My 365

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. :)