2 – couple of recent pictures

22 08 2012


22 08 2012

Last Monday the LCE’s (life changing events) turned 2. OMG. How long ago does hanging out at the Homewood suites in Denver feel now?
So, a quick update,

1) Living in Melbourne, Australia these days. Love being back in my own culture, but I haven’t moved home. Its like saying a New Yorker could call Boston home, you just cant straight away, but I’ll make it a home in time

2) The kids are unbelievable. I have no idea how to explain it, ok, yes I do. I go to work and people throw tasks at me, I throw tasks at people, the day gets heavy, emails and meetings come and go, you get tired, coffee can only do so much, you drag yourself home on the train, you then do home stuff with the mango princess, more admin, life stuff etc. You look at the kids and they are beaming, they are visually giving you the “OMG you rock, everything you do is funny, awesome, I love you, I totally 100% live for you” you give them a bath, they splash you, you sigh, you put them down to sleep, you go to bed and look forward to that time again tomorrow (without the splashing hopefully)

3) They grow so fast and learn so much. My sons head is too hot, I think its a growing or thinking or just energy thing. Actually he gets a hugely hot head just lying down so its got to be one of the 1st 2

4) I setup a jumping castle in our formal dining room last weekend. So out of order but so much fun

5) They were one minute apart at birth and a few ounces different, now its around 4kg’s different. Toby is a human brick. Not fat, just made of concrete

6) boys and girls are hardwired differently. Girls will just walk around in mum shoes as soon as they can walk.

7) at around 12 months Zoe walked up to The mango princess, who was reading a magazine and swiped it, ipad style and was annoyed that the picture didnt move. Generation i

8) we did 17 flights with them in the 1st 14 months of their life.  I havent done a plane with them since

9) Geez they are unreal

10) My life is so changed. They are so much better than anything I every could have imagined. I like being a dad.

10.5) Yeah, I need to write the book. I really want to do it.

and I thought we had it rough…

25 02 2012

I realise I don’t wite much these days but I received a note from a reader who has had a story that is quite remarkable. She explains this best in her own words:

I myself am a mother to a quirky little 6 year old, Lily. She is my only child, and my whole world. The very beginning of Lily’s life was a little more turbulent than I would have hoped for. When Lily was just 31/2 months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a type of cancer that kills 90-95% of those who have it. As I’m sure you can imagine, the first thing that came to mind when I was diagnosed was my baby girl and how I wasn’t going to be able to watch her grow up.


After all that, I’m still here 6 years later and cancer free! I’d like to turn my pain into purpose and become someone that other parents can look to for guidance, inspiration, and hope in situations like my own.

Perspective… I have never thought about me not being here for my kids. I just assumed I would be.

Here is Heathers blog


Its a pretty amazing read


A great day.

24 12 2011

It’s been a long time since I have written. A lot has changed. When I was trying to adjust to blogging as a dad, many people encouraged me to keep it up as they found hope in my posts. I failed at keeping up and I guess never could get over the guilt of posting when many of my old support crew had not got across my “bridge” and kept ending up in sub fertility canyon. Well, I thought I’d try one more post for those looking for inspiration and hope.

There is a trail of despair / hope / joy through my 3 blogs but I think today is the best day of my life and i have lay on my bed for the last 4 hours trying to disprove this particular bold statement and can’t. Here’s why:
– it’s my dad birthday. He turned 65 today. He has had a rough run for a very long time and probably shouldn’t have seen 50. He is in great health and counts every day as a blessing. We all do.
– I spent the day with dad and my family back in Sydney Australia. A very rare treat given I have lived overseas for 15 years.
– I am hoping to do more birthdays at home as the mango princess, the wonder twins and I moved back to Australia for good 3 weeks ago. No more new york, (which was hard to leave). I was supposed to originally go overseas for 9 moths, (in 1997!!!) and as much as I have loved the journey overseas, not returning home for good has been a splinter in my life over a long time. (mango is also an Aussie… We met in London … Long story,but a great one I’ll have to tell again some day). We are finally home.
– we returned to aust for me to take on a great opportunity for my career. Dream job? Maybe… A great mental challenge and I like that sort of thing.
– the twins. These children are amazing. I shiver as I write this. They are like little sunbeams from god who just light up anyone’s life who comes near them. The just glow an amazing aura. Sure, they shit all over the place, create standard kid havoc on planes and are just kids generally but when they smile, omg, you see the impact they have on people. It’s like a happy virus. E.g. For the last 3 days my daughter has made my mother laugh like she has not laughed in year. Hysterics. It’s awesome.
– tonight we flew up north to a holiday house my out-laws rent each year where we will spend Christmas. Beautiful place. Mango was driving and focused on the road. I was chilled and looked in the back seat. My daughter was drifting off but my son was looking out the window at the scenery at a time of day when the sun had pretty much given up and I could just see the perfect skin in his face and his eyes just glowing in what was left of the day. I had just re-downloaded “paradise” off the new Coldplay album on my new aust iPhone and was playing it out lound and singing to the kids. They both lit up with the biggest grin then looked puzzled but thats probably because I was singing and being happy but crying pretty heavily at the same time at just how amazing they are and what miracles they are. Song ends, daughter drops off to sleep and my son and I are just looking at each other. Golden. Just golden. I thank him for “hanging on in mums ute” (bizarre thought i know) and being here with us and promised yet again I’ll do whatever I can to make his life as good as I can. He smiled and then looked back out the window and went back to whatever grand thoughts 16 month olds have.
– I remember when I was single and somewhat miserable years ago with a freshly broken heart. All I dreamed of was finding an amazing person to lie next to and wake up with each day. I prayed for that ever day for so long. That also has been answered in a very big way.

So, I hope I haven’t cursed myself by writing this post, but right now, things are pretty amazing and I think that’s important to acknowledge, and be somewhat stunned about. Particularly when there have been so many black days. Not everyone will be as lucky as us, but it does happen.

Anyway, it was Christmas 34 mins ago. For those that celebrate it, enjoy. For those that don’t enjoy that Chinese meal and movie:)

. Mister IVF

A friends tale of the nuclear option and “stupid things” (fyi – no kid pics / reference)

8 07 2011

One thing I have realised being late 30’s (almost too late really) and walking around with twins is that for those in the IVF underworld, I carry all the signs of being and IVF’er, and sometimes that’s a bit like batman’s batlight and Gotham wants to chat to me. I have 2 friends I know struggling with sub/infertility, but if they want to talk, they’ll find me. Once they get to IVF, they’ll know we did it, they’ll work the twin code signal out and if they want to chat, sure, happy to, but i don’t feel inclined to prod. Other times, as I say, people see the bat light and bring up the subject. Sometimes quite straightforward, sometimes, its brought up in a really tricky way. One friend was feeling under the weather and complained of being sick. I asked her if she had been to the dr and if she was on anything, “oh yes, he has me on gonal F”. Classic. Nice clue fort those who have a clue, if I didn’t it would be been “oh, hope you feel better soon”.

A second friend has just had the most horrific time with all this in/subfertility. Now, all IVF is horrific, but this other friend has taken a path I never even thought about and I am a thinker, I think of all paths. For the last cycle, she stimmed and  she also had a donor stim, they used hubby’s baby batter and she took her embryos and a surrogate took the donor embryos. Everyone got pregnant. She had 1 and the surrogate had 2, (or that could be reversed – sorry). When she told me she was doing it, I though, wow, that’s the nuclear option. Actually, if they threw in donor sperm, that’s probably more nuclear (if that’s possible)… anyway.. everyone miscarried and after 11 cycles and 4 MCs she hasn’t been anywhere near this IVF crap for a while.

We caught up during the week as she felt time for a chat. She is a very successful woman, great career etc but is in a real flat spot. Yeah, no shit hey. She has lost her gut feel, feels wiped out and isn’t sure what to do next on any front. So , ever the useful friend, if you want to come up with dumb ideas to distract you from life, I.am. your. man. Mongol rally anyone (http://mongolia.charityrallies.org/)? (I have been to Mongolia overland once, this is the way I want to do it next time!!!). We also chatted about Conan’s Dartmouth commencement address which I think is a great speech about disappointment and how it can deliver clarity (http://teamcoco.com/content/watch-conan-give-dartmouth-college-commencement-address) and we ended up with a hug and a she went away with burning desire for her to go off and start freezing her eggs.

Along the way, friend #2 and I chatted about something that it dawned on me tonight, that I never blogged about along the way. My friend asked me “tell me some of the really stupid things your thought would make a difference?” and I had to think for a minute but there were a tonne that started to flow. Clearly most of you avid readers know my view on booze (out!) and the “number one priority” project the mango princess and I had. (fyi  – the number one priority project was that this kid thing was #1 and anything that we thought got it the way we would alter out behavior, not for a cycle, but basically until we got over the line or gave up). Some were obvious: booze, bad eating, coffee, tight boxers for me (I used to hate lose boxers and funnily enough, I still havent switched back). A few other ideas had a sniff of merit (I guess) but we still did them (e.g. no cell phone in front pocket to cook my nuts, (which I also still do today)). Other ideas again seemed nuts but we still did them – positive visualization (which I still think if nothing else got you to sleep a bit when you are finding it hard) and then other we were just grasping at straws. I realize this is dangerous turn for many of you as you may start realising these made a difference for us, but we all have these sorts of thoughts. So here goes for some of the sillier things I thought might help:

– there is a block of land on a major road out of town for us that they build a swish new block of apts on. I read somewhere that the developer paid off the local city as the land was contaminated. Our response? We held our breath when we drove past it (and prayed the nearby traffic lights weren’t red!)

– a reproductive expert in Australia asked me how old my car was as the new plastics would have a toxic effect, so we spun out about that a bit

– we would take meticulous care doing shots each night after night (during a cycle – not tequila)  making sure we switched sides so that we didn’t overload or stave a particular ovary

– after one particular transfer when Mrs IVF’s lay in bed and put her feet right up the wall of the bed head, we soon cut that out as we think we shook the kids up too much (yep – after a failed cycle)

– I drove like a grandpa in the fast lane after a transfer, desperate to avoid pot holes, to make sure the kids didn’t slip out (fyi – the fast lane has fewer trucks in it so fewer pot holes). I also studied for weeks the best road generally that had few potholes and I knew exactly where they were on the route we took (no road is pothole free in NJ!)

– We would stay in a hotel after a transfer (so Mrs IVF could get horizontal faster (oh and we drove with her seat reclined)) as we though it might me more relaxing

– We killed wi-fi in our apt as we thought it was just more radiation we didn’t need

– and I wont even start on all the tiny bullshit things I would do in the wank room that I thought might get a better batch. Fuck – a self-conscious nut could go crazy if I thought about all of that too much (does lesbo porn give you a better result?, if the porn was crap or had static – often did, frikkin DVD was worn out – does that raise tension and lower the result, did I do EXACTLY as per the instructions?, did I fill the form out right and spell my name right? shit, don’t mix my batter with Leroy down in the next room!?!?!?)

– classic bad luck things like ladders, black cats were an obvious no no.

– the list goes on…

My poor friend has one though that I never had. She thinks her and her husband are cursed and just the combo fo them is “bad”. She comes from a family of doctors and he, is very successful, (10 cars!) but not as educated. I think she feels it’s just “not meant to be” or has been  brainwashed by her family to think that and I guess after 11 cycles that is very much a standard emotion, but i hadn’t actually thought of that. Maybe this is the normal sort of stress a couple has doing IVF, but that one never hit me (sorry if I am slow on this) 

Anyway – the best I could leave her with was (a) that she is where I was and I guess we proved that wrong (at least in our case), (b) mix a bit of donor bloke yogurt in the next cycle (if she’s not fussed) and if successful, you can always do a paternity test later but you can prove the curse wrong (c) curse smursh, look at the red socks! (i am not a fan – settle down yankee fans)

Anyway – just thoughts. try this… maybe there are good things we can do that we don’t go out of our way to think about. We just think about the bad. I still think about the person I gave some money too that time on the subway (for those that remember that post), which in hindsight was not very much to do really. Good Karma things can’t do any harm and they may just work their magic

Well Well…. (warning: glowing dad post with pics)

1 07 2011

looks who’s back in blogtown…

I watch from the sidelines but, as many of you know, don’t comment like I used to. I feel “out of school” commenting on many IVF blogs these days, but the mango princess watches everyone closely 24/7 and I check in on many of you from time to time.

This fatherhood thing has turned out to be beyond what I thought it would be. That simple really. People tell you it does that to you, you don’t believe them and with an IVF fiasco along the way you just never think of it. It has taken me ages to realise no one is coming to pick these kids up and take them home somewhere else, they are home, and even longer to have them really sink in, but if they went away now, oh, boy…. Maybe it’s because they didn’t grow in my gut and maybe I never thought we’d see the end of IVF and was waiting for another shoe to drop (fyi – I still check  they are breathing before I go to bed every night, and Ok, I love watching them sleep), and I have thrown myself into it 100% but it took a while to really sink in. I used to work like a dog, I still do a bit, but you know what, I might just get in at 8.30 rather than 7 and feed a kid or pick them up for a while in the AM.  At night I used to wait for a bus with a seat, now I’d hang out of the side of the bus to get home before they go down… ohh, I say to myself, look at you changed boy.

I could write forever about what wonderful things they are doing to me and the mango princess. Sure – Zoe wakes up covered in shit this morning, and fuck, it stink, but we don’t get too stressed, (ok , if it got on the Hugo suit I might have changed my mind), we generally laugh. When they cry at 4am, yeah, not fun, but when you pick them up (which is rare as we live tough love around here and they have to cry it out a lot), and they just flop into your chest and coma it’s extremely hard to beat. When somone needs you that much, oh wow, you really wake up and realise you have a big responsibility here. When you see them 1st thing in the morning or they come racing across the floor in a turbo crawl at the end of day with their faces glowing, then that’s very hard to beat. What a blessed window of life to be in. Our prayers were more than answered

Why write and gloat? I don’t know. For those who crossed my ‘ol bridge, I hope they feel like this. I enjoy reading their stories and relish where they are from where they came from. For those on the bridge or looking at it from the wrong side of the valley, (who are probably feeling a tad tortured reading past my warning), I really think of many of you alot. I think of the IVF we went though a lot. I don’t know why. I still reconcile back against that I guess. Many of you are looking at many options. I guess my thought to you would be one thing, its worth it. Sounds extremely obvious, but the difference between 4 horrible cycles and a 5th one that went remarkably well was mind blowing. How could we get the positive after 2 weeks window and it just keep going? That happens to others. It’s like a paper thin veneer sometimes between getting over the line and not. It’s so cruel how it can just happen. That’s about as wise as I get tonight. I think of you guys on the other side of the bridge so much. I really will you across my bridge.

Couple of pics for you….


Photos and today’s lesson

27 02 2011

Thansk for the nice comments. Didnt think I would really be on people radar’s around here anymore, but as the mango princess commented, “everyone looks out for everyone in IVF blogs”. 

So todays lesson… don’t take sleeping twins through a car wash. They get upset, you get (as a free bonus) an “I told you so” deathstare from your wife and well, the whole this is just not fun. Still – the mango princess jumped in the back seat and calmed everyone down, so it was all ok and she came away feeling good that the kiddies trust her that dad wasnt trying to kill the whole family. So it was a good team building event… sort of.

Today’s new trick. Every day the kids seem to learn something knew. Today they both discovered toe sucking. Oh geez. I can’t even get my leg straight!

Posted a few pics as the last batch look like they were taken a million years ago . Just checked and found out I have taken 5,000 photos in 6 months. Attached are some of my favs. 

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6 months

13 02 2011

Well. Life has been pretty hectic, but so be it. I can blabber on how I don’t have time anymore etc, but I guess life has shifted and blogging about kids is just hard around this place. I read your stories of those of you who have made it across my make believe canyon of “sub fertility” and I still get pretty wound up and upset with those of you who haven’t. Some journeys are very long and hard. Very long. I won’t name you but you know who you are.

So. Kids. Well twins are hard work. CCRM’ers, read that section in your book around twin warning twice before going ahead. Zero regrets, but we have been extremely lucky. We had mrs ivf’s or my family in town for pretty much all of the first 4.5 months of their lives. A godsend. If my aunt wasn’t here to take over Christmas day, it would have been cheese on toast all round. Yeah, not so much the postcard portrait you expect right? So family support, (fuck, we’d have taken any help) was huge.

Second, no colic, reflux, or any other major issues. They got a cold once and we, of course, thought we had killed them and that we were the worlds most f’ed up, crap parents, but they lived to cry and yelp another day. Some sort of bad ailment would have been pretty rough.

Lastly. Team work. The mango princess still does more work around the homestead but I try and help as much as I can. Cloth nappies, breast feeding, dads still got to go to work, and twins in general puts alot of stress on your marriage (very different stress to IVF by the way) but you get through. We, we are i guess. I (generally!) will never complain about getting up no matter how hard, (even though it rumoured last night I offered to sleep in the car rather than deal with the crying). I have to help out, I just wish I could do more and I guess sometimes it’s just human nature to grizzle when you are short sleep. Your IVF history isn’t the first thing that comes to mind on your 3rd trip to see the kids at 4am

So the kids have been quite exceptional. They started sleeping though (6pm -7am) from around 3 months. Lately we’re finding Zoe likes to hold a one woman rave in her cot at 4am every morning, but we resolve not to do pickups or touches until 20 mins into wailing. Hard, but it’s a tough love house. No sleeping in our bed and feeding on demand, but that’s a pretty set schedule anyway. They only go so long without a feed. We watch closely for over stimulation and it’s a strict bed by 6- 6.30 every night. No tv. Fair amount of music / nursery rhymes at play time. Play as much as we can and we read but need to read to them more. So, we sound like, we are ultra conservative nuts, but its just who we are and whether we have just been blessed with great kids or this strict regime works, who knows, but we’re getting decent sleeps.

Oh, dont get me wrong, some days are horrors and I only get a snippet of what the mango princess deals with, but even the most adverse situation usually eventually end in a laugh.

Here’s a classic example. Today we are in Myrtle beach. It’s a long weekend flight trial before we tackle 25hrs of flights back to Australia next month to see some family for the 1st time. So, Zoe, queen of the poo-kini, let’s rip today with a category 1 turd-cyclone. We’re traveling in the car. She’s shat in the car seat, all over her outfit, she has it from shoulder down to toes, and mum it’s trying to mop her up in a makeshift change table in the trunk of the car. Once Zoe, hand flailing, get her hands covered in her own turd, thats it, mum kind of breaks down in fits of hysterics which is kind of laughing but also pure shock. Either way, such sessions render her somewhat frozen so I had to jump in and stop this poo artwork being created in the back of this hire car (umm that was so new it had 7 miles on the clock when we picked it up.) so another daily nightmare, but funny in hindsite. Not so much at the time, and when we are tired it’s ugly. also, mum step in as hero 10 times to my 1. This example was just fresh today.

Still. No complaints. Exhaustion but elation. I can see how kids take over a fertiles life and render them obnoxious to sub fertiles. Kids do take over everything. We have not been immune to that, but today as we walked along the boardwalk at the beach I had a bad flashback to mrs ivf’s miscarriage where we also walked along the beach and just stared out blankly feeling more miserable than I had for a very long time. So it still hits me every now and again, but our little miracles, oh and they are and we dont forget that, are truly life changing.

Well that’s about it. It’s 8.38 and that feels like 2am these days.

As ever best of luck with your own journeys…. On both sides of that bridge.

Pictures added

28 09 2010

Even at 5am this morning feeding both of them at the same time and Zoe burping / vomiting milk on herself I cant get upset or annoyed. How can you when your kids look like this…..


Giving the mothership a break

25 09 2010

What a blur – I havent posted for 10 days. I thought it was only a few.  I am sounding like my grandfather who has sadly left this dimension.. I JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TIME HAS GONE. WHERE DID IT GO? DO YOU SEE IT? … (he was a bit hard of hearing)

Anyway – well are we settling into a routine? not really. We do something different every night. Sometimes I get up to help, sometimes I am not required. Some nights are double breast feeding, some nights are expressed milk feeds. Occasionally we are even doing formula now (but the poos are bad so we try to avoid, and well we try to avoid anyway) as we just think formula is evil.)

Last night I tool over kid command cental and sent Mum squared to bed. She hasn’t had  full nights sleep now in over 6 weeks (yeah – kids are 6 weeks old, WHERE DID THE TIME GO….) so last night I armed myself to the hilt with milk and camped out on the rocker in the kiddies room with the light out ready to pounce with milk at a moments notice. It went down exceedingly well, except of course when they both woke up at once screaming for a feed. Still, I kept it all together, lugged beefcake and cheese cake (and they are growing!) out to the lounge put then in one of those horseshoe cushions (bobby) and somehow juggled 2 bottles and took a pic! Was a bit of milk spilt all over the place, yes, but as they say there is no point crying over …. ok you get it.

The funny / sad part of the whole night was getting mum squared to step down and have a well earned sleep. I can fully understand the detachment issue, but wasn’t this the world best sleeper I had married? She was all up for the sleep and ok for meing taking on “night command chief” but well, putting it into action was harder that it seemed for her.

I got repeat instructions on pretty much everything up to her final disengagement – “remember, they have one swaddle on now, can you do 2 later… remember…. wash your hands.. remember to feed them through their mouth and don’t stick the bottle up their arse – ok – maybe not the last one… but the poor thing, it was like I was stealing the kids, and besides, she was up on 4 hrs to pump anyway and I have only recently had a night or 2 when I wasn’t up anyway… but finally after numerous cross checks she headed off to bed and was asleep in minutes.

Photos… boy – I am well over due to post a few photos here, will work on that next. Sorry about that. They are incredibly cute kids and I recently voted them the cutest kids on the planet (prove me wrong).

That enough for now I am thinking

Dad squared