're DONE like me! :)

How many items did you input & tag for the resale?
How late did you, or do you plan, to stay up tagging?

Me- 300 (29 of which are Little People playsets-shameless plug-come buy them!)
Tagged ALL day Sunday from 10 AM to 10:30ish PM.  It caught up with me yesterday with a migraine, but it's all good and I'm DONE now!  Yipee!

Bins filled with tagged toys in my garage!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kid Convo

Conversation in my husband's car on the way home from preschool the other day with our 4 1/5 year old twins. (I was working, otherwise, I'm the usual driver, as you can tell.)
On tattling on mommy:
Gavin: Dad, you know Sonic (the Hedgehog) is faster than anything!
Dad: Faster than Bolt, or the boy in The Incredibles?
Gavin: Yeah, faster than Cheetahs or any animal, too!
Ben: Yeah, faster than your car, ummm, but not Mommy's van.

I'm definitely more of a Swagger Wagon kind of mom.  But my kids apparently view me in this:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

To have 3, or not to have 3? That was the question.

Post from FHM Member Laura M.'s blog:   25 Hour Day

Our lives could have been considered complete and full with two children. Allison was old enough that we were getting glimpses of the good life. She and Michael could (in theory and with the promise of an episode of Star Trek or Gilligan's Island) get ready for bed on their own. They could get themselves breakfast while we languidly went back to sleep in the morning (after waking us up at 6:30 AM). They could entertain themselves for long periods of time with relative quiet. We could take them to movies. Restaurants were once again navigable. Things were looking good.

Yet we (I) couldn't seem to get rid of the baby stuff. But we shouldn't press our luck. Yet we both came from families with 3 children. But we weren't getting any younger. Yet we had always talked about having three kids. Should we... shouldn't we... We jokingly said, apparently to many people, that with our luck, we'd probably end up with twins! We didn't notice Jinxman flying overhead, doing his mocking dance when we said this, or else things may have turned out differently.

Jinxman is an imaginary being, with green skin and a cape. He flies overhead and mocks you when you say things like "I'm sure our flights won't be delayed" or "I'm sure the elastic will hold" or "We'd probably have twins if we tried for a third!" He's not inherently evil, just mischievious. And we should have known better, because Jinxman has definitely visited before. Whatever you declare won't happen surely will. Murphy's law. But Jinxman is a mocking, smirking imp, not a black and white rule hanging on the wall of someone's double-wide.

We decided to try for a third, for a limited time only! I actually did my own ultrasound. Turns out this is technically difficult, but even more so when you have stopped breathing because you see two strong little heartbeats, two lovely little sacs. It becomes even more difficult when you try to determine the heartrate with the timer on your phone, which you are using to try and call your husband who is at home with child number one and child number two.
David, I have some good/bad news. The good/bad news is that the heartbeat
looks great. And the other heartbeat looks great too.
Silence. More silence. Followed by hysterical laughter. And then more silence.

Now I say, yes, well, we only planned to have 3 kids, but I couldn't very well leave the 4th one in there, now could I? Jinxman sits back in his lounger, fanning himself with his cape, smirking.

Laura M. 
Mom to Michael (8), Allison (4), Matthew & Julia (16 months)  
Laura works full-time, but promises to blog more frequently if she has more followers: 25 Hour Day

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Q

This A to Z zoo set will be at the sale!
Consignors and Buyers, what are you selling at the FHM Resale or what are you hoping to buy?

This even looks like my parent's kitchen counter!
I'm selling 24 sets of Fisher Price Little People toys (newer versions only).  I had no idea we had accumulated so many over the years!  And these particular toys are extremely hard for me to part with since they bring back many warm memories. I'm reminded of my childhood and fun times playing Little People, setting up a town with blocks for all the little wooden & plastic choking hazard people.  (We had this set in the picture. Loved it!)

We'll see you at the sale!
So if the prices seem a little high on those (I did mark them at least 50% off the original price-promise), well, it's because my inner child really wants to keep them, but my adult self (and my husband) tell me we need to part ways.  Plus, the boys aren't really that interested in them anyway.  So sad (for me).  Until we have grandchildren and can buy them the new improved next generation Little People sets, so long, my friends!  I will miss you. 

So, what are you selling at the FHM Resale or what are you hoping to buy?  (Maybe my toys?)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kid Conversation

Kid's say the funniest/cutest/sweetest things.  I love Facebook updates with kid conversations, whether with mom or dad, to siblings, or even self ramblings.  I know you all love them, too, due the responses to those status updates. :)  Every Monday we'll post a "Kid Conversation" on here for you to enjoy.  Please email me your kid conversations to share, especially if you deemed it Facebook worthy.  Feel free to add any kid conversations on the topic of the week below in the comments as well. 
On the difference between boys & girls: 
(While playing with toy animals)
Mom:  Lizzie, what are your tigers' names?
L:  Oh, this is Pretty and this is Princess.
Mom:  Nick, what is your dog's name?
N:  Eyeball. 
from FHM Mommy Rita P., while on a plane ride with her 4 year old twins.  Brave woman!

Took this image from another twin blog:  (Hopefully they won't mind since I linked it to their site).  Just had to show these t-shirts and how they sum up the difference between boys and girls pretty accurately.  I know that's not always the case (don't get mad, please), and there are many girl destroyers and boy architects (though the boys still usually destroy their own creations shortly after building them).  In my playgroup experiences, observing primary aged children on the playground while substitute teaching, and in raising three boys, I've found this difference to be really, really quite true.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meet the Board: Audrey H.

My pregnancy / delivery story:
I knew I always wanted more than one child.  So when my daughter turned one, we started to try for baby number two.  I had just changed health insurance and needed to pick out a new OB/GYN for my first appointment.  Looking back, I am glad my husband made the drive up from Beaverton to Vancouver to meet our new practitioner!  He joked with her about having twins because at 8 weeks, I was already wearing my maternity clothes!  She reassured us that it was our second pregnancy and my body just knew what to do so it was not out of the ordinary. 

She checked for the heartbeat of the baby, measured me and asked the general first appointment questions.  She then said she had a new office ultrasound machine and asked if I would want to have an ultrasound done.  Of course I did…I wanted to see that little baby!  She showed us the heartbeat and printed out a picture of our new little one.  She then moved the wand around, to get a better picture for us, when another little flicker could be seen.  Our doctor was like “Ummm,Ummm, it looks like you may be carrying more than one baby.”  I could see the two heartbeats… and two little bodies.  After getting instructions from her to get a second, better quality ultrasound, we left the office with four ultrasound pictures and a whole lot of questions!

Our confirmation ultrasound was scheduled five days after my first appointment.  I had to wait a whole five days so of course I went to my friend (the internet) and posted my pictures on a few fertility board websites.  Within minutes, I had responses and replies from others saying that my pictures looked just like their twin ultrasounds.  My husband was in total denial and kept asking if the pulsing was the cord.  It was confirmed that I was carrying a set of identical twins, however even more questions came up.  The tech could not find the membrane of separation and terms like mono-mono, mono-di, and twin to twin transfusion came from the phone as I talked with the doctor.  I was scheduled for a 3rd high resolution ultrasound and was told I would be seen by a perinatologist.  Again, during the four day wait I searched the internet for information and just could not believe that I was having twins!  After the third ultrasound, we found out I was carrying mono-di twins.  This was a huge relief for us.

The rest of my pregnancy was pretty normal, or at least as normal as it can be while carrying twins.   I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes which was not a surprise because I had this same condition with our first daughter.  My husband and I talked about finding out the gender, as we did not find out with my daughter till she was born.  At our 18 week ultrasound we found out we were having identical boys!  

I went for my weekly appointment at 36 weeks and the boys’ growth had slowed.  It was decided that I would go in for an induction three days later.  It was the only appointment that my husband did not attend with me!  Both boys were head down so we were going to try for a double vaginal delivery.  My husband and sister were allowed into the OR for the birth at 36 weeks 3 days.  Alton Dee was born weighing in at 4lbs 12oz.  Brant Eugene came 11 minutes later weighing 5lbs 11oz.  Both boys came right into our room with us.  On the drive home, my husband said, “Do you realize we have three kids under the age of two?”  The boys’ big sister (just 22 months older) was waiting at home with family members to welcome us home three days after they were born.

Occupation & Hobbies: 
I went from a kindergarten teacher of seven years to CEO of the Hood Family.  While I miss teaching, and staying home with three kids is not always easy, I love that I have the opportunity to be at home with our children.  I love to make cards and stamp when I can find the time. I also LOVE to shop and would often take the boys to the mall while they were littler!

Joined the board of FHM:
I was looking for a way to connect with moms of multiples and joined FHM before my sons were born.  I shopped at the spring sale before my sons’ birth and started selling at the fall sale, when they were just a month old.  I love to shop and worked in retail for over 10 years, so when the board was looking for another person to help with the resale, I jumped right in.  I love being able to help families offload their used gear and clothing. 

Advice to New Moms:
While many people will say they have kids close in age, having multiples is not the same!  Trying to manage two children in the same developmental age can be a challenge… can you tell we are in the 2’s stage?!  I would also encourage parents of multiples to ask questions and use the FHM forums board to ask your questions.  The advice and tips I have received from other parents of multiples has been so helpful!

Favorite things about having multiples:
I love the way my boys interact and help each other.  At times, they seem to understand each other in a way no one else does.  I get double the crying, pinching, and biting but also double the hugs, kisses, giggles and smiles!

Audrey H.
2011 FHM Resale Co-coordinator
Mommy to Cora (12/26) and Alton & Brant (9/08)