Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Hundred Excuses

I have been a bad blogger, and I blame it on "baby brain". I have sat down to write a handful of times, but only manage to get a few sentences down before I end up on the other side of the house doing something else. So here is my best attempt.

The past two and a half weeks have been amazing. Aside from the erratic sleeping pattern I have developed everyone in our house is doing great.  Being a parent is by far my most rewarding experience. The boys are continuing to grow and changing every day. It is very exciting to watch.

Cedric is a big fan of food. He gets so excited he swings his arms and a few times has grabbed the bottle to pull it in closer. He is a great at burping, and will probably be invited to a frat house very soon! He loves being on his stomach and can already pick his head up and move it from side to side.

Ezra is getting a bigger appetite. He is still eating less than Cedric, but we are not surprised given their size difference. He went to the doctor last week and is gaining weight and is right on track. Per the doctors he is doing great. Ezra also likes tummy time, but prefers to be swaddled at night.

We had Tim Steadman over to our house to take some professional photos. We got some great snaps and now have to decide which ones we want to get printed. Our trip to the Embassy was super easy. The DNA test results arrived on Monday (due to Thanksgiving we lost 4 days). I am pleased to announce the boys are a match! Now we are waiting for our passports to arrive from the states. Since we live abroad we couldn't do the emergency passports that are issued in one day. We expect them by the middle of next week. Once we have those it is off to the MHA and FRRO for the Indian visas.

I hear babies... that means feeding time.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

And on the Seventh Day...

Things I've noticed since the arrival of Ezra and Cedric, some of them more profound than others:

Life is beautiful. Not that it wasn't ever beautiful, but these two lives that are now a part of us are already opening our eyes to the wonders of the world. This week has been nothing short of amazing.

G-diapers are great. I love that we are diapering our kids in a way that supports what we believe about the environment. From the moment our kids got home from the hospital this week, they have been in cloth diapers. Even the nasty post-birth meconium mess was contained by the g-diapers. Wow!

We have the sweetest labrador ever! She has been ignored, been stepped on, and had her space invaded by two crying infants, two busy daddys and lots of well-wishers, and she is still the sweetest dog ever.

I love the community we live in. We've had so many people stop by this week to meet the babies and wish us well. They have cooked for us, helped us with diapers, brought us stories of the outside world, and just been there for us to talk to. Thank you to our friends. I'm so glad that we get to start our parenting journey in this community.

Organization is essential. Chad, my wonderful husband, was remarkably organized this week and got us through checkout of the hospital with both twins and for our surrogate, collecting the birth certificates and the initial paperwork and DNA test at the consulate. He was superb throughout the whole week! Every document that needed to be handed in was filed, color-coded, and ready to go.

Organization is essential. This one is worth repeating. We spent most of the third trimester of our pregnancy getting the nursery ready for the babies, and I'm so glad we did. Now, I am really appreciating how detail oriented we were. Every little thing, down to the organization of clothes by size and the pre-stuffing of the diaper inserts has been appreciated.

Having twins means you have two children who are different. Actually, I knew that already. But, I never expected for a minute that my two children would be SO different even from the minute they were born. Having Ezra in the hospital for 3 days more than Cedric was difficult, to say the least. It reminded me again, that they are two different people, and from the outset will have different needs.

Sleep is great. I'm not going to pretend that we're all zombied out and sleep deprived. Have we slept less in the last week than in a good while?  Oh yes! Are we walking around carrying pictures of our bed? No (at least not yet...). What I will say, however, is that waking up when you're sleep deprived is like trying to get out of quicksand. The first two minutes of awake time are the hardest.

And finally, and most importantly, I love my boys and my husband more than I could ever have imagined possible.

Today is the one-week anniversary of the birth of our twins. Today our family took a moment to rest and relax together. From the two pictures below, you can tell why I feel exceedingly blessed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Everything in Circles

I am amazed this morning at the stunning, awesome, sometimes saddening, always awe-inspiring symmetry of life. This morning, 6 days after our boys were born, their Great-Grandma (on my side) passed away. She was 93 an had lived an exceptional life. I wish that Ezra and Cedric could have met her, and that we could go back for the services that will be this week. But, we will celebrate her life with the beginning of new life.

Everything in circles.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homecoming Part II

Today, our littlest man, Ezra got sprung from the hospital. After an agonizing 4-days apart, Ezra and Cedric have been reunited. We are beyond excited about having our whole family under one roof at last. Let the twinsanity begin!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Perspectives

As you can imagine, we are over the moon with our boys. At the same time, however, it is so emotional to have one baby at home and one still in the hospital. Here's an update on all four boys in our family:

Ezra is learning about bottles like a little pro! Last night he had a practice session with a pacifier to get his sucking reflex going. Then, this morning when we came for a feeding, his tube was removed and he drank 15 mL from the bottle. Since then, he's had four bottle feedings of between 15 and 20 mL. Otherwise, he's a great and healthy little guy with the deepest blue eyes, and the cutest little lips. We really want him to come home soon. Cedric misses his womb-mate!

Cedric is increasing his bottle feed quantities every day. He's our little gas pipe, so we make sure to give him a few extra burps with every feed so as to avoid any upset stomachs. He has slept at home for two nights now. The first night was a fussy night. He wasn't sure what to think about a quiet and dark house. He seems to prefer the voices of people and lots of light. He also has deep blue eyes, and the longest piano fingers you've ever seen.

Chad's paternal gene has kicked into high gear. He is already a pro at calming Cedric when he needs to. And (this deserves fanfare and trumpets), has changed his first poopy diaper!

Douglas is getting really good at driving back and forth between BLK hospital and the apartment. He is loving having Cedric at home and can't wait until Ezra is home (although, the nerves are starting to kick about parenting multiples).

Love and Peace to All!
Chad, Douglas, Ezra and Cedric

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homecoming Part I

What a change we've seen in Cedric and Ezra! Just over night, our boys grew up just a little bit. How is that possible? 

Cedric on the left and Ezra on the right

The biggest change was in Cedric. In all of the pictures from yesterday he was looking really round. But today, he lost a bit of his puffiness, and you can see a very noble profile from our oldest son. Cedric and I started bottle feeding last night, and he practiced a few times over night with the nurses. By the time that Chad and I got to the hospital this morning, he was ready for another go, and he is feeding like a champ! It was lovely to walk in this morning to see that the feeding tube that was taken out last night was still out. So, our big boy is coming home this afternoon. We'll take care of all the paperwork to spring him from the hospital right after lunch. We've got the car seat and we've practiced fastening it securely. This will most certainly be my most nervous driving experience in Delhi yet! Precious cargo will be in tow!

Ezra is looking good too. He is definitely our curious one. His eyes were open all morning, and he's taking the world in. He has the most beautiful dark blue eyes (I know, they'll probably change color, but they'll always be beautiful). He is continually trying to suck on his feeding tube. Actually, I don't think he likes the tube very much. The doctor says that he will be ready to try direct bottle feeds today. 

When we went in today, we saw that the nurses had put some of the onesies we'd left on both of the boys. Since our kids have to stay in a nursery from birth for the first several days of their lives, it was oddly comforting to see that they were wearing the clothes we bought for them. 

Another odd feeling is that we'll be taking Cedric home and not Ezra. I guess that this is the first tangible lesson in twin parenthood that they are, have been, and always will be different people with different needs. Cedric needs to be home right now, and Ezra needs to be in the nursery. It is, however, a little bit of a mental somersault for me to reconcile myself with separating them after they've been in such tight proximity for 36 weeks and 4 days. 

Meanwhile, we're waiting to do the paperwork for their birth certificates and I'm glad that BLK hospital actually has decent coffee (for India).  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday

9:15 AM

As I write this, we are sitting in the cafe at BLK hospital in Delhi, very anxiously awaiting the arrival of our twins. After a night of chemically-inspired sleep (thank you ambien), we woke up to a bright, sunny day in Delhi, and at about 7:45 this morning, we grabbed the bags that have been packed for weeks and headed to the hospital. 

Seema walked in about 10 minutes after we did. I am so impressed at her body. She has our twins inside of her and she looks incredible. She is smiling and so mobile. I'm thoroughly thankful that our doctor suggested her to be our surrogate. Her body type is perfect. 

Check in has been a breeze so far. The baby wing of the hospital doesn't seem to be very busy this morning. There are only two other patients as far as I can tell from snooping around. So, I expect that our babies will be receiving undivided attention. 

Chad and I have been texting almost constantly with our friends at work, some of whom are in a class on assessment this morning.  I feel sorry for their teacher, as I am sure we will cause a bit of a distraction today! 

I just talked to Dr. Indira on the phone, and she is on her way to the hospital. She won't be the one delivering the babies, but she will be in the OR with Seema, and has promised to take pictures.

Meanwhile, Chad and I are sitting in the cafe. I am trying to stay "in the moment" but at this point, that is a pipe dream. At least I brought my computer to distract me from the wait. 

This is definitely the longest wait. 

3:24 PM

They're here! They're here! Our boys are here. 

Cedric Michael and Ezra Graham

I didn't tell anyone, but I had the sneakiest suspicion that we would have two sons. Hardly anyone guessed that we'd have two boys. When we told her the names, Dr. Indira,with her usual biting sense of humor, asked why we were giving them sentences instead of names. Chad asked me a little later if I thought their names would fit on the immigration cards that you get when you fly in and out of various countries. 

Ezra and Cedric are both resting right now in the NICU. The nurses and doctors here at BLK are doing an excellent job of monitoring their vitals. Both boys have feeding tubes, although Cedric hardly looks like he needs a feeding tube (he looks like he might be recruited to be linebacker for Ohio State: boy, wouldn't that make his grandma and grandpa proud?). Cedric was born at just over 6 lbs (2.8 KG) and Ezra weighed just under 4 lbs (1.8 KG). I have to say that both Chad and I were surprised by Ezra's weight, as the ultrasound technician had estimated that he weighed 4 lbs, 11 ozs, and that was at 34 weeks! So, having him show up at 36 weeks and 3 days and weigh less than 4 lbs was  a bit of a shock.  

The doctor says they are both doing fine. I think they both look absolutely beautiful. We've had two visits to the NICU, and now we are resting in the lounge, getting ready to go back for a third visit. We got to hold them for a few minutes a piece at about one hour after they were born. Then, we left the hospital and went to get something to eat, and then we came back and sat with them for a little longer. 

I asked the doctor what the next 24 hours will look like. He said that they will continue to be on the feeding tube, and that they will continue to monitor heart rate, breathing rate, and any "output" that they boys may have after their feedings. Then, tomorrow morning, we will try to give them their first bottles. I made sure that they understood that we wanted to be present for their first bottle feeding. Chad said that I wasn't being too much of a "stage parent." In spite of the low birth rate for Ezra, both babies are simply beautiful. 

The biggest thing in the next 24 hours will be to make sure they are getting the nutrients that they need. The doctor said that he didn't want to risk trying a bottle feeding today. OK. 

Chad and I are doing great. Actually, we're so far past excited that we're a little emotionally spent (at least I am). At about 2:00 a flood of tiredness washed over us. So, after we sat with the boys for a little while longer, we came down to the lounge and crashed in the most uncomfortable chairs I've sat in in a while. 

I can't wrap my head around their arrival. It's so amazing. 

4:30 PM

I hate my camera. The pictures I took of the Cedric and Ezra don't do them justice (plus, some of them are a tad bit out of focus). Thank goodness our friend Mary is coming to the rescue with a much better camera. 

9:28 PM


We are home, and had a toast to the boys, as well as a little dinner. Now, I'm in the process of updating all of the people who need to be updated. And, taking care of updating the blog. Before I remove our fishbowl and our polls, let me say that we made it to 36 weeks and 3 days gestation, and that nobody expected us to have 2 boys (4 respondents out of 32). Only 10% of those surveyed thought that the boys would be born today (4 out of 36). 

Before we left the hospital for the evening, the nurses removed Cedric's feeding tube, and I tried to give him a bottle. I was only moderately successful, but the nurse did a much better job (she had to continually stimulate his chin and cheek in order to engage his sucking reflex). They are going to try another bottle tonight, and then we'll be back in the morning for his bottle at 8:00 AM. 

Let me just say that both of our sons are adorable. After I fed him, Cedric got the cutest case of the hiccups. Yep. It only took about 2 minutes before my kids officially became the cutest kids in the world. 

And with that thought, Chad and I are going to bed. We will probably have to chemically induce our sleep tonight because our minds are racing at about 1000 miles per second. 

We are both filled with wonder and amazement at the birth of our sons, and at the marvelous support that we have from family and friends. 

Life is magical!

Love and Peace,


... are worth 1,000 words.  But, don't worry; there are more than 1,000 words coming soon too!

Cedric Michael

Ezra Graham

Chad meets Cedric

Chad meets Ezra

Douglas and Cedric

Douglas and Ezra

Two Boys

A big warm welcome to Cedric Michael and Ezra Graham.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Get Ready For The Babies!

Today we found out that Seema is having contractions quite regularly and that means we are having babies in the morning! We are checking into the hospital at 8am, and expect the babies around 9am India time. For those of you on Eastern USA time they will be making their debut around 11pm tonight.

We expect a sleepless night tonight. Cheers to healthy babies!

Chad & Douglas

Something's Coming

From the Department of Cryptic Messages: 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thirty-Six Weeks

We made it! How exciting to have reached this milestone. We have nothing new to report. Seema has an appointment on Saturday morning, and we (and by we I mean the doctors) will see how her body is progressing. If she is 50% effaced or more that will be our green light to have our babies this weekend. We don't want them born in a Delhi traffic jam so a scheduled c-section is a must.

The first pick in the baby pool is for today at 2:30pm. Lets hope if they decide to come on their own they will wait until tomorrow and have the coolest birth date ever (11-11-11).

Hats off to all of the healthy babies born in the past week!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We'll, it's official. We're the hold outs. All of the twins due around the same time as us whose parents (or surrogates) write blogs we follow have been born. Big, big, big congratulations to Aleksandra, Stacey and Lee, and Jeni (and her IPs Fareed and George). We are so thrilled for the happy healthy babies who are the pride and joy of their parents. I guess that means it's our turn next.

Meanwhile, this is a link to a GREAT post that I just read about talking with strangers you meet about being same sex parents. This has been on my mind lately, because I have been talking to my students about my upcoming absence from school, and the fact that my family is growing by two. My students have been great, and so happy for me and Chad. Mostly they just want to know if the twins are going to be boys or girls, but a few students have asked if I have a wife. To that, I reply that I don't have a wife, I have a partner.

At this point, I want to stop and say something about my beliefs about freedom. I believe that people should have freedom to make judgements for themselves. But, too often, people spend too much time trying to put labels on things that don't need to be labeled. So, when I talk about my family, I remove all judgement from the way I present the information. This includes not saying things like it is OK, or "good" (and obviously not saying it's "bad"). I find that applying the label "good" or "bad" or any similar vocabulary just perpetuates the either/or, good/bad dichotomy, which is in my opinion, most often a false dichotomy, or even inapplicable.

So, I just say the way that it is. And, guess what. My students are completely unshaken by this. They take the information in and go on with their day (and hopefully, discuss it with their parents if they have questions). I hope that the way I talk about my family with my students perpetuates a climate of peace. There is a basic wisdom that resides within children. They know that all families are different. My family is two partners. Some families are only a mom. Some are only a dad. In India, some families are a aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas and grandpas. We are all different. Kids get it.

Cheers and Peace,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baby Brunch

Douglas started the day playing ultimate frisbee out in Gurgaon, and I enjoyed a nice Sunday morning in bed. Once Jyoti and I decided to accept the daylight we started down in the garden planting peppers and transplanting tomatoes. We finally got all of our plants re-potted on our balcony.

Some of our best friends/colleagues/most amazing people in the world organized a brunch today. If you didn't know Sunday brunch in Delhi is really something. It is better than all the monuments and craziness combined. They gave us the most thoughtful gift one could want... a photo session with a professional photographer. We love our Delhi family, and couldn't imagine a better community to live in.

We are eagerly waiting for the safe arrival of Stacy & Lee's twins in the morning!


Twin Names We're Not Using

Feel free to steal any of the following, because we're not using them:

1. Marco and Polo - for the twins who seem to be lost all the time
2. Hops and Barley - for the twins whose parents enjoy twelve-step programs
3. Lakshmi and Lakshman - for the children who need to constantly be reminded of their Indian roots.
4. Anna and Belle - When you like one really popular name, but have two kids.
5. Fabian and Fabrizio - When you really want your kids to grow up and be supermodels (seriously, I really liked these names, but they totally got vetoed by Chad).

Happy Naming,


p.s. These kids need to arrive ASAP because I'm starting to go stir crazy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ultrasound Brief

I just got back from Seema's ultrasound appointment. She was looking great, but she is tired and ready for those babies to be evicted. The babies are getting big and looking great. Twin A was doing barrel rolls trying to get away from the photo session. Twin B was jumping around trying to get away from Twin A. Seema is at the gynecologist appointment right now... I decided I should not sit in on that one. Once we get that report we will have an idea of when those babies are coming.

Here are a few stats until we get the official report.

Twin A:
Weight: 5 lbs 11 oz
Heart Rate: 153 bpm
Position: Head up

Twin B:
Weight: 4 lbs 11 oz
Heart Rate: 135 bpm
Position: Head down

Ready or not... Babies, Babies, Babies!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thirty-Five Weeks

We have reached another milestone! According to the report we received yesterday Seema and the babies are doing great. All tests have come back as normal; hemoglobin and sugar test are also perfect. The good news is Seema's weight gain didn't skyrocket again and is increasing normally. We have our Doppler ultrasound on Saturday. We will have more baby stats after that.

Waiting for the babies is like waiting for summer vacation. I couldn't imagine what we would be doing if we were not working to keep ourselves occupied. Our friends have started a baby pool at work. A prize (which has yet to be determined) will be given to the closest date, time, and gender guesser. 

Everyone can play along in the guessing. Let us know what you think on the right side of the screen.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Every Time My Phone Rings

I jump a little!

There are several sets of twins in blogger-land that are about make their debut. Anxiously I keep checking  for updates every ten minutes.

Two Babies on the Way
Dreams Come True in India
Love Makes A Family

We are a maximum of nineteen days away from the big show at our house.

It is getting real in here.