Thursday, June 28, 2012


Every once in awhile I hear, read or see something that sends me right back into the NICU.  I have a tendency to follow other twim moms or soon-to-be twin moms' blogs.  I love to see other families like ours and steal any advice they have.  A mom I follow at  Balancing Act, just had her twins at 28 weeks.  Her story just took me right back to the week I was in the hospital and the days that followed. 

How I was so certain that I would be returning to work that day, even though my water had broken the night before.  How I was moved every couple of days from L&D to Women's Care and then back again, and again.  How the babies might be coming today, nope not today, maybe today... The 5 am blood draws.  Endless amounts of time hooked up to the monitors and nurses struggling to keep both babies on.  Two nights in a row of intense pain and having to reach that magic number (7) that I thought I would be willing to reach before the doctor was called for pain meds.  A nurse trying to convince me that my intense pain was just gas pain or heartburn when it really was preeclampsia and HELLP.  Finally being told that my babies were going to be born and then the waiting.  More bloodwork and more waiting. 
The day before S and E were born.
Walking into an operating room full of people but no familiar faces.  Wishing I had actually read something about c-sections so I knew what to expect.  My sister and husband finally joining me.  Worrying about my husband making it without fainting.  Finally hearing cries from E, who was a whooping 3 lbs. 8 oz., and then from S, who was 4 lbs. 10 oz.  The NICU nurses asking if I wanted to hold my baby (only S, E was too fragile) and desperately wanting to but not being able to because of reactions to the surgery.  Throwing up, almost on my sister, as they were putting me back together. 

Shaking with cold in the recovery room.  Being covered with blankets and inflatable blankets to get me warm and to stop shaking.  Finally moving to a room and being able to eat.  Asking over and over when I could finally see my babies.  FINALLY, 8 hours later, being stable enough to be wheeled into the NICU and see my babies that I had waited over 4 years to have.
 S and E's birth wasn't easy, just like getting pregnant wasn't.  The 2 months that followed weren't easy either.  I am grateful for the new mom memory and forgetting some of the hard parts.  But I still remember my first NICU breakdown.  Nurses shouldn't be able to ask if you are okay after you learn your little boy isn't coming home tomorrow because he had another brady.  I still remember the pride I felt after sucessfully calming and quieting and putting my colicky little boy back in his crib and then having to leave.  I remember trying to imagine S sleeping peacefully in his crib all day while I took care of E at home.  (S had a reputation for crying in the NICU... a lot.  My little boy is a snuggler and I can't imagine how desperatley he wanted to be held.  The nurses held him when they could but that wasn't enough.  I couldn't leave if he was crying.)

Oh the memories.  Someday they won't be so painful because we will have a lifetime of happy memories to help the painful ones fade.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I grew up swimming.  My parents put me into swimming lessons when I was 6 months old.  I started swimming on a year round club team when I was 8 and didn't stop until I was 18.  I love the water.  As I have gotten older I have begun to realize how very important it was for me growing up.  The mindless laps were my meditation time.  I never thought I needed alone time until I no longer had 2-4 hours a day of silence in a pool.  My team was my family.  Middle school was really rough for me.  I know it is for a lot of girls but I often think that swimming really saved me.  I belonged there, it built my confidence, and I fit in.  I was more than happy to go to 5:30 am practices before school and then practice after school too.  My friends were there, even when I felt like I didn't have any at school.  I was the only middle schooler practicing with the high school boys team, and that builds confidence.  (It didn't help "the boy" was on the team too.)  Swimmers aren't really known for being the "popular" crowd.  It is hard to be cool and attend all the social things when you have practice Friday night and Saturday morning.  Not to mention 3 day meets out of town.  It gave me excuses to not drink and do all those things that high schoolers do.  I might not have been strong enough to say no on my own but it gave me a great excuse.  It helped that my swimmer friends weren't into that either.  So the water has always been a comfort to me.

Mr. P on the other hand struggles in the water.  I tried to help him learn to swim and a couple of summers ago he finally was able to jump into the deep end.  Granted I had to be there, just in case but I was proud that he had overcome his fear.  My sister-in-law and her husband also live on a lake so our visits to them include boating and water sports.  Mr. P is able to enjoy all of that with a little liquid courage and a life jacket.

So saying all this before S and E were born Mr. P and I would talk about what sports the kids would play.  No soccer, baseball, or gymnastics... maybe basketball and volleyball.  All that being said if they want to play, we will let them.  Well when they were still in the NICU, S often had As and Bs.  This is part of the reason he was there for nearly 8 weeks.  It took awhile for the doctors to find out it was all being caused by reflux.  We always joked that S was just working on holding his breath because he is going to be a swimmer.  As S has gotten older it seems as though he and I come from the same pool.  (Ha ha...)  My boy LOVES the water and I love that. 

On Father's Day we had a picnic by a river and after throwing many rocks we got in.  Now this is mountain stream water so it isn't warm but S threw a giant fit when we tried to take him out.  He was in seventh heaven sitting and splashing in the water and grabbing rocks from the bottom to throw. 

He ended up with just his t-shirt on.  The shorts had to go.
He has always loved the pool.  He tries to blow bubble but really just licks the water.  He loves to splash.  The first time we went swimming his dad even took him under a waterfall.  His sister on the other hand screamed the whole time she was in the water.
A couple of days ago we were watching some older kids and we thought it would be fun to get the plastic kids pool out.  Well, Mr. P decided to get the sprinkler first.  It was still mid-morning and not too warm and I wasn't sure I wanted the kids wet yet.  Well, once the water was on S and the dog were in it.  In minutes S was dripping wet.  He happily played in the sprinkler and then in the pool until it was time to get out.  He was the only one, out of the 4, who actually sat down in the water.  Last time we played in the little pool he spent the whole time laughing hysterically at our dog, who loves to "catch" splashes.  Those two will have YEARS of fun in the water together. 
Notice the very dry little girl next to him.  She eventually got in but she wasn't so sure about the sprinkler. 

I'm excited for the years to come of spending time in the water.  I hope that as the kids get bigger and learn to swim that they still find joy in getting wet.  I hope they are never fearful, but cautious and careful around the water.  Most of all I hope they find a little slice of the comfort and calm in the water that I found growing up.  If S decides to be a swimmer I will do my best to get him to early morning practices and sit through DAYS of meets to watch him swim for a total of 5 minutes because I know how important time in the water can be.  If he just wants to play in it that is fine with me too.


Every day I think of all of the posts that I will write once the kids get in bed.  I sit down, I open Blogger, and I'm completely blank.  S and E are growing at alarming rates and I'm so worried that if I don't write things down I won't remember what it is like right now.  I want to remember everything.  I don't know if it is because this may be my only chance to experience having a toddler and I'm afraid I'll miss it or what, but I might make myself crazy over it.

This is what I want to remember from the last couple of days:
  • Today we went and watched a basketball game and E was so excited.  She sat on the bench attentively and watched the players, pointed out the ball and tried to flirt with the refs.  But only for about 10 minutes.  But during those 10 minutes it was pretty stinking cute.  S also was very intrigues by the game.  This kid can find a ball even if it is hidden like Waldo.  (You know Where's Waldo?)  Anyway sometimes he will point out a ball and I'll have to search the room, store, etc to find out what he is talking about.  And I always find something spherical, that he is calling a ball.  This was not their first game, and won't be their last.  My husband coaches high school basketball so the kids went to many games during the winter, but were really too little to get into them.  I can't wait for next winter.  We'll hope for 15 minutes of bench sitting and attentive watching.  :-)
  • Also today we went to Sam's Club.  This is pretty much a weekly event at our house.  Tonight you two were feeling a little ornery.  I think it had something to do with just a morning nap and then a couple of short car naps and being away from home all afternoon.  As you were sitting in the awesome two seated cart you would alternate whacking each other on the head and then hitting your own head when we would remind you to be gentle to your brother/sister as if to say, "It doesn't hurt, look, I'll do it to myself."  Then we'd tell you to hug your brother/sister and E would put her arm around S and S would lean into her and snuggle for a second and then be back to whacking each other.  If one of you would just cry when you got hit on the head perhaps we could get you to stop.  I'm sure other parents would appreciate learning that lesson but the two of you don't seem to be bothered by it.
  • On Monday we went and looked at a house we thought would be ours, if only they didn't accept an offer the day we were going to submit one.  Oh well, there is a better one out there.  Hopefully the one we see tomorrow!  Back to the story... the house is empty and we brought the two of you with us to look at it a second time.  You two didn't know what to do with yourselves and an empty house.  You giggled and ran all over that house.  Then we had enough of that you opened all of the drawers and cabinets.  Then you went up and down the stairs and up and down the stairs in the master bathroom.  Then we went to gymnastics where you ran and climbed over everything too.  E, you made friends with the teacher, and she was nice enough to pay attention to you.  Maybe she wants to be your friend too.  She even held you while she spread out the parachute.  I think you like her because she helps you do forward rolls.  (Not somersaults, but forward rolls.)
  • After gymnastics we went swimming.  We were already in the rec center so it was free!  Yippee!  And I got peed on, by little Miss E.  Little stinker, this has NEVER happened to me in the first 17 months of her life.  Dad sure thought it was funny though, since a couple of days before I got peed on by S.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Neil Patrick Harris and Oprah

One of the few shows I remember watching growing up was Doogie Howser.  I have always loved Neil Patrick Harris, NPH.  I don't have a reason why other than he is funny and seems to be more "real" than many other Hollywood celebrities.  I absolutely love How I Met Your Mother and Barney is that much more funny because of the fact that NPH is gay and Barney is so not.

I remember reading about his twins in one of the million People magazines that I read during doctor's appointments while I was pregnant.  I had kind of forgotten since then but I was excited when I saw that they would be on Oprah.  I watched the interview while I slowly folded and put away my winter sweaters.  There seemed to be a few things that really resonated with me.

First this...

The first was when NPH was talking about the first 6 -9 months of his twin's life.  It was like he was in our house and describing my husband.  My husband struggled and still does with the crying.  He doesn't know what to do, it makes him uncomfortable and in turn it just makes it worse.  He too, was is waiting for those days when he can take them out and just play together.

Then this...

Although they are describing what same-sex couples go through to have a child, it is not too much different from what those of us with infertility go through.  Our children were prayed for, hoped for, and so wanted that we went through a lot in order to have them too.  The social implications later in life won't be there but they should still know how much we wanted them and what we did in order to have them.