Wednesday, 12 May 2010

TV, kidney stones and no full-frontal anything...

It's been nearly a month since my last post due to a variety of things which have conspired to keep me away from my keyboard.

On the plus side: our great friends Pat and Walt visited from the US to see the kids for the first time.

On the minus side: I had a bad dose of the kidney stones, which is still not over and may involve the insertion of frickkin' lasers into a part of body which, exclusively, never gets anything voluntarily inserted into it. But there you go...

Faith and Emily continue to grow at an astonishing rate and are learning and discovering new things every day. The current fad is for TV, especially BabyTV which they've decided is the greatest thing EVER (well, the greatest thing they've found in the last 14 weeks). Faith's a take-it-or-leave-it gal but little Em is rivetted by "Draco the Dragon" and "Walter and Dude". But... if you try to change the channel or if something comes on she's not so keen on she will let you know about it.

It's all quite funny really, during popular shows she gets all of her arms and legs in on the action and her bouncer rocks about like a mad thing. At points there are smiles and loud goo's and it will hold her attention for ages at a stretch.

But too much TV can be a bad thing so we're trying to ration watching hours and keep it to points where Elly needs to do something like clothes washing or eating or periods of work!

Faith seems to be the first of the girls to teethe too. There's been a lot of grizzling recently and during a particularly loud outbreak I happened to notice two little white nubbins poking through her gums so it's only a matter of time before her two front, bottom teeth are through and she's biting holes in anything that passes in front of her face - bless her, it's cute but it must hurt.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Cold in de dose...

I have a total stinker of a cold which has laid me up for the last couple of days and really screwed up the week and I'm terrified of passing it on to the girls.

I don't get to spend a massive amount of time with them at the best of times what with working in, and commuting to, London every day so I find I get really resentful when I don't get as much dad time as I'd like - but what can you do?

Gurgling is currently on the rise, Emily regularly manages a fine and varied set of baby noises whilst little Faithy is sticking with the odd dog bark and a variety of quite gutteral noises such as NNNNGAAARRRRR! I actually find myself wondering if she's not a baby genius and chattering to me in Klingon - imagine the fun we'd have:
Me: Hello beautiful, how are you today?
Faith: PATAK!!!! A running man can slit a thousand throats in one night.
Me: Are you ready for your bottle? Is my baby girl hungry?
Faith: NNNNNGAAAARRRR!!!! You fight like a Ferengi!!!!
Me: Let me just go and fetch a muslin and we'll feed you now
Faith: Bring me my Bat'leth - I will slay your people!!!
Of course, I *might* be utterly wrong...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Time is flying by...

Nine weeks now and we've just started to see tiny smiles from the girls. Emily was the first, grinning at Elly and Faith has just started to exercise her chuckle muscles - it's the most beautiful thing in the world :)

Every day now new things seem to be happening, they're sleeping through the night now, starting to take an interest in their toys (only a very small interest though, it has to be said) and all of a sudden they're starting to get too big for their Moses baskets - what happened to my tiny, tiny babies??!!!????

Now. more than ever, I resent having to come to work and leave them for hours every day, I want to watch them eat, sleep, gurgle, scream and emit something foul from the legs of their nappies, it's a really exciting time and it makes me quite sad to think I'm missing out on even a second of it.

We always have the weekends though and last weekend, being Easter Bank Holiday, we took them up to Hull to see my family. It was a lovely weekend, we got some time off as various family members took them off our hands for cuddles and the like, but it was quite a tiring couple of days, topped off by six hour car journeys to and from Yorkshire - not something I'd like to do every weekend but we must try and get up there more often then we have been doing, I really do want them to be as close to the family as we can manage.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Sleep is for wimps!

So, we're already at seven weeks and if there's a routine to be had, we has it!

It seems that babies are creatures of routine and habit and by sticking to a routine new parents can cobble together some semblance of a life. Mostly..

We've started the going-to-bed cycle about 8ish by putting the girls in their travel cot and gathering up the 100000 bottles, bibs, muslin squares, anti-splash mats and other liquid repellent materials required for a night with twins. By 9 we should be in the bedroom and feeding should have commenced so that by 10pm at the latest they're drifting off to sleep.

This part of the equation works quite well and by 10.15 or thereabouts the house is quiet and we're all off to sleep.

Where the plan usually falls down is the 3am feed where Faith will take a full bottle then steadfastly refuse to produce the required number of burps, keeping one of us up for about 90 minutes.

It turns out this 90 minutes is THE most important period of sleep of the whole night time period and missing it leaves you in a state of mental fog for most of the day. I no longer know what day it is, can barely remember the time and occasionally forget where I live but that aside it's pretty much OK.

Emily sleeps through the night so it's just Faith that causes this lack of sleep but she's so utterly gorgeous that I forgive just about anything she does (or doesn't do) - unless it involves damaging my PCs or consoles...

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not complaining, just pointing out the facts of a twin parents life. Right now it feels like a constant round of eat, wind, change nappy, sleep, eat, wind, change nappy, sleep and I suspect it'll continue to be like that for a while yet, it's not bad, annoying or even irritating, it's just part of being a parent and it's totally forgotten every time one of the girls looks up at me with those big, clear blue eyes. It would be nice to have a night off, just to get eight hours sleep or find enough time to grab a proper bath of spend some quality time with Elly, but, that can and will have to wait and we'll be as patient as is required.

In the mean time, they are seven week sold now and we've nearly had some proper smiles. It has become a source of constant competition between Elly and I to see who can get the first proper grin so fingers crossed the girls will step up for Daddy :)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Golden showers

Bah! Yea, you heard me, bah! I'll even say it again - bah!!

There has been an evil new twist to changing time in the Russell household and to be be honest, I'm not happy with it.

Let's be straight about something - my children are cherubs, they are the single most beautiful children ever born, they will be rocket scientists and live life to the full. In short, however good you think your children are, mine are better - FACT!

But ...

They developed a nasty habit of peeing all over me. It's very intelligent, beautiful, life fulfilling pee but it's pee all the same.

I think it's probably a voiceless protest at the process of nappy changing but surely there are better ways to object to something? A poster campaign perhaps or t-shirts with slogans on, really ladies, there's no need for this!!!

.. and to make matters worse it's all cunningly planned and goes something like this..

Step 1. Fill current nappy with unmentionable substances.
Step 2. Cry until unsuspecting parent turns up and offers to change you.
Step 3. Remain silent until unsuspecting parent has removed outer garments and reaches for the sticky fastening tapes on the aforementioned nappy.
Step 4. SCREAM.
Step 6. Don't stop to see if unsuspecting parent is listening , just SCREAM a bit more.
Step 7. Allow unsuspecting parent to remove nappy.
Step 8. Wait for gasps at horror at what you've produced.
Step 9. Look at ceiling nonchalantly while clean-up operation occurs.
Step 10. Wait for the exact second that unsuspecting parent has removed existing nappy and is as far away from a new one as is physically possible and ..
Step 11. Urinate like your life depends on it - if possible try to pee at least three times your own bodyweight over the unsuspecting parent, your own clothes, the changing mat, the cat, the wallpaper (etc etc)
Step 12. aaaaannnnnnd rest....

Oh, and one more thing... Make sure you do it at exactly 3.26am as this is the time when unsuspecting parent is least awake.

I love my children :)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Air Raid Sirens at dawn

To this point in time, night times have been merely a bit inconvenient. Emily sleeps really well and can go up to seven hours without waking and Faith likes to be topped off with milk every three hours - it breaks your sleep up but hey!, that's what parenting is all about.

Last night, things changed..

For the first (and hopefully last) time, Faith screamed the place down for most of the night. It could be colic I guess, as the usual reasons for screaming were satisfied (wet/full nappy, hungry etc etc) so the jury is out. Elly bore the brunt of the agro which was pretty grim and things only really settled down after Ell passed Faith to me and I gave her a good cuddle at which point she shut up and went to sleep - strange but true..

Other than this one incident though, things have been pretty good in House o' Crussell. Every day the girls show us new and interesting things, like a staggering propensity for farting, who knew such a small person could contain so much gas???!!! What's nice is that both girls are just starting to show more interest in their surroundings - there's a lot more evaluation going on but we've yet to see them get touchy-feely with anything.

Also, they just about fit their clothes now (the premature ones, not the ones that are marked as being for their age) so the feet holes in sleep suits now actually contain feet! There are worrying signs that they may be growing out of some items too, a quick change after a full feed results in bulging around the buttons and fasteners...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

I am no longer the person I used to be ...

I have taken to using nonsensical words and phrases such as "bumbum" and "napnap" and everything I smell is tinged with a hint of powdered milk.. I am now officially ParentGuy(tm)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Three weeks old today!!

Huzzah! My little angels are three weeks old today - so, how do you reckon it's been going?

Well, we're finally managing to get some form of schedule going, Faith feeds every three hours whereas Emily feeds when it suits here. Also, Emily will sleep up to six hours during the night which makes it easier to deal with Faith who doesn't... is that a schedule, or just a random collection of events which in our sleep-derived minds constitutes a schedule?

Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds and I guess it could have been far, far worse if we'd had genuinely screamy children who turned the volume up to 11 all day every day.

On the subject of the volume at 11, I have discovered the girls are heavy metal fans. During a trip to the doctor's the other day I had to sit in the car with two mildly grizzling two week olds while Elly went for a nurses appointment. In an effort to stave off excessive screaming I turned on the car's CD player which, cunningly, contained an MP3 compilation disc. A couple of minutes of experimentation revealed that Airbourne and ACDC were incredibly well received with an audience participation level of "no crying" whilst Brittney Spears evoked audience complaint levels of "Well above irritating". I am so proud ....

Major criticism this week is reserved for people with no kids who park in the Parent and Child bays in car parks. OK, there's no law about parking there when you don't have kids but come on.. Have you any idea how tricky it is to get two kids + car seats + pram out of the car when the neighboring vehicles are inches away from your doors? It's impractical and sometimes impossible to get out of the car safely. Even before we had the children I never knowingly parked in Parent and Child spots as a courtesy to those with kids and if I don't see some of that courtesy returned pretty soon I'll be taking matters into my own hands...

I've found time to post to my blog. How did I manage that, you ask? Simple! We're having a "test week" where Ell runs around after the kids all day and I sit in the office working. It sounds like a bit of a skive, but, there is a practical application. Doing this allows us to see how Ell's going to cope on her own from next week when I'll be back in London. Currently, if a big issue arises - like a major nappy Code Black - I can help out where needed. Hopefully it'll let us see where we need to get extra help/assistance or just change the way we do things - whatever happens, I have no desire to go back to work and would be quite happy to spend all day, every day at home with my family.

Finally this week, we're having a bit of a do on Sunday. For the first time since we attended ante-natal classes, all eight couples plus twins plus other kids are popping down to the pub for lunch on Sunday. That's 16 adults, 16 children and six others. If I were you, I'd avoid the De Havilland from midday on the 28th...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Week Two update

Where the hell did the last seven days go???

Week two has been a fairly constant round of nappy changes, feeds and brief outbreaks of sleep and feeding (for us), the kids have the luxury of extended snoozes and all the milk they can suck down.

All-in-all I get the feeling we've been quite lucky, both girls are extremely placid and there's little in the way of complaints unless we miss a feeding time by 0.0000001 of a second. The act of feeding has been a game of two halves - Faith feeds beautifully, taking her time over her bottle and making cute, companionable noises all the while. Emily, on the other hand, gobbles down whatever you give, spreading the milk equally between her mouth and her chin/clothes/attending parent. A consequence is that poor Em has a whiter beard then I do, the only difference is hers flakes off from time to time..

Feeding for parents has become a complex issue due to the fact there's very little time to do it. In the five years we've lived in the current house we've always eaten meals at the table. These days we eat meals with our fingers, hunched over the sofa and in approximately five seconds and sometimes it's still hot!!!

Sleep has also been an issue with the girls taking turns to keep us awake until 4am some mornings, which, if I'm being honest, is even less fun then it sounds. Still, the last couple of nights we've managed to start a mini-routine which gets them and us to bed early and has resulted in a couple of really good nights - fingers crossed that it may continue.

Finally, the biggest obstacle to time and parenting is other people. We've been into town with the girls a couple of times in the last week and the process is slowed dramatically by people who are fascinated by the concept of twins. We don't mind really, it's lovely to show them off, but the questions are always the same and always in the same order. In an effort to save time I'm having some cards printed which bear the following text:

Dear interested person:
  • Two weeks old
  • No, not identical
  • Faith and Emily
  • Oh yes *laugh* they keep us up for hours
  • Yes, we are lucky
  • Bye!
I think that should cover all the bases and reduce the time it takes to stare mindlessly at things we don't want in shops we can no longer afford. Isn't it fabulous? :)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Week One in review

Hard to believe it's already been a week since the kids were born, there are times when it feels like five minutes ago and others when it feels like forever...

Anyways, here's a quick roundup of progress so far:

Birth Day - Tuesday Feb 2, 2010
We arrived at Frimley Park at about 6.30am expecting to be kept waiting for hours as always seems to happen with hospitals. However, we'd scarcely had time to complain about the quality of the food when we were called to the operating theatre so, with Elly clad in two of those buttock exposing theatre gowns and me decked out in blue operating scrubs we toddled off for the big event.

First stop was the anesthetist who gave Elly a spinal, which is similar to an epidural but more appropriate to caesarian sections. To be honest, I don't see what all the fuss was about as I didn't feel a thing but "apparently" Elly had needles pushed into her back to deaden her lower half. It was the first time I ever been (conscious) in an OR so it was quite interesting, there were many machines that go 'ping', a couple of machines that go 'whhhrrrrrrrr' and one that didn't seem to do much at all but just the presence of it lent a certain air of formality to the proceedings.

We'd been told the OR would be busy, as it was a twin birth we'd have two teams on hand to deal with the babies and a surgical team to deliver them. What we weren't told was that there were also students in. observing proceedings so by my best count there are about 25 people plus us in attendance which gave the appearance of a waiting room full of masked people - think Eyes Wide Shut without the dinner suits... or Tom Cruise... and with more... medical stuff...

The delivery seemed fairly smooth, I wasn't allowed to cut the cords as Ell's nethers were a sterile area but the surgical shield was lowered when first Emily, then Faith were delivered. It was a very surreal moment. After so long, and so much anticipation it felt a little detached, but I put down to the fact that were almost entirely detached from the delivery itself. The feeling soon went and within a couple of minutes I had two very healthy, very hairy little people in my arms. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry so did both and actually still do both every time we get five minutes of calm and I look into the eyes of my gorgeous daughters.

A quick look at the pictures shows the difference between the two of them, but in the chaos of the first couple of hours it was very difficult to tell them apart. Looking back a couple of days after the big event, it all seems a bit of a blur. At 8.59am on Feb 2, 2010 I was just another bloke in the crowd. A minute later I was Dad, bank manager, Guru, Oracle and future embarrassment and potential life wrecker to two very small, very beautiful little girls. I defy anyone with a heart not to shed a tear the moment their child is born. It's like gathering everything good that's ever happened to you up, compressing into a pint of emotion then swallowing it and getting drunk as a result - it's a moment I'll never forget.

Since then there have been several moments I will easily forget, due in no small part to Faith's desire to be bright and lively been 10pm and 4am. One tip to prospective parents; when the time comes to take first shift on baby monitoring (bedtime till midway through the night) or second shift (midway through the night to 7am) always go for the latter option as, by then, your gorgeous little bungle of life will have cried/pooed/peed/protested herself into oblivion. Whoever opted for the first shift will be begging for release by shift end and dehydrated from the tears of frustration, the second shifter can administer a quick feed then pop the little one down and watch him/her drift off to sleep in seconds - winner!!

Nappies have been an interesting experience. It turns out Merconium is not on the periodic table, looks like crude oil and is, in short, quite terrifyingly sticky - under no circumstances should it be interfered with as it could, quite possibly, be used as a weapon of mass destruction. Be sure to approach it with caution, however, and all should be well.

Nappy changing is an art form. It's staggering just how wriggly small people can be, especially when it's the first time you've seen a Pampers and you're struggling with the "stick tab A to pad B" type instructions. As long as you get the right end of the child to apply said device to, all should eventually be well although improper deployment of the nappy device can result in a damp child should excess urination occur.

Our pram is an absolute Godsend. A marvel of precision engineering, the Leebruss Zoom is a six feet long tandem pram which allows us to have both kids facing us. It's jet black and really swish, so much so I call it the Death Star - it puts fear into passers-by and attracts more attention than a yeti on a unicycle - in short, it rocks! Pushing it rounds shops generates masses of attention and it folds down so flat it's unbelievable.

So with prams, poo, birth and more covered, I now have to nip off and feed the kids. I'll try and post more soon...

Oooh, what lovely names...

Now that the girls have been been born we can finally broach the subject of names. During pregnancy we had several suitable options in mind but due to a variety of disapproving looks and "helpful" suggestions we decided we'd keep Emily and Faith to ourselves until it was too late for anyone to comment (there's a hair salon in Fleet that will NEVER get another penny from me as a result of the staff's helpful suggestions - "You should call it Belle, that's my name", yea, thanks for that, is your surname End by any chance?)

So, anyways, Faith and Emily. Faith always struck us as being a strong name and yet quintessentially English at the same time. It also summed up the attitude we took to the whole IVF process, whatever happened, however bleak things looked, we always, always had faith that one day it work. Ok, so it might seem the teensiest bit corny to some but every time I look into the patient blue eyes of my daughter I'll know what it means to me and to us as a family. We may not have faith in the traditional, religious sense of the word, but in all other ways we have it by the bucket load.

Emily's name is rooted more in the here-and-now. Several years ago now we had the privilege to meet one of the most wonderful and warm human beings. Her name was Emily Potter, she was five years old and she was severely handicapped. Em had a condition called i-Cell, a terrible illness which affects growth amongst other things. It's very rare and there's no cure and most sufferers pass away within the first couple of years of life. Thanks to the devotion, courage and sheer bloody-mindedness of her parents Patrick and Mary, Em managed to make it to the age of six.

I got to spend an afternoon with her during a holiday to the US one year and it was in the space of those few hours that I think I finally realised I wanted to be a parent. I can't really explain what happened, it was just one of those moments in life when a switch flicks on, when something is changed forever and you don't realise it until it's happened. She was such a beautiful little girl, utterly charming and, despite her difficulties and lack of communication skills she wound me so tightly around her little fingers that even now it puts a smile on my face.

And that's one of the driving forces behind our decision to name one of our daughters Emily. To me it signifies triumph against adversity, the will to try and to accept and to adapt to that which we cannot change and I for one will be so proud to tell my Emily where her name comes from when she's old enough to understand.

So there you go, Faith and Emily Russell. I'm trying hard at the moment to find time to document the first week and a bit of life as a new dad but there's barely a moment to spare. Over the next few days I'll try to throw a few missives together on sleep deprivation, sterilising bottles, pram building and the consistency of the very delightful meconium, but right now I need to run as we've just fed and changed both kids and need to get out of the house before there's a tiny trouser explosion...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Thank you...

We made it. At 9am on Tuesday February 2nd 2010 my beautiful daughters Emily Rose Anita Russell and Faith Samantha Elaine Russell were born. After eight years, nine rounds of IVF in two countries, over forty thousand pounds, multiple doctors and multiple medical emergencies we finally made it.

And it's incredible. Sleep is a distant memory, we barely have time to eat and I've been peed on, pooed over and vomited across - life doesn't get any better than this.

As I'm writing I've got full, sleepy little girls snorking next to me and little time so..

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who supported us financially and emotionally, who looked out for us, cared for us and treated us. There are so many people I couldn't possibly name them all here but you know who you are and you know what you mean to us. In the last eight years we've made friends across the globe as a result of what we've been through - it's been overwhelming. So to each and every one of you - we did it, and I'm totally blown away.

There is one person who I have to say a very special thank you to, however, and that's my amazing wife Elly.

Honey, no matter how dark things got, how awful times were and how hopeless everything looked, you never gave up. We got to where we are today as a result of your grit, determination and bloody-mindedness. Your faith in our ability to be parents is so far beyond "the extra mile" it astounds me. Thank you for giving me two utterly beautiful daughters and for giving me the chance to be a dad - something I never thought I'd get the chance to do.

You are truly and without exception, the most wonderful person I have ever known - thank you darling.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Almost there

In about 12 hours I'll be a dad.

I've been repeating this, like some kind of religious mantra, for the last week (obviously with a realistic time estimate in place 12 hours) and it never gets old.

Our story has been told often enough (if you're a bit rusty read Elly's blog here) but finally, finally, we're nearly there.

At the moment I'm flicking between states of total excitement and the strangest feeling of "ohmigod whatthefuckhavewedone!!!????" so it's an odd place to be, but generally it's one of the happiest places I think I've ever been.

What are the kids going to look like? Are they REALLY both girls? Will one be outgoing and the other quiet? Will I have to live my entire life in the merciless videogame withering grip of Pippa Funnell?????

In 12 hours we'll know and it's going to be the longest 12 hours in history...

Friday, 29 January 2010

It's The Final Countdown...

Four days to go and, sadly, the words of poodle-haired Scandinavian rockers Europe are ringing in my ears, also, the excitement is building quite quickly now.

Everything is in place (including the car seats) and we've had our final check-up prior to C-Day next Tuesday. When the c-day was move forward, we were worried that we'd end up at the bottom of the list and have to wait hours for the procedure but it turns out all of the other mums on the planned list have already delivered so we're first up - at 8.30am!

Yesterday we had the community support health baby officer lady come round to see if "everything was Ok pre-birth" but the whole thing smacks of Big Brother to be honest - questions like "were you abused as a child" and "have you ever been mental or bled from the armpits" only lead me to believe the authorities are checking up to make sure we're not serial killers or baby eaters - annoying, but I suppose it's part of the process.

So, we're all ready. It's almost impossible to concentrate on anything at the moment and the last couple of days at work are a living hell. There's four days to go and all I want to do is run around screaming...

Friday, 22 January 2010

The best of times and the worst of times

Two big things happening in our world today, the c-section date has been moved so the twins are now due on February 2, and it's Matthew's birthday.

It's difficult to know how to feel, on the one hand I can't wait to meet the girls and on the other, there's a sense of incredible sadness. If he'd lived, my son would be racing round in a state of massive excitement, talking ten to the dozen and making a total nuisance of himself and I would have smiled through every minute of it. Sadly, he didn't make it and January 22 will always be tinged with a sense of incredible loss and sadness - there's a huge hole in my world and it'll never be filled.

I was always slightly suspicious of people who hung onto those who passed and who raised the subject year after year on a birthday and I don't think I ever understood the impact loss truly has. Nowadays I do and it's a terrible thing, 99% of the time it's fine, a very private thing between Elly and I and we like to keep it that way, but for one day a year it wells up inside and I can't help but think about what might have been - quite possibly daft I know but there will always be a part of me that will forever wonder what my son would have looked like, what he would have done and what kind of a person he would have been.

So, happy birthday little man - we'll never forget you and we'll never stop loving you even though you were with us for a heart-breakingly short time x x x

On a happier note, the c-section's been moved forward to February 2 so we're only ten days away (Elly insists it's 11 but I don't count the extra day because my accounting system is different!!). I get the feeling I should be building/organising/preparing something but I'm not sure what it is.... :) Just a couple of jobs around the house to organise and we'll be hugely over-ready - in your own time girls !!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The final countdown...

Three weeks to go, possibly less and if Elly has her way it'll be later today, but at the most there's just three weeks of waiting left.

For Ell, it's getting more difficult by the day. Everything seems to ache and cause pain, uninterrupted sleep is a thing of the past and her feet are so swollen we can barely get her shoes on any more which makes going out increasingly tricky.

We're now taking things day-by-day and expecting something to happen at any/every moment. Every time there's a new pain we look at one another in a "this is it" kind of way until it passes - it's all quite surreal really.

At the moment time is passing insanely slowly, each day feels like a week and not knowing when something might happen is quite frustrating. I keep telling myself we have to be patient but it's REALLY difficult :)

At the moment there's not much to report. We have what will probably be our penultimate consultant appointment and scan tomorrow and we've up to Frimley weekly for the last few weeks as the doctors keep an eye on the suspected pre-eclapsia, though it hasn't really manifested itself yet, so tomorrow will see us back again.

Other then that, it's all quiet on the baby front which is probably a good thign as they get bigger and stronger prior to arrival :)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready...

In short, we're ready.

On Sunday, the replacement car seat part (that I broke when fitting the new covers) arrived, so we are now officially as ready as we'll ever be for the arrival of the twins.

Last week was a bit of a worry as a result of the heavy snow we had around home - 12 inches of the white stuff made it difficult to get around and I REALLY didn't want them to put in an appearance until it was safe and easy to get to the hospital - happily they're hanging on in there and with a bit of luck it'll be another week or two before the big day. That said it genuinely is only a week or two until February 10 - 30 days and counting down.

I think it's finally beginning to hit home that this is all real. After eight years, nine rounds of IVF and all of the baggage and worry that comes with it, I am finally going to be a dad. It's something that I resisted for the longest time (obviously) but now it feels just ... right.

The thought that someone will rely on me 100% is wierd, the fact it's twins is weirder and the added fact it's two girls is the weirdest but I'm ready, willing and (mostly) able for it now - tell the truth, I can't wait and every time Elly gets an odd pain or movement part of me is secretly hoping they're on the way! :)

So, week 35 is nearly halfway through and we're almost there. Kids - you can make an appearance whenever you're ready, daddy's here, waiting!!!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

So, it's finally here - 2010 and before we know it, the kids will be here too :)

It's been a busy-ish Christmas considering Elly is hugely pregnant and we haven't really been anywhere. Our time has been divided between fixing PCs, sitting in front of the TV and completing our programme of nesting.

The good news is, the nursery is now complete and fully decorated, we also have a wardrobe full of very tiny clothes, a full allocation of cots, prams, moses baskets and nappy changing stations and with the exception of a polystyrene liner for a Maxi Cosi car seat we are ready to go.

And right now, I am so excited I can barely stand it.

This year, Christmas and New Year were just part of the wait for the girls to arrive, Elly and I decided not to bother with presents for each other (as we've already spent a nosebleeding amount of money on the kids) and it was very reserved in the Russell household - wait until next year when things will be massively different!!!

On New Year's Eve we got our first indication that things are moving along quite quickly. Elly went to Frimly Park for a routine scan and consultant appointment and we were told there's a good chance she's got early stage pre-eclampsia. At this stage it's not a big worry as her vital signs and stats are all in the "normal" region but if it develops to full-on eclampsia it can be very dangerous, even fatal for Elly and the girls - so we're not taking any risks...

When we went to see the consultant Ell was very firmly in favour of moving the day of the planned caesarian forward a week from February 10 to February 3, based on the delivery dates of a lot of our twin mum friends. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that if pre-eclampsia was the order of the day then 37 weeks was a virtual impossibility and it was more likely to be the next couple of weeks and involve extended hospital stays.

I don't think it'll be that bad - we should find out more this week as Ell has to go in for tests and monitoring and to see the consultant again - so fingers crossed.

One thing is (almost) certain now though - it's only a matter of a few weeks until we finally get to meet our little girls and I can't wait. Last night I had my first dream about them - the details are way too kooky to document but Elly also dreamt about them so it's a sure sign they're on the way soon. Once the spare car seat part arrives we'll be 100% ready, until then they have to stay put!!

I should be back to work tomorrow to start 2010 but as we're at the hospital I get stay of execution for one more day, though I will be working from home when we're not at Frimley.

Finally then, to anyone who actually reads this drivel, Happy New Year - I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!