Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Schmed Rest

In other news of wild life-changing events, I bring you a post dictated by my honeypie!

So I said I was going to update you after appointments - well, this appointment was not without (what do I want to say...) adventure? The ultrasound tech at my regular doctor's visit measured my cervical length and it had shortened further, so when I saw the doctor, she took me off work and wanted me to go to Ingham Labor and Delivery to get things checked out, make sure I wasn't contracting, et cetera. Barry wasn't able to go this time, but luckily, I was able to talk my mom into going, so she was there to help me keep it together while I let them know at work. (Most of you know that I've really been hoping not to have to go on bed rest so that I can spend as much time with the boys afterward as possible. Now that I'm here, I know I'm doing what's best for all of us, and it will all work out regardless.)

Of course, they were very understanding at work, so we headed over to Ingham. Luckily, we stopped for a Whopper on the way which ended up being the only thing I had to eat for almost 24 hours! I spent about two hours at Ingham before they decided that my cervix was short enough that pre-term labor was a real possibility, and I had to be sent to Sparrow (where they have a NICU).

The ride to Sparrow was something I've never experienced before and hope to never experience again. The ambulance drivers were a couple of characters, which made it easier to deal with. They had the lights and sirens going the whole way - they called it the green light express. Luckily, Barry was able to get to Lansing on time to meet me at Ingham, so he knew what was happening and was able to meet us there when we got to Sparrow.

At Ingham, they had started me on a magnesium drip to prevent labor which they continued at Sparrow (and is also the reason I couldn't have anything to eat). Barry stayed with me until about 11:30 or so, and we thought I'd try to get some sleep (ha ha). Between the blood pressure cuff inflating every hour, the catheter being uncomfortable, and a painful IV, that's the longest night I've spent in a long time.

I was just barely waking up this morning meeting my new nurse when the high-risk doctor at Sparrow came in to talk to me about my options. He thought that because my cervix was the problem and not that my body wanted to go into labor, he thought a cerclage was the best option. Even though they aren't normally performed after 22 weeks, we decided this was the best way to keep the babies in there as long as possible. I should mention that this whole time, both boys look great and seem to be measuring just the right size, if not a week or two bigger!

So now, here I sit, on bed rest in Sparrow, as I dictate this to Barry, because of course, he's been by my side all day, doing whatever he can to make me comfortable. [And so handsome, too! -bcc] The doctor thought I might be able to go home to bed rest Monday at the earliest, so if anything changes between now and then, I'll have Barry update the blog to let you all know.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

House Get!

In the interest of getting something written, I'm excusing myself from writing well. (I'll use Arial to indicate how poorly this prose was thought out.)

On our way to my folks' for Easter, we saw a house back in March or April of 2008, and went to an open house that June. Financially speaking, we shouldn't have been looking at houses then, but Beth fell in love with it, even though the listing price was way more than we could even think to afford. So after seeing what a "best-case" house at the top of our potential price range was, we got all our moneys and debts under control.

Initially, the homeowner was trying to sell the place herself, and when she listed it with a realtor, the price only went up. Heartbreak! Panic! Something. We kept looking back at the listing, and when it finally came down, we decided to talk to a few lenders and a realtor who had been nothing but patient with us in our early stages of looking.

Once we got pre-approval from a lender our realtor had highly recommended, we saw some comparables in August. Nothing came close to this house in any criteria (square footage, number of beds and baths, amount of work we'd need to put into it). The place was immaculate when we initially saw it, and after seeing some dumps, we had a whole new appreciation of what this place was. We decided we wanted to put together an offer and met with our realtor the next day.

Everything was going awesome from the time we wrote our offer (Aug. 31) through the home inspection (2nd week of September). We just went back and forth with the homeowner once to come up with a price we could all agree on. Inspection went great - no surprises, and the homeowner had taken such good care of the place that we shouldn't have much to worry about for years.

Even after making ourselves "golden borrowers" (lender's words), we had a crazy time trying to buy this house. From the appraisal forward, the whole process has just taken f-o-r-e-v-e-r. The appraisal came back $11,000 lower than we had offered, which meant that we'd either need to bring a whole lot more money to the table or get the seller to agree to a lower price. Fortunately, we were again able to come to a number we were all satisfied with after just another round of negotiation. We settled on a price and a closing date, signed a bunch of contract addendums, and thought we were in the clear.

We would have been, too, if it weren't for things going slowly with the lender every step of the way. We were asked for a ton of documentation 72 hours before our initial closing date, including a bill of sale for a broken waverunner (cash deposit of $500 in our bank account; buyer was out of state tending to a sick relative) and cancelled checks Beth deposited for the canoe trip. We had to provide new copies of bank statements, a letter of explanation about Beth's legal name (versus the name on the check written for earnest money), a copy of our marriage license - you name it, they asked for it.

Protip: When applying for a mortgage, be ready to provide documentation on any deposits you make that aren't from your employer!

Ran around, got stuff, took a day off in case anything came up on the day of closing, and... had to delay closing because our loan was still in underwriting. Had to write a contract extension because of it. So the long bank weekend (Columbus day) came and went, and things were looking good for closing on Wednesday - so good that I took the day off, and Beth made up time ahead of Wednesday afternoon to get out and get the deal done. No closing. (I got some work done on the car, so it wasn't a total loss.) At the end of the day Wednesday, all the involved parties got things set for us to close at 8:30 this morning.

When we showed up at the title company this morning, we figured we'd have plenty of papers to sign - but the underwriters (in Texas) hadn't sent everything over. We got through everything with the homeowner (who was leaving town) by 9:30, then we waited. When the documents finally arrived, no one could open them since they were locked with a password owned by someone at another branch office. By the third hour, things seemed laughable. By four, flat out ridiculous, and this was before we even had a final settlement amount for our down payment and closing costs. Everything after that was just waiting for phone calls and the Federal Reserve. Yeesh.

Protip: Don't wire money! Just go get the check!

Anyway, I was there all day and spent three vacation days, but now we own our dream home. We'll be moving within the next 30 days, just in time to get things set up for the boys.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shame on me

I haven’t written on here in so long and there is an excuse for it… good or bad, there is one. There has been SO much going on that I felt like I would be doing an injustice if I didn’t blog about each piece of it. I started a blog about our pregnancy from the beginning to the 20 week mark - that was my plan. It’s not finished… so much happens in that time! I’ll post it someday, these boys deserve it! But here's what's happening now... 


There are so many things in pregnancy that I was not ready for. I have a lot of friends who have children and I’ve never been shy about asking what it’s like, some of them even share more than enough information on their own. I thought I knew there’d be things I couldn’t prepare for, but for the most part I knew what was to come. One thing I was definitely not ready for is the worry. And I know it will never let up, from here on out. I try to keep something in mind that a friend said though, she said that “they’re counting on you to be have positive thoughts, be relaxed and take care of them while they’re in there”. It’s been a bit easier keeping that in mind. Someday I’ll go back to all the things I learned being pregnant myself… but for now let’s continue with the present story, or I’ll never get anything documented!


Which brings me to the 20 week mark… yes, its two boys!! Barry is more excited about it I think than he’s letting on. He has playmates for life… we’ll see how long dad’s stuff is “cool” ;) Of course I’m thrilled that they’ll have a playmate for life, I won’t have to buy two sets of clothes and actually maybe I’ll save some money since it’s not two girls… let’s face it, girls clothes are cuter. We won’t have to worry about splitting their rooms up any year soon. And I couldn’t be happier about my two boys. I already have a bond with my special little guys – I just know they’re bound to be momma’s boys ;) I spend a lot of days wondering what they’ll look like. Will they have the same hair color, eye color, will one be a whole head taller than the other? Will they both be hockey players, tuba players, boy scouts, or fulfill their dad’s dream of playing Burning Wheel one day? Will they both like the same things or will we forever be running in two different directions? Or will they look so much alike that they’re mom has a hard time telling them apart?!? I can’t wait to find out! In the mean time... here's them, showing their stuff! (I wonder if they'll be mad at me someday for putting it ALL out there on the internet?)


Anyway, the 20 week ultrasound was a huge event. Barry was there and we planned on both moms’ joining us. Barry’s mom thought that his grandma might enjoy being able to experience something so special and we immediately agreed. Then it worked out that my dad was free during that time on that day, so he was able to join us too. I figured he may have some added interest since he grew up with twin brothers. When would he ever have the opportunity again? So including myself and the US tech we had 7 people in the room! We got to see all their parts and even witnessed baby B punching his brother in the butt! ;) Everything checked out fine otherwise too. We all went to breakfast together to celebrate. It was a great day!


About that time my belly started to really let loose… it was starting to FINALLY be to the point where there was no mistaking that I was pregnant. And since then it's just gotten bigger, about a week ago I had 3 people at work all on the same day say “wow, you really look pregnant!” Barry and I went to the MSU hockey game Monday night and for the first time I had a stranger ask when I was due… yup, it’s real! Not that it hasn’t been real the whole time, but like I said, there is no denying it now!


Along with a growing belly came movement. I thought that I felt something for the first time on our way back from Houghton after a delightful WMTU wedding, August 23rd. I was driving and felt this odd sensation in my belly… I knew I’d never had gas like that. It was a couple of weeks before I thought I felt anything again, then for about a month there were these odd little sensations. One of weirdest things was when I’d be walking and stop and then it felt like my belly continued moving in that direction. Just in the past couple of weeks, and more so in the last week I can really feel them kicking and punching in there. I can’t tell what’s what, but they are definitely doing something!


So… shame on me… I’m finally writing something when we, for the first time, didn’t get a gold star at the doctor. I had another ultrasound on our anniversary, the 6th. With twins there are more risks so there are more ultrasounds and more appointments. Barry wasn’t able to go with me this time, so I went on my own, which was fine – it isn’t terrible news, just news. My cervix is shortening. Right now that doesn’t mean anything, other than it could be a sign of pre-term labor. The good news is that the protein they tested for to see if my cervix was actively doing anything was not present. They advised to rest as much as possible, but thankfully didn’t put me on bed rest. Take it easy – no exercise, etc. and don’t ignore any signs. They’ll check again in two weeks to see if it’s still shortening. If it is then there’s a possibility that they’ll put a stitch in it so that it can’t shorten any more. Huh you say? Yeah, we’ll deal with that, if we have to. So yeah, shame on me… but at least now you know what’s going on! ;)


In other news… oh, only that we’re BUYING A HOUSE!! And not just a house… the house that we’ve looking at and I’ve been moving into mentally for over 1 ½ years! Barry has been working tirelessly over the past couple weeks with the lender and realtor to make sure we can close tomorrow. Even now I’m sure he’s on the phone with someone getting last minute requests to the lender. We had our 2nd anniversary on Tuesday and while he got home late from work and he had to scarf a bowl of soup before rushing off to our prenatal class, there is no doubt that my love for him grows stronger every day. The closing has been postponed a week and while our frustration with this last minute pain in the butt stuff is increasing frustration, it's gonna happen!

We've been to several beautiful weddings this summer, had a very successful canoe trip, played for an entire week at Burt Lake, spent some time with family, registered for all things baby, and mostly enjoyed our time together... while we have it ;)

While we obviously have other things going on, I'm going to do my best to at least post something after doctors visits and since those will be every two weeks now this blog should be semi-regular again... now if only I could be! ;P