18 months! 

My kids are one and a half! Today, they are closer to two than to one! How did this happen? For some reason, I feel that this gives me some mom cred. Like, having two kids over one is somehow a right a passage? It’s not, so maybe this is actually a reflection of me feeling more comfortable as a mom. I rarely look at them and wonder if and how they are mine. I feel settled and confident in this role of mom. And that feels good. 

Jeremiah loves everything with wheels! He cannot differentiate between them, so everything is “car! Go! Vroom vroom!” Including tractors, trucks, strollers and suitcases! He tried to say SO many words! Yesterday he said “Iowa” clear as day! He loves the park and balls and being outside! He also loves throwing food, taking off his bib, and throwing mini tantrums. He loves bubbles and getting wet in fountains! 

Avani loves Mickey and her mommy! I sear she can spot both from a mile away! She throws fits for dad until mom holds her, then says “dada!” as if to reassure him that she loves him too! She can say many words, just not as many as her bro! Her new one is “baby!”  She loves the bath and bubbles and splashing in puddles, as well as slides and swings! All of the sudden she only wants to eat yogurt and…well…I can’t think of anything else. Her palate has gotton worse this month! 

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Telling my WHOLE family 

I did it! I told everyone. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone! Plus a few remaining close friends who didn’t know! I sent Facebook messages and emails with the same exactl message to everyone… 

“Hey friend! Starting next month I will be one of the new writers for the Quad Cities Mom’s Blog! I am going to be blogging very publicly about something that Brian and I have kept very personal. About four years ago when Brian and I started trying to get pregnant I was diagnosed with a very rare auto immune condition called premature ovarian failure. This basically means that my ovaries no longer contain healthy eggs cells, similar to a post menopausal 70+ year old woman. Needless to say this was an incredibly shocking and devastating diagnosis. I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist at the university of Iowa who allowed us to try using injectable drugs to stimulate my ovaries. Despite being on the highest allowed dose of medicine, my body did not respond at all. Our medical team explained that I was capable of having a healthy pregnancy with an egg donor. After much discussion Brian and I selected an anonymous egg donor and proceeded with donor egg IVF. Our first and second cycles did not result in a pregnancy, but thankfully our third cycle resulted in JD and Avani! 
We hope you will all be able to understand why we chose to be private about my diagnosis and our treatment while we were in the middle of it. We barely had the time and energy to take care of ourselves, let alone explain our situation, prognosis, decisions and outcomes to others. Now that we are thankfully on “the other side” of this infertility nightmare with our two beautiful children, we feel ready to share our experience with others. Jeremiah and Avani will always know that we had the help of an anonymous donor to conceive them. 
I know that donor conception is somewhat rare (or at least rarely talked about) so please feel free to ask us any questions you may have! I will be posting my new blogs in October!”
It truly could not have gone better. Almost everyone personally responded to say they were sorry for what we went through and thrilled we have our children. That is all I could ask for. One cousin in law “left the conversation” without saying anything so that’s the only one we may have freaked out, but that’s ok. Jen asked why I was worried. For one, we have a lot of practicing Catholics in our family. For two, I lied to a lot of people when they asked me about the twin situation. And three, I lied to a lot of people over the last two years when they asked me about who the kids look like, etc. 

who is left to tell? My nanny from growing up (she is a big part of our life still and I am her kids god mother) and all of Brians family. He needs to call his grandparents that don’t have Internet and email his grandparents who don’t speak great English, and then we can email and Facebook message everyone else. I am so it worried about how they are going to react because even though there are a few Catholics, they are not losing their genetic connection to my kids, so how bummed an they be? 

How do I feel? I feel awesome! It’s a much bigger difference than I expected! I feel a big weight off my shoulders! I think it’s less from everyone knowing and more from not having to remember who I have told what. But it feels right. It feels authentic. I am relieved.  



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18 month neonatology visit 

yesterday we were back in Iowa City for their 18 month check up with the “high risk infant follow up” team! The appointment went great! The kids are both comfortably “on the chart” for everything, including Avani’s height!! JDs head is in the 95th% lol! Big brains!? JD is 28 lbs and 7.6 oz and Avani is 23 lbs and 15.4 oz! They sure have grown! Their height measurement put them multiple inches apart, which they do not appear to be these days, so I am not sure I trust the measurements they got while my kids were being squirmy. 
Our NP is thrilled with their development, including their speech, which is a relief for me! We need to work on stacking blocks (Jeremiah) and using utensils (both) – I guess I need to embrace the messy more often so that they can practice! 
The most exciting part (for me, least) was the permission to treat them like “normal” babies this winter! No isolation! No Synagis! No skipping family holidays because someone sneezed three days ago! We will get flu shots and wash our hands and, most likely, get sick, all without worrying about being re hospitalized! I can’t tell you the relief (but I know some of you get it!!) I feel knowing that we can spend the winter traveling, going to story time and taking music class, plus not stopping going to my Stroller Strides classes! I feel significantly less dread for winter! 


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Punished for Moms Night Out 

I always joke that my kids punish me for going to my monthly Moms Night Out. Either they wake up multiple times at night or wake up super early or just generally act crabby the next day to punish me for leaving them for a few hours of fun. Last night they were fine, but the universe found another way to punish me: a kid hit my parked car! Ugh. It’s just a car! No one was hurt! But getting my car fixed and securing a rental and talking to the insurance company is an annoying thing to add to my to do list!  


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I underestimated my family 

subtitle: apparently I have the best grandmas ever! 

I told my 79 year old, devout Catholic grandmother today. Her response? “Wow, you must have been so frustrated. I am so glad you kept going through all that. You have two beautiful babies and I love them just the same.” 

Ok then, I guess these are loving (I knew that!), tolerant and open minded people! Both grandmas were fixed on how we are so lucky because we have “one of each” which is an annoyance for another day. Overall I literally did not imagine it going any better and I feel so relieved! 

Now to draft an email to the rest of my family…  


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Telling my 86 year old grandma that we did donor egg IVF…

I did it! I started disclosing! And it could not have gone better! 

Yesterday I brought my kiddos over to visit my grandma/their great grandma. Grandma Quinn is 86 years old, but sharp and generally very forward thinking. I opened by telling her that I have a new “job” blogging and I am going to be blogging very publicly about something that I went through privately. I explained my POF diagnosis, the attempted injectable cycle, picking a donor, our two failed cycles, and finally our success. I could tell from her expression that she was most confused about blogging. Lol. When I finished she said… 

“I am so sorry that happened to you. That must have been a nightmare!”  

Can you imagine a more perfect response from anyone, let alone an octogenarian? She asked what IVF actually stood for and how long they let them egg and sperm grow before they put it back in, and that was it! Success! 

I know that our disclose to the remaining 6 grandparents, 17 aunts and 17 uncles, and 50? Cousins cants possibly go that perfect, but this was a great start! And I feel a little bit lighter and freer already!  


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Home from my first weekend away! 

I posted two travel update blogs in the first two hours of my trip and then not another word for three days!! Oops! I was too busy having fun to miss my kids and definitely too busy having fun to post about missing my kids! The weekend was perfect! My friends rented a house with a gorgeous view and we got to spend a ton of time reconnecting. They had an intimate, beautiful, personal ceremony in Acadia National Park. I ate lobster and blueberry pie for every meal (lobster rolls, lobster bisque, steamed lobster…). We hiked and I went for a run and we shopped and drank a little too much red wine. I saw two shooting stars and bioluminescent plankton in the ocean. 
My children did fine too. They ate. They drank. They slept (but not perfectly, which I am not so secretly happy about). They were adored by their uncle and spoiled by their grandparents. They went to their first NFL game (ridiculous, I know). And they bonded with their dad.  Brian was actually in tears describing how he felt this weekend had been a bonding experience for them. And when I got home they giggled, hugged me, and immediately started tugging on my shirt to nurse! Phew! 

As for me, I am already planning my next getaway. I am going to visit my friend Lisa in NC for her PhD graduation.  She traveled for my wedding, then my baby shower, then to visit my kids. It’s high time I traveled to celebrate something in her life! And these weekends away are clearly good to EVERYONE!  


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