My 365

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Apples and Oranges

I was sitting in bed, trying to go to sleep when I just got the urge to update the old blog.  I was feeling a little sentimental watching the girls sleep, realizing that time is going by quickly and wanting to remember every inch of them.  Maybe I'm just missing their Daddy and it's making me emotional.  Either way, there it is.  As they are getting older, their little personalities are beginning to develop and they are also really starting to look different.  So here are a few observations I've made.


Lily's smile will light up the darkest corner.  She is not just a ray of sunshine, she is the whole ball of fire.  She's so easy going, happy and lovable and just as cute as a button.  Rosie may have gotten the blue eyes, but Lily got the eyelashes.  She entertains herself and loves to use her hands.  She will grab at anything she can.  She wasn't the first to roll over but she was the first to try.  Lily is pretty content to hang back and let Rosie do all the work.  Although she can rolly with the best of the polly's.  She will roll herself all the way across the room.  She wasn't as keen on eating solids at first but after a couple of weeks, she can hold her own and grabs at my hand already wanting to hold her own spoon.  She knows her way around a banana.  She is charismatic and charms everyone she meets within the first 10 seconds (usually not even that long).  I find myself looking forward to seeing her smile every makes things that much easier.  I call her Lily Pad or Lily Bear or sometimes squirt.  She is going to be the lovable charmer, always surrounded by lots of admirers.

Rollin' with her homies



Where Rosie doesn't smile as easily as Lily does, her smile is no less amazing.  She makes you work for a smile, which makes it that much sweeter to get one.  Rosie is a little more particular than Lily, and likes attention and for things to be a certain way.  That's a diplomatic way of saying she is quite fussy.  However, she is a leader.  She is a determined little thing and nothing is going to stop her.  She is working hard on crawling, even though she may jump right to walking as badly as she wants to be on the move.  She was a champ from the get go on eating her solids and she definitely has more cute, little baby fat rolls than Lily.  Since she was born I've always said she was the more dainty one, maybe because she was smaller.  However the only thing dainty about this little firecracker are her delicate features.  She will definitely be a beauty when she gets older, certainly giving her Daddy a reason to worry.  She will also be willful and independent, although I do kind of see her as being a Mama's girl right now and I am quite alright with that.  I love seeing her smile at me like I'm the only person in the world that matters right then.  I call her Squidgy or Squidget because she is so squirmy and that's always the first word I think of; and when she was just born we would call her Squeaks, because that's the noise she made instead of crying.  Look out for Rosie, she's small but mighty.

Typical Rosie face

Yes, those are peas in my hair.  Are you gonna finish that?

Trying to crawl

I have to pinch myself quite often of how lucky I am to have been given the children I have.  How lucky I am to have the privilege of having two babies.  My heart swells beyond capacity for them and for being twins, you couldn't get two more different babies.  But I love them just the same.

Sister love...they hold hands often.
...and the love is gone.  Lily kicking Rosie in the bum.  This is why they needed separate cribs.

Monday, June 3, 2013

School's Out and Babies are Sick!!

Gabe graduated to Kindergarten this year!!!
Wow, I've been a bit of a slacker, well, really no surprise there.  We have had a busy month and a half.  The kids are officially out of school and where I don't mind not having to rush in the mornings, that's about the only perk I enjoy.  Now I have 4 children demanding constant attention, instead of 2, but that's ok, we're dealing.  This is only the beginning...dun, dun, dun.  Did you hear the ominous music?

Rosie finally feeling better
Lily feeling better

Well, the girls both got a pretty nasty virus.  Lily started with it on a Saturday night, throwing up every couple of hours and not wanting to eat. This lasted about 12 hours.  Even though there wasn't much I could do to help or prevent it, I was still texting the doctor at all hours of the night.  Lily makes me VERY nervous when she gets sick.  I never used to be this person.  I was always a "rub some dirt on it and walk it off" kind of mom, but I tell you what...have a child in the hospital for an extended period of time and I guarantee you will have your doctor on speed dial for every sneeze as well.  Thankfully, however, it did end and she recovered pretty well.  Then Rosie got it.  Unfortunately Rosie got the mutated version of this virus and was throwing up for 4 days.  4 FREAKIN' DAYS!!  I was a crazy person, literally texting the doctor every hour with a play by play (we have a very patient doctor) on what Rosie was doing.  My poor little Rosebud was miserable and I couldn't do anything for her.  Once again, stuck in that situation where you have to watch your precious baby suffer through something that you can't fix.  I'm here to tell ya, I've had enough of that trash.  I didn't sleep for 3 days (and felt like I had the flu myself at one point), I was just watching her, waiting for it to happen again, garnering false hope when she didn't do it for a while and then my heart sinking again when she did.  It was awful.  But, it too, did pass.  Then the next week, they both got a cold.  Are you freakin' kidding me? 

Now, tonight, Gracie started feeling bad, saying her stomach hurt.  I tell you what, I'm over this whole sickness thing.  I will take the common cold any day over this stomach crap.  Hopefully she will feel better after a good night's sleep.  Poor Gracie.  She is such a sweet spirit and so well intentioned with the babies albeit a little overzealous sometimes.  She is Mommy's little helper and I don't know what I would do without her most days.  But she is a Daddy's girl down to her core and she is so lost without him.  I hate this for her, but I hope if there is anything good that comes out of this that it will build her into a strong girl who can handle herself.  Hopefully I will be enough for her until Daddy is home again.  Hopefully I will have the time and energy to be enough.  Hopefully I will have the patience.  I just hope.  This whole "Mommy" thing is hard. Sheesh! 

Our outing to the park, one of many more I'm sure!
Sweet sisters, who share everything!!
Our beautiful Gracie
Big sister and brother

Lily's first park outing (this was acutally about 2 months ago)

Rosie's first park outing

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mom's Day

I know they mean well.  I know the kids get excited to have mom come see what they do in school and see their friends and their teacher and that rock they kicked two weeks ago on the southeast corner of the playground.  I get it.  But if I can sound ungrateful for just a moment...I dread these things.  Especially now that I have to tote around two babies with me, things like this don't sound appealing, they make me tired the minute I hear about them.  But I go, I put on my happy face, I drag the babies out the car for the third time that day because I also worked earlier, I schlep the heavy double stroller up the hill and around the bend because I got there late (go figure) and parking was non-existent.  I squeeze my way through the door (sideways because double strollers don't fit through doorways like they CLAIM) and I find my child, wound up and whiny (nothing really new there).  There are a TON of people there with their blankets already spread out to cuddle up and watch the movie.  We have to sit behind a coat rack because, once again, the "lightweight" and "portable" 40 lb monstrosity won't fit anywhere else. Fine, whatever, I wasn't planning on watching the movie anyway, no one could hear it either.  They have pizza for the kids and I never really know if there is any for the adults at these things so I packed some snacks for myself because I've been burned before and I am just about as much fun when I'm hungry as I am when I'm hot.  After about an hour, I'm done.  Gabe's getting whiny and the babies are starting to stir. Time to go. We begin the 30 minute process of getting ready to leave and we go to get his backpack and Friday folder and there is a little gift underneath.  A goofy picture of Gabe and one of those questionnaire thingys where they ask the kids questions about their mom/dad.  I love these things, his answers are always so cute.  So I will now share what he said.  His answer to the questions will be in italics, my remarks in parenthesis.

All About Mom

Her name is Melanie but daddy calls her Mom.  She is 16 years old and weighs 17 pounds (way to make up for the "do you still have a baby in your tummy" comment).  The best thing she cooks is cookies (Tollhouse hasn't failed me yet). She likes to eat eggs (he likes to eat eggs, he likes it when I cook him eggs) and she drinks milk (probably should, but not really)We like to hug together (awwww, I do like to force hugs on him constantly against his will).  My mom is scared of nothing (except for spiders...and sharks...hate sharks, oh and ghosts, and the dark, and being alone...why don't we just say I live in fear).  Her favorite place to shop is the grocery store (no, that would just be the place I shop most often).  She likes to watch grown-up channels on TV (not like "adult" channels, as in channels that do not have cartoons...jeez).  I love my mom because I love her so much (back at ya, buddy). Love, Gabriel

He may make me want to ram my head through a brick wall on a daily basis, but I really love that kid. :)

It's a crappy cell phone picture, but here's me and my main man at Mom's Day

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Weekly Update

Ok, so actually it's more like a quarterly update, but I'm gonna go with optimism on this one.  I may eventually get to a weekly update.

So the girls have had a couple of doctor's appointments, at their two month appointment they were both around 8 pounds, Lily bigger by a few ounces.  At their 4 month appointment Lily was 13 pounds (chunk!) and Rosie was pulling up the rear at a little over 12 pounds.  They are both in the lower end of their percentiles, and I still, after 4 kids, have really no idea what those percentiles mean, but they tell you at the doctor's office so I try to remember.  Lily continues to be slightly bigger than Rosie and for a little while there was ahead with her development as well. I don't know why, Rosie just seemed to be more laid back, getting to it when she darn well felt like it.  Lily was first to smile, laugh, talk and coo and she was also the first one to start trying to roll over.  She almost had it too! But Rosie came up from behind and passed up Lily by rolling over with flourish, even though it doesn't seem like she likes it too much, even now.  Lily finally started rolling over about 2 days after Rosie did, but she certainly doesn't do it as much.  I've tried to catch her doing it on video, but she's like a deer in headlights when I turn on the camera and refuses to roll.  As soon as you set Rosie down on the floor she rolls over, then acts all mad that she rolled over, so I put her over on her back and she acts mad that she's on her back again and rolls over.  Oy, a sign of things to come, I think.  Rosie also kind of took over the reigns with the talking.  Lily is more choosy now when she wants to talk, mostly because once Rosie found her voice, she hasn't really stopped.  Lily is now starting to move ahead with her hand/eye coordination, she's starting to grab for objects and alas, put them in her mouth, along with both her hands and I'm sure, eventually, a foot.

For two babies that shared a womb, born at the same time (15 minutes apart) they sure are different, right down to their poop (if you're offended by poop, then we can't be friends :)).  But I will get into that more in their individual personality posts.  For now, that should catch us up on development.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baby Story Part Duex (Lily's Story)

So as mentioned in the previous baby story post.  During my pregnancy we found a problem with Lily.  She was retaining too much fluid in her sac, which could be result of several different issues, but as advanced as medical technology is, it still has limitations and we didn't know for sure.  The answer we were given at first was "sometimes it just happens".  After a few more ultrasounds the doctors discovered that the cause of the additional fluid was due to her intestine being blocked because it was narrowed and underdeveloped, officially called a jujenal atresia.  What this meant was she would require surgery as soon as she was born.  All the doctors up to this point were very careful not to alarm us and said that it should be a relatively easy fix.  We consulted with the maternal fetal doctor, the NICU doctor and finally we went to consult with the pediatric surgeon who would be actually performing the surgery.  He said all the same things, walked us through the prep and time after delivery.  Then he started talking about the possibilities of complications they could encounter.  The one risk he said was very rare but also a possibility so he was obligated to share it with us.  He said that they could get in there to repair the blockage and find that there were no intestines past that point and then there would be nothing they could do.  And there it was.  The thing I had not allowed myself to think about, the thing all the other doctors were very careful not to mention, but now there it is, staring me in the face as hard as I was staring at a glass apple sitting on the table of a small conference room in a nondescript doctors office.  Mike told me on the way home that I looked like I had been punched in the stomach.  It felt like it.  I didn't know what to do with this information.  He said it was unlikely but still there, lurking in the back of my mind.  What if I had lost her before I even got a chance to have her?  How could I live with that?  How could I survive to be a mother to the other children who needed me, including her twin?  I took this information and did what I do best and I worried.  I internalized it, pretended to happy and felt a sick dread with every passing minute.  I prayed for her, I asked my grandmother to hold her and watch over her and protect her.  I knew, deep down, that everything was going to be ok, but until it was over I was never going to be completely sure.

So fast forward to the delivery.  She was born and she and Rosie were perfect.  I got to say hello to them and then they were whisked away to the NICU.  Because she couldn't eat Lily was immediately hooked up to and IV giving her vitamins and nutrition.  So it was a few hours before I was able to go back and see them.  They wheeled me back to the NICU and they had the girls in two separate rooms.  We saw Lily first.  She was still messy from the birth, had her leg splinted with the IV and a tube down her throat.  I have never wanted an image out of my head so badly, until later that it is, when I saw her after surgery. They let me hold her.  It took several minutes and a nurse to move all the lines and tubes before I could hold my baby.  I couldn't just pick her up. I talked to her for a second, then hummed to her, then just held her and kissed her head.  Then is was time to go see Rosie and I was pretty worn out at this point so they wheeled me back to the room.  The next day (Friday) they were taking her to Children's Hospital at Scottish Rite for her surgery on Saturday. Mike had spent some of the night in the NICU with the girls and they took me back in there to see her that morning before they prepped her to go.  This time I fought back tears, and I quietly sang to her.  I sang the song from Three Men and a Baby, "goodnight sweetheart, well, it's time to go, I hate to leave you but I really can't stay, goodnight sweetheart, goodnight." They brought her in one more time before she was going to be transported.  She was all bundled up and riding around in a high tech crib.  I said goodbye and she was on her way.  At this point I have held her once. Once. Mike was already at the hospital waiting for her to get there, so I was left by myself with my worry.  Later that day they decided Rosie was doing well enough that she could be brought into my room with me.  I think they were partially doing this so I wouldn't focus on Lily and the worry so much.  So I gave Rosie all the cuddles I had for Lily and her and waited to hear from Mike, from the doctor, for something.  Mike was going back and forth from Children's, to the hospital I was in and to the house to check on the kids.  He was on zero sleep for three days straight.  But since I couldn't be with Lily I was happy he was.  I didn't want her to be alone.  The night before her surgery he held her for 2 hours, the entire time they would allow him to be with her, he held her, just in case that was the only time.  So morning came, the surgery started and they told me it was only supposed to take two hours, which came and went, and I was beginning to worry but finally Mike called and said everything was fine.  Sigh of relief. Huge sigh.

Now began the recovery, at least two weeks in the hospital.  They had to put what they called a PIC line in her head which is what they used to give her medicine and nutrition and she still had the tube down her throat which was being used to remove all the bile and stuff from her stomach. So finally on Sunday they were going to let me and Rosie come home.  It took FOREVER to get discharged but it happened and we were home by the evening.  So of course first thing Monday morning Mike knew that there would be no stopping me from going to see Lily, so we packed up Rosie and made the 1 hour trek to the children's hospital, the drive that he had been making every day.  Once we got there, Mike tried to find me a wheel chair since I was still recovering, in pain and as you know from my previous post, had no core muscles whatsoever and therefore had a hard time standing up straight and walking.  However there were no wheelchairs to be found to fit a person over the age of 6, so walking it was.  I just wish it hadn't been such a LONG walk, but nothing would have stopped me.  We finally get up there, and only one of us could go in at a time because Rosie wasn't allowed to go into the NICU.  So I had to walk in by myself.  I had to call in to a nurse to open the doors for me.  I had to wash my hands and sanitize.  Then the second set of doors opened and I walked into a large room with beds sectioned off in groups of four in a star pattern.  Almost like cubicles only with little plastic baby beds.  The beeping was constant and annoying.  I couldn't imagine all these tiny babies trying to sleep with that noise.  I walked all the way to the back of the room where she was.  When I saw her I couldn't hold it back any longer and I just started crying, the hard kind of crying, with snot everywhere.  The nurse looked horrified and tried to reassure me she was fine, which technically I knew, but nothing ever prepares you to see your baby laying there peacefully with machines and tubes and wires and the beeping, not being able to hold her, not being able to take it all away.  That's what a mother is supposed to do right? Take away the pain and the fear? The guilt was overwhelming.  I couldn't breathe and it didn't go away for a very long time.  The guilt that I wasn't with her at all times, the guilt of having done this to her (I didn't say it was all logical), the guilt of having to leave every day, the guilt of being able to nurse Rosie but not her.  It went on like this for two weeks.  I saw her almost every day. I held her as much as I could.  I pumped milk for her so she could start eating...and she did!  After a minor set back where she had some bleeding in her stomach and needed a transfusion (another SUPER fun day), she was able to try and start eating.  She hadn't been allowed to eat since she was born and I was terrified she wouldn't be able to get the hang of it.  But she ate her bottles with vigor and she wanted more!  So finally they let me try to nurse her and warned me that it may take time and work, but when we went to do it, she got right to it and nursed like a champ.  That's my girl...we know how to eat!  This was just another step towards her coming home.  She continued to thrive and two weeks on the dot we were able to bring her home.  But the guilt didn't go away.  This time the guilt was for the other babies who couldn't come home.  One family we got to know had a baby who was VERY premature and had a lot of health problems, she had been there for 3 months and were suffering a big setback.  We weren't sure if she was every going to get to come home.  So many babies in there, all for different reasons, but all precious.  My heart goes out to those parents and the ones who are and will be in the same position.  I may have only had to endure it for a little while, but that was enough.  The people at that hospital are amazing and special people who have an unimaginably hard job. I took me a while to get this post up because I was dreading having to relive these feelings.  So now it is done, and it won't stare me in the face anymore.  Now I can look over at her sweet sleeping face with her little bare feet sticking out of the covers and know that I will be able to hold her whenever I want and feed her without inhibition and love her and Rosie unconditionally.  Speaking of, she is beginning to honk at me, must be time for the midnight snack.
Lily hours after she was born

Rosie after she was moved to the room with me

Lily recovering from surgery being held by Mimi
Lily's first night home and their first time seeing each other since birth

Friday, April 5, 2013

Body Image

So while I'm working on my next baby story post, I figured I would share something that is on my mind alomst constantly.  Body image, especially post baby (or babies in my case) body image. 

Now I've never had a great opinion of my body, but I can say that in the last few years I've become much more accepting of the body I have and just try to focus on being somewhat healthy and all the way happy.  However, having said that, pregnancy does strange, horrifying and wonderful things to your body.  The pregnancy part I usually love.  I love finally being proud of my protruding belly and being able to wear almost anything I want and not worrying if it makes me look fat...because I'm already there with good reason!!  I'm just talking about the superficial parts of pregnancy.  I can tell you being pregnant with twins is a whole different ball game, on a different playing field in a foreign country.  This was the first pregnancy I did not enjoy.  There was double everything, including hormones, morning sickness, mood swings, stretch marks and pain, just to name a few.  But once that was all over and I had these two beautiful babies to love I was left with a body that was just foreign to me.  I was so happy to not be pregnant anymore that for the first month or so, I didn't care what I looked like.  But then I started to notice more and more the changed landscape every time I put on my old clothes and nothing fit or looked right.  The last few months of pregnancy being spent on modified bed rest means my normal activity level pretty much stopped and as a result whatever muscle tone I had quickly disappeared into a jiggly mess.  Not fun.  I actually lost weight during the pregnancy but everything looked so different and was in a different place so it was hard to tell.  Then of course the hardest hit area was the tummy,  I still look pregnant and can pick up what's left of my stomach in both hands and knead it like bread, oh yeah it's like that.  The other day Gabe asked me if I had another baby in my tummy.  Out of the mouths of babes right?  So there's a lot to get used to after having babies.  Something that's never happened before was something called diastis recti, which is where the six pack muscles in your stomach split apart allowing your "innards" to poke out when you do a crunch (which is not recommended for peeps with the diastis btw).  It's what's causing my stomach to stick out like I'm still preggo it's also the cause of a lot of other problems like back pain because until the muscles are repaired you basically have no core supporting you.  I remember having a really hard time standing upright and breathing right after the girls were born because my core, my entire support system was blown out (among other things).  Basically, it's freakin' traumatizing!

So after all that you would think a body like mine would be more socially accepted.  I mean did you read some of the things that happen to your body?  But as I sit here typing this I'm listening to an entertainment reporter discuss the best post baby celebrity bodies...I'm not even kidding.  Uhg.  Really people??  Let me tell you, those women and celebrities who seem to bounce right back are the absolute exception to the rule and/or the result of an expensive team of coaches.  Normal people, the majority of people, don't look like that after having a baby so the comparisons stop there.  I could diet and exercise to get back to where I was, but I'm breastfeeding and knowing from past experience if I start exercising I will lose my milk, and quite frankly my babies need that milk, so what's the rush?  I will get there eventually but why does it have to be a race to see who looks best post baby the fastest?  You know what?  I have created, sustained, birthed and nurtured 4 precious lives with this body, the last two at the same time!  The squishy stomach, the stretch marks, the sagging are now going to be looked at as reminders of freakin' awesome I am!  They are badges of honor.  Right now, my body is not really my own, so I will leave it on loan for now.  I will get it back some day and when I do it will be for me and no one else.  It's time to embrace it and not berate it.  It helps that I'm lucky enough to be married to a man who truly loves me just the way I am, and it's only taken me eight years to finally believe him when he said that.  Time well spent :) you SEE that?? And that was about a MONTH before I delivered, yes, it got bigger

About two weeks after they were home. Like popping a balloon.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Baby Story (The Beginning)

Well, seeing as how this could be a looooong story, I will break up the baby story into several sections.  I am already getting a little foggy on some details (thank you mommy brain) so I guess it's a good thing I'm doing this now.

Well, for starters, after I found out I was pregnant Mike thought it was REALLY funny to tease me about having twins.  I knocked on wood every time he said it, but alas my fate was sealed.  At around 12 weeks I went in for my first ultrasound.  The tech was doing her usual small talk as she squeezed the goo on my tummy and then started the ultrasound.  Almost immediately she gasped then looked at me, then started making strange noises that sounded almost like an "awwww".  I immediately started to panic, knowing what she was about to tell me, but also immersing myself so deeply into the pool of denial that I was almost fooled.  She turned the screen towards me so I could see what she was about to point out to me in the black and grey jumbled mess on the screen.  "Baby A and Baby B", she said grinning ear to ear.  I wasn't grinning.  I was about to burst into a million different directions and not one of those directions involved a celebration.  Hey, I'm just being honest about my feelings at that time. I'm not saying that I'm not thrilled to have them now (I am), just at that moment I guess I was overwhelmed and thinking "how are we gonna pull this off?"  Mike didn't have a job, I only had a part time job and we have four other kids to support.  I was getting hung up on logistics. I'm a bit of a worrier (I can hear Mike rolling his eyes from Delaware saying "a bit???").  Can't help it, trying not to be so much a worry wort but what can ya do?  Anyway, I digress.  I called Mike and told him to bring the kids to Burger King and we will meet for lunch.  I don't remember the drive there, or anything really up until that moment, I was in shock.  Once we sat down, I couldn't take it anymore and I just handed him the pictures from the ultrasound.  He looked at them showing no signs of surprise so I asked him if he was ready...he looked back down at the picture as finally understanding spread across his face.  He must have asked me if I was serious three or four times (something I was going to hear A LOT as others were told).  Oh I was serious all right.  He was happy about it from the start and could never understand my apprehension.

So the pregnancy went along normally until about month 6 when I started getting pretty big and uncomfortable.  I was hospitalized for abdominal pain and contractions twice and both times ended up being from dehydration.  You have no idea how much friggin water they wanted me to drink while I had two babies squishing my stomach up into my esophagus.  I told them where they could stick their water on several occasions. Then one day while having a routine ultrasound they found that I had too much fluid around Baby B (Lily).  They discussed the possible causes and tested me for the ones that could be tested (gestational diabetes) and determined that I fell into the "it just happens sometimes" category. Wow, they go to school for 12 years and do all this research to come up with a "it just happens sometimes" category. Color me unimpressed.  After a few more ultrasounds they finally found the cause of all the fluid back up and it was because Lily had a blocked intestine (called a jujenal atresia).  Once again, no known cause, but it could be a symptom of other serious conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.  There was no way for the doctors to know any more than that until she was born.  I will dive further into this in another post dedicated solely to Lily and the journey we had with her, because it deserves it's own section.

Finally, on November 29, 2012, the day Mom and Dad were scheduled to fly to Colorado for Olivia's first birthday (her birthday was the next day) Mom told me to hold those babies in until she got back.  And thus was their first act of defiance.  I felt a pain in my upper back all day that seriously felt like a kidney infection.  The pain was right where my kidney should be so that's what I passed it off as.  I took a couple of warm baths, which seemed to help, laid down and took a nap and tried to eat.  Finally around 4:00 p.m. I decided to call the doctor and see if they could call in a prescription for a kidney infection.  Not even 10 minutes after I got off the phone with them the contractions started, hard and fast.  We called Carolyn Johnson from church and asked if she could find someone to sit with the kids while we went to the hospital.  She got to the house at 5 and by then I was contracting about every 5 minutesIt took us about 20 agonizing minutes to get to the hospital and by the time I got up to L&D it was 5:30.  The nurse checked me and told me I was 9 centimeters.  I might have said a few choice words then quickly asked if I could still have an epidural.  She looked at me and said it was probably unlikey given how far along I was.  That's when the panic set in.  The amount of pain I was in at the very moment was only the appetizer to the main event and I just didn't think I could do it.  Luckily, because of the twins and the high risk pregnancy that I was, I had to give birth in the operating room just in case they needed to do an emergency c-section.  So I had to have an epidural and let me tell you, there is no greater feeling of relief than having that pain instantly numbed.  Getting the epidural is no picnic and even to this day I feel like I've been punched in the back every now and then, but it was still totally worth it.  By the time I was wheeled into the operating room my contractions had pretty much stopped and they had to give me Pitocin to get them going again.  Finally after about 10 minutes of pushing Rosie was born at 7:15 p.m. with a head full of hair at 5 lbs 10 oz and 18.5 inches long.  Then we waited, and waited for another 15 minutes before my water broke again for Lily and boy did it break.  It went everywhere and it only took a couple of pushes for Lily to come surfing out because there was another pocket of fluid behind her.  I heard more than one nurse and my doctor say that was the most fluid they had ever seen.  So there she was a little bigger at 5 lbs 12 oz and 18 inches long born at 7:30 p.m.  They were beautiful and serene and 5 weeks early, so they said a hasty goodbye to me and were taken to the NICU, which is where the second part of our baby story begins.
With Rosie (Lily had left for Children's Hospital already)

Rosie hours after being born
Lily Bear

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dusting Off the Old Blog

Seeing as how many things have happened in the last couple of years since I last updated the blog (as they usually do, it isn't called life just to be cute) I figured I needed to get on the ball and start recording some of these things.  Mainly I need to be recording milestones in the babies' lives since I seem to be so ridiculously poor at keeping up with baby books.  I think the farthest I got in Gabe's was bringing him home from the hospital.  Sad, I know.  But that's the beauty of technology.  Now I can record everything once again for posterity while simultaneously checking Facebook. ;)

So here's the skinny to just get caught up.  Mike retired from the military last July (2012) with full retirement.  We were thrilled that he was finally done.  I found out I was pregnant in May of last year (2012) and after a trip to Disney with all the kids (first time for the little ones) I found out it was with twins!  I was not, however, excited about this prospect, but I will dive deeper into that subject on the next entry.  This entry is purely serving as a recap.  So anyway...Mike retired and had a job lined up in Louisianna with the same company his brother works for, Oceaneering.  He was going to be on an oil rig piloting these remote operated repair vehicles, or some crap like that.  He was offered the job and then denied the job after his physical because the quack doctor was lazy and didn't want to think for himself after receiving volume 1 of Mike's medical history from the military.  I will say this, the military may be lacking in many areas, but they sure do love their paperwork and record-keeping! So he was out of a job and back home for the first time in two years.  And by home, I mean home...all. the. time.  I went from running my household to being a bystander and the occasional recipient of unsolicited advice.  This is where my adjustment came into play.  All the books, classes, websites and seminars told us that the reintegration period was an "adjustment" when a solider comes home after an extended period of time.  What they failed to mention was that it was not jacket weather in the seventh circle of hell.  I don't think either of us have ever been so miserable in our lives and he suffered through several deployments to actual hell. Never in my life have I questioned my decisions and existence as much as I did that summer.  We wanted to kill each other pretty much on a daily basis and add in the extreme hormonal imbalances I was suffering and his unemployment and you pretty much have a recipe for Jerry Springer. But we suffered through and held tight to the shred of hope we had left and somehow made it to the other side, albeit a little battered.

In the meantime, Mike was suffering from what so many other people are dealing with in this economy and that was trying to find a job where there are none.  He sent out hundreds of resumes and went to all the job fairs peddling his skills to half interested HR reps just trying to make it to their lunch break.  I think out of all that, he got one interview.  It was disheartening for me to watch him take blow after blow to his ego.  If only these employers could see what I see...that he is a rock star when it comes to work ethic and you will be hard pressed to find a better employee who truely puts his soul into everything he does.  But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Looking back now I can see that he was supposed to be home during that time.  As hard and as stressful as that was, having no income, no way to pay bills, no way to feed our family and that feeling of uncertainty; it was meant to happen for several reasons.  One being that towards the end of an already unpleasant pregnancy, I was hospitalized more than once and put on modified bed rest, meaning I could no longer work and do the things around the house I had been doing.  This is where Mike had to step in.  He basically had to take over all of my household and family duties, including cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping getting the kids to and from school and all the school duties that come with all that.  In addition to having to drive me to and from all my doctor's appointments (and there were A LOT).  So I feel like he wasn't able to find a job not only because I needed him home at that point but also for him to gain an understanding of what I do as a wife and a mother and how challenging that can be at times.  I needed him to see that.  I needed him to know that even though I stay home with the kids (for the most part) that there is not a moment where I belong to myself.  There is not a moment when someone is not depending on me and the weight of that responsibility can be a heavy burden at times, especially when it comes to shaping the lives of little people.  He stepped up in a big way.  But then again, he doesn't do anything halfway, so I knew he would take care of business.  Don't know what I would've done without him.

So here we are in a much better, although not perfect place.  Mike was offered a job with a company that contracts for Boeing.  It is only a 6 month contract, but the hope is to be offered a permanent position with Boeing when all is said and done.  It is in Delaware, so we are doing what seems to be our lot in life and living apart again, hopefully not for much longer though.  He, of course, is doing what he does best and that's kicking arse and taking names.  The powers that be seemed very pleased with him so here's hoping to better things in the future.

That brings us up to date.  The next post will be about the most fun things that have happened in the last two years...yes, I'm talking BABIES!! But, my eyes are tired and my hands are developing carpal tunnel as I type.  Baby steps.  I can't just jump back into this blogging thing with both feet.  Eh, yes I can. :)