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Top Ten on Tuesday

I am going to attempt a new series called Top Ten on Tuesday.
We will see if it lasts long (read: after today). The title should say it all.

Top Ten Things I Love About Being A Mother – in no particular order:

1) I get to look at two ADORABLE faces all day. Even when they cry, but especially when they smile.

2) Unconditional love. At least for now. I’m sure one day they will think they hate me for something (although I pray that day will never come).

3) The new experiences that come with each day. A new noise, expression, realization.

4) Looking at my babies and being amazed that they started from one tiny egg and one little sperm (each of course)

5) Watching kids movies without guilt. So what they are only three months old. They totally get Shrek right now!

6) Sleeping in the middle of the day. If both babies happen to fall asleep at the same time, it’s totally expected of me to take a nap as well.

7) Even at three months of age, they know who I am. They long to be with me and are so happy to see me.

8) Singing and dancing around the house. They can’t judge me yet. They have no idea how stupid I look or sound. They think I’m awesome!

9) Baby cuddles are the best!

10) I get to experience it all times two!!

Answers

I don’t mind being stopped every five minutes while in public to discuss my children. In fact, I paid good money for them to be ogled over. But I get a lot of the same questions. So, below are some answers to FAQ’s (words in parentheses are only answered in my head):

– Yes, they are twins (how many people walk around with two infants the same age, in matching seats, and they are NOT twins?)

– One boy, one girl. Yes – we got very lucky!

– Yes, twins run in my family (they really do, these just happened to be fertility twins, but I don’t need to go in to explanation)

– I should be sleeping right now, I know! (but if I were at home they wouldn’t be asleep and I am not sure Target wants me crashing on their floor leaving babies unattended)

– They are almost 9 pounds right now. They were 4 pounds at birth. Yes, SO tiny!

– 10 weeks old. They are small for their age, they were six weeks early.

– Grant was first by one minute!

– I AM tired. (wanna come home with me while I nap?)

– I just do it. Luckily I have had help most days, but when I’m alone, I just do what needs to be done.

– No, I am formula feeding them, I didn’t produce enough milk. (seriously, strangers ask this! One time even a guy!!)

– No, I don’t have any other children.

– Thanks for saying how great I look for having twins. (is that one of those back handed complements? Like – you are beautiful for your size?!)

– Hahahahah. Yeah, I’ll sleep in 18 years! (whose 15 year old isn’t sleeping through the night and waking up for mom to feed?)

I am sure I have gotten many other questions, but my sleep deprived brain can’t think of anything more.

Love,
Liz

Whew!

Today marks the first day of no more outside help. The in laws are not sleeping over, my mother has gone home and well – the friends just don’t make it by as much as they used to these days.
Now truly begins our journey into parenting twins.
Anyone that says twins is easy is fooling you and themselves! It isn’t always as bad as I imagined it could be, but it definitely has it’s moments. The few days I have actually been alone with the twins all by myself until J gets home from work haven’t been awful, but I have had a few moments where I thought – this might be easier to pay someone to deal with this all day. (I know, I’m awful)
Mostly those moments come when both babies are changed, fed, played with, swaddled, and are still totally unsatisfied with my attempts at comforting them. This is when you have to take a bathroom break with the fan on to block out the noise, take a few breaths and re-group. (the bathroom is becoming my small retreat – lol)
Two infants is actually about five times the work! The concept of “nap when the baby naps” is great if you can get both babies asleep at the same time for more than 15 minutes. And even when that happens, often the laundry is overflowing, you haven’t showered, or eaten, bottles need to be washed for the next feeding, or something else that has been neglected for the past few days just. can’t. wait. any. longer.

It’s a lot of work. And combined with no social time or even a moment with the husband alone, it can sometimes be overwhelming. But I tell you what – I wouldn’t change it for the world right now. These little faces are too hard to not love and adore every moment of the day with.

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Mothers

The twins have been home for almost two weeks now. It’s so wonderful having my family all together.
My mother in law has stayed with me all week and my mom will be here this weekend for a month. I can’t wait to see her – it’s been a year and I miss her so much.
My mother has raised five children and is The. Best. Mom. Ever.
I could not ask for a better person to be with me helping get adjusted with the twins. Don’t get me wrong, I love my MIL and she had been a god send this week (even though daddy suddenly thinks because she is here it means he doesn’t have to do a single thing – yes dear, I’m putting that out there, it’s the truth) but there is nothing like having your own mom around.
With her living so far away, I only see her maybe once a year and so it just makes it that much more special when she is around. And now I get to share in the wonder of being a mother with her.
I can’t wait to get her advice on so many things, hear more stories of me as a child and learn how many little things with my own children remind her of me. I can’t wait to just sit around the house with her talking and be ok that there are dishes to do and laundry to be washed. I can’t wait to give her a hug every night before bed, I really do miss that so much!
When I moved away from home I was 17 and just eager to get out of Alaska and see what else the world had to offer and I am glad I did otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today. But now that I am a mother, I can not imagine what it must have been like for my mom to see me and my sister move so far away. What it must have been like to not see us every day and just know that we were safe. Now that I am a mother I feel sooo bad that my children will grow up so far away from their grandparents (that is unless my dad actually moves here like he says). And especially since I happen to have the best parents ever and know they are the best grandparents ever too.

Mom – I love you and I’m sorry you have to fly 7 hours once a year to visit your grand babies. I promise that we will do everything possible to make sure we get up there to visit and that these babies will know you as well as the grandparents down here. We will talk as much as possible and Skype will become our new best friend!

I love you mom! And don’t worry, now that I’m not pumping anymore (stay tuned for that post) we will be sure to have a few glasses of wine while you are here. And no one can make us feel guilty for it!!

Love
Liz

Home sweet home

The nicu stay finally came to an end last week. We got to bring Audrey home first and then three days later, Grant came home.
What an insane and tough ride that was. I’m so happy to have my family all under one roof now!
The real fun has begun. My MIL stayed with us last week for a few days. My husband is off most of this week (he has to work one day) and then I have one week before my mom gets here for a month.
All I have to say is – next week, I believe I will be insane.
What I am trying to figure out is how to keep a schedule with the babes once it’s just me and them alone every day?!
Do I try to feed them one at a time, or at the same time? With my nursing plans pretty much shot because of my low production and their nicu stay consisting mostly of bottles, Grant has no desire and Audrey will only nurse for 15-20 min a couple times a day and I know she isn’t getting enough food even then.
So, I see pros and cons to each. Feeding at the same time provides the most flexible schedule for napping (me), eating (me) and getting stuff done around the house. But how do I manage without them living in chairs and getting soooo mad while prepping bottles?
Feeding one at a time allows bonding with each one and makes it feel like less work. However, all I would be doing is feeding babies all day.

Any out there have some advice for me? I’ll take any reasonable suggestion on to consideration.

Ps – I’m still pumping as much as possible too. So I have to fit that in about 8 times a day as well.

Love,
Liz

Living in the NICU

I have been living in the NICU with my babies for almost 4 weeks now. It’s getting old and lonely!
I totally understand the reality that my twins were born early and that this is the best thing for them right now, but I am going insane.
First – it just isn’t normal to visit your own children. They should be home while other people come visit them. The only children you should visit as a mother are nieces, nephews and friends kids – NOT your own!!
Second – it gets super lonely up here (I write this sitting in the cafe while the babies sleep between feedings). Yes, I have got to know all the nurses very well. We talk when they are assessing the babies, while I am breast feeding, pumping or bottle feeding. But it’s also their work, and none of them have a family or close friend connection to me, so it’s totally different.
I am very lucky in the fact that I CAN spend my days up here with them. I can’t imagine having to work right now and only being able to see them for an hour or two a day. That would kill me.

My day is very routine and tiring. I am a new mother, but in my mind it’s different than being at home. My day goes something like this:
12am – wake up and pump
3am – wake up and pump
6am – wake up, shower, pump, eat, get dressed, leave for the hospital
8am – tandem breast feed babies (and can I just bitch for a second about how I got jipped in the milk department. I want so desperately to be able to nurse my children or at least provide them with all their feedings via breast milk and I only produce enough for them to get about 3 out of 8 of their meals a day. And I have done everything to try and increase and nothing works – it’s very frustrating!!)
9am – pump in the NICU
9:30 – head down to the cafe for a snack and some Wendy Williams. It’s not that I like the show, but it’s always on and so it’s become part of my day.
11am – back upstairs to bottle feed both
12pm – pump, then fresh air for a minute before heading out to get some lunch
2pm – breast feed Audrey (Grant has to get stronger before he can get more boob)
3pm – head home and pump. Skip the 5 pm feeding for sanity and try to take a nap, which inevitably turns in to cleaning or running errands.
6pm – pump and try to eat dinner in this hour somehow. Daddy is finally home! If I can rip him away (read: make him feel guilty enough) from the computer, we will actually watch a show we have recorded. I know I drive him crazy with ONLY baby talk, but I don’t have much else these days.
7:20pm – leave for the hospital
8pm – come up with daddy since he has to work all day and feed babies. Ah – couple time!
9pm – leave hospital, go home and pump, try to sleep before the midnight pump. Which usually turns in to an hour of sleep before starting the day all over again.

Can you see how I am about to lose my mind?! At least if the babies were home I could clean or sleep in between feeds and maybe breast feed instead of pumping half the day.

I can’t wait until our family is home all together and at least I will have someone to share my insanity with most of the time.

So I lied. I didn’t do well on my commitment to post more. But I have a good reason. It’s because we HAD BABIES!!!
Three weeks ago I called my OB because my blood pressure was reading high at home (it’s been a problem the whole pregnancy) and so she asked me to go to the hospital for observation. BP was reading high, they upped my meds and had me stay for a 24 hour urine test to see if I had protein. And you guessed it – I did, and lots of it.
They told me that was it. I was going to be in the hospital until I delivered. I was only 33-1/2 weeks pregnant so of course I was paranoid of them coming too soon. They said that if I made it to 36 weeks, we would schedule a csection.
First – this was the only time I have stayed overnight in a hospital and it sucked!! Beds aren’t so comfy, tv channels suck, food was on and off decent (read: mostly tasteless). The nurses on the other hand were awesome!! Every single one was just amazing.
So, fast forward to Easter Sunday and BP had been pretty decent and things looked like I would just be waiting out the weeks until 36. The nurse comes in to take my blood pressure yet again while I was napping. I wake up, roll over, and wow!! I thought I peed myself at first and then it kept coming!
Little man decided to break his water and once that happens – babies have to come out within 24 hours.
I didn’t have to wait that long. Water broke at 8ish and we had Grant at 10:19 and Audrey at 10:20!!
They of course have been in the nicu for over two weeks now, but it’s just because they were so early. Audrey was only on oxygen for 1 day and Grant never needed it. Their biggest hurdle is eating and that’s picking up now. Hopefully they won’t be there more than another week or two.
I’m desperate to get them home and not have to visit my own children. But I also know that they need to be healthy.

I will do my best to keep up the posts and update all on the twins and their progress.

Liz