Life with Twins

Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Newborns vs. 2-year-olds

NOW (and kind of THEN too):  I’m sitting here typing this feeling like I was run over by several trucks.  I’m always tired, always, but this is just ridiculous.  And it’s because of a 2-year-old.  Not her fault, but I’ll get to that.

I remember when everyone told me, “sleep while you can”.  And that newborns wake up every 2-3 hours all night long for a while.  And that I was going to be more tired than I ever was in my life.

Boy, were people wrong.

Newborns DO wake up often.  But…..lucky me…..I was off work for 12 weeks, and Tim took 8.  So when the baby-feeding-alarm went off we just got up, warmed up bottles, got babies, set up the pump.  We sat and watched tv on our bed with our babies for about a half-hour while they ate and fell back asleep and I finished pumping.  Returned them to their cribs.  Returned to our bed.  Yes, we were doing it every 3 hours.  But that was during the day too.  So if we had wanted to, we could have slept while they slept.  Or at least relaxed and zoned out in front of the tv until they woke up again.  We look back on those days with fondness.  Was it hard?  Yes.  Was I tired?  Yes.

But I really don’t think it’s anything compared to how I’m feeling right now after being woken up twice by my sweet daughter.  My sweet daughter who had never thrown up in her life.  Until last night.

Now, they often wake me in the middle of the night.  It’s usually to retrieve a stuffed animal that fell or to fix the blankets.  So I do it and I trudge back to bed.  Although I don’t usually fall back asleep right away.  And if I do, it’s usually not the GOOD sleep I was into before being awakened.

But throw-up is different.  I obviously could not give her a hug and send her on her way and put myself back to bed.

The first time it happened she was very confused.  I walked into her darkened room with no glasses and she was sitting up in bed, holding something.  I asked what she was doing.  She explained, “I have this.”  First glance, in the dark with no glasses on, I thought it was poop.  “Aw man, what did you do Ariel?”  Then, looking closer, I realized it was red.  I became alarmed.  Red is blood.  I turned on the light.  No…..red is thrown-up raspberries.  Which she had dripping down her jammies, all over her hands, on her blankets and sheets.

I couldn’t do anything in this state.  I needed my glasses.  After retrieving them I started cleaning up her hands with baby wipes for the time being and got her out of her jammies.  Then I stood her on the floor as I started stripping the bed.  After a couple seconds I looked over at her and realized she was shivering.  Duh, should probably take care of the kid first.  But it was 2 in the morning, and our first throw-up incident.

So I brought her to wash her hands and face more properly in the sink and got her redressed.  I covered her with some blankets as she sat on the floor watching me take apart and put her bedding back together.

I turned the light back off, got her tucked back in, read her a quick story and took the dirty comforter, sheets, mattress pad and jammies downstairs to the top of the basement steps.

Ok, maybe 20 minutes later, back to bed.  Not back to sleep, but back to bed.  My mind was racing, as was usual when I try to go back to bed in the middle of the night.  I’m great at falling asleep initially, bordering on narcolepsy, but to re-fall asleep is hard.  I was kinda dozing off around 4 when I heard her crying.  This time I didn’t hestitate.  I rushed back to her room, grabbing my glasses on the way.  When I got there she was still laying down, on her side, in a puddle of puke.  Poor baby had it all over her pillow, in her hair, even in her ear, and obviously on her face.

I didn’t have to strip the whole bed this time, just got the pillow away and the jammies again.  However, the sink wouldn’t do the job on the girl.  I took her in the bathroom and she started crying again.  I soothed her, quickly so as not to wake Will, and knew she was mostly just scared because this had never happened to her before and at first she was shocked and confused, but calm.  This time she was upset.  And extra tired.  And so was her mommy.

I got her washed up and she seemed her happy self.  She crawled into bed with her book again and was pleased that I had brought her a new pillow with a star pillowcase that matched her sheets.  I asked her how her belly felt and she said sick.  I thought a cracker or something might help and she agreed when I asked her.  I went downstairs and decided I better just throw everything in the washer now, just in case.  Then I my way back up I grabbed a Club cracker for her.  She ate half, sitting up in bed, leaning against me.  Then she said she felt better and she’d go to sleep.  So she did.  But I didn’t.  Every time a dog would make a noise or Tim or the baby monitor, I would be wide-awake again.  So when I looked at the clock and realized I was supposed to get up in 10 minutes to exercise, I decided to reset my alarm for another hour.  No exercising.  Besides, my tummy wasn’t feeling the best either.

I never did get back to sleep so I probably should have just gotten up and exercised, especially since I signed up for an 8K this Saturday.  But once I did get up….my stomach troubles really hit me.  I felt so sick.  I got myself ready and ate some oatmeal and felt better.  But I was dragging myself.  By the time I got to work I couldn’t even stand up without feeling like I was going to puke.  Not good.  I chalked it up to lack of sleep.  I never like to admit I’m sick….that’s always a last resort.

I made it through most of the day, but finally had to call another teacher to take my class because I felt like I was going to pass out and/or throw up.  I went home a little early and let my parents take care of the kids until Tim got home.  Upon coming in the house I was informed that Will had also thrown up that morning….all over the carpet…..in my sickened state I could still smell it.  There wasn’t really anything I could do about it so I just sprayed a little Febreeze and figured I’ll vacuum tomorrow and re-spray.

After dinner we did our usual movie routine.  The kids sat on either side of me and we all curled up under a blanket while we watched The Little Mermaid.  Tim picked my favorite because I’m sick.  🙂   We even got them to drink some grape Pedialyte.  A year or so ago, whenever the last time was that they were sick, I had bought little individual packets of powdered Pedialyte.  It’s more expensive than buying the liquid, but the liquid expires like a week after you open it.  So spending more money and actually using the packets is way better than just throwing out the less expensive liquid.  And it’s good to have on hand at times like these because the kids had barely eaten or drank anything all day.  They sucked it right down, which I was surprised about because last time Will wouldn’t touch the stuff.  🙂  So we had a laid-back night, which was good.  I was still feeling pretty sick and tired and I didn’t know how often I’d be woken up by the kids in the night, so I took a sick day just to be safe.

So…..would you rather have the sleepy feeling of a mom of a newborn?  Or go to work after a night of being a mom to a 2-year old?  

Just for fun….here’s a picture of the twins and the snowman we made last week, when there was actually snow one day.  🙂

Lots of Little Things…..

NOW:

Thoughts on the New Year: Am I making New Year’s Resolutions?  No.  Am I using the New Year as a fresh start on some goals I have already set?  Yes.  Namely; more blogging, blogging with Tim (more on that later!), more weight-loss, more running (Buffalo half-marathon, here I come!).  Kinda mostly stuff for myself I’m realizing as I re-read this.  Oh well, it’s not like I can do more mommying.

Thoughts on poop: Anyone know how to get my son from digging in his diaper and smearing it on every available surface in his room after he wakes up from nap?  We don’t even realize he’s awake until it’s too late – he’s stealthy quiet.  Just so you know – backward pajamas, onsies, backward onesies, layering of shorts+onesie+pajamas —–none of these ideas work.  My father is seriously considering duct tape (not on his skin of course – just taping his shirt to his pants and then cutting him apart every time). 

Thoughts on blogging with Tim: I want him to cook more!  And more variety!  So after finding and reading The Mike/Mitch Project (look on my blogroll), I’ve inspired him to do something similar….although not quite so involved.  He chose a cookbook and plans on making 2-3 recipes from it per week and then blogging about it.  As soon as we have it set up, I’ll post a link; hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy eating it!

Thoughts on my Christmas break: Everyone asks “how was your Christmas?  Did the twins have so much fun?”  Complicated answer. Christmas was….interesting.  Will was sick, starting Thursday night with a fever, got better Friday, was just laying around on Saturday but perked up a little bit at great-grandmas.  Then, for part of the night just laid on me until I convinced Tim we should leave a little early.  Sunday morning he woke up at 6, I laid in bed with him for another 1 or so, and could tell his breathing was “off”, he was pretty whiny upon waking, but again better once we started opening gifts, was ok opening gifts at Mema’s, so at this point, although I was considering taking him to Immediate Care, we decided he was ok enough to continue.  By the time my sister could come to mom’s after work it was 8:30.  He was fine again opening gifts for about a half-hour, then passed out on the floor, burning up again.  Monday morning at the doctor’s he was tested for his blood oxygen level, which was borderline-sending-him-to-the-hospital-level.  They gave him two nebulizer treatments, a perscription for antibiotics and steroids and told me that if he wasn’t breathing better after his fever went down we’d have to go to the ER.  (insert me feeling like worst mom ever because I didn’t bring him in until now).  He was also sent home with his own personal nebulizer and we were supposed to continue treatment.  As of Tuesday morning he was breathing much better when we returned to the doctor for follow-up.  I still had to do a few treatments and obviously the perscriptions for the next 5 days.  So, what did he have?  Well, who knows!  Maybe the start of asthma.  Maybe broncilitis.  Maybe pneumonia.  Maybe a combo of the three.  Oh, plus an ear infection.  So he was SO SUPER FUN (sarcasm) for the next 5 days.  Worst.  “Vacation”.  Ever.  did I mention that Thursday (the 22nd) night through Friday (the 30th), he was waking me up literally every 15-20 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG?  Forgot that part.  Ariel got a bad cold as of Friday the 30th, (luckily it wasn’t broncilitis/pneumonia) and by the time they are both feeling better, I go back to work.  🙂

I’m regaining my sanity slowly, thanks for asking.  Catching up on sleep is another story.

This is now.

I’ll add a “THEN” next time.  But it’s taken me 4 days to write this post as it is so I’d just like to publish it and move on!

To Milestone or Not to Milestone? That is the Question

NOW:  I feel that every little thing the twins do are milestones.  Little things, that they can do now, but they couldn’t do yesterday or the day before.  Or even events, like this particular Christmas, is a milestone.  It’s not their first obviously, but it’s the first where they kinda really know what’s going on.  Every day is different than the day before and I try to listen and watch and appreciate every little thing they learn and do. 

BUT.  There are some big milestones.  Developmental milestones, rite-of-passage type milestones.  Like the Potty for example.  Big change, right?  I got “yelled at” more than once for starting that one too early.  I get chastised for trying to make them grow up too quickly.  I don’t want them to grow up any faster than they have to, believe me.  It’s a Catch-22…..I know this time is going by so fast and I certainly don’t want it to be faster, but at the same time it’s SO exciting to see what they’ll do next.

Anyway, I do have a point here.  My point is: BIG-KID BEDS!!  DUN DUN DUN!!!!!!!!!

I am having a mild internal struggle right now.  I’ve talked about it with multiple people and most of them, including Tim, agree that once a child is climbing out (especially those as smart as my twins), they need to be a big kid bed. 

I am agreeing with this and pushing it forward for several reasons:

I am terrified that now that Ariel knows she can get out, she will.  She might be too scared to do it for several days….weeks…..months……but why wait until she does it again and gets seriously hurt this time?  Right?

We were going to change them into beds in February anyway.  I have a week off for mid-winter break and we figured that was a good time….they’d be 2 and a half.  So now we’re just moving it up a couple of months.  I have a week off for Christmas, so that will work out well too.

We bought guardrails so they won’t fall out, so that will help with the transition. 

Now…….there are a few people who are against this whole plan.  And who question a lot of my decisions as a parent.  And who accuse me of making the twins grow up too fast.  And whose job it is to question my decisions because they care.  (right?)

Let me just say; yes, we were going to change them over in February, and yes, it’s only a couple months early…..but are we thrilled about it?  No.  We didn’t really want this thrust upon us at this time.  But again, the getting-out of the crib factor weighs in heavily.

Three guesses who is against this plan and vocalizes the concern.  My mom and dad.  More mom, but that’s because dad is not as vocal about his opinion.

Now, when you grow up with a set of people who help influence your every decision in life and then the time comes where you break out on your own and have your own opinions and decisions about marriage, houses, kids…..it’s hard!  I haven’t lived at home in 8 years.  And I am comfortable in my own opinions, especially because I do have a husband that I can bounce my ideas off, and who is a little more level-headed than me about big decisions like this so I know, deep down, that if he agrees with me it’s the right decision and we need to do what our gut tells us.  But it’s still hard not to take my parents’ opinions into consideration in my own mind.  And then I start to doubt myself.  And then I start to question if I am making them grow up too fast because I certainly don’t want that.

Phew.  That’s a lot of rambling.  And a lot I have to remember when the twins are grown up and I’m trying to give my opinions.

Bottom line is; our decision has been made.  And it’s what’s best for us.  And I’ve consulted multiple co-workers, friends, the internet, and other family members and it’s not like changing them into beds at this point is completely crazy.  They are over 2 and if we are concerned about them getting out, we need to do this. 

The twins even agree with us.  🙂  I’ve brought it up a couple of times since we made this decision.  I like to get them used to the idea of big changes before they happen.  I wouldn’t want to just spring this on them.  And that’s worked so far; we haven’t had any major drama when it comes to change in the past.

One night, we were in my bed because we always hide under the covers before we brush their teeth and put them in their cribs.  I asked them if they wanted a big-kid bed like mommy and daddy’s bed.  They were a little hesitant, but said yes.

Yesterday, we were playing and I brought it up again.  I asked if they wanted big-kid beds.  This time, it was a resounding YES!  NOW!  I said, you’ll have to say bye bye to the crib and get a big-kid bed in your own room……

Ariel said, “yes, mommy.  Big kid bed NOW.  BYE BYE CRIB NOW!  Need big kid bed in room.  2 blankets.  Bring all the guys and music?” (She’s referencing the 8 stuffed animals in her crib, plus her musical seahorse). 

I tell her, yes, of course you can have blankets and the guys and the music. 

She’s reassured.  “Ok Mommy.  Now!  Bye bye crib!”  (she waves to the ceiling).

I am laughing so hard, but I manage to tell her that she at least has to wait until we buy it.  🙂  So, that’s good.  For now they’re happy about it at least. 

I’ve also convinced Tim that we should let them pick out their own sheets.  We’re just going to use the fitted sheet for now I think, and then their loose blankets from their crib.  They move around a lot right now while they sleep, and I think having to try and make them face in just one direction with a tucked-in sheet and blanket wouldn’t really work. 

I found this suggestion on the internet about letting them pick out the sheets and I think that would be nice.  I want to get them each 3 sets because even now sometimes their diapers leak, or Will takes his diaper right off.  And when we start nighttime potty training we will definitely be changing sheets often.  Originally we were thinking just get 6 unisex ones, because we change Will’s sheets more often, but I like the idea of letting them pick.  I said, even if we use all of Will’s sheets up before I do laundry I’ll just stick some of Ariel’s on, who really cares?  She might not pick “girlie” ones anyway.  (Her favorite color seems to be blue right now….followed by green).

So we’re going to scope out the mattress situation tonight by ourselves.  We have convertible cribs but we need bedrails and mattresses.  Then tomorrow we will probably go sheet-shopping with the twins. 

I think my uncertainty…..brought to light by my parents……all comes down to that Catch-22.  I am SO excited to move them into new beds and take them shopping to buy new sheets and have Tim switch them over just after Christmas.  It’s so exciting to think about how much they’ve grown and changed in such a short amount of time.

But…….I am so saddened by the fact that my little, once literally teeny-tiny, babies are growing up.  I feel like crying, but I don’t know if they are tears of joy or sadness.  That’s the definition of Bittersweet I guess.  And the definition of Mommyhood/Childhood.  This is now.

THEN:  Things are kind of blurry when it comes to the time spent in the NICU.  The first few days, while I was in the hospital, I went downstairs as much as possible.  Actually, even the very first day, after I was “done” visiting (physically, not emotionally) we went back up to my room.  Our friends, Leslie and Brian were there.  So…back down to the NICU.  YAY!  I even walked.  Behind the wheelchair.  At 1 mile/hour. 

I just felt like I couldn’t get enough of them.  But I knew they needed their rest and so did I.  After Brian and Leslie left, Sarah showed up.  With Dinner!  From Chef’s!  Good thing too, because in the process of changing over my room the hospital staff forgot about my dinner.  I didn’t even mind that my spaghetti parm was kinda cold.  It was the best dinner ever.  My sister-in-law is so thoughtful.  🙂

And then of course Sarah wanted to visit the twins.  So, down we went again.  Each  time we would check and see what had happened in the last couple hours while we weren’t there.  They wrote down everything.  It was really very reassuring because they were obviously keeping very careful watch over my babies. 

It was really very calm in the NICU.  There was the steady beeping of the monitors, which in itself was reassuring.  The lights were dim.  There were multiple rocking chairs so you could sit and relax.  The nurses were nice and sweet and gentle and so good at explaining everything.  They each worked 12-hour shifts, 3 days on and 4 days off.  that way they were with the same babies for a 12 hour stretch, which was nice because then they knew what to watch for. 

I was feeling much better about this whole situation now that I got to see it for myself.  Plus, I was in the hospital for 2 more days.  I could just take a little walk down whenever I wanted.  Or stay there all day and night if I wanted.  They even told me that.  And a nurse would take me down if Tim wasn’t there.  They didn’t want me to walk by myself yet, but they would get me whenever I wanted and then take me back up.  It was nice to be taken care of.  That was then.

Morning Routine (no-twin-Tuesday)

I’ve done it.  I’ve accomplished something marvelous.  It might only be temporary, due to any unforeseen circumstances but the fact that it is currently happening is nothing short of miraculous.

Tim is getting up early with me and exercising.  And likes it.

I have been trying to do this for a long time.  Even when we would have an event planned in the evening and we would know we weren’t going to exercise he would refuse to get up early. 

But we’ve been slacking off as of late and I decided it was time to try something new.  Not only were we skipping days, but we were so tired by the end of the day that we weren’t putting a lot of effort in when we did exercise.

So, last weekend I broached the subject again.  I said we’d have more time at night to just relax.  One of the reasons I didn’t like exercising after the kids were in bed was because that only left about 2 hours before we went to bed.  So, we’d get ready, we’d exercise, we’d shower, and we’d have maybe a half-hour before I was falling asleep on the couch.  Plus, I was just plain exhausted after working all day, dealing with twins while trying to start dinner, and then playing after dinner. 

So he agreed to try.  YAY YAY YAY!!!  Last week we got up every morning.  Well, he was on death’s door Thursday and Friday so he skipped, but whatever.  And this week we are still going strong!  We even got up Saturday morning before swim class. 

I feel like I have more energy in the morning, both as I’m exercising and then after.  I feel like it adds more time to our day….which it really does because we’re getting up an hour earlier.  Plus, I don’t feel so guilty making evening plans because I still get my workout in.  I also think it is helping me control my eating again because I can’t tell myself that I’ll just work it off later.  Nope, too late, you already exercised for the day.  I also read an article about morning workouts that said you need to give yourself at least 3 weeks to readjust to your new schedule.  So as of right now, that’s the plan.

Last week I don’t feel like I was any more tired than usual because of this new routine, but this week I’m feeling it a little more.  But that’s more due to our busy weekend. 

We stayed up late Saturday because we went out to dinner and then spontaneously decided to catch a showing at 11 PM of The Rocky Horror Picture Show……complete with props!!!!   I was so excited!  It was a lot of fun, but it has sure taken it’s toll on me as far as being tired.  Friends of ours and Tim and I decided to visit a restaurant called Tantalus.  AMAZING!!  The only bad thing was that the menu was enormous….and everything sounded so good!  It was hard to decide.  We started with a seafood appetizer and I had a glass of red wine.  Then, I tried a cup of their Apple Pumpkin Goat Cheese Soup.  I wished I had ordered the bowl instead because it was SO yummy!  Then, another glass of wine.  For dinner, I had a pasta dish called The Tuxedo.  It was linguini, and linguini infused with squid ink.  Then it was mixed with a spicy red tomato sauce, chunks of tomatoes, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and anchovies.  I’m not normally an anchovy person, but I sure was with this dish!  To end the meal, I tried their hot apple cider “kicked up” with a shot of Van Gogh Caramel Vodka.  It was heavenly. 

After dinner we were walking across the brick street to a small bar to finish watching the Sabres Game.  On the way we passed by the local Theater…..which was showing Rocky Horror that night.  We went in and inquired about props, found out they were allowed, and left the boys at the bar while we ran to Tops for supplies!  When we got back we rounded them up (not too hard to do because the Sabres game was done) and invaded the theater.  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this movie in the theater with the props and my experience was not disappointing.  It was SO SO SO much fun.  And as my friend said……it was one of those spontaneous things we used to do more often before I had kids.  Which was not meant in a bad way at all, and was very true! 

I spoke to Tim about it afterwards.  We don’t get a lot of nights out where we can be spontaneous.  Usually we get a babysitter for a specific event, we go to the event, we go home.  This was such a nice night because aside from dinner, we had no agenda.  We could have done basically whatever we wanted.  And we did.  What a treat!

Then Sunday we carved pumpkins, and yesterday we went out trick-or-treating. 

So, as I’m writing this, I am exhausted.  The last few days were exhausting.  Work was exhausting.  Kids are exhausting.  I’m ready to get a good night’s sleep (and it’s only 4:00) and start fresh…….with my morning workout!!!!!!!

Annoying Things

Now:  These are things that are really annoying me right now.  And always.

Number 1: I keep falling asleep on the couch at night.  This is bad for several reasons.  First of all, I miss the end of whatever program I’m watching, or, let’s face it, sometimes the whole show.  Second, I am losing my motivation to exercise because I know that I will fall asleep soon after and I don’t want to “waste” my whole evening exercising.  Third, it’s way too soon to fall asleep after eating my evening snack.

 Number 2: We got a really cool new camera this summer.  Why is that annoying?  Because I can’t bring my camera to work to upload pictures to my blog anymore because Tim won’t let me (which is understandable, but still annoying).  And because I’m feeling that the blog is a lot less interesting without the pictures.

Number 3: Why won’t Halloween just get here already?  I am like a child.  I am so excited to take the twins trick or treating for the first time.  I am agonizing over what the weather will be like that night even though it’s over a week away.  I am planning our route and prepping the kids to say “trick or treat” really loudly.  I am lamenting over the fact that I haven’t found red pants for them to wear under their Elmo costumes and realizing that Elmo(s) might have to have black legs instead of red.

Number 4: Conflicting emotions…..is it almost Halloween already?  Where did October go?  I feel like I’m constantly waiting for what’s next while simultaneously wondering why my days and weeks and months are going so fast.  Probably a common problem, I know.

Anyway.  I’m not having a particularly bad day or crabby mood.  Just thinking about thinking I guess.  🙂  This is now.

What’s annoying you right now? 

THEN:  I woke up early Sunday morning, August 30th.  I spoke to Tim briefly on the phone – long enough for him to tell me he took off again and would be at the hospital soon.  I tried to convince him it wasn’t necessary, but I was quite pleased that he would be coming back (obviously).  While I was waiting a nurse came in.  One of my favorite nurses so far.  And a nurse-in-training.  Also one of my favorite people there.  They said a high-risk doctor would be in sometime this morning to talk to me about my test results.  They both asked if there was anything else I needed.  I only wanted to know if they could estimate the time the doctor would be in because I was hoping Tim would be here when the doctor came.  They weren’t sure, but they seemed very sympathetic.  I tried to seem like it didn’t really matter but I’m sure they saw through me.

I called Tim back immediately.  How soon could he be here?  He was leaving right as I was calling, so about 20 minutes.  I figured that was plenty of time.

Then the doctor and my two nurses walked in.  Where was my husband?  I explained that he was on his way.  They exchanged glances, and I knew that the high-risk doctor had a very busy schedule and would probably not be able to carve out another time to meet with me later.  I told them it was ok.  No husband, no problem.  I was also still convinced that my worst-case-scenario was going to be hospital bedrest for a few weeks.  Or maybe best-case…..bedrest at home.

The doctor began his speech.  And I mean SPEECH.  He was easy to understand and follow…..but he took forever to say what the main point really was.  Basically I was very very sick.  My lack of knowledge about my gestational diabetes was very detrimental to my body.  I was at a high risk of having a stroke, seizures, or a heart attack….or a combination of the three.  Any of these three things could not only kill me, but possibly the children inside me.  Unless it was taken care of immediately. 

So, again, the dillusional optimist in me asked about hospital bedrest.  Through my sobs that were racking my body.  No.  Maybe if it was earlier in the pregnancy another 2 weeks would make a big difference.  But as of right now, giving it another few days was really pushing my luck. 

What did that mean?  Doctor’s recommendation was immediate delivery.  Today.  This afternoon they had an opening in the OR. 

I could not suppress my tears.  I wouldn’t even have tried to, except I was afraid that crying would damage my already fragile body even more.  I tried to calm myself down.  I had tried to keep myself calm for the last 4 days.  Trying to keep my blood pressure normal so that I could just go home and wait 9 more weeks until my babies could be born safetly.  The nurses held my hands and gently rubbed my back.  I was so grateful for them.  I thanked the doctor and the nurses over and over through my tears.  They offered to wait with me until Tim came, but I knew I could probably calm down better by myself for a minute.  I had stopped sobbing, just a few stray tears running down my cheeks, so they felt comfortable with leaving.

What would happen?  What would happen to my babies that were going to be snatched from my body in less than 12 hours even though it was 9 weeks earlier than they should have been born?  I felt helpless.  I felt like I had failed them because it was MY body that was sick, not theirs.  I kept telling them that.  Whispering to my almost-born children.  They needed to stay strong.  They were healthy, they would be fine, their mama would be fine.  The doctors were doing this because it was what was best.  All of our best chance for survival.  It sounds melodramatic typing it now.  But it was reality.

When Tim came in one of my nurses spotted him.  She stood in my doorway while I explained what had to happen.  I was crying again, but not uncontrollably.  I pride myself in being very logical.  I was definitely emotional – a rarity for me – but I knew, logically, that this was the best thing for everyone, and that nothing could be changed, so there was no point wishing for things that weren’t so or that couldn’t come true.  I shouldn’t waste my energy on worrying, although I obviously was worried.  I was using my energy to think positive thoughts for myself and to the children.

What would happen?  We were so scared.  We had to call our families.  We had to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  What would happen?  After everything we went through, why this now?  What would happen?  That was then

P.S.  Thanks for sticking with me, or popping over to visit my blog.  I am not gone…..and hopefully not forgotten!

Rainy Day

NOW: We haven’t had any rainy days this summer.  Finally, one hit.  What the F am I supposed to do when I can’t even go outside with these 2? 

We went out for a little while in the morning, before the rain hit.  But it was dark.  And thundering.  I figured we better come inside.

We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating a snack, and I was in panic mode.  What will we do all day?  My first thought is turn on the TV.  Ok, last resort.  I was feeling pretty desperate.  I don’t know why…..what did we do all winter?  And it’s not like we don’t have millions of toys (not an exaggeration – friends whose kids are in daycare say we have more toys than the daycare).

OK, so what would we do?  COLOR!  That will hold for a little while.  🙂

It wasn’t too long ago that Will was more interested in eating crayons than coloring with them.  Ariel had caught on a little faster that they taste disgusting.  Now, it’s much better because I don’t have to watch him like a hawk; making sure he doesn’t end up with green teeth again.  It’s hard for me to remember that this is an ok activity now. 

They colored for longer than I thought.  Whew!  They really ended up having a good time, and even asked again to color later!  My little babies are growing up so fast. 

However, later on, they were not so agreeable.  Well, Will was not so agreeable.  I don’t know what was going on with him but he was being a bit of a monster.  I am happy to report that I did not raise my voice once.  He just kept whining and moaning and making this super annoying groaning sound.  I had no idea what was wrong with him.  I kept asking him over and over and over.  He’d play for like 5 minutes, and all the sudden be sitting and moaning again.  My kids have a lot of language skills – if something was wrong he should be able to kinda tell me. 

Finally, around 4:00, I took him very gently by the shoulders so he would look right at me.  I went through every body part, asking if it hurt.  He kept saying no.  I asked if he was tired.  I asked if he was hungry – YES!  And he ran to his highchair.  Well for goodness sake kid all you had to do was TELL MOMMY!  It was so frustrating.  Probably the most frustrated I’ve been with either of them all summer.

I gave him some blueberries as a little snack because it was only about an hour and half until dinner.  I know that at this age, if they say they’re hungry they really are.  I figured at least I was giving him a healthy option and if it meant he ate a little less at dinner, oh well, it was fruit!  Ariel had some cantelope. 

When Tim came home he asked if I was going to try and get a job next summer.  Ha Ha.

After they were in bed, I got on the Wii Fit to weigh-in.  Gained 0.7 lbs.  This was in addition to the 2 lbs. I had supposedly gained this weekend.   

I went running. 

I ran. 

And it helped all of my frustration from the day just melt away.  I did my normal route in 28 minutes – usually it takes me at least 30.  I don’t know why I just discovered this whole running thing.  I wish I had figured out sooner how much I like it!  HA!

When I came back the boy was still crying in his crib.  Tim and I finished our strength training and yoga together and then I finally I went in to check on him.  He was instantaneously quiet when I walked in.  Hm, very suspicious.  Obviously there was nothing “wrong”.  He just wanted company.  Which I guess is ok every once in a while.  I calmed him down and then went to take a shower.  When I got out…..crying again.  I stayed a little longer this time, rubbing his back, waiting until he fell asleep.  I was glad I got to go for that run because it helped me keep my sanity for this.

Sometimes I feel so guilty when I’m frustrated.  Sometimes I feel so guilty when I’m favoring one over the other.  All day, Ariel was fine.  Happy, playing, cute.  And at times, I wished it was just her and I for a couple hours and that I didn’t have to deal with the other one.  I feel like I didnt even get to spend time with her because I was trying to figure out what in the hell was wrong with Will. 

Patience helps me get over my guilt I guess.  If I was snapping at them or showing my frustration, I would feel more guilty.  He wasn’t meaning to be frustrating and I just kept that perspective in mind all day.  I counted to 10 in my head.  A lot.  I used my patient-mommy voice.  Because if they know I’m frustrated, they get even more frustrated….which is even worse. 

I guess I’m just venting.  And bragging.  Because I kept my cool.  All Day Long.  And by the end of the day I don’t know how I did it.  And by the end of the day I was ready to get a part-time job not only for next summer, but maybe even the rest of this one.  🙂   This is now.

THEN:  Oh, the heartburn.  I didn’t have any all pregnancy.  I know it’s a symptom, so I wasn’t concerned.  At first.  It was a Thursday night.  I woke up with a pain in my chest.  Heartburn.  I tried sitting up a little in bed to ease the feeling.  It was not comfortable for my stomach.  I laid down again.  I sat up again.  I laid down again.  Finally, Tim woke up.  Kinda what I was aiming for, without having to actually wake him.  The feeling was becoming unbearable.  He got up and looked in the medicine cabinet to see if I could take anything.  I didn’t want to risk it.  Not yet.

So, he did what any normal person does in “this day in age”.  Looked on the internet.  Milk.  Crackers.  Sit up. 

I was so tired.  I just wanted to lay down in my bed.  I did not want to be drinking milk.  I did not want to be eating crackers.  I did not want to be sitting up.  I wanted to be sleeping. 

He went and got me some milk and crackers.

I ate and drank while sitting up in bed.  He laid back down.  What else was he supposed to do, right?  He fell asleep.  I tried laying down again.  Way worse.

I decided to go hang out in the rocking chair in one of the baby rooms.  It was the room we were going to put them both in at first when they came home.  I rocked and ate more crackers and thought about my little ones in my belly.  They were probably sleeping.  Just like my husband.  I kinda tried to rest my eyes.  I fell asleep a little bit, here and there, only a light sleep.  The pain was not really subsiding, even with milk and crackers and sitting up.  Oh well, it was just one night.  I could nap tomorrow. 

I tried not to worry about it.  Lots of people get heartburn while pregnant.  The internet said so. 

When Tim got up the next morning, early, I was still in the rocking chair.  Still awake.  The pain was still there.  What if something was wrong?  I hadn’t had heartburn this whole 7 months, why suddenly now?  We went downstairs and he asked if I wanted breakfast but I wasn’t hungry, I couldn’t eat.  It would hurt.  He suggested I call the doctor.  He never suggests I call the doctor.  I never call the doctor.  Doctors just tell you you’re fine and send you on your way and you feel stupid for even asking.  Just because I had heartburn all night and this morning was no reason to call the doctor.  He wasn’t even there yet, it was only 7 in the morning.  I was fine.  That was then.

5K Fever (No-Twin Tuesdays)

NOW: Ok, I am now definitely addicted to running.  Ran another 5K on Saturday morning.  2 hours before I was supposed to be leaving for a wedding.  It was a casual wedding….it’s not like I had to spend a ton of time doing hair and make up.  I’m not one to care what people think about me anyway.

So, my second 5K.  It. Was. Hot.  It was nice because the route was basically around my neighborhood.  There were 2 water stations this time…..but they gave little bottles of water which were kind of annoying to open.  Beggers can’t be choosers I guess. 

I am disappointed to say I walked like 4 times.  I blame Tim though.  🙂  He and the twins were waiting for me at one of the corners near our house.  I was really wanting to walk at that point but I knew he’d see me, so I kept pushing myself.  Well then, he’s flagging me over.  What?  What do you want?  How do you wash the stuffed animals?  In the (F***ing) washing machine!!!!  I understood why he did it.  The stuffed animals absolutely NEED to be washed and dried before naptime or Will freaks out.  Well, we weren’t going to be home!  So, they needed to be washed and dried before we left.  But still, come on, stopping to ask me that?  I’m gonna put instructions for everything taped to the washer and dryer from now on.  He didn’t want to be the one to destroy Mr. Bear by putting him on the wrong setting in the washer.  I explained later that it’s really only the dryer that matters – no heat, just air dry. 

I didn’t even get to say hi to the twins as I ran by.  Tim said he’s never coming to watch me again anyway because as soon as I kept going and didn’t stop, the twins were screaming MA MA MA MA MA MA MA MOMMY MOMMY!  So, at least until they’re old enough.

Then, because I had already slowed down once to talk to him, I figured it couldn’t hurt to walk a little bit.  To the red truck.  Only a few driveways.  So I did.  Then there was a downhill, so no more walking.  Then uphill…..OK a little more walking.  Downhill – no.  Uphill – a little.  Downhill – no.  Then there was a BIG uphill.  I thought about letting myself walk it but then I would be going twice as slow.  Obviously.  So I sprinted up the hill.   Then walked a little more.  The finish line was in sight but not the timer yet.  I was pretty bummed already and figured I wasn’t going to beat my time.  I think that’s one reason I allowed myself to walk so much.  When I saw the clock, it was at 33 minutes.  Wow!  I wasn’t that far off.  I sprinted a little more to try and beat my time anyway, but got there at 33 minutes, 30 seconds.  About 7 seconds slower than last time.  And I had walked a LOT more!  That must mean when I did run, I ran faster, right?  Right.  I was still mad at myself though.  Even if I had walked 1 less time, I would have beaten my previous time. 

We’re going to run another one mid-August.  We’ve been recruiting more people.  Suckers.  Tim’s one of them.  He vows that he’s going to try the next one.  It’s at the Erie County Fairgrounds, during the fair, so that’s AWESOME!!!!    Our friend, Kate, came to this one and says she definitely wants to run more too.  She and I are going to go running tonight.  She’s a little slower than me, but she has never really run before.  I figure even if I keep at her pace I’ll run the whole time without stopping to walk, so that would be a great way to build up my stamina. 

I love that a bunch of us are doing this together.  I had been running by myself anyway, just needed a catalyst to get me to sign up for “actual” runs.  And now that so many of our friends are joining in, it’s a lot of fun.  I’m not a competitive person usually, but this is something I am becoming competitive about.  Plus, Kate says she’ll run the Disney Marathon with me in 5 years, so it’s something else to plan/train for.  If we start planning now, we’re more likely to actually do it.  🙂 

And it’s something I’m doing for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love living for my kids (and Tim).  I would do anything for any of them.  I feel like I was born to be their mother and I feel like I’m doing a Damn good job of it.  As I was running my first 5K, I said to myself “do it for them”.  But then, I realized…..No, I’m not doing it for them…..I’m doing it for me.  And if this is the way I can be selfish and do something that’s just for me, than at least it’s a healthy outlet.  I’m getting in shape.  I feel good.  And it’s a stress reliever.  And I’m doing it just for me.  Just to run.  Just because I like it.  It takes up time – it means sometimes Tim has to stay home a little more with the kids, or if he runs with me it will mean getting a babysitter for a couple hours.  But it’s my one way to be a little selfish.  This is now.

THEN:  I had quite a bit of trouble sleeping when I was pregnant too.  Probably everyone does.  The swelling in my ankles and feet and wrists and hands didn’t help.  I would try to prop my belly up on one pillow, and my feet up on another.  It wasn’t very comfortable.  Plus, my carpel tunnel would be extremely painful at night for some reason and I couldn’t really elevate my wrists. 

I tried many different pillows for my belly.  I tried regular pillows but they were too bulky.  A body pillow worked for a short time, but it was too bulky too.  I wanted something small enough to go under my belly for support, but not push me over.  I went back to regular pillows because I hated the body pillow.  Then I tried throw pillows from the couch because they were a little thinner, but they weren’t the right shape. 

I was very picky.  But I really wanted to get a good night’s sleep.  Once they were born it would probably be a long time before I slept through the night.  Plus, I had to rest.

I started taking naps in the afternoon too.  On the couch.  I think the way the cushions were just helped a little better with my belly.  And my ankles and wrists weren’t so swollen in the middle of the day.

But at night I wanted to be in my bed.  I didn’t want to sleep alone on the couch.  So I kept trying different pillows.  Finally, in July, we were at Babies R Us and I found a triangular pillow, meant to help with my problem.  I convinced Tim to buy it – it was a worthwhile investment even though no other pillows were working and he had little faith in this one.  But it was only like $12. 

It was like a miracle-worker.  This little ramp-shaped piece of foam was just what I needed.  I felt like Goldilocks – finally finding the one that was JUST RIGHT.  What a relief.  It was such a big help and even though I was still slightly uncomfortable and not totally sleeping through the night it definitely helped with the belly situation.  Now, if only there was some way to help the getting-up-to-pee-every-hour-situation.  That was then.