Life with Twins

Archive for August, 2011

It’s the Renaissance!

NOW: Ok, so this is kinda my No-Twin Tuesday.  But it is a little late.  Sorry.  I’ve just been so behind, and it’s hard to get everything done when my only free time is naptime.  There’s a lot I’ve wanted to do this summer around the house and I just kept putting it off and putting it off and now it’s August.  So the blog has gone by the wayside a little bit.  I started typing this yesterday, but my internet went down.  So there you have it.

Last Saturday, my dad and I went to the Sterling Renaissance Festival.  We go every year, and have been going every year together, just us, for a few years now.  In fact, that’s been his birthday present for a while now; tickets for the festival, and a gift certificate for either breakfast, gas, or dinner.  I love that this time is reserved every summer for just my dad and I.  No one else around us really loves it as much as we do, which works out just fine in my opinion.  Perhaps one day we will start bringing the kids – but then we’ll have to go twice, once with them and once without. 

If you’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, I highly recommend going at least once.  It’s a pleasant escape from reality.  It’s so much fun watching the characters throughout the day as they interact with each other and the guests.  The shows are always great and the food is excellent! 

My dad and I almost always stick to the same shows.  We started this year with Johnny Fox (it’s a stage name…..his real name is John Fox).  He’s a sword swallower.  For Real.  It’s funny because we practically have the show memorized, but we still cringe or laugh when appropriate.  The mark of great entertainment.

We like to make sure to see all of our favorites, so the majority of our day is spent sitting and watching shows.  Some people choose to wander more, and catch more impromptu performances, but we’ve never done it that way.  We headed over to Dangerous Dan next.  We don’t see him every year because his show freaks me out a little.  He’s an acrobatic performer and balances on high tables, ladders, etc.  I don’t like heights, even when it’s other people.  And he acts as though he doesn’t know what he’s doing so that scares me even more.  I know it’s just part of the show, but I still get nervous that he will fall.  My dad got picked to help him out with a trick this year.  He’s standing on the right.

I always have a turkey leg for lunch, we split salt potatoes, and my dad had a chicken shish-ka-bob with rice.  Yum!  A lot of Renaissance Fair is about the eating.  And the beer!  But my dad doesn’t drink since he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, so I don’t get beer either.  It’s too bad because I really wanted one this year but no big deal.

We never miss Emery Fleet and his Rat Extravaganza.  This is my favorite show.  Again, the jokes are the same every time.  Every show.  Every year.  But we still laugh.  Every time.  I even bought my own pet rat to take home this year.  It was free with every $10 donation.

This year we tried someone new.  A hypnotist.  We left after 15 minutes of his show.  It was just boring.  We would have left sooner but we kept hoping something would happen.

We went to an early dinner so that we could catch Don Juan and Miguel’s Weird Show.  They have four different shows throughout the day but the last one is called the Weird Show.  It’s basically always the same every year, but they do some different jokes.  They whip things and sword fight, too.

We never ever ever miss the Final Pub Sing.  We even bought the CD a few years ago so that we could learn some of the songs and sing along because it seemed everyone else but us knew the words.  🙂

So it was just so relaxing and fun and nice.  What a great tradition.  This is now.

THEN:  I knew I had to stay in the hospital at least until Saturday afternoon because they wanted to monitor the proteins in my urine for 24 hours.  On Saturday morning, the texts started coming.  Tim had gone to the draft the night before and of course, had told all the guys what had happened and that I was in the hospital.  They, of course, went home and told their wives.  The wives, my friends, started texting me as soon as it was appropriate in the morning.  I’ve said it before.  I am so lucky to have such a great group of friends.  It made me feel so loved to get all of those well-wishes and concerns and thoughts and prayers.  Then, because so many people had found out what was going on from word-of-mouth at the draft, we figured we better let a few other people know, those who weren’t there.  Steve and Mariah were out of town, and we also let my friends Melanie and Deanna know what was going on. 

I still wasn’t really worried.  I figured I would just leave and be on bedrest starting that night.  No problem.  So even though I was touched at the outpouring of thoughts from our friends, I didn’t even feel that it was justified.  I was fine, I knew everything was going to be ok.

Tim’s sister called that afternoon also.  She’s always so helpful, and wanted to know if anything could be done around the house that I didn’t get to do because of being stuck in the hospital.  At first I brushed it off, but then I suggested the laundry.  She was going over there to let the dogs out and feed them anyway.  So she does a couple loads of laundry and then decides to take a shower while she’s there.  After her shower she goes back down to the basement and finds…..a flood of dirty water.  The stationary sink had backed up and between the washer pouring into it, and the shower going…..it had overflowed.  She didn’t know what to do!  She was mortified that she had tried to help and I was going to come home to this.  So she called her dad who suggested just calling us.  It had happened before, so I told her just to call Roto-Rooter.  She was so upset that she even had to call and bother us.  It actually was better this way.  She and her dad took care of everything.  If I had been home, I would have had to deal with it!  I told her that and she laughed and felt better.

What a mess this was.  By Saturday night, they still didn’t really have any answers for me.  Other than I was going to have to stay in the hospital at least one more night.  The proteins were still high, my blood pressure was fluctuating – high sometimes, almost normal other times.  The contractions that I couldn’t feel had basically stopped.  They also had given me two shots – steroids, so that if I ended up delivering, it would help the babies’ lungs be better developed.  I asked if there was anything bad that could come of getting this steroid if I didn’t end up delivering, and they said no.  I was absolutely convinced that it would not happen.  I felt fine, and they all seemed to think this was no big deal.  I suppose they deal with it all the time.  They moved me to a different floor, actually the maternity recovery area, because I was staying more than 1 night.

I sent Tim home again that night.  He was exhausted and I wanted him to stay with the dogs, check out the basement, and just sleep in his own bed.  Honestly, I thought I’d sleep better if I was by myself. 

And actually, he was supposed to work the next day.  He was going to try and call his boss in the morning to take the day off, but just in case he had to go in, I wanted him to be home to sleep that night.  It actually was more peaceful to be by myself.  Even though nurses kept coming in every hour and I was up by 6 am.  I still felt that I had slept better than the night before.  That was then.

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Shower and Bar-be-Que and More Showers

NOW:  On Sunday, I went to my friend, Melanie’s, bridal shower.  She is one of my best friends; we’ve been friends since elementary school!  So I am her Matron of Honor.  Does anyone have a better term for that?  I don’t know – matron just sounds…..old.  I don’t want to be the Maid of Honor obviously, but there’s gotta be something better than MATRON.  Let me know.

Anyway, I got there pretty early to help her and her mom set up and get organized.  We had a fabulous lunch and then it was time for the presents!  I helped by writing down the gifts everyone gave.

That’s her, behind the big purple bag.  🙂  She was moving so quickly, she was like a blur in most of the pictures.  She’s like a little pixie or something.

See?  Blurry.  You get the idea.  I am so glad to be a part of her (finally) wedding!  She has been with Brad for almost 12 years – longer than I’ve been with Tim!  (And I’ve been married for 7 of those).  So it’s so  nice that it’s finally her turn, the day when everything is all about her!  Love ya Mel!

After the shower I rushed home to get changed – we were going to Steve and Mariah’s house for dinner.  Tim had fed the twins lunch a little early, so they’d nap earlier, so we could get there a little earlier so that the kids could all play.  We knew Steve had set up the kiddie pool, but it was pouring rain outside.  I brought their swimsuits just in case.

Good thing!  The rain cleared up and we all went outside.  It wasn’t exactly sunny, but it was warm and the kids (Ariel, Will, and Eliza) all enjoyed playing in the pool, on the slide, and just running around their massive yard.  It is amazing how much Eliza has grown in the short time that we haven’t seen her.  She talks!  She’s much more steady walking.  She’s still afraid of the grass though.  🙂  They were getting a little restless just before dinner so I decided to take them for a “walk” around the yard to pick flowers.  They picked some of Aunt Mariah’s lillies.  Oh well.  Just then, I felt drops.  Lots of them.  I thought maybe it was just the water being knocked off the trees.  But no.  We hurried and got the kids inside, as well as all of the food, plates, highchairs, everything.

Mariah, with a bum-foot, tried to keep all 3 kids in the living room while I started cutting up their food for dinner.  It was actually quite amusing because she’d no sooner gete all three of them to stay, and one, or more, would wander away again.  It was like a comedy routine.  Tim was bringing in all the stuff from outside, and Steve was finishing up cooking.  He was soaked by the time he got in with the last of the chicken.  We ended up just eating inside, but it was fun anyway.  It’s always nice to just go and relax with them.  The food was delicious and it was just great to get together and hang out.  I love that we have such wonderful friends.  We are just so lucky.  This is now.

THEN: I was admitted into the hospital.  I figured now I had to probably call my parents and tell them what was going on.  I was not looking forward to that.  I didn’t want them to worry, but I knew they would.  I wasn’t worried really, more annoyed.  They had found high levels of protein in my urine, and that, combined with the high blood pressure, was making them concerned about pre-eclampsia.  Which I’m sure I had heard of, but never really looked into.  Throughout my pregnancy, I tried to read a lot about it.  But I glossed over most of the bad stuff because I didn’t want to make myself paranoid.  Plus, being an optimist, I felt sure it wasn’t going to happen to me anyway.  I knew some signs to watch out for, but anything I had mentioned to my doctor had gotten a “you’re fine” response.  I didn’t worry much.

I called my family and they were worried and said they’d come down soon to see me.  In the meantime, Tim and I settled in, tried to find something on TV and discussed our plans for the evening.  He was supposed to go to a Fantasy Football draft.  I told him to just go.  Don’t worry, and don’t worry about coming back tonight.  Sleep at home, take care of the dogs, come back in the morning.  So that’s what he was going to do.  Before coming down, my mom asked what was going on and how long I would have to stay and if Tim was going to stay.  When she found out that he couldn’t stay the night (we didn’t tell her exactly why because we knew she’d think it was silly), she offered to stay. 

In the meantime, the nurses had put a urine catcher on the toilet in my bathroom.  This was because they needed to keep testing the proteins.  They also put an IV in my arm, and came and took my blood pressure every few hours.  Most of the nurses were really great.  Some were better than others.  One of them decided late Friday night that the needle in my arm was wrong.  I told her it was fine.  I didn’t want to be poked again.  She insisted.  It was so annoying.  She had to un-tape the whole thing, which hurt like hell, took the needle out, then had to wiggle around to find another vein, and then re-taped it.  I was so angry.  Was that absolutely necessary?  I didn’t really think so.

Even all through the night, they kept coming in to test my blood pressure and take my temperature.  They had also hooked up a monitor to my belly.  They were measuring my contractions.  Now, I wasn’t feeling those contractions AT ALL, which they assured me was a good thing.  They weren’t very strong.  But they wanted to monitor them anyway to make sure I didn’t end up going into pre-term labor.

Shortly after being in the room, they also did a sonogram, mostly to figure out the weights of the babies. 

I didn’t sleep much.  I was uncomfortable.  I was hot.  My mom was in the room.  Nurses kept coming in and out.  The monitors were beeping. 

I like things to be told to me straight.  So I asked; what was going to happen in 24 hours if mhy protein levels and blood pressure hadn’t gone down? 

Three possible scenarios:

1. – levels weren’t as high as initially tested and I’d be sent home on bedrest.

2. – levels were still high and I’d stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks on bedrest.

3. – levels were still high and I’d have to deliver.

The nurses had the opinion that it would probably be option 2.  I was only 31 weeks, so delivering now might not be the best action.  But going home was probably not an option. 

I just kept making myself try to stay super-calm whenever they took my blood pressure.  I figured; mind over matter, right?  That was then.

Ahhh…….Relaxing……

NOW:  Things were pretty much back to normal today.  Tim’s temperature was pretty much normal.  He went back to work.  Kids and I went outside for the whole morning. 

We swam, went on the swings, on the slide, and I even set up the Bounce House for them.  We also looked for bugs.  Crickets were the find of the day.  🙂 

And…..maybe the most back to normal event……after 3 years…….I finally have a shed again!!!!!!!

It is just glorious.  I got up early this morning and started moving stuff from the garage before the twins were even up.  Then I finished up during naptime.  Oh, it is just so nice to have the garage space back!  No more tripping over ourselves trying to get to the outside fridge, or the stroller or wagon.  It will be easier to have their toys in there for me to get out in the mornings.  Plus, my car will have a new home. 

Believe me, it’s positively empty compared to what it looked like before.  I’m not sure if my car can go in yet though.  We bought the twins a rather large gift for their upcoming birthday and it’s being stored in the garage right now.  And after it’s put together it will probably go back in the garage until their birthday.  So, with the stroller and wagon being to the side like that, I think the doors on the car might hit them.  They will eventually go back next to the fridge after the gift is out of the way, but until then my car might have to keep sleeping in the driveway.  That’s ok, only a few more weeks.  🙂  While on the topic of their birthday……I have already been prepping them to say they’re 2, when asked how old they are, and hold up 2 fingers.  Ariel holds up both index fingers.  That’s ok, that does equal 2 fingers.  This is now

THEN:  Ok, so Tim tells me to call the doctor about my heartburn.  I was surprised enough to actually listen.  Here’s my issue.  It’s not that I don’t like going to the doctor, really.  It just seems that any time I call with a complaint, one of two things happen:

1. – There is absolutely nothing wrong with me (OK doc, then why do I feel like S**T!!!???)

2. – It’s a virus and there’s nothing they can do.  (I get the logic behind this, but it still aggrevates me)

Figuring that the heartburn is obviously not a virus.  And figuring that if there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me, then that’s a good thing, I figure I’ll call the doctor.  Well, of course, my OB is not in the office today.  In fact, he’s gone on vacation for the weekend.  Ok, he’s entitled to a life too, I suppose.  It just figures.  The answering service connects me with a different practice, they work together with my doctor to help each other out on the weekends.  They tell me I should go to the hospital. 

Um….What?  I don’t know about that.  Is that really necessary?  Well……I could be in pre-term labor and it’s best to get checked out.  And…..by the way……we’re working out of Women’s and Children’s Hospital this weekend, not Mercy. 

That just threw me for a loop.  Tim and I don’t even know where Children’s Hospital is.  I was familiar with Mercy.  I knew where it was.  I had been going to see the high-risk doctor for my sonograms there.  They had all brand-new rooms on the maternity floor.  Did I really have to go to some other hospital.  Yes…..and……they are really really busy today so you might want to bring a book to read or something.  You’ll probably have to wait a while.

Now I’m aggrevated.  But I can’t be aggrevated with the person on the phone, so I decide to be aggrevated with Tim.  Why?  Because he’s the one who told me to call the doctor in the first place.  He’s very apologetic.  He doesn’t really want to give up his whole Friday either, and I’m not really mad at him, just annoyed in general.

We look up on Mapquest how to get to the hospital.  We bring books.  I even tell him to bring my Labor Bag just in case.  Who knows, right?  We get there and go straight to the labor/delivery area of the hospital.  I tell the secretary what they said to me on the phone.  We wait in the waiting room for about45 minutes, then get called back.  I have to give a urine sample.  Good thing I made Tim get me a milkshake for breakfast on the way.  I am told to put on a hospital gown also.  And then lay on this table where my legs hang off and I can’t move sideways or I will fall.  They test my vitals and then we wait and wait and wait.  My blood pressure was a little high.  And they are concerned about my swelling.  I tell them it’s always like that…..just wait until nighttime, it only gets worse.  The nurse leaves again.  This table is the most uncomfortable thing EVER.  She comes back to draw blood.  She leaves again.  I ask if I can get up.  No.  They want me to rest to see if my blood pressure will come down.  It is so uncomfortable I feel that it’s probably making my blood pressure go higher.  I can’t even stand it.  It’s awful.  Complaining does not help.  A doctor comes in to do an internal exam.  I’ve not had one yet, and it’s VERY uncomfortable.  Combined with the uncomfortableness of the table.  Nothing seems to be out-of-sorts or concerned though.  Except that I feel like I will die if I cannot get off of this table soon. 

When the nurse comes back in, they say they are admitting me.  Um, not what I expected.  I would just like to go home.  The heartburn is gone I tell her.  They found some concern with my urine sample, combined with my blood pressure, and the swelling.  They’d like to keep an eye on me.  I ask for how long.  Overnight.  Oh no no no no no.  I start crying.  Tim soothes me and the nurse gets a wheelchair to take me to my room.  I am still crying but at least I am off that awful terrible horrible table.  But now Tim and I are really aggrevated that I called.  But not really.  That was then.

Where Are You?

NOW:  Oh, I’m just having fun at the ER.  Fun fun.  Last Saturday we had a family party.  Tim was feeling a little unwell before we left, but decided to go anyway.  He was feeling OK for a while, but then it was time for dinner.  Pizza.  His favorite.  He ate one bite and decided he couldn’t eat anymore.  Hm.  Strange.  Very strange.  After the twins were finished eating, Aunt Sarah entertained them so I could eat.  Tim laid on his Aunt and Uncle’s couch.  He fell asleep.  I went to check on him several times.  He had short conversations with me, but insisted he didn’t want to leave and appear rude.  During present-opening, I came in again.  He was sad that I hadn’t checked on him.  Wait a minute…..I did.  He didn’t even realize/remember.  We decided to leave after the presents were open.  I had to drive him home. 

After putting the twins to bed, I took his temperature.  102.5.  Obviously something going on there, and he took some Nyquil before bed and it helped him sleep and he didn’t feel too bad.

Upon waking Sunday morning, he dragged himself downstairs and proceeded to remain on the couch all day.  Not really doing anything.  His stomach was still slightly upset, so he didn’t want to eat.  I tried to encourage him to drink water, etc, but he was afraid his stomach would be upset again so he didn’t drink much either.  He kept complaining he was hot/cold and finally asked for the air conditioning to be put on so that at least the temp in the house was more regulated.  He had the Star Wars movies in the DVD player, but he wasn’t really watching it.  He wasn’t reading.  He wasn’t on the computer.  Just laying around. 

I suppose I should have been more concerned at this point.  He never naps.  But he was obviously not feeling well so I just let him be.  To be honest, it was easier.  He is pretty much a baby when he’s sick.  So, it’s kinda like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.  I was already dealing with two babies, I didn’t really need a third.  If he just slept that meant I didn’t have to wait on him.  Selfish, I know, but in my defense, I figured he just needed rest to feel better.

Well, by the time we took his temperature before bed, around 9:00, it was 105.6.  He decided to take a bath and I told him he better not make it too warm.  I called the doctor, got the answering service, and waited to get a call back.  She was concerned.  That’s a high temperature!  He was to take Tylenol and re-test his temp in 45 minutes.  If it wasn’t below 101 by then, he was to go to the ER.  If it was, he could wait and go to the doctor tomorrow.  The fact that he even “let” me call the doctor was pretty tell-tale.  He never wants to call the doctor. 

Well, it was still 103.5.  I called my mom to sit at the house because the kids were obviously in bed.  We took off to the hospital.  After waiting in the waiting room for over 2 hours, he finally got called back to Triage.  Where they took his temperature and it was only 99.1.  We waited another hour.  A nurse came in, took his temp again and basically told us we could wait…..at least another hour…..back in the waiting room…..but because his temp was almost normal there wasn’t much they could do.  Really?  After waiting for more than 3 hours? 

We decided not to wait.  We decided it was better to get him home to rest, as it was already after 2 in the morning.  It wasn’t until we were at the hospital that I realized how bad he really was.  After his temperature started dropping, he was able to speak in complete sentences again.  I just thought because he was so tired and kept nodding off earlier that that was why he wasn’t really answering me or speaking in more than just grunts.  After he started becoming more lucid, I realized how out-of-it he really had been earlier.  It was too late for me to be scared/worried, but he should have gotten to the hospital earlier.  I felt terrible.  I had been trying to do what I could for him, but didn’t realize that his resting was really being lethargic because of such a high fever.

The next morning, he took Tylenol, but then we decided to have him stop taking it, and wait and see if his temperature rose again.  This way, we’d catch it before the Immediate Care center closed, avoiding another night at the ER.  Well, it got up to 104.4 around 6:30, so we called his dad to watch the kids, put them to bed, and drove over.  They took him in back right away and started asking lots of questions, tested his vitals, and seemed very surprised that the hospital had basically sent us away the night before.  Even with his temp supposedly being back to normal.

They took some blood…..he almost puked/passed out.  They hooked him up to an IV because he was dehydrated.  He was still more aware than the day before, which was a relief.  After running the bloodwork, it came back that his white blood cell count was low, which meant a viral infection.  They told him to make sure he drank more fluids over the next few days, as well as take Motrin and Tylenol.

He took one more day off of work, and I tried to be a better wife.  🙂  Now I had my 3 babies to take care of.  He had eaten Lipton soup both Sunday and Monday, but Tuesday he decided to try and have some rice.  He didn’t have much of an appetite.  Probably because I kept making him drink so much water. 

In the midst of all this I was still trying to get the deck and swingset stained.  The swingset was the hardest part because of the height.  I’m terrified.  I tried to do the roof, I really did.  I got up pretty high on the 14-foot ladder, but couldn’t do it with the paint tray and paintbrush in my hands because I wouldn’t have a hand free to hang on to the ladder for dear life.  So, our brother-in-law said he would do it later this week.

We also were supposed to have a shed built.  It finally got done today.  Yesterday was raining so they couldn’t do it.  Which also meant we were stuck inside.  Again.  And then they came today.  Which meant we were stuck inside.  Again.

I also still had to force myself to exercise.  I really really really really really really did NOT want to exercise today.  I went running.  I felt better.  I ran for a solid 30 minutes, no walking, no stopping.  Just zoning.  Just appreciating being by myself even though when I got back I felt like I could just crawl into bed, even as a sweaty mess.

It’s usually such a relief when Tim gets home from work because it’s so nice to not be outnumbered.  But even with him being home, he’s sick.  He can’t help with the kids, and he shouldn’t because we certainly don’t want them getting sick.  So, I was totally completely outnumbered all day long for the past week.  No breaks.  And I had an extra person to take care of (Love you, Tim).  And even during naptime I was staining or cleaning or doing other chores.

He’s feeling better though.  Thank goodness.  Today he took Motrin in the morning only.  But by 6:00 his temp was *only* 100.5. 

That’s where I am and where I have been.  But, I should be back soon.  But boy, I sure am tired.  🙂  This is now.