Suzi Beech and Family

This blog is about my family and my trials and tribulations as a work-from-home mom of twins.

I just love this poem! July 19, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stuff — Suzi Beech @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I love this poem. I had it as my blog quote of the day yesterday, but I wanted to post it separately, mainly so I could see it more often. I think it’s a good thing to read over and over. At least for me, it helps keep me on track!

Enjoy ~

Clouds with Silver Lining

Clouds with Silver Lining

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Cheery Daffodil

Cheery Daffodil

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Author Unknown


My twins were born 8 years ago today… July 8, 2009

My family on the kids' 8th birthday, 2009

My family on the kids' 8th birthday, 2009

If you read my post about our struggle with infertility, you know that getting pregnant took many years of tests, procedures, heartache, perseverance, tears and money.  We finally conceived on our final attempt at in vitro fertilization or IVF.  I have many stories that I will share about our roller coaster ride with infertility treatments. Today, as we celebrate the birthday of our babies, I want to reflect on the 5 weeks I spent on hospital bed-rest before they were born.

While twin pregnancies are becoming more common, they still are not without risk. I didn’t have a care-free pregnancy. I first had what’s called a subchorionic hemorrhage during my 9th week of pregnancy. That is like a blood clot that forms between the placenta and uterine wall. I started bleeding at midnight on New Years Eve, 2001. I called my doctor in a panic (that’s right at midnight on New Years Eve…and he wasn’t even mad!).   He was very reassuring and told me to lie down with my feet raised. Looking back, I’m sure this didn’t actually do anything other than give me the feeling that I was doing something! Anyway, that’s what I did. I barely moved for two days until we could get in for an ultrasound. We found both babies doing well with strong heartbeats. The blood clot dissolved on it’s own over the next couple of weeks, just as the doctor predicted and I was allowed to  resume normal activity.

From my 11th week to my 28th week, things really went along very smoothly.  A couple days into my 28th week I began having contractions.  I called the doctor who told me to meet him at the hospital.  I was given a shot of a drug called terbuteline and monitored for several hours.  I was then sent home with a prescription for “terb” in pill form to take if I felt any more contractions.  I  was also put on bed-rest, where I was allowed to spend one hour a day sitting in

Gus' Lego Explosion

Gus' Lego Explosion

an upright position, make brief trips to the bathroom, and walk as far as from the bedroom to the couch.  Basically, I was told to keep pressure off my cervix as much as possible.  Between my 29th and 30th week, I had contractions that didn’t stop after I took the terbutaline.  I spoke with my doctor and was told to go to the hospital for monitoring again.  I was given another shot of terb and had the babies monitored, along with my contractions, which slowed, then stopped.  I was sent home for more bed-rest.

Contractions started again at 31 weeks.  I took my terbutaline and called the doctor.  I was told to take another dose of terb but it did nothing to stop the contractions, which were now coming along at a steady pace.  Again, off to the hospital I went.  This time though, I was put on an intravenous drug called magnesium sulfate.  It made me feel as if I’d been hit by a truck.  I was so out of it, slow, tired and nauseous, and felt as if I were burning up from the inside.  On the upside, my contractions began to slow.  I thought they would monitor me for awhile, like the last time, then send me home.  This was definitely not the case and I didn’t step foot in my house again for another 6 weeks.  I was moved into a room where the doctor on-call told me I’d probably deliver that night.  I was given a steroid shot to help the babies lungs mature and Philip and I talked about the possibility of having tiny preemies.

Ruby, Star and Chelsea

Ruby, Star and Chelsea

Morning came and I was still holding my own.  I was being heavily monitored both for contractions and for the side-effects of the “mag” as we called it.  It is a horrible drug to take.  It makes you feel very hot and very thirsty but, ironically, makes you retain fluid so everything you ingest has to be measured as well as everything you…er…eliminate to make sure extra fluid containing magnesium isn’t being stored in your tissues.  It’s a real catch-22.  So thirsty, so little to drink!  I think mag could be used as a form of torture for prisoners of war.  I wasn’t a prisoner of war though, I was just another bedrest mommy-in-waiting at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.

It was a sort of “best of times, worst of times” scenario.  The best parts were that I could listen to my babies heartbeats all day long and knew I was in the right place should they or I need care.  I was also off the hook from doing any sort of housework, chore or cooking of any sort and had people around me 24/7 willing to bring me things and help me if I needed it.  There was also the glorious air conditioning.  Our house was a small, California-style bungalow without a/c.  This was summer in Los Angeles and I was hugely pregnant.  I shudder to think how miserable and puffy I would have been if I hadn’t been in a cool room!

One of the saddest things for me was that I didn’t get to finish decorating my baby nursery.  I had spent so many years listening to every else’s plans and looking at everyone else’s fnished products and here I was, missing my one and only chance to decorate a baby room of my own.  Philip and my mom had to get everything finished during the 5 weeks I was in the hospital.  They would both spend hours a day with me at the hospital.  I’m sure they were bored stiff, but they did it.  We would talk about all the progress made in the nursery – the valances were hung, the tiny clothes were washed and put away, the crib mobiles has been ordered…On day, after Philip went on a Babies ‘R Us shopping spree he went home, put up a few finishing touches and filmed a video of the babies’ room to bring to me.  Oh, how I cried when I watched it…every time.  So much so, that he threatened to take it away from me, but I cherished that video.  I still get teary-eyed when I see it.  I loved their nursery.  It was so peaceful, with the pastel polka-dots and the mobiles playing “Imagine” by John Lennon.  It was a dream realized, that’s for sure.  My own babies, living in my own house.

During the first week of July, my 35th week of pregnancy, my “Baby A” (they refer to multiples in utero by the A,B,C’s to

Ruby and Gus at their Birthday Dinner

Ruby and Gus at their Birthday Dinner

keep track of who is who) had virtually stopped growing.  “Baby B” was good sized and head down, prepared for birth, but Baby A (who we call Ruby now 🙂 ) was sitting on my cervix, blocking the door out, as it were.  My doctor decided it was time for them to come out and our C-section was scheduled for July the 8, which also happens to be my brother’s birthday.

They were born at 36 weeks gestation.  Ruby was first and weighed in at 4lbs15oz.  Gus came out a minute later and weighed in at 6lb4oz.  They were finally here, our long awaited babies, healthy, pink and screaming.  Gus spent his first

night in the regular nursery because he swallowed fluid during birth and needed monitoring.  Ruby was able to room in with us.  The Beech Family was born!

That was 8 years ago today.  Time sure has flown by!  For their birthday today they opened cards and presents then we went shopping at the mall.  Gus bought a new Star Wars Lego set and Ruby got two new Build-A-Bears.  We watched a movie and went out for our traditional birthday sushi dinner.  We took a little stroll around downtown, then headed home.  Although their actual birthday has now come and gone, the celebration will continue with their big “Survivor” themed birthday party this weekend.  It’s going to be a blast.  I am one lucky lady!


Defeating Infertility and Feeling Nostalgic June 30, 2009

Infertility Awareness

Infertility Awareness

I have been spending a lot of time thinking back about our battle with infertility and feeling very nostalgic lately. Certainly not nostalgic about infertility itself, but that solid, concrete, must-attain-goal of getting pregnant and successfully delivering a healthy child (or children as it turned out). I think it’s partly because my “miracle” babies are about to turn 8, but I know it’s also partly because I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and desires.

My struggle with infertility was an unexpected, life-changing, soul-searching roller coaster. I knew, from the time I was a little girl, that I wanted to be a mommy. That was my number one goal, my whole life’s plan. Everything else to me seemed secondary.

My husband and I met when I was 19 and started trying to get pregnant when I was 23. I wanted a bunch of kids and I wanted to have them while I was still young enough to have the energy to keep up with them all. After the first couple of months of unsuccessful trying to conceive, friends and relatives began giving their advice: gain weight; go out and get drunk; take a vacation; stop trying so hard; relax. As the years went on, the well-meaning advice slowed to a trickle and then stopped. No one really knew what to say anymore. Close relatives were afraid to tell me of their own pregnancies and friends were hesitant to invite me to their baby showers.  I was always happy for them, of course, but they were all very aware of our struggles to have a baby of our own.

I saw doctor after doctor, had many painful tests and procedures and spent thousands of dollars. During this time I went from being a student and food-server to a feature film production coordinator to a talent agent for cinematographers. I had found success in my professional life, but still hadn’t achieved my number one goal. So, while the professional part of my life was flourishing, the personal one was still stuck.

It was during this time that I happened upon one of the most supportive online communities I know of. It’s called Fertile Thoughts.  I stumbled upon the site while I was researching in vitro fertilization and endometriosis.

Fertile Thoughts

Fertile Thoughts

Finding the infertility forum was a real blessing.  I was able to talk with so many other women and men struggling with the same problems I was.  I made great friends with many courageous people.  I met some of them in real life and others were friends online only.  It was on one of those bulletin boards where I learned to apply one of my favorite sayings,  “keep your eye on the prize”, to my life. It was those six words that helped me refocus and regain perspective during what was one of the most difficult periods of my life.

I was so fortunate that I was, after eight long years of struggle and heartache, able to conceive my children and bring them into this world.  It wasn’t easy – the conceiving or the pregnancy (I will tell you all about my weeks on bedrest in another post) – but we did it.  These days, my twins are gearing up for their 8th birthday, their first time going to summer camp, their traditional California summer vacation and the 4th of July celebration.

I have been thinking long and hard about goals and achievements.  Those six words – keep your eye on the prize – are back strong in my life.  I am striving to deliver that prize once again.  Although my “prize” is different this time (I’m done trying to have babies, thankfully!), keeping my eye firmly on it is proving, once again, to be the motivation I need.

I hope you are able to focus in on your dreams and desires and continue striving to turn them into reality for yourselves.  It’s not always easy and sometimes might not seem likely, but maintaining focus is crucial to achieving all goals, no matter what they may be.


Six Things You Can Do to Maintain a Positive Outlook June 17, 2009

I have decided that, no matter what, I am going to maintain a positive outlook on life.  Now, I have troubles, my life hasn’t all been a bowl of cherries, but I have learned that how I react to negative factors is really all that matters.   Sure, bad things will happen, it’s a fact of life.  On the flip-side, so will good.  I believe it’s high-time I start placing all my focus on the good and let the bad slip away.  Life isn’t going to be perfect, but enjoying all the goodness will certainly help!  So, in that vein, here are six things I’ve been doing that are helping me stay positive and focused on the good.

Try to remain positive!!

Try to remain positive!!

1.  Count your blessings.  Seriously.  Wake up in the morning and, if nothing else comes to mind, be happy with the fact that you’ve woken up to another day.  It sure beats the alternative!  Today is another opportunity to feel good and accomplish positive things.

2.  Look outside.  Is it raining?  (I live in Oregon, so this is a very common occurrence!).  Think how happy all the flowers and tress will be for the rain.  Is it sunny?  Think about all the good Vitamin D you can soak up free, thanks to Mother Nature.

3.  Read something inspirational.  This is my favorite sight for quotes:  inspirational; motivational; humorous; etc.: I often browse through them!

4.  Make a list of things you are grateful for and refer to it whenever you’re feeling down.  Keep it handy!

5.  Choose to look at the silver lining.  This is NOT always easy.  It is something I have to continually and consciously make an effort to do.  I can lean toward being a pessimist and work constantly on turning my focus to the positive, optimistic point of view.  This is an ongoing process – something I work on each and every day.  Like everyone else, I am a work in progress! 😀

6.  Surround yourself with the most positive people you can.  Negativity seems to rub off.  Conversely, positivity is contagious, too.  If you notice you have more negative influences in your life, try to seek out new relationships that will bring more positive energy into the mix.

This list is a small compilation of some things I work on and think about.  In the end, I believe that maintaining a positive outlook has to come from within.  I am striving to bring out the most positive aspects of myself.  I hope you can, too!