Life with Twins

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.  🙂

Advertisements

2 (3) in Progress

NOW:

I’ve been playing;

  • Chase – run run run run run run run – all around the circle of our house.  I don’t know why the dogs bark as we do this, but it adds to the mayhem fun.
  • Tickle Monster – usually after the running….someone climbs into the chair and says “get me!” and the tickle monster does.
  • Hide ‘n Seek – “Mommy, we gonna hide under the table, come and find us!”

– “oh where could those kids be?  In the kitchen?  In the tent?  In the dining room?  Under the table!!!!  What a surprise!”

We also made Jell-O.  Later they told Daddy they added hot water and cold water and stirred it up and made it cold in the fridge.  They had some for dessert, topped with fruit!

I’ve also been cleaning;

Upstairs I dusted and vacuumed every where.  I also cleaned up my bedroom by putting some things down in the basement and stuffing some clothes in Tim’s closet.

In the basement I took all of the pieces of drywall out, broke it up, threw out what would fit in the garbage cans and moved the rest to the garage.  Why have pieces of drywall been laying in my basement for 7 years?  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.

Once the drywall was gone I was able to use that space for garage sale stuff – mostly baby related.  The cleared up a LARGE spot in the middle of the floor.  Then I also organized all the baby clothes.  I had packed them away by size, but not boy/girl, so I just rearranged and reorganized.  Then I started getting rid of some boxes of products we had been saving in case we had to take anything back like from the cookware we bought two years ago and the charcoal grill.

I swept too.  And didn’t see any mice in the two days I was down there.  Hooray!

The kids helped me sweep and mop the kitchen/hallway/bathroom also.  I should have taken pictures.   I’m terrible.  It was cute, take my word for it.  They helped me moved everything out.  They used their little broom and dustpan as well as helping with my big dustpan.  Then they used their little mop but also helped go back and forth with mine too.  Then they helped me put everything back in.  It was fun!  And a good learning experience for the day they can do it by themselves!

I started organizing some toys too.  As in, I took some toys from baby-hood that they don’t really play with anymore and put them in the basement.  Garage Sale Pile.  Shhhh….don’t tell them!

Digging for Gold

Mopping the Kitchen Floor

And now I’m blogging, so that’s a start for goal #3!  This is now.

THEN:  One day a nurse asked me if I wanted to change Will’s diaper for the first time.  A million thoughts went through my head in a split second.

If they were at home I would have changed plenty of diapers by now…..

I’ve never changed a diaper before in my life…….

I have to learn some time……..

There are so many wires and needles attached to him…….

What if I hurt him……..

I said no, but that I would watch and do it next time one of them needed a diaper change.  Having such little experience and having such a small baby with all of those needles and wires was just too much.  I didn’t feel guilty, I just watched and listened as she explained how to get around the wires as easily as possible.  It was important to do it fast so that he didn’t get cold.  Or pee on himself.  She was very reassuring.  That’s what I remember most from my experience in the NICU.  Everyone was so calm.  That made me calm.  And everyone was so efficient.  Like they weren’t fooling around…..even though these babies seemed so small and fragile they got the job done.

Usually when Tim and I would go up we would bring snacks and water and books to read.  We’d walk in and find comfy chairs and drag them over to our babies.  We’d say hi and talk to them and softly touch them through the holes in the incubator.  We’d either look at their charts or wait until a nurse came over to update us – which they always did as soon as they could.  We were mostly concerned about them gaining weight.  The nurses would also tell us if anything important or interesting that had happened overnight or when the doctor did his rounds.  Then we would just sit and read.  Spend time with each other and time with them.  If they needed to be fed, we’d hold them while they “ate” through their feeding tube.  After that first time we would change their diapers if they needed to be changed.  When I needed to pump I would leave and go to a different room to pump.  They had provided me with a whole second set of equipment so that I didn’t have to bring my own shields and tubes and bottles every time – I just left a set there and used the pump in the room.

See the feeding tubes taped to our shoulders?

It was like that for a while.  Just waiting for a change indicating that they were closer to going home.  In the meantime, we relaxed.  As much as we could considering the circumstances.  That was then.

Ariel-feeding tube in her nose now....

Will -no CPAP, with nose feeding tube

I Missed a Couple Days….

Now it’s only………..

2 DAYS UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

 

I Guess I Didn’t Knock That Wood Hard Enough

Then (as in a week ago): Oh la la la, Ariel stays in her bed until we get in the room.  Oh happy day, what a lovely child.  Oh girls are so much easier than boys.  Oh I wouldn’t even mind if she did get out of bed because she would probably just quietly read books.  Unlike her brother, who wreaks havoc if you don’t come get him within a few seconds upon waking.  Including, but not limited to, smearing poop everywhere.  (Ok, that hasn’t happened in a while, but just typing that is tempting fate).  What a lovely daughter….a week ago…..when I should have been knocking wood every time I said these things to someone……

NOW: Fast-forward to present day.  This past weekend in fact.  The lovely daughter decides, oh wait, I CAN get out of bed without a grown-up in the room.  And I can run around my room wreaking havoc.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Thursday night.  We watched a movie (The Little Mermaid!!!) after dinner, so twins are up to bed a little after 8.  Ariel gives a hard time about laying down and getting covered up, but relents because I threaten to leave the room.  Will settles right down, Daddy covers him, Mommy kisses him goodnight.  He tells us he loves us both.  Awww.  (The “I love you’s” sometimes still have to be prompted, so it’s THE BEST when he does it on his own).

The grown-ups go back downstairs to make some tea, have a snack, watch TV, and (for me) do some laundry, etc.

We hear, through the ceiling, the pitter-patter of little feet.  First, we’re amazed it’s not The Boy.  So, up I go.  Sure enough, she’s running around, but got scared when she heard my footsteps so tried quickly to return to bed.  I cover her again and tell her to stay in bed and go to sleep.  She mentions Princess Ariel and I ask if she liked the movie.  She informs me that “my no watch movie yet, my eat dinner first!  Watch movie later.”  This is somewhat concerning because she’s obviously got some time-traveling going on that I don’t know about.  But, I figure that’s good…..she must be SO tired that she’s getting confused.  Good.

I return to my melty ice cream and soggy cone.  Yum.  Then……little feet.  Tim makes the tea while I go up again.  Now, let me tell you, I probably wouldn’t normally go up and keep checking on either of them, but it’s just so weird that she’s actually out of bed. 

She’s naked. 

She informs me that her diaper was wet and she threw it in the garbage and she needs a new one.  Although that’s somewhat annoying, I guess that’s a good sign in some ways (related to potty training).  OK, so I get a new diaper on her, tell her not to take it off again, get her jammies back on, get her back in bed, get her covered up.  Ok, done.

Back downstairs.  Little feet.  I don’t want to run the risk of her being naked again and then peeing all over the place.  So I go up again. 

I tell her that I am getting mad.  She says, incredulously, “Mad??  NO MOMMY, you not mad, you a nice mommy.  You nice to Mil-Yum, you nice to me.”  I am laughing so hard.  But I try to explain to her that even though I’m nice, I can still be angry and she better not get out of bed again.

Back downstairs again.  Little feet.  Now I really am mad.  I go upstairs again, sternly tell her this, and she crawls back up into bed.  That’s the end of that.  For real this time.

Friday night: Little feet, little feet, little feet, naked girl, new diaper, little feet, little feet.  I go up for the third time and find that her pillow and a blanket are on the floor. 

She informs me that she’s sleeping on the floor.  I ask her why.  She tells me, “my no like my big girl bed, my want to sleep on floor….it’s safer.”  WHAT??!!  Um, ok, whatever. 

It’s not a big deal, but I still try to convince her to sleep in her bed. 

I ask; what about all your stuffed animals?

Ariel responds; I’ll just bring them down here, mommy.  (She does.  I help.)

M: what about your pretty star sheets?

A: my don’t like them, my don’t like black.

M: Those aren’t black, they’re purple

A: My don’t like them.  My sleeping on floor.

M: What about your music box?

A: My just bring it down here.  Take it off!

M: No, I can’t take it off, it has to stay up there, I guess you better go back to bed.

A: No mommy, I need to figure this out.  Hmmmm (while tapping her chin)

**Pause**

A: I know, I be right back.  (goes up on her bed, presses music box, climbs back down.) There!  My figured it out.  And if it turns off, my climb back up and turn it on and come back down and sleep on floor.

So, I’m out of ideas.  She tells me again she wants to sleep on the floor, her bed is not cozy.  Ok, fine.  I convince her to lay a blanket down to sleep on and cover her up.

She’s running around again so Tim goes back up around 10. He also unsuccessfully tries to get her to sleep in her bed, so covers her up on the floor again.

I go up to bed around 11 and check on her.  She’s sleeping.  Naked.  Scrunched up on her stomach.  So I somehow get her diaper and jammies back on without waking her too much.  The diaper may or may not be taped to her stomach but that’s  a problem for the morning.  There’s a pee spot on the blanket but she’s not laying on the spot so that’s a problem for the morning also.

Saturday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Closet opening and closing.  Pairs of socks separated, but still in her drawer.  Books everywhere.  She has a whole new outfit on – inside-out shorts and a tank top.  She’s not to happy she can’t wear that downstairs.

Saturday night – Tim’s dad babysat.  She did sleep on the floor but there were no little feet noises and when I checked on her before I went to bed she was clothed.

Sunday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Naked again – pee on the rug.  Clothes out of the closet.  Diaper pack out of the closet – I put it out of her reach.

Sunday night – she asks me to read her a book upstairs (we always read one downstairs together before coming up), so I tell her if she lays down (still insists on the floor) and I cover her up and THEN I will read the book.  She does, I do, she stays and there’s no little feet.

No nap Monday.  Falls asleep quickly at night again. 

I’m assuming this is just a phase.  But after saying that, I better knock wood.  Hard.  This is now.

THEN:  My parents took me home after my visit at the NICU.  I was drained.  Physically and emotionally.  I didn’t want to leave, but I was ready to be home.  My mom was going to drop my dad off at home and then come to my house for a little bit and help me get settled and take care of the dogs.  But then Tim called.  He was leaving work.  Again.  I was so thrilled and so in love with this man who would constantly just put his new family over his job.  I was so amazed at his devotion.

Plus, we needed groceries. 

So my mom stayed until Tim got home.  I was just going to stay home while he ran for groceries, but decided I didn’t feel like being alone.  Plus, I wanted to talk to the pharmacist about my prescriptions.  So, off we went.  After I pumped – which was so much better on my own couch with my own pump and no worries about people wandering in and out of my room.  Still didn’t get a lot, but that was ok for now.

At Wegmans, I had to get one of those motorized carts and just follow Tim around, but that was fine.  I had used them a couple times even while pregnant because I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet for that long (because when Tim goes grocery shopping it’s no less than an hours’ worth of walking).  I putted around behind him as he meandered up and down the aisles.  I was wearing the new shirt my mom had made for me – I’m a New Mom of Twins, with a picture she had drawn of a boy and girl in a baby buggy.  So I was getting lots of attention with my little motorized cart and my shirt advertising my accomplishment.  At least people didn’t have to wonder why I was using the motorized cart. 

After our trip I wanted to sleep.  But I wanted to go to the NICU.  This was probably the beginning of realizing how selfless I could be if I really wanted to.  I could have easily taken a nap, gone to the hospital later, and not been judged about that.  But I didn’t want to.  I needed to see the babies.  And Tim did too.  We packed up some snacks, my pump supplies, and a couple of books to read while we visited.  Soon, we were on our way back to our children.  That was then.

I have a Confession…..

NOW: I love Christmas.  There, I said it.

Prior to Thanksgiving I was pretending to be one of those people that dislikes the Christmas decorations being up in the stores already.

So, when Thanksgiving was over, I could finally give in to my true nature.  Phew, what a relief.

Then, I started reading/hearing all kinds of people complaining about Christmas in general…..especially in regards to Santa Claus.  So, I’ve been debating about this post for a while, but I suppose it’s my right to give the other side of the debate.  I don’t think anyone is “wrong” in their beliefs, just like to give my opinion too!

I love Santa.  I believe in Santa.  I truly do, at 30 years old.  Does Santa magically drop presents down the chimney for Tim and I?  No, not technically.  But I believe in him as the spirit of Christmas.  The idea that my twins will wake up on Sunday morning and be in awe of the fact that not only are there presents under the tree……but the milk, cookies, and carrots are mysteriously gone.

I know it’s a lie.  But I suppose I lie to my kids all the time.  Not big lies.  But……when there’s blackberries going bad in the fridge and there’s new bananas on the counter and they ask for bananas and I tell them they’re not ready to eat yet so they’ll just have to make do with blackberries.  Could they eat the bananas, yes.  But I want them to eat the blackberries first.  But they won’t go along with that line of thinking.  So, I tell them the bananas aren’t ready yet and they suddenly become perfectly happy with blackberries.  Just an example.  But I digress.

I try to explain as much to my kids as possible.  Even if anyone else would think they’re too young to understand.  And I tell the truth; I don’t blow them off with a simple answer.  It gives me credibility for when I do stretch the truth.  Plus, I’m a firm believer in asking questions in order to learn.  Even when I have a group of 22 children in front of me all day….each with their own set of questions.  That’s my job; to answer them.

Back to Santa.  Early in November, Will and Ariel saw a commercial featuring the man in the red suit and inquired about it.  I, being the over-explainer, immediately went into a detailed description of Santa, with his sleigh, reindeer, and sack of toys coming down chimneys on Christmas Eve.  I was excited.  Even back in November.  As a result, we they have been talking about Santa for almost two months now.  Not incessently.  But occasionally.  And more so now that the big night is almost here.

<It’s hard to put joy into words.  I think it’s much easier to express negative emotions, so this post might get rambly.  I apologize in advance.>

Santa is magic.  End of story.  Obviously I’m excited because this is the first year where the twins really get what’s going on for Christmas.  If nothing else, they know what presents are for and they are looking forward to recieving some, I’m sure.  But they are also excited about the tree, the ornaments, the decorating, the driving around looking at Christmas lights, the snow (what snow?), the shopping (yay, my kids like to shop!) the making cookies, the holiday movies.  I could go on and on.  

They are just full to the brim of excitement and positive emotion.  Same way my 2nd graders at school feel.  And I like to think that it’s coming partially from me.  They are excited because I am excited.  And I allow myself and them to give in to the excitement.  I don’t pretend Christmas isn’t coming, I embrace it.  And every year I get the same question from my 7-year-olds at school…..is there a Santa Claus?  They are at the brink of not believing.  Others have told them it isn’t true.  But they trust their teacher.  Maybe more than they trust their parents.  Because their parents might tell them the truth if they ask.  Plus, when they’re being egged on by 20 other kids, this seems like the perfect time to inquire.  School is for learning, right? 

And I don’t lie.  I tell them yes.  There is a Santa and I believe in him.  Let me make this clear; I am not lying.  And that’s part of the magic.  They know I’m not lying.  And so do my twins.

When I was little Santa filled my living room with presents.  And my sister and I always made sure to say “Thank you Santa, wherever you are!” while we looked up at the ceiling (because North is up), after we were done opening our gifts.  We were grateful.  Were we grateful to the wrong person?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Because even though it was technically my parents’ money, and technically my parents (mom) who went out and did the shopping, and technically my parents (mom) who stayed up late into the night wrapping……it was Santa who brought those gifts.  And my parents heard the thank you and took it as their own.

I don’t even remember finding out that mom and dad were buying the gifts all along.  I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I vaguely remember mom telling me not to tell Melissa, 5 years younger than me, and still going strong in her Santa-belief.  I think I kind of felt like I was just in on a secret, not a lie.  How fun it was to keep this secret going year after year…..until eventually most of  the presents were just labeled “from mom and dad”.  But never all.  There were always a couple from Santa.  Even though we “didn’t believe” anymore.  And the pile?  Didn’t get any smaller.  Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were not rich.  My dad worked two jobs so that my mom could stay home with us, and then later when my mom developed back problems and “couldn’t” work (that’s another post for another day).  They were probably living paycheck to paycheck.  But I never would have known it come Christmas morning.  Was I spoiled, yes.  But was I taught how to be rich in Christmas Spirit and thankfulness, yes.

I guess I’m lucky too because there are a lot of factors that don’t make me see “playing Santa” as a chore.  I love shopping, and shopping for the perfect gifts that I know will make my kids’ eyes light up is so rewarding.  It’s not work.  And I loved wrapping this year.  I picked out two different sets of paper and made sure Will and Ariel each had the same amount and wrapped and wrapped.  And the “leftover” gifts that didn’t have a “match”?  They are from mommy and daddy.  And in a third type of wrapping paper.  It was like a puzzle!  Making sure that they each had the same amount of gifts wrapped up.  (That reminds me, I have to figure out somethings to unwrap and rewrap so they each have a gift for each other). 

I guess it just boils down to this; I have fond memories of Christmas and of Santa.  I want my children to have fond memories of Christmas and Santa.  I want them to share in the Christmas Spirit and be merry and cheerful.  Everything Tim and I do with them is an experience that will shape their whole world as they grow up and I guess I just want them to have this wonderful, joyful Christmas/Santa experience.  Even if it is a lot of work.  And technically a lie.

I’m lucky too, in that I have the means to be able to do all of this work to build up the lie.  It’s worth it to me.  Because I love Christmas.   And because I believe in Santa Claus.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  Enjoy your time with yourself, your friends, your family, your joy. 

And your presents…..I know I’m looking forward to opening up my one-piece footie Cookie Monster pajamas from Tim!  (They just better be waiting under the tree and not being saved for my upcoming Birthday!)  This is now.

THEN: (A short one): The twins were born on a Sunday.  I was allowed to stay at the hospital until Thursday morning.  You might think that’s strange….whoever wants to stay in the hospital, right?  But I was glad because that was where my babies were. 

On Wednesday night, before Tim left to go home, I was sobbing.  I thought my heart would break.  He even climbed into the tiny hospital bed and held me.  I had been holding in all of my negative emotions for almost a week….even before they were born.  But now, on the eve of my homecoming, I broke down.

I didn’t want to go home the next morning.  I couldn’t leave them.  It was “bad enough” that they were being taken care of by “other people” but now I got to go home and they didn’t.  It wasn’t fair.  All of my other fears came out….basically…..what if they never came home?  I cried and cried and cried.  And he held me.  And he cried a little too.

A nurse came in.  I stopped right away.  I couldn’t be weak in front of her, she’d think something was wrong.  I told her I was just afraid to leave the twins.  But, she was trained to deal with crying, new moms.  She was afraid it was something worse; I could see it in her eyes.  She left and I knew that she would be sending people to check on me up until I left the next morning.  And maybe even watch me when I came back to visit the twins.  It might be post-partum depression.

I got angry.  Did I not have the right to get a little sad?  After all we had been through?  I was keeping it together and upbeat for a long time!  Didn’t I have the right to cry a little when I didn’t know what I was facing and how long I would have to face it and didn’t know what was going to become of my babies, but just knowing I wasn’t able to be in the same building with them 24/7 anymore?  I just wanted to cry a little.  I just wanted to be held by my husband who was the only one who even came close to understanding.  Was that so wrong?  That was then.

NICU

I just found out about this and wanted to share.  It really only applies to people in the Buffalo area…….but I thought maybe there would be something similar you could do at your local NICU/hospital.  Check out this link to the story:

After Spending Christmas in the NICU, Moms Deliver Cookies | Video | wgrz.com

As you all know, my twins were 31-week preemies and spent some time (about a month) in the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY.  I am forever grateful to the people who work there and although it was the worst time in my life it was also the best outcome because of these wonderful people.

I know many of you out in the blogging world have had experiences of your own in the NICU, or know someone who has.

I know it’s last-minute, I know times are tough, and I know not all of you are from this area.  But consider making an extra dozen cookies as you bake and make a simple donation/delivery.  It’s a small thing that so many hurting families would be so grateful for. 

Luckily, I myself was not in the NICU at Christmas.  Luckily, I didn’t have other small children at home waiting for their mom to make cookies with them.  Luckily, my children were not critically ill – just little.  Luckily I have a strong network of friends and family who supported me.

Some people aren’t so lucky.  Or maybe they are.  Either way, a little bit of holiday cheer in the form of cookies might be just enough to brighten their holiday season a little bit.

I am so eternally grateful that I could spend last weekend making cookies with my little ones…..who are so healthy and happy because of my NICU family.

Whirlwind Weekend

NOW: We had such a flurry of activities and emotions going on this weekend! 

Saturday morning started with our normal swim class….although we were running a little late because Tim and I got up and exercised and then had to pack up the car for tree-hunting. 

We met our friends, Katie and Erich, for breakfast, and then we were on our way to the Field Of Dreams Tree Farm!  YAY! 

I had put the twins in boots because of the mud/snow and so they were very excited to be going outside.  Apparently BOOTS = OUTSIDE.  Makes sense.  When we got there, we were happy to see a small layer of snow on the ground.  This meant we could use our sled!  YAY!

We bundled the kids up in snow pants, hats, mittens, and scarves and plopped them on the sled.  I volunteered to pull them for a little while.  Big Mistake.  Why did I not realize that it was uphill?  I told Tim I shouldn’t have bothered getting up to exercise that morning, this should have counted.  Oh well, a little extra workout never hurt anyone, right?

So I’m pulling them up the path and we come to a fork in the road.  Now, let me tell you, we have been going to the same Tree Farm for the last few years now.  I knew we always went straight at the fork.  Tim insisted we go left and seemed so sure of himself that we all agreed.  Big mistake.  

Luckily the twins were THRILLED to be in the woods.   I pulled them on the path for a while, but then we decided to go off-roading a little bit.  By that time they decided to get out and proceeded to trip over every tree stump they could possibly find.  Not to mention getting stuck in brambles and hit in the face with tall weeds. 

Ariel was dantily moving each and every branch out of her way as she walked.  Oh my goodness, we were going  to be here all F%$#%ing day if this continued.  Will was just plowing through. 

We convinced them to let us pick them up.  I kept reminding Katie that she was the one who pitched the idea of bringing them.  Of course, she grabbed Ariel, and even taunted that I had to carry the heavier one.  Bitch.  🙂

So now I’m plowing through the brambles, trying not to trip with the boy in my arms who honestly now weighs at least 10 times as much as his normal 27 lbs.  Probably because he ate 1 and 1/2 pancakes, a piece of bacon, a scrambled egg, 2 pieces of toast, a sausage link, and had a full cup of milk with breakfast.  And some of Katie’s waffle.  Plus, his jacket and snow pants have to weigh like 20 pounds each I think.

 And he’s insisting that HE wants to pull the sled.  So, I have it draped around my arm, but then also draped around his arm so that he thinks he’s pulling it.  Of course, he also keeps wanted to manuver himself to peer over my shoulder and constantly reassures me “sled still there mommy.”  Ok, thanks bud.

We get back to a path and I practically drop him.  He probably would have bounced, but I might have would have felt bad.

Now, here’s where we realize for sure that we do not normally go left at the fork.  To the right of our path there is a very scary-looking foot bridge that I have never seen before in my life.  Tim now insists that we should have listened to him and gone straight at the fork.  I almost strangle him, but I still need him to cut down and drag a tree to my car.

Well, we have to cross the bridge now, he says.  Um.  No F-ing way.  It is over a small creek, no railings. and there’s a big sign that says “slippery when wet”.  No way.

Well, we had to.  Katie and Erich went first, with the empty sled.  Tim and I each carried a child.  It wasn’t really slippery.  But it was a little scary for someone who is afraid of heights and has a 2-year-old in their arms.  But of course we were fine.

All this while we were looking for trees, but Tim finally spotted one that might work for us.  It was 10 feet tall.  BUT, there was a big gap in the middle…..so we took the top half of the tree! 

Katie and Erich found one soon after we did.  We made our way back up to the front.  Luckily, we only had to drag the trees a short distance and then the workers came and got them with a four-wheeler, so we just had to get ourselves up front.  By now, the twins were done wandering, and just sat in the sled all the way back.  We paid for our trees, got some hot chocolate, and ate some yummy cookies Erich had made the night before.  It took some time to get the tree secured to the top of my car, but then we were on our way home!

Twins fell asleep for about 15 minutes on the way home.  🙂  We got them out and fed then lunch while we set up the tree and they watched safetly from their high chairs.  Then, we put them down for nap.  Will cried for a while, as usual, but then was quiet.  Ariel was talking to herself, as usual.  I left to do a little shopping.

Tim called me. 

Tim: Guess what else we need to buy for Christmas gifts?

Me: What?

Tim: Bed rails.  And Guard Rails.  Guess who just climbed out of the crib?

Me: Oh my gosh, is HE OK?!

Tim: Oh yes…..he’s fine…..SHE’S the one who climbed out!!!!!

Never would have guessed it.  Even Tim, when he heard the THUMP, went running into Will’s room and found him sound asleep.  It wasn’t until a couple seconds later, when he heard Ariel wailing, that he even figured out what had happened.  She was on the floor.  Crying, but fine.  Tim was a little shaken up. 

Then when he did go get Will, he discovered poop paintings again.  Poor Daddy.  He had a rough couple of hours.  So he was a little stressed. 

The next morning, there were more poop paintings.  So Tim had Will jump in the shower with me to get washed off.  I helped him clean up his room, and he went and got Ariel while I got dressed.  She’s screaming at the top of her lungs when he walks in; “NOOOOO, WANT UPPY MOMMY!!!!!!!”  So our morning started off a little stressful also.  Then they were fighting during breakfast, and dumping food on the floor.

We decided to call Mema and Papa to see if they’d babysit while we got some shopping done.  We just needed a break.  I put the lights on the tree while Tim entertained the twins with Elmo Saves Christmas.  Very cute movie!  They loved it.  Then, while we were out we started looking into our options for big-kid beds.  I’d rather change them over while I’m at home a little, so we were originally going to do it February break.  Looks like we might need to do it a couple months early.  I know she only fell out once, but I really don’t want to risk it now…..knowing that she knows that she can get out.  She’ll get over the scare in a few weeks, I’m sure. 

After finishing our shopping, and then going to a nice dinner at a new restaurant in the mall, Gordon Biersch, and having a beer, we went home refreshed.  And ready to put the ornaments on the tree with the twins.  We put Muppet Family Christmas in because we had watched it already, so we didn’t have to pay super-close attention and answer a million questions.  But they loved it the first time so we figured it would serve as an OK distraction while we put on some of the fragile ornaments.  Everything worked out very well.  After a while, Will started to get a little crabby because he was tired and Ariel wasn’t content with the stuffed ornaments we had deemed ok for her to put on, but we were almost done by that time anyway.  I love sharing all of these traditions with them now that they kinda understand what’s going on!  This is now.

THEN: My children were born at approximately 3 and a half pounds each.  Pretty good for 31 week twins actually.  When I was wheeled up to their incubators in the Dogwood room, I thought they were the smallest people I had ever seen.  They were so fragile-looking that I was almost afraid to touch them.  But I was their mother and I couldn’t be afraid.  Besides, Tim and our families had, and they were fine.

I went to see Will first, because he was closer to the door.  His lungs were a little more underdeveloped than his sister’s, so he had a CPAP machine and a mask on his face to help him maintain his oxygen levels.  It wasn’t helping him breathe, just making sure he got what he needed.  Other than that, he was hooked up to monitors in three different places.  A clip was on his foot, monitoring his heartbeat.  There were two different needles in his hands.  And there was a feeding tube down his throat.  He couldn’t open his eyes because of the mask.  He was so beautiful and precious and little.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, but I had to see his sister.

She was hooked up to all the same machines, except the CPAP.  She had been on the CPAP for a couple hours when she was first born but that was it.  I thought the’d be enclosed, but instead they were on heated platforms, surrounded by blankets.  They only had diapers on, so that they wouldn’t get too warm.

They couldn’t eat, that’s why they had the tubes.

They couldn’t regulatre their body temperatures, so they had the blankets and the heated pad.

They had to be monitored at all times and couldn’t be held yet.  All I could do was lightly stroke their backs or touch their hands and feet carefully to let them know that Mommy was there.   Finally.

That was then.