Monday, August 6, 2012

Crib Notes

Things have changed so much over the last 2 months. Both babies are so much more alert and expressive. They both smile now, and laugh.
They play with toys, they “tummy time” it like pros and can roll from their stomach to their back.
They are starting to be interested in what we are eating and want the things that we have.
They recognize us by our faces and our voices, they even recognize each other (which is stupid cute!).

All of these things make the daily grind totally worth it.

The best change so far (or at least the most practical), is that they will now sleep in their cribs.
This was something I was sure would never happen. I was positive that I was doomed to have two children in my bed, beside me, until they were well into their teens.

Now, I can’t just put them in the crib and they fall asleep.

That is not a thing.

That is not a thing that happens.

But they can be easily transferred into their cribs once asleep and STAY asleep.

This is EPIC.

Before, no matter what I did, no matter how sound asleep they were, the second I placed them on the crib mattress their eyes would pop open.
Bringing me. Despairingly back. To square one.

In fact, after weeks of trying to get them into their cribs, I just gave up.

I went a couple of months without even attempting it. What was the point? Why cause myself the grief? Sure, I barely slept with them in bed with me…but it was a small price to pay for the silence.

And you know what?
I probably STILL would be avoiding the cribs if it wasn’t for Bug.

One night, just like many other nights before it, Bug had fallen asleep on her pillow (while nursing).  She had been asleep for several hours and begun to stir (hungry again I assumed).
I cursed myself, for not going to bed when I had the chance, and so, feeling fairly defeated, I carried her upstairs to change her and then bring her to bed with me.

At this time the crib in the nursery was serving as a glorified changing station (the second crib located in our room was not being used at all). I laid her down and changed her; she wasn’t fussing, so I took the opportunity to brush my teeth. When I came back she was still and oddly quiet; I peered at her in the dim light.

She was asleep.

I stood there, just staring at my daughter as if I had never seen her before.

What I was seeing didn’t make any sense.

I peered again, hovering my face inches above hers.


She was asleep.

I didn’t know what to do.

The evidence was right in front of my face, but I found it unbelievable.


I went into the spare room (where Bill had been seeking solace form our crowded bed) and woke him up.

“She’s asleep” I whispered at him though the dark.
“That’s good.” he said, beyond half asleep
“NO!” I hissed.
“You don’t understand, she’s asleep in the crib!”
I sat down on the corner of the bed.
“What do I do?”

He told me to go to bed.
So I did.

She woke up after about 30 minutes, but it was something.

It was more than “something”.

It was hope.

I tried the crib again the next night (the one in our bedroom), this time carrying her up soon after she had fallen asleep.
I was skeptical, positive the night before was nothing more than a fluke.
I was wrong; she slept for over an hour.

Over the following week, I did the same every night, and every night she slept in the crib a little bit longer.
I was triumphant!
I had won the battle!

The war however, was waiting for me.


Badger has been fighting since the moment he was born. He fights me, he fights his father and he even fights himself; especially when it comes to sleep.
Despite being clearly exhausted, Badger will fight against his own heavy and closing eyelids until the very last moment.

I know what this child is capable of, and I wasn’t looking forward to whatever he had planned for me in regards to the crib.

I had come so far! 
I had 50% of my children out of my bed, but I wanted that 100%.

I could taste it.
It was time.

With Bug happily asleep in the crib and Badger passed out on my bed, I attempted to move him to his new spot beside her.

I picked him up slowly, gently; moving with calculated preciseness, I didn’t even breathe.
I lowered him into the crib and by carefully maneuvering my hands, his body finally rested against the mattress.

The moment of truth had come.

Before I could even blink his eyed popped open, he threw his arms and legs violently into the air… and then, before I could blink a second time, his eyes closed, his entire body shuddered and he collapsed back into sleep.

I almost turned around, positive I would see a man standing behind me holding a tranquilizer gun.

For a second time in as many weeks, I found myself  standing in front of a crib being gob smacked by my children. 

SO, now my kids sleep (mostly) in their cribs and it is brilliant.

I won’t lie.
I DO miss them in bed with me sometimes.

I miss lying beside them and watching them sleep, I miss opening my eyes to see them just waking up with their big toothless smiles and I even I miss them nuzzling towards me in their sleep, looking for milk.

I am sad that we closed this chapter of their lives and moved on to the next one, but, I am excited too.
Lives are made to be lived just as books were made to be read, and eventually, you have to get on with the story.

Also I have my husband back in bed with me, which is a really big plus.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Big and Little

As he lays on my lap, his eyes heavy and his lips red from nursing, I can hardly believe he belongs to me.

That this moment is real.

I’m positive that every mother thinks her son is beautiful, handsome and brilliant.

Those steel blue eyes and dark lashes…
Whomever he chooses to love will be lost in them.

When finally, the troubles of the world fall on his shoulders, will he still smile his sweet secret sleep smiles?

It blows my mind to think that someday, he will be a grown man.
With his own path and journey.
I can only protect him for so long.
And then…well…we all have to let go.  

I think our children are given to us at the exact moment we need them.

To swell and break our hearts

To know that we have hearts.

To feel love in a way we never knew existed.

Up until recently, there was only one person in this world whom I loved enough, that if I thought about that love too much, I would panic 
My throat burning with the realization, that my life, would shatter without them.

Now there are three people.
And it's the most beautiful and painful thing in the world.

Still Here

Two posts.

A very short post to make myself feel better about not posting in almost 3 weeks



A quick post to asking for patiance from those who actually do read this.
I do have a new "real" post coming soon!

My nights lately (the only real time I have to write) have been super baby busy, leaving me with very little energy to "do" much of anything.
Please don't give up on me and check back!

We are headed out tomorrow for our first "road trip" as a foursome.
We are heading to Bills parents house for the Canada Day weekend.
There are tons of family on Bills side that have not had a chance to meet the babies yet...I predict a busy weekend!

I am partially dreading how a five hour drive is going to go. We are leaving in the evening (when Bill is done work). In theory, they should sleep better in the dark...right?

Babies hate theories.

Wish me luck. Ill need it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just One Day

Deep down I am a loner at heart. I LOVE being left alone.

Even as a child I was perfectly content to play by myself. I had a fantastic imagination.
To me, being alone in my bedroom was where I was comfortable.

I do love being with my friends and spending time with my husband, but there is just something very Zen about being alone with ones thoughts.

Fast forward to my new reality?

(A husband AND twins….)
Basically I am never alone. 

Being a mom really is a full time job.
The hours are terrible and the pay is non-existent. The people I work for are demanding, messy and oblivious to my own needs.
(Apparently payment is supposed to be in “their smiles” or something equally lame)

My days are a crazy whirl wind of feedings, diapers, spit up, meltdowns and even more feedings.

There are days where it feels like the whole world needs a piece of me.

Sometimes I catch myself day dreaming of the simplest pleasures; A good book, a bath and an inappropriately long nap.
Maybe the sheets are even clean! 
Crisp and cool even!
And maybe, just maybe, there are cookies.

Most importantly, there is no one who requires one bloody thing from me.

Doesn’t that sound like heaven?

Part of me thinks I might kick a puppy or two for such a time.

Thankfully, I am not alone. I do have a partner.

When Bill is not working, he is completely hands on. He changes 90% of the diapers and takes care of them on his own for at least 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday so I can have a nap. Every night he takes charge of Badgers bed time routine so from 10:30pm to 5:00 am I usually only have to deal with Bug. 

His help is invaluable and I don’t think I could do it without him.

That being said, during the week I am alone with both babies 12-14 hours a day.
Which is a long time.

(Hats off to all you single mothers and those with partners who work away.)

There are days where I feel like I simply cannot do it. Days where I am so tired that I feel like I really can’t change another diaper or nurse another baby.
I do it anyway of course, but not always with a smile on my face. There are days where I cry just as much as the babies do.

I worked it out.
I’m literally sleeping (on average) about 15-20 hours a week.
A week.

Our day usually starts at 7am.

Everyone is awake and everyone is hungry.
We get up and go downstairs. Babies are changed and nursed.

Then after,

1) a short happy period of alertness or 

2) a cranky period of varying lengths and severity

 they fall asleep for their first nap.

“Naps” are a loose concept with twins, (and single babies this young.)
They don’t necessarily want to nap at the same time, and are still too young to force a true schedule on. Mostly you just take them as they come, and prey they will last long enough to get something (anything!) done. 

Often one will fall asleep while the other screams through the others nap…when the screaming child finally falls asleep….the previously sleeping child wakes up and continues the screaming.

This can go on, non-stop, all day.
This means no break, just shift after shift of babies.

This is what we in the business call “a shitty day”.

Good days? We have them.
Good days mean they both nap around similar times and wake up slightly staggered from each other.
Getting them to nap at the same time is always the ultimate goal; the sweet spot.
BUT…if they wake up at the same time, that is tricky too. Waking up at the same time, means two very demanding, wet and hungry babies, who both want me NOW! This can be really over whelming, but, we muddle through.  

So, both babies are asleep! What are you going to do?

To nap or eat? That is the question.
If I am lucky enough to get them both asleep or, at the very least, content, I usually make myself a sandwich and then try and snag a nap on the couch.
To be honest though, I usually never make it to the nap.
If they are asleep I eat and watch a little TV. Then I do laundry or try and clean up a bit…

Basically, I’m tired; so I drag myself amongst the house trying to put the pieces back together. Whether that means a load of laundry, loading the dish washer or just picking up some of the crap that seems to pile up and explode overnight.

By 2pm it is almost guaranteed everyone is awake again (no matter what kind of day we are having).
If it is a nice day I get them ready to leave the house.
This takes at LEAST an hour and is super stressful. (It goes MUCH smoother when Bill is home and I’m not out numbered)

Everybody needs to be fed, changed and dressed before we can even think about going anywhere.

Sweaters need to be put on.

Nobody likes sweaters.

Bodies need to be strapped into car seats.

Nobody likes car seats.

Everybody screams. There are tears. Soothers are spit across the room in anger.

The only thing the powers me through “getting ready to go out” is the knowledge that as soon as we start moving in the car or stroller the sweet, sweet silence will follow.
Unless of course it’s windy…..
Nobody likes the wind.

Eventually, we are finally out! It’s a lot of work, and there are days where I can almost, not even bear the thought of getting them ready to go out, but, once we are out I feel instantly better.

Not being in the house is what sanity is made of.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, I try to stay out with them as close to 6pm as possible. That way when we get back home, the wait for Bill to be finished work isn’t very long.
Bonus? After an afternoon out and about, both babies are usually completely asleep when I get home, and will usually stay that way for a while. Usually.

Bill gets home from work anywhere between 6 and 7pm.
Around 730 I make supper and then attempt to eat it.
I say “attempt” because Badger seems to have an uncanny 6th sense.
It is the ability to know the exact moment our supper is ready and on my plate.
That is his cue to promptly wake up. Screaming.
SO demoralizing.

I INSIST that Bill eats his supper (It’s not like he can breast feed anyway).
So, almost every night my supper sits until he is nursed and lulled back to sleep (which can take up to an hour).

Every night is like a game of “baby roulette”.
The gamble is of how good or bad our night will go.
Sometimes one has a bad night, sometimes they both have bad nights and sometimes, they both are just lovely.
Lovely nights mean TV shows, video games and internetting.
Bad nights mean simply trying to keep it all from unraveling.

It really isn’t as bad as I make it sound.
Every week it gets a little better, with more good nights then bad.
The thing to remember is that, none of this is forever.

At 1030pm Bill is ready for bed, so it’s Badger’s bedtime too (Bill feeds him a bottle of milk I pump)
(The roughest nights are when Badger refuses to go to bed for Bill and he is forced to bring him back downstairs to me.)

I stay up with Bug and when she is ready I nurse her to sleep.
This is when I should “just go to bed”.
But I often don’t.
Bill has Badger and Bug is asleep and it’s the only time I have to be myself.

I watch TV, I internet, I read and I pump milk.
I NEED this time to be a better mom. If I didn’t sacrifice these few hours of sleep, all my life would be is baby care. And I don’t think that is very healthy.

I take Bug up to our bed around 130am and doze beside her. I can never quite get myself to sleep; knowing that she will be awake again in an hour or so.
By 230am Bug is ready for another feed and Badger wakes around 3am for his (Bill feeds and changes him). Badger usually wakes up again before 5am, at which point Bill brings him to me and goes back to bed to catch a few more minutes of sleep before he has to get up for work (5:30am).
If I am lucky Badger will nurse back to sleep and Bug will stay asleep through the whole ordeal.
730am comes pretty quickly after that.

Some mornings I can trick them back to sleep by nursing them together and I am able to catch a couple extra hours. Glorious.

Today was not unlike any other day. Everyone needed from me, and I gave it.
We slog through diaper explosions, tandem freak-outs and a particularly stressful trip to the store.
By the time Bill gets home I’m exhausted.
I make dinner and eventually, after feeding everyone else, I eat my own.
Finally, after getting both babies down for their evening nap, I have a shower.
Passing Bill in the hall he stops me and gives me a kiss.
I instantly feel guilty.
I can’t help but feel annoyed at what should be a sweet moment.
It is the realization that my husband also needs from me.
I smile but brush him off.
He says he understands.
I promise that it won’t be like this forever.
1030pm arrives. Bill and Badger are ready for bed. 

Goodnight Mum.
Goodnight Dad.

It isn’t long before I hear them both snoring.
I sit alone (with Bug sleeping beside me) in the quiet living room and sigh.

As usual, at 1:30am I carry Bug up to bed and doze until she is ready to eat again.
She wakes quietly, with little coos and (now) smiles. I change her and bring her back to bed to nurse her back to sleep. She falls asleep easily.

Around 3am I finally close my eyes for true sleep. It will be only a few hours until Badger needs me again. Letting my body relax I am so grateful for the (if I’m lucky) two hours of silence. For the moment everybody is satisfied and requires nothing from me. My head against the pillow feels amazing. 
I’m just about to submit to sleep when I feel it.

A feather light “thump" near my feet, followed by, cautious paws walking along my body.
I open an eye. 


"Come on if you're coming"

Happy purrs and fluffy paws demand pets as he makes a nest on my chest.
He keeps me awake for another 20 minutes, but it’s worth it.

Sleep is over rated anyway.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Birth Story! Part Two: Getting On With It

So As you learned in Part 1, my babies lack of co-operation started early. 

(Missed Part 1? - Here it is!)

At 28 weeks they both decided that "upside down" would be the best way to hang out- and they stayed that way until the very end.

The specialist thought that for the safety of all three of us, that the babies should be born via a scheduled C- Section. It was scheduled for March 15th.
If baby A decided that they would like to flip back around before then, I would be able to try for a natural child birth.
I found this news beyond devastating- I REALLY wanted to deliver my babies vaginally. ... but more on that another day (maybe...).
My surgery was the first one scheduled for the day – 7:30am- and we were to be at the hospital for 6am. I was fine with the early time as I knew there would be no way that I would sleep the night before.

I was right, I didn’t sleep at all.

I laid awake all night (and early into that morning) rubbing my hands over my stomach and wondering "who" I was going to meet in a few hours time. I was excited, anxious and scared. The idea of the surgery terrified me and the fear that there would be something wrong with my babies made my head spin. 

5:30am March 15th - Bill cleans off the car before we head to the hospital.

Driving to the hospital was surreal and Bill and I did not say much to each other.
What was there to say?
We both had too many feelings to talk about anyway.
Once at the hospital we were more ourselves. Making inappropriate jokes and nervously passing the time before the doctors were ready for us.
Bill looked funny in his scrubs and we laughed that he needed the 'womans cap' to cover all of his hair- which we found pretty funny.

Walking into the operating room was scary.

It did not look like what I thought it would. It was much smaller then I imagined and not nearly as "cold" feeling as I feared it would be. There were so many people in the room (we had twice as many doctors because it was a twin birth). The anesthesiologist was beyond wonderful and he helped me to find the little bit of calmness that I had inside me. Everything was very real and completely unreal at the same time. Bill tried to keep the mood light by making a few jokes....but I could see in his face that everything was much more intense then he imagined that it would be. In the end- all he could really do was hold my hand- which was all I needed because I could not focus my brain on much more than that.

I was VERY nervous. I tried to be as brave as I could be- for Bill.
The tears escaped anyway. 
I couldn’t speak, I shook.
I was the most frightened I have ever been in my entire life.

I beyond feared the epidural. It was the last thing I wanted.

We had planned for a completely natural childbirth. I didn’t want any pain medication- and I did NOT want an epidural. To me it was just one more of my choices that was taken from me.
It was also a needle in my spine...which terrified me.
The epidural turned out to be not as bad as I feared. It sucked and it hurt- but it wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to me, and I got through it.

Then it was time to lie down.

The hardest part was giving up my control; Lying down and just doing what I was told.
I knew that everything I was doing was for the best and for my babies- but it was still hard.
So, I just lay there, trying to remain calm and waiting for my body to numb and listening to the doctors prep around me.

I hear them counting tools.

1 "clink"

2 "clink"

3 "clink"

4 "clink"

One nurse hanging the sheet above my chest so Bill and I could not see anything.
Another reading numbers out loud from one of the many machines.
A disembodied voice of the doctor from the other side of the sheet telling me they were “going to start now”.

The surgery felt slow. I felt no pain- but could feel the pressure, the tugs and the pulls.
I tried to think of other things
Suddenly my chest felt painful and heavy.
I couldn't breathe.
It was a fight to bring in enough air to tell Bill what was happening.
My brain got fuzzy and the edges of my vision darkened.
I hear Bill in a very scared voice 

 "She can’t breathe..."

I hear the doctor repeating my name, telling me everything was fine and to try and take deep breaths.
It feels like forever, but eventually I am able to take a full breath again.
I find Bills eyes. “I’m OK”, I tell him. He squeezes my hand.

It felt like forever before I heard the cry of our first born. 

(Not really a cry- but a scream!)

Bug- our beautiful daughter.
Then, seconds later- our son.

We both cried then.

Not because we were happier for our son than our daughter- but because it was all so perfect.
We had gotten exactly what we wanted.
The blessing of it all was amazing. 

Every fear, every pain, every altered decision and every moment of those nine months came to ahead, and it was all worth it.

They bring me Bug, and hold her above me for a moment.
She is so beautiful; amazingly beautiful. 
I am shocked at how instantly and intensely I love her.
It is all I can say- repeating over and over again.

"Isn't she beautiful?"

Baby Bug (minutes old)
Both babies are taken to be cleaned up and checked over. 
Bill leaves me for a moment to be with them. 

"Are they OK??" - I'm desperate to know. 

"Yes-Perfect"- an unknown voice assures me

After a couple minutes Bill is back beside me with Bug and I am given Badger.
He is perfect.
I cannot stop staring at him. His cheeks are deliciously chubby.

Badger (minutes old and already fighting)

We have a few moments together - but things are getting fuzzy again- and I can’t breath- I have to ask to have him taken away- I could barely hold onto him.
Things level back out for me and finally (after what feels like ages) the surgery is done.

We spend hours in recovery because my body temperature dropped so low due to blood loss. I was wrapped from head to toe in heated blankets (which honestly, was very cozy)It is at least 2 hours before I am allowed to even hold them (they didn’t want them to take any more heat from me- or me heat from them.
Establishing early skin to skin contact with us was important- so because I couldn’t, Bill took off his shirt and sat with them on his chest – all three of them wrapped in a blanket. It was beautiful and gut wrenching. I was beautiful watching my husband with our babies, but gut wrenching that they were so close and I couldn’t even hold them.

Finally, a new nurse comes on duty and declares me warm enough.
Bug is placed in my arms for the first time.
 I nurse her.
She is perfect.

Eventually I would have both of them in my arms, and for that, I have no words. 

Holding my babies together for the first time

I was in the hospital for five days, partly for them, and partly for me. 

But we are beyond lucky. 
Amazingly lucky. 
To have two perfectly healthy, full term twins. 

Our lives will never be the same.

NOTE: You may have noticed that I changed Turtle Man's name to "Badger". In his first few days we took to calling him Turtle Man because of the way he would purse his lips, tense his entire body and stretch his neck out (almost like a turtle peaking out of its shell). After we got him home he quickly became Badger (though we actually call him "Honey Badger") due to his ravenous appetite, grunty growls and his "take what he wants" attitude. I just didn't feel like I truly writing about him whenever I typed "Turtle Man" SO- I just had to change it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Birth Story! Part One: False Alarms

So here it is, the birth story.
In two parts. 
I'm breaking it up this way mostly because it is long- but also because to me, it really is a two part story.

Bug and Badger were born on March 15th, but, their birth story begins on February 8th- a Wednesday.

I hadn’t been feeling “right” all day. Cramping and generally feeling gross.
By the time Bill got home from work I wasn’t feeling any better- so I eventually broke down and decided to call the nurses line and see what they thought.
They told me to come in just to be sure- I felt so silly. I figured they would just send me home. It turns out I was already 1cm dilated (which is not a big deal- you can be at 1cm for weeks). BUT they decided that with both babies being breech that it was too much of a risk to send me home- they wanted to keep me for 24 hours and give me two shots of steroids to help their lungs just in case they insisted on being born.
So, they admitted me.

My cramping got worse during the night and by the time morning rolled around I was having contractions every 5 minutes. They weren’t really painful...more just really uncomfortable, mostly just a lot of pressure.
I ended up having to stay for two nights and most of the third day. There was definitely a point where I thought they were going to make me stay until the babies had come (mostly because they said, "you might be here until the babies come").Thankfully though- they let me go home (on a modified bed rest) to be uncomfortable there.

Physically from here on, my pregnancy would be pretty uneventful (though I would continue to have mild contractions right up until the week they were!) it was the emotional side of things that got a little rough.

After I got home from the hospital- I didn’t know how to feel. I felt nothing like myself. All I could focus on was all the little things that needed to be done before the babies actual did come. I was so overwhelmed with the feeling that my days were numbered. I felt more and more like I was disappearing inside of myself- floating around in some sort of haze.
My thoughts would constantly swirl out of control. One minute hoping the babies would just hurry up and come and the next, dreading their arrival.

Moments of pure excitement followed directly by moments of fear.

I questioned if we had done the right thing; deciding to get pregnant?
Had I trapped myself into something I was no longer sure about?
I have always wanted children, to be a mother. I had always thought that it was the only thing in my life that I was actually meant to do.
...but, TWO babies?
 At once?

The reality of it all would crash down on me during the most mundane moments. Flooding towards me, un-expectantly, as I watched TV, brushed my teeth or made dinner.
My brain, filling with self-doubt and my heart crushing under the weight of it.
Was I really cut out for it? Was I really ready for my life to completely change? My head would spin with the things that I would have to give up. The freedom I would sacrifice....the identity I would lose.

I would try to talk to Bill- tell him how I felt. Hoping that maybe he felt the same way too. 
Hoping that he too, felt the same lingering doubts and would assure me that they were nothing more than nerves, and that everything would be just fine.

But, I could never find the courage to say the words.
Not really.

His enthusiasm for it all, the way he seemed to doubt nothing; instead of making me feel stronger, only made me feel worse.

Lying in our bed, in the coward-ness of darkness I would whisper to him;

"What if I hate it?"

"You won’t hate it...I hope you don't hate it"

(But what if I do......)

"What if there is something wrong with them?"

"Then we will deal with it" – his voice full of confidence

(I don’t think I could deal with it....)

My guilt only made worse with the realization, that my husband, was a way better person then I could ever hope to be.

Deep down I know that all of this was just nervousness, simply the fear of the unknown. Once my babies were in my arms all of the doubt would wash away. Despite every fear I had, I knew that if given the choice I would not change one thing. That a life where I did not have two babies growing inside me, created with the one person I loved more than I thought possible, would be a life that I would regret not having. 


(to be continued...)

25 weeks....still a long way to grow...