Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

Just jumping back in here. The babies are now four months old, and we took them to a pumpkin patch today!

They have some very cute Halloween onesies that a neighbor down the street gave us. She has a baby boy who is a month older than Ingrid and Theo, but he is much bigger! We love hand-me-downs. Ingrid's says "Daddy's Little" and then has a picture of a pumpkin. The pumpkin looks kind of like a very cute time bomb, which is appropriate. She is our little time bomb pumpkin!

Theo's says "My First Halloween." Except you'd never know it, because he is still spending 90% of his time in a bib because he is still a happy spitter. At least he got an orange bib today.

They are getting so big! Ingrid is solidly in the 50% for weight, and she's 75% for height. Theo is in the 25% for height, but he continues to be a peanut, at 5% for weight. The pedi is not concerned, and neither are we. (Have you seen what his father looks like?)

They are giggling and smiling and cooing and sounding like baby dolphins all over the place. I am so glad this has gotten to be more fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lots o' Photos

So, some fun with photos.

I'm amazed at how much more "into" the play mat the babies have become in the last few weeks. When they were brand new, all they would do is cry when we would put them on the
mat, and they had no interest in the little objects that hang down. Now, they love it and will happily stare and attempt to bat at the objects for 15 or 20 minutes.

It has been so wonderful having my friends out here. M was here for a week, and H was here for two weeks. We had a great time going for picnics and walks.

This is my favorite "Ijy smiles" picture so far. She is clearly happy about being two months old.

Theo is more thoughtful about it.

We celebrated David's birthday on August 1. Theo was sleeping during the cake and candles, but Ingrid assisted.

And just when you think they're going to cry forever, they both pass out.

We took them to the National Night Out ice cream party our neighborhood hosted. I saw a lot of neighbors that I hadn't seen since I was pregnant! They were all happy to meet the babies. We also saw a whippet that looked very much like the one that I had growing up. It was the babies' first whippet-sighting! They've seen many greyhounds already too.

This week has been tough without anyone else around. We went to a twin support group meeting on Wednesday and on Friday we had a big outing--to the Social Security office and then up to a redwook park. We walked a bit, stopped and had a picnic lunch in a clearing overlooking the canyon, and then continued the walk. Ingrid and Theo were both very patient while the other ate.

Last Saturday we went up to wine country so the babies could meeet David's aunt and uncle and their poodle. The poodle is a clown and I think inspired the cutest picture of this post!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Days Are Long....

But the months are short. My babies were two months old on Saturday!

(With Uncle M on July 26.)

We went to the pediatrician, whom I keep referring to as the vet, on Monday. Coming in at 11 lbs, 7 oz and 23 1/4 inches is Miss Ingrid Jill! And from the opposite corner, at 9 lbs, 12 oz and 22 inches is Mr. Theodore James!

(Taken July 18.)

A co-worker sent these onesies a few days after they were born. At the time, I couldn't imagine Theo ever fitting into his--and now here we are!

The month of July flew by with visitors and walks in the park. I am so excited about our new City Mini which can go on trails--so now I can wear a baby and push a baby and go off-roading!

The interactions are getting so much more exciting. Both are smiling in response to our smiles, and they are beginning to clutch the rattles we put near their hands. We have learned that the easiest way to make Ijy happy is to take her clothes off. Yes, my little girl loves the naked time. Theo doesn't mind it, but he doesn't explode with glee as soon as the last shred of fabric comes off like she does.

Nursing continues to go well. I'm working on weaning them off the shields, and that has been mostly successful for them--but a bit painful for me. The nice thing is that if I'm in too much pain I can just pop the shield back on for a session or two. I'm hopeful that once we're off the shields the time it takes them to eat will speed up and we can finish in 15-20 minutes.

We have a walking date in half an hour with a mom from our birth class and her baby. These outings are so healthy for me to get out and enjoy the weather and my babies!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birth Class Reunion!

On Sunday we went to the reunion for our birth class. It was so much fun seeing everyone again and meeting their babies. I&T are two-three months younger than the other babies because we did the class early in anticipation that I might end up on bedrest (imagine!). I liked seeing what kinds of activity we'll be encountering in a few months.

Ingrid did not enjoy the group pictures. Theo, as per usual, slept.

One of the other moms lives pretty close to me, so we're planning to get together. I am finding that making new mom friends is one of the most important aspects of keeping me sane. Having someone else to talk to who actually cares about breastfeeding and poop and sleeping and knows what I'm talking about is key. My non-parent friends are certainly great, but it's just a different world. Not feeling isolated is really crucial; it seems to me that feeling isolated with a new baby (or babies!) would be a main cause of post-partum depression. Knowing that you aren't alone is an important aspect of the human psyche and I would encourage all new moms to seek out other new parents to go for walks or just watch the babies roll around together while drinking tea (or wine or beer!).

I do need to give a shout-out though to my friend L. David is in Denver this week and my father-in-law flew up to Portland yesterday for his business meeting--he gets back this afternoon--and I was dreading the night on my own. Enter L, who volunteered to sleep overnight at our house and get up with me to help with the babies. She has 14 younger cousins and is great with babies. She can do a mean swaddle and she's learned how to fold diapers. I know she will make a fantastic mom someday. Friends and family support is the best--I don't know how we'd make it otherwise!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On My Own

(insert image of Eponine pining here)

I'm not really pretending that David is beside me, and I'm certainly not walking alone, but it's a pretty song and I've been singing it to the babies today. David's dad arrives Saturday, so I am doing this week with minimal daytime help and managing the second night-time feeding by myself. I know there are lots and lots of MoMs who manage twins (or more!) without any outside help, so I know it could be a lot harder, but this is still hard. For me at least. I'm trying to get out of my "others have it worse than you so you should be grateful for what you have and stop complaining" mindset and just accept that it's okay for me to say something is difficult for me.

We had a nice three-day weekend. On Saturday we went to a huge park near our house and David ran eight miles while I pushed the stroller on a lovely paved trail through redwoods. We saw lots of butterflies and it was great exercise for me. Sunday we went to Target and got some Fourth of July supplies. Sunday night....was hilariously diaster-ific. It was super hot, and neither baby wanted to sleep. So David and I rocked, carried, held, shushed, tried bouncing, swinging, dancing....and finally loaded them into the stroller at 11pm and walked up and down the street. That placated Ingrid but not Theo, so then we moved to the car and drove around. When we got home, Ingrid stayed asleep, but Theo still needed more comforting before he finally went down. David was so patient and positive the whole time--thankfully he didn't have to go to work Monday because of the holiday!

Then on Monday both were absolute angels. We went to a parade (Theo slept; Ingrid wanted to watch some of it), a park, and had friends over for dinner. They brought their two-year-old and five-month-old--hard to believe my babies will soon be that big!

Patriotic Diaper Covers!
(Ignore that part of Ingrid's diaper is sticking out of the cover.)

I love the expression on Theo's face here. He makes the silliest faces. Ingrid has definitely started smiling; I'm not sure if he has yet, but he definitely is going to be something of a comedian, I'm sure.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

One Month Old!

My babies turned one month old on Thursday!

We went to the pediatrician last Tuesday for the one-month checkup. Ingrid is up to 9 lbs, 4 oz (birth weight 7 lbs) and Theo is up to 7 lbs, 4 oz (birth weight 5 lbs, 3 oz). I was so excited to learn that they had both gained more than two pounds. Ingrid is pretty solidly in 0-3 month sizes now and Theo is filling out the newborn clothing. They both continue to be excellent, voracious eaters, and I am trying to stop worrying that they're getting enough to eat. They have plenty of wet and dirty diapers and I nurse them as soon as either shows a sign of hunger, so I think it is okay to relax a bit!

Thursday was also my first day without help while David was at work. Theo's expression summarizes how I felt: Really, it was okay. They had slept pretty well the night before, so I wasn't totally exhausted, and there was only one spurt where both were wailing and I had to try to calm everyone. That is simply awful and I don't know if I'll ever be able to hear both of them cry without my heart feeling like it's being ripped in two directions.

In addition to keeping two babies alive, I managed to eat breakfast and lunch and do two loads of laundry. When we went out for our afternoon walk, I ran into another mom of twins in the neighborhood who was heading out for a walk, so we walked together to a water ice shop nearby. It was wonderful having someone to chat with, and I need to make more "mom friends." Her babies are only a few months older than I&T, so hopefully they'll have some friends just down the street who can relate to twin-ness!

My dad's leaving early Thursday morning was sad. But fortunately he and Theo got to have some sports-bonding time.
I love Theo's little outfit in this picture. The duckie-foot pants are beyond adorable. And Ingrid only got to wear them once before she outgrew them, so I'm glad that I can still put Theo in them. I think one of my favorite parts of the day is picking out their outfits and getting them dressed. I like to offer choices and see if they indicate any preferences--talking to yourself all day gives you opportunities to pretend the babies are conversing back.

My dad is such a proud Opa. I am really glad he'll be out here with us all fall. It's good for my relationship with him, and I know he just loves being with his grandchildren! It'll be interesting to see how much they'll grow before he comes back!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Big Day!

Yesterday we had not one but TWO outings--first to the lake and second to an art fair.

David needed to go for a run yesterday, and the babies were in a relatively calm mood post-feeding, so we loaded everyone up and drove down to the lake. My dad and I pushed the stroller while David ran. The weather was beautiful! The babies enjoyed the fresh air, my dad and I enjoyed receiving compliments about them, and David got in a good run.

One woman who was jogging stopped when she saw the double stroller and told us about her 2.5 year old boy-girl twins. She's in the twin group too, but we hadn't met before. She was very encouraging. I love how supportive Moms of Multiples are!

Later in the afternoon we drove up to an art festival that was taking place in a nearby neighborhood. We expected the sidewalks to be crowded, so I suggested we wear the babies rather than take the stroller. If there were any major meltdowns, we would never be far from the car or home.

It was a lot of fun! We definitely received less attention as individuals than we do when we have the double stroller. Plus it was nice having a baby snuggled so close. They truly are like little space heaters.

We finished off the evening watching Up. I held Theo and David held Ingrid. I think my dad was jealous without a baby to hold during the movie (tough; I'm not sorry I didn't have triplets!), but it was nice settling in and cuddling as a family of four. The babies were sleepy throughout the whole movie, and then we had a pretty good night.

It's days like yesterday that make me think we're actually going to be able to do this!

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Is Hard

This is a sleep-deprived woman.
I'm tired. I'm exhausted, really. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I'm not sure how the care of two infants who can't talk, can't move on their own, and have no ability to interact is mentally exhausting, but it is. Emotionally, I'm all over the map. I love them so much, but I'm also so frustrated when they're crying and I can't comfort both of them immediately. I feel like they each deserve 100% of my attention--and if they weren't twins that's what they would get--but since there are two of them, neither can have 100% of me 100% of the time. Physically, my body is always at "alert"--ready to pull me out of sleep when they cry and ready to feed them whenever they demand it. I'm happy that the baby weight is practically gone (not that my pre-pregnancy clothes fit quite the same, but the number on the scale is pleasant) but breastfeeding is a lot harder on my body than I expected or that I was led to anticipate. I am eating all.the.time and I am still hungry. I could probably eat an entire chocolate cake by myself every day and still not gain weight. These babies are sucking out of me everything I can put in, and then some. I'm still taking my prenatal vitamins and an iron supplement, and I'm having my protein smoothie and tons of other protein and calcium-rich foods, as well as lots and lots of fruits and whole grains, plus dessert with lunch and dad remarked that my appetite was definitely healthy!
It is nice seeing the results of all the food I'm making for the babies though--these cheeks are getting rounder and rounder!

My mother-in-law's departure on Saturday morning was depressing. She was simply amazing--boundless energy and patience, tons of useful and welcome advice, and fantastic cooking and housecleaning. The woman even changed the sheets on her bed before she left. We both cried when we hugged goodbye.

David and I survived the 30 hours before my dad arrived on Sunday evening--the first time we were "on our own" with the babies. Some neighbors had a BBQ on Saturday afternoon as a pre-father's day event, so we walked the babies over for their first party. They were of course much admired.

My dad is a very proud grandfather. He's not as spry as my mother-in-law, but he's been a tremendous help this week. He's learned how to fold diapers, how to cloth diaper, how to work the car seats and stroller, and how to clean and assemble my pump. He's done very well being up close and personal with his daughter's breasts, and I'm proud of him for that. A nursing mother cannot have a household helper who is shy!

(Theo had spit up on his shirt.)

I think his favorite thing is taking the babies' for a walk and receiving compliments on them. Today we drove to a different neighborhood for a change of scenery on our walk and to pick up a pizza to bake for dinner later. That was a lot of fun--the streets there were flatter and there were lots of passerby who had nice things to say about my growing babies.

But as it gets on toward evening and then night and bedtime, I feel myself gearing up for war. Last night Ingrid went right to sleep at 9:30, but Theo was awake until 11:45. And then of course Ingrid wanted to wake up to eat at 12:45, so we had to get Theo up then too. Fortunately they both have done a good job of going back down after the night feedings, but I thought I was going to lose my mind trying to get Theo to fall asleep last night. He just was staring--not crying, but his big eyes were going everywhere. Ingrid had done the same trick a few nights before.

Part of why it's so hard I think is because I know how lucky I am to have two healthy babies and how little right I have to complain when there are lots of families that are much worse off than we are. But this is still hard for me and I wish I didn't have guilt in saying so. I don't think this is something you can anticipate or prepare for--you've either been the parent of a newborn or you haven't. And you've either been the parent of newborn twins or you haven't.

The babies are starting to wake up, so that's my cue. I know this will get easier, and I will never get to have this experience again, but I am anxious for when they can at least smile and appreciate being hugged!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ingrid & Theo's Birth Story: Part Two

(Read Part One here)
As my contractions got going and I learned the meaning of PAIN, I wanted to move around to try to cope. But with the internal monitor on Ingrid, the external monitor on Theo and my contraction monitor, I couldn't go very far or very easily. I was really not happy with this, and I managed to haul myself out of the bed anyway. My nurse was a bit unsure of what to do with me, but she got a Chuks underneath where I was standing because I was leaking fluid. And of course I managed to pull out Ingrid's internal monitor with all my jostling around.

Right about then David finally got to the room. He proceeded to stare at me with something approaching terror as I glared at him and tried to handle the contractions, which were coming about every two minutes. Two nurses helped me back into the bed and N tried to get the monitor back on Ingrid. She did something, but Ingrid still wasn't showing up so they put the external back on her. At that point I said I wanted an epidural. To David's credit, he took my hand and reminded me that I had wanted to wait so was I sure I wanted the pain relief? I say to his credit now, because I really do think it was great that he both (a) remembered the plan and (b) had the courage to bring it up to me. At the time, however, I believe I hit his hand away and barked at poor N that I wanted the epi and I wanted it NOW.

N paged Dr. K and gently told me that it would be a few minutes before she would arrive, and then another few minutes to get the epi placed, and then another 10 minutes or so before I would feel the relief. So I understood I'd be looking at at least 30 more minutes of the worst pain I had ever felt. David asked if I wanted to squeeze his hand, but I was afraid I'd break his fingers so I kept squeezing the rails of the bed. N was awesome, rubbing my shoulders and talking to me.

Dr. K arrived and had me sit up in the bed and slump against David's shoulders while she placed the catheter. I think she also had me sign some paperwork, but I certainly didn't read it and I must say that I'm not sure it would hold up as informed consent--contract of adhesion, duress, all that....ha. Anyway, the needle stung a bit, but I was so excited with anticipation that I would soon be more comfortable that I barely felt it. Dr. K finished up and left, and a few minutes later, she told me that I should feel some numbness in my legs--I didn't. N said I shouldn't feel my next contraction as strongly--but I did. And the next one too. Another 10 minutes later, and I was still writhing in agony, and N decided to call Dr. K back. The epi hadn't "taken" and had to be repeated. So we redid the whole sitting up, slumping, and injecting. Finally, around 10:30pm, I could breathe without wanting to scream. David gave me a wonderful foot rub, and I relaxed.

Dr. Y came back then for an update and to figure out what was going on with Ingrid's internal monitor. It turns out the internal wasn't picking up Ingrid because it was attached to my cervix, not my baby. Dr. Y re-placed it, and she said that she'd be back every few hours to check me, and that I should try to sleep. N brought in a cot for David, and we both caught a few hours sleep.

Around 2:00, Dr. Y pronounced me complete at 10cm, and I could push at will. I fell back asleep until 2:30, when N came back and explained how pushing would work. And at 3am, I felt the urge to push--I was worried I wouldn't know what it would feel like, but it really was instinctual. It was time for these babies to get moving!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing Babies!

Okay, they're still asleep, so I'm going to do another post.
At the two week appointment on Monday, we received the very pleasant news that Ingrid was up to 7 lbs, 10 oz and Theo was at 5lbs, 13 oz. Both were 10 ounces above their birth weights!
It is getting harder to pick up Ingrid with one hand, and she has begun to outgrow some of the newborn-sized clothing. Theo is now finally fitting into some of the newborn clothing and things aren't hanging off of him nearly as much. I don't think he'll ever have chubby cheeks like his sister, but he doesn't look so pinched anymore and he no longer feels so breakable when we change his diaper or clothes.
We've been going for walks in the stroller every day which has been wonderful. The babies like being bounced around, and it is good for me to get outside and get some stamina back.

This was on our first walk when the babies were eight days old.

We saw lots of beautiful flowers on our walk--I love summer in California!

We are going a bit farther every day as I am getting stronger and having less pain. When my dad arrives on Sunday, we are going to have a lot of fun walking to the park and going for ice cream! The double snap-n-go was definitely the right choice--it is nice and lightweight. The bulkier double strollers would have been way too much to handle!

Date Night and other updates

MIL leaves tomorrow and I am so sad. She has been amazing--she keeps popping up with clean loads of laundry or freshly baked cookies or offers of diaper changes. Our future guests have a lot to live up to!
Last night she insisted that David and I go out for dinner. We had a previous "date" last Wednesday to Home Depot, OfficeMax, Babies R Us, and OSH, but dinner last night was our first trip without a baby-related purpose. We went to a yummy casual-yet-upscale-food restaurant that is pretty new. I had duck leg confit and David had a pork meatball sandwich. It was delicious and fun to be out and about. For dessert we walked down to Dreyer's and had ice cream cones. I had chocolate peanut butter cup and rocky road, and David had chocolate chip cookie dough. I'm pleased he didn't pick his usual vanilla. :) I strongly believe that regular "us" time is crucial to our sanity and our relationship, and a happy mommy and daddy is necessary for happy babies.

MIL gave the babies bottles while we were gone, and then I pumped when we got home. The babies are getting about one bottle a day each just so they remember how to take the bottle, so I'm getting in one pumping session a day. So far supply has not been an issue at all, and I'm really grateful for that. Nursing is hard work--and hard on my body. I'm down to just 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, meaning I've lost 40+ pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. MIL figured I'm losing over 1000 calories a day with nursing, so I guess it's not surprising. My appetite is huge, and it's fun to be able to eat all the goodies I couldn't have with the gestational diabetes--such as Dreyer's (non sugar free) ice cream!

David has survived his first week back at work with only minimal sleep deprivation. Nursing at night is working out better than bottles because I don't have to pump AND try to feed a baby. What we've been doing is having David get up with me for the first night feeding and take care of mid-feeding diaper changes, and he dozes on the sofa while I nurse. Then MIL gets up for the second night feeding and does the same. I am looking forward to when the babies will go a solid 4 hours without waking up, but we aren't there yet! They're very lucky they're so cute.

I'm almost done with the birth announcement. We received the full CD of images from Ava this week (so fast!!) and it was really fun picking out the pictures. To close this post, here's one of my favorites that wasn't in the sneak peek.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Professional Photos!

Our photo shoot with Ava on Saturday morning was a lot of fun. She was here for three hours and survived several Ingrid temper tantrums. Theo was pretty calm and chill for most of the session.

We started out in the living room, and then moved into the nursery, and finished up with some "fuzzy sleep baby" shots on the fluffy blanket downstairs.

I was glad Kathy was here and we were able to get some great shots with her.

This pose in their crib is one of my favorites.

We finished with the four of us spooning.
I jammed my rings back on--first time I wore them since March! They were tight but I got them on! They felt very heavy.

Love this. Coffee and spit rags. Story of my life.
I am so glad we made the decision to hire a professional to take some pictures of the babies as newborns. We bought a good camera for Christmas, but you also have to know how to use it--which we don't (yet). Ava's eye is obviously excellent, and we had a lot of fun. So worth it!
We're having more sessions with her at six months and a year--can't wait!

Friday, June 10, 2011


More fun with breastfeeding....
First, I think I should get to double count the time I've been nursing because I'm feeding twins. So instead of it sounding like I have nursed for 10 days, it should count as 20 days. On the other hand, it's also nice to be able to claim that I have kept three people alive for 10 days! As Vicky on RHOOC would say, Woo-Hoo!
The method of feeding them at the breast during the day and pumping at night for the next night seems to be working well. David or MIL can help with the night feedings then so I can get some more sleep. I do have to wake up to pump, yes, but it takes less time than feeding them and is much easier. MIL claims that eventually they'll gobble everything they want from me in 10 minutes, but we certainly are not there yet.
Tandem nursing is okay. I think Ingrid does a better job with it than Theo does; I'm not sure he likes the football hold. The My Brest Friend Twin pillow is a godsend though. I don't think I would be able to do it at all without it--so far that would have to rank as my most useful piece of baby gear, with the swing a close second.

In other updates, my poor little Ingrid seems to have a blocked tear duct and has to have eye drops for a week. It's so funny--we were most worried about Theo because he's so little, but it's Ingrid who has had the medical issues. Between the jaundice and her eye, she's been to the doctor or Children's Hospital three times now besides her checkups. I guess Theo had to fight more in the womb, so he's a fighter now too. Ingrid is also a bit congested, so she's been getting the nasal aspirator too. Poor little sweetheart! I just hope she doesn't pass anything on to Theo. In good news, her weight at the doctor's today was up to 7 lbs, 2.6 oz! She is over her birthweight well before two weeks. That was a big thrill for me. She doesn't have to come back for the checkup on Monday with Theo, so that's good. I know the mantra is if the doctor isn't worried, I shouldn't be either, but I just want my little girl to feel better and be her sweet self again.

Ingrid's latest has convinced me I need to find a PCP. I haven't had one.....since high school? I used the medical centers in college and grad school very infrequently, and the only time I've needed a non-OB/GYN practitioner since then was when I broke my arm in DC and when I had the infected bee sting a few years ago. But with all the colds and coughs the kids will be getting....time for mama to get her a doctor too, I suppose!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ingrid and Theo's Birth Story - Part One

The babies' birth story is going to come in stages--basically bit by bit as I pump!

On May 23, my peri gave me an internal and told me I was 95% effaced and a fingertip dilated. She set my induction for Sunday, May 29, but she told me that she did not expect me to make it to that date and that I could go into labor at anytime. David and I were really excited, and I was hopeful that I would be able to avoid the induction interventions. I vowed to walk a lot, and we planned to have Indian on Friday night to try the spicy food trick. We attempted other "get labor started" tricks too.

However, the babies were having none of it. After keeping their mommy scared for so many weeks, the babies got lazy. We spent our last night at home watching The Parent Trap (LiLo version)--how prophetic that a movie about twins was on.

My instructions were to call the hospital at 5AM on Sunday to get a time to come in. We had been told that depending on other patients, it could be later that morning or even the afternoon. I was chomping at the bit, per usual, so I called at 4:50 in the hopes that if everyone was calling at 5 I could beat the rush. A very nice nurse who answered the phone told me we could come at 6 AM!

We finished packing--David says I was a bit manic as I tried to afix labels to the kitchen cabinets--and we headed out after a quick good-bye to Kathy. We arrived at the hospital at 6:25 AM. David was pleased that we could use street parking for Sunday and Memorial Day Monday. One drawback to urban areas is paying for parking in garages!

I checked in and was taken straight to a Labor & Delivery room; no triage for me this time. Our first two nurses, M and C, were really nice, young, and quite attractive; David was pleased, ha. They hooked me up for an IV (C couldn't get it; M got it on the first try). Dr. Z came by and checked me; he said I was only about 70% effaced and that my cervix was posterior and needed to be ripened with a Cervadil suppository. I felt like a piece of fruit and was pretty upset that I wasn't going to be going anywhere anytime fast.

The good thing was that I got to eat! Shift change--we now had Crazy K as my nurse (lots more on her later), and she brought in an egg and potato dish on trays for David and for me. I thought it was nice that she fed him too. After my breakfast, K said we could go for a walk on the rooftop garden off the maternity floor. It was a gorgeous day but a little cool, so she brought me a heated blanket. The garden had a view of the city and it was a clear morning. There were also lots of really nice flowers--the volunteers who tend the garden do a good job! We paced and paced and I tried to talk the babies into getting going, but they weren't listening. After about 20 minutes we went back inside and watched some TV.

Baby B kept slipping off his monitor and needing to be found again, but both babies' heartrates were looking "textbook." Lunch was some sort of chicken thing, and after lunch we did some more walking in the garden. I was getting frustrated by late afternoon that nothing was happening, and I felt ignored by all the doctors. In late afternoon there was another nurse shift change, and we now had J, who was our age and very businesslike. About five minutes after she came on shift, she and K came into the room together, J looking annoyed. K then confessed that I was not supposed to be getting out of bed except for the restroom, the babies had to be monitored continuously, and I should not have been allowed to go to the garden. She had completely ignored the Cervadil protocol!! Fortunately there were no problems, and frankly I'm glad I was able to move around and get some fresh air, but my goodness--what a mistake!

J also said that I was not getting any more food. I was really annoyed at this point--just as David announced he was going home to eat dinner and go for a quick run. As we weren't expecting anything to happen for 2 1/2 hours, it made sense although it made me feel a bit abandoned. Before he left, I had a bit of a temper tantrum about not being able to walk anymore, and J said I could go on a remote monitoring thing as long as I stayed hooked up. Dr. Z said it was okay too, so away we went, pacing the halls with me dragging a monitor on wheels along for the ride. I called Aunt E to give her an update, and that kept me entertained for the first 15 minutes of David's absence. By that point I was tired, so I went back to the room to sit down. It was about 7:30pm and I was expecting to sit there for an hour before anyone paid any more attention to me. I was feeling sorry for myself, lonely, and anxious about when the babies were going to be making an appearance. At this point, my contractions were infrequent bur regular-ish and not painful.

All that was about to change!

Suddenly, J came in with a female doctor, Dr. L, who introduced herself and was very friendly and said she and Dr. Y were going to be doing my delivery that night. She said she was going to remove the Cervadil and check my progress. That HURT. I didn't like seeing all the blood on her gloves when she took her hand away. She said I was at 2-3 cm and the next step would be breaking my water and putting an internal monitor on Baby A. That is a little probe-like thing that attaches to the baby's scalp. She reassured me that it was painless for the baby.

I quickly called David and told him to get back ASAP. He sounded kind of shell-shocked; I know I sounded mad. A few minutes later, Dr. L was back and I lay flat as she inserted the wand to break my water--gush! That didn't hurt. But a few seconds later--BAM, I felt my first real contraction. It hit me like a ton of bricks--much stronger and much more painful than anything I had been expecting or have ever felt. I called David again and ordered him to get back NOW; he reported that he was walking to the hospital entrance.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An Overwhelming Feeling.....

of Pure Love.
I didn't think it was possible to be so happy or to be so in love with two tiny beings that spend most of their time sleeping, crying, or eating. But it is. Even in the midst of the worst squalls, I could just melt every time I look at them. Watching David hold them makes my eyes tear up. I know so much of it is the post partum hormones, but I don't mind. We made these babies! I grew them! And my breastmilk is keeping them alive! I. Am. Superhero.

The breastfeeding is a challenge, but it is rewarding to see two sets of eyes looking up at me and enjoying their meals. We started tandem nursing on Saturday, and it definitely saves a lot of time. It's tough to concentrate on keeping both awake and eating, but we're all getting better. They're taking less and less bottled expressed milk after each feeding, and their diaper output is great, so I know they're getting enough. We're using bottled breastmilk at night and I'm pumping because it goes a lot faster and it gives me a bit of a break while David or my MIL feed them.

Another overwhelming feeling--protectiveness. My poor little girl has had to go to Children's Hospital twice now for blood tests for her jaundice, and I am THRILLED to report that it is gone as of Sunday. She had to spend Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday as a glow worm:The home phototherapy blanket was fantastic though--I'm so glad we had that available rather than having to have her readmitted to the hospital. I know she would have pooped out all the bad bilirubin cells eventually with enough feeding, but I'm glad we could speed it along.

Also overwhelming: my desire to just memorize every last bit of them. Our camera is getting a workout.
I've hired a professional photographer to come to the house on Saturday to do newborn pictures, and then she'll come again at 6 months and a year. I'm really looking forward to working with her. I hope the babies will be cooperative!!

David likes playing with the babies:
Ingrid is going to be very smart, I know.

What a difference two pounds makes. Ingrid feels solid and it's not scary to hold her or dress her. My Theo still feels like a baby bird....I know he's strong and a fighter, but it's easy to feel like you're going to hurt him when dressing or changing him. He's eating a lot and making a lot of dirty diapers, so I'm hopeful that his weight gain will be really good at the two week appointment.

Which brings us to the last overwhelming feeling: worry. I come from a long line of worriers on my mom's side. I always used to tease my mom that she would lay awake at night going through her daily worries--10 minutes on me, 5 minutes on the dog, 5 minutes on my dad, 5 minutes on world peace, 5 minutes on thinking of other things to worry about that she hadn't already worried about, etc. I now get to worry that they're not eating enough, not eating often enough, that they'll reject the breast, that they'll get dependent on bottles (yes, contradictory, I know), that David won't bond with them, that they'll prefer David to me, that our visitors will be annoyed at not getting enough sleep no matter how much they say they expect not to sleep, what I'll do when I'm alone with David at work, and the big one--how am I going to leave these little angels when I go back to work in (hopefully) December???

Friday, June 3, 2011


Ooh boy. Lots to update! Ingrid and Theodore's birth story will be forthcoming. But for now....

We've made it through two nights now! Two's hard work. As soon as one of them is fed, I have to feed the other one. By the time that one is done, it's almost time to feed the first one again. I am going to have to get tandem feeding down! Both of them were asleep for a lot of yesterday, so they were awake too much at night. It was tough. David is useless if he's not getting enough sleep, and I'd rather have him get some good sleep than be cranky and whiny during the day when I also need him. We'll all get better at all of this and develop a routine....we have no choice! We had to take Ingrid for her blood draw for her jaundice today, and MIL stayed home with Theo. It felt SO EASY only having one baby to be repsonsible for for a couple of hours--ha! (More on her jaundice later, but note that this is the first time the babies have not been together since conception. Crazy.)

My milk started coming in yesterday. My MIL noticed it when I was doing my first pump of the day after the babies had nursed. Great start to my 30th birthday. I also weighed myself, and I'm down 25 pounds of the 50 I gained--nice!

More and more milk has been coming in each time--I just pumped 3oz in 15 minutes after nursing both babies. I'm not sure how much of the pumping success is because my supply is going up and how much is because the babies just aren't good at pulling the milk out of me yet, but I'm going to be happy with it.

Yesterday was the babies' first bath at home. Here we are, all nice and clean. Their hair gets so cute and fuzzy after a bath!Ingrid after her bath.

Theo often has a very suspicious look on his face. I know it's just because he's so skinny and doesn't have a lot of fat on his cheeks, but it's still pretty funny.

For my birthday dinner, I got the sushi I've been craving, a fantastic Anderson Valley pinot noir that David picked up at the fancy local wine and cheese shop, and the best cupcakes ever.

Theo spent a lot of yesterday in the Moby while poor Ingrid glowed under her phototherapy blanket. He's too little to really be properly in it yet, so we made some adjustments and I didn't walk around too much with him in it. That boy just wants to be snuggled!

I'm crossing my fingers for a good night--I'm going to bed after dinner to try to get some sleep before the babies start squawking.