Thoughtful Thursday: You

February 25, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayWe’ve talked about qualities from your partner and other relatives that you might like to see in your (future) children, but we haven’t talked about you.

What qualities would you like to pass on to your children?

My #1 personality trait is conscientiousness, in all senses of the word. It’s served me well.

I’ve always had tremendous self-control, even as a young child. Hopefully that will balance out my husband’s genetic contribution.

Burrito and Tamale both seem to have inherited my straight-as-can-be hair. Perhaps this will save Tamale many hours of blow-drying and flat-ironing someday — unless she wants curly hair instead.

I love to learn. I love to experience all sorts of things that expand my mind and my horizons.

I am patient.

I am brave at the doctor’s.

I am never bored.

I am good with technology but I also appreciate antiquities like record players and pocket watches.

I am helpful.

When I love someone, I love them like crazy.

What qualities would you like to pass on to your children?

Perfect Moment

This week I tried something on for size a couple of times.

No, not my old jeans. I can’t even pull those up, much less button them.

I tried being honest about infertility.

Babysitter: Do twins run in your family?
Me: Not really, we had twins as a result of fertility treatments.
Babysitter: Oh, okay. I was asking because my mom is a twin, and my sister always says that she thinks we’ll both have twins.

It turns out the “do twins run in the family?” question sometimes has a non-nosy motivation.

Colleague who came over to meet the babies and bring us a casserole: Did you know that you might have twins? Do you have a family history? Were you shocked?
Me: They were the result of fertility treatments.
Colleague: Oh, so you were just glad it wasn’t three or four or more!
Me: Actually yes.

I outed myself and the world didn’t end. In fact, every time I have done so, it has gone rather well.

Still not ready to go as far as telling our families, but I could get used to this honesty thing.

Find more Perfect Moments at Weebles Wobblog.

Thoughtful Thursday: Relative

February 18, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayLast week we thought about the qualities in your partner that you’d like to see passed on to your present or future children.

Of course, partners aren’t the only contributors, either to genetics or environment. What about the rest of the family?

What qualities of your and your partner’s relatives would you hope to see passed on to your child(ren)?

Although I never imagined it could happen, given my coloring, Burrito inherited his grandfather and great-grandmother’s strawberry blond hair. Other than that, so far it’s hard to tell what they’re getting from the rest of the family. Here are some things I wouldn’t mind seeing in them someday:

  • Generosity from my mother
  • Ability to charm anyone and adjust to any situation from my father
  • Intellectual curiosity from DH’s father (and DH and me too)
  • Enjoyment of gift-giving from DH’s stepmother
  • Love of animals from DH’s mother and paternal grandmother (and DH too)
  • Willingness to stand up for beliefs from DH’s paternal grandfather
  • Longevity from DH’s maternal grandmother
  • Compassion from DH’s sister — not the Murphy sister, a different one
  • Openness from my paternal grandmother, who’s game for just about anything and remarkably silly for a woman in her 80s
  • Incredible closeness to their twin from my twin cousins

What qualities of your and your partner’s relatives would you hope to see passed on to your child(ren)?

Happy Love Day

February 14, 2010

…and Happy Lunar New Year!

If you commented on this week’s Thoughtful Thursday, now would be an opportune time to tell him all of the things you adore about him that you’d like to see in your children someday. It’s pretty likely that your partner doesn’t read my comments section, so he won’t know unless you tell him yourself.

If you haven’t commented yet, please do. Then tell.

My husband’s reaction to the post:

That was a really sweet post, but I have a question. Do other people not go up the stairs two or three at a time? Seriously? They just go one at a time? Really? Why?

I love you, my long-legged, high-energy sweetheart.

Thoughtful Thursday: Qualities

February 11, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayIn honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s think about the good qualities of your partner. Specifically, let’s consider what qualities you want your partner and your future children to have in common. That’s part of why we want children in the first place, right? To see the best of our loved ones personified in a new being?

You can answer whether you have children or are still family-building. The question also applies whether or not your partner is the biological parent of the child(ren); qualities can be passed along genetically or through parenting and example. If you don’t have a partner, you can think about the good qualities of a potential partner or of the child’s biological parent.

What qualities of your partner would you hope that your partner passes on to your child(ren)?

Let me first start by saying that Burrito and Tamale are their own people, and we love them no matter what they are like. Nonetheless, they do have some qualities they’ve inherited, and the list of those qualities will probably continue to grow.

Already I can see so much of my husband in my children, especially in my son. They share the same high energy, long legs, blue eyes — the exact same color. Their faces show incredible similarities, so much so that friends have looked at Burrito and made remarks such as, “DH, did you miniaturize yourself?” My daughter, so far, has less in common with her father, with the exception of his huge smile.

As they get older, I would love to see both of them display some combination of their father’s enormous intelligence, generous heart, sweetness, interest in other cultures, stalwart friendship, silliness, skill with all sorts of people, and joie de vivre. Some of these they may inherit genetically, and some they will hopefully learn through example and guidance.

My husband climbs stairs two or three at a time, and he approaches life very much the same way. If Burrito and Tamale take after him, I don’t envy our poor stairs, but oh, what energy the house will have.

What qualities of your partner would you hope that your partner passes on to your child(ren)?

Show and Tell: Rattled

February 10, 2010

Show and TellIt has been far too long since I participated in Show and Tell. This particular object is also long overdue.

Earlier this week, I showed you the act-of-faith mobile that we bought for our theoretical baby just a couple of days after my first beta from Perfunctory IUI #7. First, I’d like to follow up on that post. The view that I depicted had all of the pieces lined up. FYI, here’s what it looks like when a breeze is blowing and the components spin independently. Burrito and Tamale seem to like looking at it whether it’s lined up or jumbled.

The other act-of-faith purchase during that trip was a rattle. We were in the ancient synagogue in Barcelona, itself an incredibly special place. It is the oldest synagogue in Europe. It’s just two rooms underground. Everyone forgot it was a synagogue for a few hundred years and instead it was being used for various purposes including a storage closet. The first day we tried to visit, we got there after closing time because it was so hard to find because it’s just a little door on a random street.

When we finally made it inside the next day, we were treated to the cutest little tour of two rooms. Sort of like visiting someone’s studio apartment and being given a 10-minute tour, if that studio apartment had been built almost 2000 years ago. We wanted to support their grassroots attempt to preserve history — they don’t even have an entrance fee — but their gift shop was beyond tiny. I have more stuff on top of my TV than they have in their gift shop. (I really should tidy the top of my TV…)

Among the few items for sale was a rattle with some Hebrew letters and Judaic symbols. There was no price tag, so they made up a number. We shrugged and paid them happily.

Burrito and Tamale aren’t yet at the stage where they play with rattles, but it’s getting close. I’m not sure what they’ll think of this rattle compared to all of their other toys, but to me it’s very special.

Perfect Moment
Last March, when I was barely pregnant, as in ‘only one beta and even that had been done early because I was flying away to the Land of Don Quixote’ pregnant, I made a couple of purchases. Both were tremendous leaps of faith that the pregnancy would stick around and result in a Real Live Baby. Both of the purchases waited in a box until the time, if and when, they would be useful.

One of them I’ll post later this week at Show and Tell.

Here is the other one: a mobile we bought in Barcelona. DH and I stood in a museum gift shop for a length of time probably suspicious to gift shop employees, debating with ourselves and each other whether we really could let ourselves buy something for a baby that we didn’t yet trust to come into existence. Together, we made that leap of faith.

It didn’t seem right to put the mobile up when I was pregnant. Too presumptuous.

After the babies came, things were too crazy to put it up. When they calmed down a little, momentarily, I tried to put it up, got out the ladder and everything, but the spot I picked wasn’t amenable. It was impossible to find a time when the babies were both out of the nursery yet I was available to drill holes in the ceiling.

Then, instead of the spot I’d first picked, I wanted to use it over one of their cribs, but I couldn’t figure out a foolproof way to ensure that it was safe to dangle over the crib. When I bought a developmental mobile with a built-in crib clamp, DH said with a little hurt in his voice, “But what about our mobile?” It was so sweet.

Finally, this weekend, I figured out a way to put up our mobile that did not involve a power drill or risking anything crashing onto my babies’ heads.

The first Perfect Moment is actually getting something done.

The even more Perfect Moment is seeing one of my babies look up from the changing table, watch the mobile turning in the breeze, and laugh. That is why I made that purchase. That is why I did all of it, really. All of the years of treatments, and waiting, and emotions, and more waiting. I did it all for that little giggle.

view from the changing table

See more Perfect Moments at Weebles Wobblog.

Thoughtful Thursday: Memory

February 4, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayWelcome to Februrary’s Intelligentsia. It’s the shortest month, but thanks to the weather it often feels like the longest. Let’s honor the people who commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of January.

Lucky (and consecutive) appearance #13: Wiseguy from Woman Anyone?
#9: Photogrl from Not the Path I Chose
#9: Kristen from Dragondreamer’s Lair
#8: Jill from All Aboard the Pity Boat
#7: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#5: Cat
#4: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#4: Mel, a.k.a. Lollipop Goldstein, from Stirrup Queens
#3: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#3: Lori, a.k.a. Lavender Luz, from Weebles Wobblog
#2: Ana

A special welcome to the newest Intelligentsia member, Coffeegrl from Okaasan mommy and more.

Thoughtful ThursdayLast week we talked about the mementos that people save. Presumably, the purpose of mementos is to provide a tangible reminder of the past. We use the objects to remind ourselves of what we’ve experienced, and we also offer proof and continuity to those who are not privy to or aware of the experience. Future generations will not have seen your grandmother wearing that ring; your someday-husband hadn’t entered your life when you wrote that diary entry about who you hoped he’d be; and, most relevant to the events that spurred last week’s Thoughtful Thursday, babies will not remember the clothes they wore.

If there will be no memory of an experience, is it still worth experiencing?

Recently when we introduced Burrito and Tamale to their great-grandmother, they also met her friend from the nursing home. Sarah is lively, sweet, and well into her 90s. She herself is a twin, though her twin brother died decades ago. When she saw Burrito and Tamale, she said, “Twins?!? Adorable! I was a twin.” I asked about her brother’s name and their relationship. “Arnold followed me everywhere.” Throughout the hours we spent with her, she’d say things like, “Burrito is so cute,” or, “Twins are really fun.” I was glad that we could brighten her day.

The next day, we came back to see DH’s grandmother again, and Sarah was there. “Twins?!? Adorable! I was a twin. Arnold followed me everywhere.” It turns out that Sarah’s memory is “not so good,” as DH’s grandmother put it. The experience of hearing her repeat the same things, verbatim, was surreal.

Was it worthwhile for her to have the experience of meeting the babies, even though she won’t remember it? For someone with dementia, I say that today is all they have, so it might as well be as enjoyable as possible.

At the other end of the memory spectrum: We’ve taken one trip with Burrito and Tamale via airplane, and one trip so far via car. Air travel with twin infants is quite a hassle, less because of the babies and more because of all the stuff they require. As they get older — less sleepy, more mobile, and more demanding — they themselves may become the more difficult aspect of travel.

Nonetheless, when the possibility of taking a European work trip later this year arose, I was eager to bring them along. DH disagrees. He says that they don’t care about being in an exotic city and won’t remember it, so why should we go through so much hassle. He prefers that he and I go ourselves, and leave Burrito and Tamale with his dad and stepmom. I would be fine with them taking care of the twins, but I am not fine with the basic idea of going off to Europe and leaving them out of the experience. Even though they won’t remember it, we will have photos, and I will have memories of bringing them to tell them later. It will also get us out of the rut that most parents (and non-parents!) experience of never going anywhere. DH maintains that we won’t be able to make many memories since the babies will cramp our sightseeing style throughout the day. Since neither of us can win the argument, we’re just not going to go at all.

Would it be worthwhile for Burrito and Tamale to have an experience that they won’t remember? They already have all sorts of experiences that they won’t remember. But, most of those are enjoyable for the rest of us. International travel has the potential for being enjoyable but also for being exhausting and less fun than I may be imagining. Plus, it’s a few thousand dollars that we don’t particularly have right now.

Even in a few years, when they’re capable of forming memories, there will still be all sorts of experiences they forget. It’s a conversation that DH and I will keep needing to have, but I still plan to raise little jetsetters. They won’t remember everything, but they will start to remember enough. Even when they don’t remember, over time the experience of being immersed in different cultures will give them a broad perspective on the world and its people. DH’s current stance is that before we can bring them abroad, they need to be able to carry luggage. I can live with that. In the meantime, we’ll do lots of domestic travel, which DH is willing to do, and we’ll show them worldly picture books.

Three or four years from now, if you’re in an airport in St. Petersburg or Dunedin or Naples (Russia, New Zealand, and Italy, respectively — not Florida), and you see little boy-girl twins carrying their own little suitcases alongside a tall man and a woman with long dark hair, come say hi. Even if they won’t remember it, I’d still be glad for them to meet you.

If there will be no memory of an experience, is it still worth experiencing?

Guessing Game: The Answer

February 4, 2010

Following up on yesterday’s Guessing Game about the breakdown of fertiles, infertiles, and unknowns at a twin club meeting…

The correct answer, if you include me, was 40%, 40%, 20%.

I totally did not bring IF up just to answer the Guessing Game, promise. I wasn’t even the first one to talk about infertility.

It started with “when in the pregnancy did you know you were having twins?” I had the record for the earliest diagnosis, but my IVF compadre had similar timing. The latest diagnosis was 21 weeks, obviously one of the fertile women.

Perhaps most strangely, mine were the only preemies. A room full of full-term twins? I did not expect that.

I recommend multiples clubs for other reasons like child socialization and the fabulous sales that most clubs hold, but I’m on the fence about the mommy experience. There was literally not one minute of talk that wasn’t about mommy or baby topics.

There may be some Not Only A Mommy women in the club, but I didn’t find any at this gathering, or at least they weren’t acting like it. Not that I was bringing up scintillating topics either — but, true to form, there were a few minutes when the fertiles were asking about how certain treatments work and suddenly I was holding forth in front of the room.

Now a Mommy, stilll always an Infertile.

Guessing Game

February 3, 2010

I’m headed to a get-together for my local multiples club. What do you think the breakdown will be for the following categories?

  1. Fertile, had twins via happenstance or genetics
  2. Infertile, had twins via treatments
  3. Does not disclose

1/3, 1/3, 1/3?
1/4, 1/4, 1/2?
1/10, 1/2, 2/5?
Some other proportion?
C’mon, guess! You know you’d be guessing in your head if you were in the room.

I’m pretty sure the club member with 9 kids fits into category #1. She won’t be there, thank goodness, and neither will her 9 kids.