Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stuck in a blizzard...

The city of Boston was hit with about 18 inches of snow the day after Christmas.  While I had planned to go into work, the city was declared a 'state of emergency', and the mayor recommended that all non-essential workers stay home and off the roads.

I am a non-essential worker.

Nicole is a non-essential worker.

Jason is an essential worker.

I lose.

We actually had a nice day.  The kids did decide to tag team naps, however.  The girls are still taking two naps a day, while Zev takes one.  Which means they alternated and at least one child was always awake.  As I said to Jason later:  I'm not sure which is harder...entertaining one three year old or entertaining two one year olds.  Especially when you don't rely on television.

Zev was up at 7 and we had breakfast.  I got the girls up by 8 and Jason ran out as soon as possible to account for the snowy roads.  I did let Zev play out in the snow while the girls and I watched from inside.  While the girls were napping, I raided the craft bag and we did some glitter pens, stickers, markers, puff-balls, glue, pasta shapes...quite artistic!  By that time the girls woke up and everyone had lunch.  I kicked Zev upstairs to nap by promising him a bath when he woke up.  Then the girls and I played, which consisted of me laying on the floor and letting them climb all over me and stick their (grimey) hands in my face and mouth, while pulling my hair.  I delayed their nap as long as I could, knowing that once I brought them upstairs, Zev would wake up.  Sure enough, I brought them up at 3:20...and at 3:25 Zev came down.  I then delayed HIS bath as long as I could, knowing he would just wake them up when he got in the water and started splashing around and yelling.  By 4:30, Zev was in the tub and the girls were awake.  By 5:15 the girls were having dinner, and by 5:30 Jason was home. 

And I was wiped.

Some recent pictures, a few from the night before when the snow started, and the other two from the indoor playground we go to.






Our Christmas was nice.  We went to my sister's house for her annual Christmas Eve open house.  The kids were well-behaved.  We bummed around the house for the rest of the weekend, due to the snow.  And now things are back to normal.  No major plans for the New Year...I'm lucky if I'm still awake by 11pm....


Sunday, December 19, 2010

a few photos from the party

I admit we were really bad at taking pictures at the girls' birthday.  Luckily my mother shot some:





Tzelia cut her third tooth.  Jason had commented on how 'behind' she was compared to Meorah...and then she went out and cut a tooth.  She's been fantastically needy recently, and perhaps this is why.  She has always been a very needy girl, so it could just be a coincidence.  Its interesting how similar Meorah is to Zev, and how different Tzelia is to the two of them.  Both Meorah and Zev are very independent and generally happy children.  While I wouldn't say Tzelia is UNhappy, she is definitely more clutchy and more emotional compared to the other two.  Both Meorah and Zev (when he was their age) are content to play alone and never complain unless they're hungry.  Tzelia doesn't seem to like to be alone:  she will look towards an adult in the room to make sure they are there.  Only then is she ok to be alone.  But even then there are times she will only be happy if she is playing on your lap.  Meorah (and Zev) can't stand to be held for that long...they'd rather be off and playing somewhere.

Its just interesting.

We are a little concerned about Tzelia.  She hasn't gained any weight in a month.  She eats fine, better than Meorah sometimes.  But she doesn't drink.  We started tracking her fluid intake today because we are also noticing she has significantly less wet diapers.  We don't want her to be dehydrated, but I hesitate to give her water because it will just fill her up and she'd eat even less.  Her doc isn't concerned yet, but we're supposed to keep an eye on her.  Today she was about 15.5 lbs, compared to Meorah's almost 19.  Meorah herself isn't all that big, but compared to Tzelia she seems huge.  I'm not horribly worried, mainly because she is still healthy and does eat quite well.  I make them the same foods for their meals, so I am trying to compensate for Tzelia and give her more of the solids, knowing she'll take less milk later.  If that doesn't work, I'm going to have to spike her food with milk powder or something.

Nothing really planned for the upcoming holidays.  We don't celebrate Christmas, but we usually go to an old family friend's house for the day.  Unfortunately they had to cancel due to family illness, so I'm pretty disappointed.  Since it means my dad is free as well, we'll probably do something with him for the day.  And no New Years plans either, although its my sister's birthday and I have to still get her something.  She also usually has a Christmas Eve open house, and I need to find out if she is having that again.  If so, we'll of course go:  we had a lot of fun at her house for Thanksgiving.

Spent the day trying to clean.  And it looks like it may finally snow a bit.  I like looking at it, but hate the cold.  In my next life, I'm going to live somewhere nice and warm....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

40 days of my life

I officially stopped pumping a few days ago.  Since then, two things:

1) I am VERY VERY uncomfortable.  I had to sleep in a bra last night, and God forbid something bump into me.  Painful, painful, painful.  Hello boobage.

2) I don't know what to do with myself.  I used to give up my lunch hour to take breaks during my work day to pump, and now I don't have to.  I got used to shoveling down half of my lunch in 20 minutes while pumping (and then the other half during another pumping session), that I've forgotten how to actually TAKE a lunch hour.  So now I'm still eating in 15 minutes and just go back to work...and realize I'm not actually taking a designated 'lunch time'.  While I'm certainly more productive, its probably better for me if I actually TAKE a break during the day.  And then when I get home, I realize I DON'T have to worry about when I'm going to pump, that I CAN sleep in an extra half an hour, etc.  Weird.

It was the second point that made me wonder how many hours I actually spent pumping.

So I did a rough estimate.  Granted I pumped a lot more in the beginning, and less at the end, but I figure this will be a decent estimate:

For most of the year, I pumped 8x/day.  For roughly 20 minutes a session...closer to 45 in the morning, and maybe 15 at the end of the day.  If you do the math, that's about 950 hours of my life.  Or about 40 days.

I spent 40 days of 2010 attached to that damn pump.  That's 10% of my year.


Give me a freaking medal already.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Its the one year anniversary of my blog.  Happy anniversary to me.  I can't believe I've kept it up for this long.  I'm glad I did...its been a long year.  And, despite all the heart ache, trials and tribulations, and rough times...its actually ending pretty well.

Perhaps its fitting that we had the girls' birthday celebration today, then.  It went surprisingly well.  Jason's mom came over the day before and took Zev out for lunch while Jason and I scrubbed the house down.  And today we had a fair amount of friends, family, and kids come over to help us celebrate.  Very simple party:  pizza and cake.  But fun, nonetheless.  We aren't able to be social all that often, so it was nice having so many friends together at once.  And of course I like to show off the girls.  When I get some photos, I'll post some of the party.

The girls are doing so well.  They had their one year check-up a few days ago, and it went well.  There was a little concern about Tzelia's size, and we were told to try to beef up her foods.  At one year, she's only 15.5 lbs, so she's not even on the percentile chart.  Meorah is also rather small, but being 3 lbs bigger, she looks huge compared to Tzelia.  So I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on their intake.  I think she's just going to be a petite girl.  She's healthy, she's just small.

Other highlights of the weekend:  Jason and I went out on a date for the first time in 1.5 years.  I can't believe it, but its true.  Obviously we couldn't go while I was on bedrest, and we haven't been since the girls were born.  Which makes it about a year and a half.  We went out to a Hibachi-type restaurant that we like that definitely isn't kiddie-friendly.  Unfortunately I was exhausted:  it was a Friday night and I had a long work week.  But it was still nice being out sans kiddos.  We had Meredith (summer nanny) come and watch the kids.  She is one of only two people who could probably babysit in the evening...the other being Nicole, obviously.  We really do have to do that more often...its important and very recharging.

So nice weekend.  Nice date.  Nice party.  Hard to believe its been a year.  There were days I never thought we'd make it this far...or I'd end up killing someone along the way.  But it truly is getting easier.  And more fun.  I'm laughing a lot more and enjoying everything a lot more.  Looking forward to a lot more.

I hope I'm still keeping this blog a year from now.  Wouldn't that be something...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And Happy Birthday to my girls!

I was just re-reading my post talking about the day the girls were born.  It was a pretty rough day.  Looking at pictures of them, I find it so hard to believe how much they have changed.

I don't remember all that much of last December.  Stress, lack of sleep, pain....all washed away a lot of the memories.  Which is why I'm glad I started writing this.  I had forgotten some details of my pregnancy and labor and re-reading them brought back a lot of memories.  I wish I had posted more pictures, but we have them all at home on our computers, of course.

After work I am meeting Jason and the kids at the NICU for a visit.  I haven't been there since they discharged Tzelia (Meorah had been discharged 1.5 weeks prior) back in January.  I have mixed feelings.  I love showing off the girls and I'm very proud of how they are doing.  And I know the nurses will like to see them:  its what makes their job worthwhile....healthy and happy babies.  But I worry it will also bring back a lot of sad emotions and memories, and the stress and anxiety I felt at the time.  Just re-reading some of my thoughts brought back a little bit...its been a long year.  But I think the overriding emotion is really joy.  They've come so far, and we are just so lucky.  I read preemie message boards and I am well-aware of the problems we could be facing.  And there still may be some down the road.  But for now...things are great.  The girls are happy babies (even the drama-queen Tzelia).  Even Zev has grown a lot in the last year.

We're having a birthday party for them this weekend.  But for now...happy birthday little girls.  I'm so happy you're here and I can only hope things continue to be as wonderful as they are.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me!  Its the 10th anniversary of my 23rd birthday.  Ha.

Already the day is going much better than my birthday last year.  Haven't thrown up yet, I can move my feet, and there is no bed pan in sight.  Much better than my ninth anniversary.  Zev summed it up very nicely this morning as we were walking down the stairs:  "Don't want to slip and fall because mommy doesn't want to go to the hospital today".

Is it sad that my goal for today is not to be hospitalized?

Joking aside, the day is going to be rather low key.  I'm working.  I have kids who need to be catered to when I get home.  So its not like I can party hard.  But, my husband and I will be going out for dinner on Friday night!!!!!

Yes, that needs lots of emphasis.  Yesterday he asked me when the was last time we went out on a date in the evening.  I don't remember.  But it had to have been at least 15 months ago, because I was put on bedrest 15 months ago and we haven't been on one since then.  And we probably hadn't gone out prior to that with my pregnancy complications anyway.  So, it is very sad to say that my husband and I haven't been on a 'real date' in a year and a half.

How sad.

How very very sad.

Why haven't we?  Well, the bedrest issue.  Then the girls were born and preemies.  Since then, its been an issue of finding someone who could actually watch and put to bed all three children by themselves.  Hell, I wouldn't even want to do it, and I'm their mother.  Its drama-filled and difficult enough with two parents.  Not a good task for a babysitter....until recently, now that both girls are now pretty easy to put down.  Once you drag Zev up the stairs, he'll stay put as well.  But there was a good two-three months of bedtime Hell.  Every night.  So no babysitting.  Still, the only two people I would actually trust to do it would be Meredith and Nicole.

This will be fixed on Friday.  He told me Meredith will be coming over to watch the kiddos and we can go out.  Yay!!  That alone is a nice birthday gift.  He also got me a GC for a spa treatment, which I plan to take advantage of sometime in the next few weeks.

My gift to myself today:  I'm not pumping during the day.  Did it in the morning, will do it in the evening, but that's it.  I didn't even bring the parts to work.  I will be cutting out one of those sessions in a few days and then I'll be out completely.

My birthday present to myself:  hanging up the breast pumping horns.  Thank freaking god.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pictures and update!

First a few pictures:  Zev out in the leaves



My prisoners on a Sunday morning:




Food poisoning is over.  Thank goodness.  However, I am still having a lot of bloating/gas problems (yeah, TMI, but its my blog so whatever).  So I am finally getting these GI tests done.  I had started getting tested before I became pregnant, but had to stop due to the pregnancy.  I actually had a gastric emptying study scheduled the week I found out I was pregnant with the girls.  

So I'm going to be getting tested for lactose intolerance, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and actually get that emptying study done.  There is something I am intolerant to, and I'm tired of being bloated, gassy, and in pain from either gas or reflux.  As I bitched  said to Jason this morning, I'm so bloated its like I never had the surgery for the diastasis....sigh.

Speaking of, I did start going back to the gym, and while the first two weeks were fine I think I ended up doing a bit too much because I've been in more pain the last few days.  I would have taken some yummy drugs, but they tend to have a .... constipating effect.... and...well, see the previous paragraph.  So I'm just going to have to take it a little more easy when I go.  Or be more careful in choosing my exercises.

Kids are good.  Tzelia is just getting over a bad virus.  She didn't have any real symptoms other than a very high fever.  Poor thing.  She was better today, so I think it ran its course.  Meorah is going to be walking soon.  I've caught her almost standing on her own.  So maybe in another month or so.

We're having some potty issues with Zev.  He's great at peeing when he sits on the potty.  But if you don't ask him to sit down, he'll just hold it in.  We know, because he won't pee all morning (he's in underwear when home) and then when he naps, his diaper will be SOAKED.  We do ask him regularly if he has to sit on the potty, and he usually argues with us that he doesn't.  BUT when he does sit down, he will pee.  So I'm not quite sure what to do with him.  He knows when he pees in his diaper because he will say it 'feels warm'.  He just won't sit on the potty unless you badger him.  I know boys are supposed to take longer, so I suppose I shouldn't be too impatient with him.  I don't want it to be a big issue.  

Girls are turning one on Tuesday.  I can't believe it...

And I'm turning 33 on Monday.  Can't believe that either....  Here's hoping this birthday is better than last year's birthday.  At least I won't be in labor again.  Ha.  I'd rather not be puking or paralyzed from drugs either.  Or have a bed pan anywhere near me.  Not a nice way to spend a birthday....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food poisoning

Food poisoning blows.  Especially when its hitting both adults.

'Nuff said.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I subscribe to a lot of blogs on a lot of different topics.  Yesterday, almost all of them had a 'be thankful' message.  I didn't have time to do a posting....so mine will be a day late.

Yes, I have lots to be thankful for.  Another preemie mom friend of mine wrote me the other day, asking how I was holding up coming onto the one year anniversary of the girls' birth.  She's having a bit of a difficult time with her son's first birthday coming up and the memories it is bringing on.  In a way, I'm blessed that I have a very busy life that keeps me distracted from the memories of the past...I do have my girls, but I am also working full time and have a toddler.  I barely have time to breathe, never mind reflect on the last year.  But I do think it is important to take a moment to be consciously grateful for a few things...

I am thankful that my girls are as healthy as they are.  For 30 week preemies, they are doing amazingly well.  Even their pediatrician is shocked at how healthy they are.  We got lucky.  I read a fair amount of preemie message boards, and I know what we could be dealing with.  Obviously we aren't out of the woods and for all I know we'll be dealing with some future learning disabilities or other problems, but for now, things are great.  I am thankful for that.

I am thankful that my son is as well adjusted as he is.  The year was rough on him too, but he amazes me every day.  As I'm writing this, we have a back-up babysitter downstairs (Nicole's baby is sick, so she couldn't come today) and even though he only met Keisha less than two hours ago, they are having a great time downstairs.  Last night at my sister's house, he had a blast.  Sure, he has his moments, but so do I.  He's human.  And for an almost-three year old, he does amazingly well.

I am thankful for my husband.  Chronic stress can obviously affect a marriage very badly, but he has hung in there and stepped up to the plate and is just amazing.  He has spent a fair amount of the year being a single parent as I've dealt with various health problems and was incredible.  Unlike a high majority of dads, he is an extremely active parent and is a fantastic father.  And a wonderful, wonderful husband.  I couldn't ask for anything more and I could write enough to really express how fantastic he is.

I am thankful for my family.  Our family has had a rough six months, which I haven't talked that much about in here.  But I think it has brought us closer together in some ways.  And while I'm not happy with the events that have gone on, I am thankful that we have been able to weather through it so far.

And practically speaking, I am thankful for what we have.  Like lots of people right now, we are stressed about our finances and the economy.  We are hoping to move out of our house if we can, and while we aren't happy with where we are, I am thankful we have a place to live, jobs that pay well, a nanny that loves our children, and more laughter than tears.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun with a toddler

I admit to not spending that much time with children before having my own.  I never babysat, didn't teach, and really didn't have an urge to hang out with kids.

I still don't, with the exception of my own

So hanging out with a toddler is a somewhat new experience for me.  I find the girls less fascinating...I've done the 'baby' thing before.  But Zev is new.  Zev is different.  Zev I find interesting.

What has been amazing me recently is how his imagination is now exploding.  Our bed is now an 'ocean' that he goes swimming in.  He has a turtle-shaped lamp in his room that reflects the shapes of stars and a moon on the ceiling that 'watch him'.  And, my current favorite, three puzzle pieces held together are a sandwich, which he will make for me to eat.  And when I asked him what type of sandwhich it was, it turns out it was a cheese sandwich.

'Will you play with me?'

'Will you sit with me?'

'Will you lay with me'?

'Will you read this with me?'

How can you say no?

Then, like all toddlers, he does something obnoxious and you forget how cute he can be.  He'll push one of his sisters down and then scream when he is ordered to his room.  Or throw a fit when we refuse to allow him to 'watch music' (his phrase for listening to music we have on iTunes while random pictures are displayed on the television screen).  Or insist that he DOESN'T like the potty/Nicky/Mommy/Daddy/Dinner/the sisters.

Its definitely fun.  Lucky for him, the cute factor overrides the obnoxious factor.  And it makes me look forward to when the girls are his age and what cute things they are going to be doing.

He's turning into a 'real boy'.  His memory is outstanding:  he will remember an entire song after just hearing it a few times.  And sing it to me.  His likes/dislikes are becoming more distinct.  And he's becoming fun to really play with, now that he is really playing.  It amazes me sometimes.

Its fun to watch him grow and learn.  I never realized how difficult parenting was until I started doing it.  He truly has a mind of his own, and its growing into its own.  I just hope we do a good job with him....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still hanging....

We're in the midst of planning the girls' first birthday, which (believe it or not) is less than four weeks away.  Originally we were going to have it at our house, but after putting together a guest list, I became uncomfortable with the thought of having everyone come to us.  We live in a small, old, house.  There just isn't enough sitting room for that many adults + children.  While it would work (and we've done it before), it is rather chaotic and I think its rude to have too many people and not enough chairs for everyone to sit.

So we had to go to option 2.

Option 2 is now to rent out time at an Indoor Playspace...you know those big warehouses that have tons of toys and climbing structures with all those kiddos running around and screaming in.  You can rent out a room for birthdays for 1.5 hours and let your child-guests enjoy the play area while adults can sit and chat amongst themselves.  Its a bit old for the girls (these places are meant more for toddlers and up), but we need the space and many of the kids who are coming will be older. 

Plus...no clean up.

All we have to do is supply the food; the facility will provide plates/utensils.  Unfortunately the place we like was booked in the afternoon, so we will be having a dinner party.  Pizza and cake it is!  Nice and easy.  Now I'm just debating whether I want to order a really funky cake from a bakery and have it be a little more 'special'.  Or do something a little different and just get a ton of cupcakes.

Unfortunately this plan puts Zev out a little bit.  His birthday is a month after the girls', and we can't throw two huge parties.  So, once again, his birthday is going to take a hit (if you go back, you can read about what happened during his birthday last year....at the last minute it was decided that Meorah was going to come home from the NICU the day we planned to have his party so we had to do a last minute reschedule and it became a very small party at our house the night before we picked her up).

Since my mom and Jason's mom will not be coming to Zev's birthday for various reasons, we decided to have another party for his birthday, but limit it to only family and friends with children and have it at the house again. The girls' party is basically everyone we know, regardless of whether or not they have kids. 

Again, I can't believe its been a year....

No plans for MY birthday, which is the day before the girls' birthday.  I know Jason is putting something together, and I know it has something to do with pictures because I've seen him play around with them recently and I he said he's already figured out what he's doing for my birthday.  He's made albums for me before, so that's probably what he's doing (hint hint, if you're reading this, I like hard-bound books or real printed pictures...the digital stuff on paper isn't the same...).  If my parents give me money, I think I'm going to buy an espresso maker....I had some on my work retreat and fell in LOVE.  Not that I need more caffeine, but a girl has to have her vices. I also need a new wallet.  Meorah has been chewing on mine, and its a little yucky now.  I also have been seeing some 'mothers' jewlery, with different birthstones for the children.  I like that idea, too. 

What I should do is call our babysitter and see if she can come and babysit some afternoon/evening so Jason and I can go out.  That's what I'd really like...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It took 11 months....

But we finally have a sick baby.

I'm not counting the runny noses all kiddos end up having this time of year.  I mean 'really' sick.

Tzelia came down with a fever last week.  She was cranky, lethargic, and very needy.  She felt like a hot water bottle and her temp was over 101.  So we took her to the doc; our worry was an ear infection since Zev had a lot of them when he was an infant his first winter.  Her pedi said her ear was slightly pink, so we got a script for some antibiotics and started them.  Her fever didn't really break until a few days later.  A few days after that, Jason noticed that she had developed a rash on her chest and abdomen, spreading around her shoulders.

So yesterday we took her for a sick child visit.  Our thought was it was either a reaction to the antibiotics or it was a viral infection:  the fever and rash could be a sign of roseola, which is a virus that children.  The main symptoms are a high fever, followed by a rash a few days later.  Those symptoms matched, but the rash looked a bit different from a typical roseola rash, at least in my opinion.

The doc tended to agree.  She told us that it was most likely viral and to stop the antibiotics.  Whether or not it was roseola....it doesn't really matter since there is no treatment for it anyway.  But she did agree that the rash didn't look like the typical roseola rash.  And she said if Tzelia does end up needing antibiotics in the future to try the amoxycillin again, but watch for a rash just in case this really was just an allergic reaction.

That's what I tend to think it was.  I think she had a virus that naturally went its course and the rash was a reaction to the drugs we gave her.

But 11 months without a sickness is pretty good, I think.  I'm chalking that up to not doing day care and the fact that she's still getting breastmilk.  Gotta love the antibodies there.

Speaking of which, I've got about three weeks left of pumping.  I really need to start figuring out how to cut down and how I want to introduce the whole milk.  Right now I'm pumping about 6 times a day, and twice at work.  Either next week or the following I think I'll drop one session at work and keep the rest, and then go from there.  The longest I've been able to go during the day is about 5 hours and then I start to feel 'itchy'.  Overnight, I've gone as long as 6 hours, but that's typically on a weekend when I 'sleep in' (ha...that means 6:30am rather than 4:30).

Its very bittersweet for me.  I'm glad I made it this far, although I'm not sure who really cares at the end of the day.  Is it really such a big accomplishment?  I suppose it is...most people wouldn't do this, especially for twins.  It makes me sad to stop, but I think my husband would kill me if I wanted to continue.  He's been very supportive but hates that I'm doing it (because of the inconvenience...it means scheduling our days around the pump, he doing a lot more, etc).  I think he's a lot more excited about my stopping than I am...

sigh.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The terrible threes....

Zev will be three in January.  The following is a pity-party/vent/cry session.  I know all this behavior is typical for his age, so I'm not concerned about it.  Its just...a very difficult age.

And I know why...he's recognizing his feelings more but still doesn't have all the verbal ability to explain what he means.  He has no filter in his brain, so everything he thinks/feels just blows out of him.  While he understands a lot, at the same time he's a toddler, so there are certain more abstract concepts he just doesn't get.  Words he doesn't understand.  Superimpose that on a fierce need to be independent, high activity, high emotion, and a very (naturally) self-centered way of looking at the world...

Well, you end up with a very narcissistic person who reminds me of the brain damaged patients I used to work with a decade ago...those with complete frontal lobe impairment who were just completely inappropriate and high-needs.  Only he likes to scream and cry when he doesn't like something and is much more willing to do it for a very long time.

Sigh.

He's also very perseverative (also a sign on frontal lobe damage....), and if I hear the songs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory one more time....

I just don't have a lot of patience for him right now.  And that makes me feel bad.  At the end of the work day, I'm running around trying to make meals for the next day, make dinner for everyone, clean up, feed the girls, make baby food to freeze....you name it.  I feel like Zev gets the short-shift in all of that.

He's also in a daddy-phase right now, which makes me feel horrible.  And I know THAT is normal too, but I can't help but think its partly due to all the health problems I've had for a year now (!!!!).  Bed rest with my pregnancy, exhaustion/sickness after the girls were born, ulcer sickness, now the surgery recovery....I've been on a 'hands-off' mode for a year.  How can that not affect how he sees me?  He's learned that he can't jump on mommy, that mommy has a 'boo-boo', that mommy is resting, that I can't jump around and play like daddy can....

So it really hurts my feelings now and I feel like its my fault.  I know it isn't and that this has just been a bugger of a year.  But the constant rejection (and I mean every single night he'll throw a fit if I try to put him to bed...there is only so much rejection you can take) is starting to wear on me.

The answer is more play time with him, obviously, but I'm still in recovery-mode, so that's hard.  And, as I said, I'm not a naturally patient person, so I have a hard time slowing down and being really 'there' for this little brain damaged person.

I know this is just a phase for him (and for me).  I just hope when the girls are this age things are a little better....maybe the fact that they are girls?  Regardless, my health should be better by then and I will hopefully have learned enough from this period with Zev to help next time.  Because TWO brain damaged people running around....well, I don't even want to think about that....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm really late on updating

I've been meaning to do a Halloween post, but life just gets in the way....

We did go out trick-or-treating for a little while.  I really wanted to go out with Zev and Jason:  last year I was on bedrest and even 'broke' it then to walk around the block to look at the pumpkins and decorations (of course I paid for that later with some pain, but it was worth it to me).

So Sunday evening we decided that we would feed the girls and then all of us go out for a bit and then come back and put the kids to bed.  Our bell starting ringing just before 6pm.  We managed to escape around 6:30 and were probably out for about half an hour.  It was COLD.  Jason had the girls in the stroller (sans costumes...they weren't going to be seen anyway) and I walked Zev up the steps to each of the houses.  It ws fun, although I had to prompt him to take the candy.  I think naturally he is a shy boy, but he did get into it.  We didn't get that much candy, but I wasn't going to let him have any of it anyway:  I told him we were collecting candy for daddy.  Ha.

(I know its only one day a year, but child nutrition is actually pretty important to me and a lot of my personal reading has to do with the food industry, sustainable farming, and nutrition in general. I debated being 'that house' and only giving out pretzels or other healthy stuff, but decided not to go that extreme.  While we were out, we did end up finding 'that house' and I did let Zev eat the bag of pretzels he got from her)

After Halloween, I went back over old pictures to see how Zev has grown....

Zev's first Halloween I just bought a onsie and a hat.  We didn't go anywhere.



Second Halloween (note the big baby bump...the girls would be coming about six weeks later, and this is after about four weeks of bedrest).  The weather was really nice that year and this is out on the porch carving a pumpkin.  He was a bear but refused to wear the hat that went with the costume.




This year at the Prudential Center as Kermit the frog.  Again, refused to wear the hat that was with the costume...I should keep this in mind for next year...


The kid finally grew some hair.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Healing too slowly

I miss the gym.

I'm working really hard to do what is best for me and give myself another two weeks before going back to the gym.  I'm four weeks out from (my first) surgery, and it is a four to six week recovery.  My surgeon has specifically put me on a 'no lifting' precaution until mid-November.  Nothing more than 10 lbs.  I spent last night 'googling' recommendations for recovery from an abdominoplasty, and that's pretty typical.  I even saw longer, depending on the severity of the surgery.  As well as shorter for just a 'mini-abdominoplasty', which I know I didn't have.

But I was still considering it.  I was thinking of things I could do to support my core and still do something. Its deceptive:  when I'm wearing my compression garment I actually feel pretty good.  But when I don't, I start to feel sore.  And when I cough.  I can also feel where the stitches are inside, and the muscle there is still sore.  When I raise my hands up over my head and stretch my muscle out, it feels tight and sore, particularly at the top where the stitches start.  It hurts to roll over or do any real 'twisting' motion.  The incision site itself is also tender.

So I know I'm not ready.  I just miss going.  Its very centering for me and very meditative.  And I miss feeling like I've worked my muscles.  But I know if I went I wouldn't be able to do the workout I would want to do, and I'd just risk hurting myself.  So I'm doing the smart thing (for once) and waiting.

I'm not a cardio-bunny.  I work out when the gym opens at 5:30 and I go to the weight room.  There are perhaps one or two other (men) people there.  I lift the 'big' weights.  I bench.  I squat.  I row.  I used to deadlift until I hurt my back years ago and now I'm too wary to do so....and I didn't have enough real core strength to do it well with the hernia and diastasis.  I've been doing it for about six years now.  I do hit the cardio a few times a week, but most of my time is spent in the weight room.   I've gone through phases of doing more/less cardio, but the weights are always constant.  This isn't a fitness blog so I won't go into the physiological reasons why I've sent it up this way, but I will say for those out there who aren't up on fitness:  if you have limited time (which I do!) your time is better spent in the weight room than on a cardio machine.  Too many people do it the other way around.

Two more weeks.  Then I can go back, albiet slowly.  I need to be very careful because I don't want to burst my stitches while jumping back into squatting.  As I said to my coworker:  its one thing to start lifting 10 lbs...its another thing to throw a bunch of weight on your back and squat ass to grass or work up to benching your body weight.

Two more weeks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Early Halloween

I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what to dress the kids for Halloween.  The last two years I haven't really cared.  I don't think Zev was anything for the first Halloween (he was only 9 months old!) and last year we just got him a bear costume at the last minute.  I stayed home for the trick or treaters since I was on bedrest, and Jason took him out for a little while.

This year I felt a little more pressure.  Zev actually has interests now, and he may actually get a little bit out of trick-or-treating.  And the girls...well, with twins there is always pressure to go 'above and beyond'.  You get enough attention as it is.  Something extra 'cute' is expected.

So Zev is Kermit.  We don't watch TV in our house.  We watch 'music'.  Jason has a program on his computer that is hooked up to the TV that collages through photos we have on iPhoto, and we have it hooked up to our iTunes, so we play iTunes playlists and old pictures of us are displayed on the television. Zev has a good ear and memory for music and has most of the muppet songs memorized (we actually have a video of him singing all the words to 'the Rainbow Connection', and is working on Willy Wonka right now.  He keeps asking for the Oompa Loompa song...but I digress...

Zev is Kermit.  Which left the girls.  You have to do a 'theme', and after going through a lot of costumes online I decided:  an Angel and a Devil.  And it was obvious who was going to be the Devil.  If you can't guess, you haven't been a good reader.

We went to the Pru, which was having a charity event for Boston Medical Center.  You could go and trick-or-treat in the stores, and there were a lot of booths for a variety of different sponsors.  It was fun and we took pictures.  I do have to be an attention whore for a second:  we got stopped by LOTS of people admiring the girls' costumes.  Even in the midst of tons and tons of costumed children, we still got attention.

It was nice.  I did good.














 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

100th post

I think this is my 100th post.  Coolness.

I'm in a countdown.  Today is 10/24.  Just over 6 weeks and the girls will be one year old....

And I will have met my one year pumping goal


I am seriously all over this pumping thing.  Really.  There are two reasons I'm continuing.  The first is purely a lame reason:  I only have six weeks to go and I refuse to stop so close to the goal.  I feel like I'm dragging myself to the finish line.  I've come this far and I will not stop when I'm so close!!

The second reason is a more practical reason:  I just hate formula.  Really.  No offense to anyone who uses it, but that stuff is just nasty.  It smells bad, the consistency is gross, and the thought of it just...well, ew.  I know its scientifically derived to be a close proximate to breastmilk and meets all nutritional needs, blah blah blah...

But yuck.  The thought of drinking it makes me want to throw up and I can't believe the girls will actually drink it.  Are their tastebuds dead?

It isn't a cost issue.  I have over 1000K worth of formula in my basement right now, which was covered by insurance (for the long saga on that, go back and read some of my older posts).  We will never use it, and I'm going to have to either sell it or donate it (if anyone wants preemie formula, contact me!!!!).  I could stop pumping tomorrow and not have to buy another can of formula and would still probably have leftovers.

But yuck.

I have cut down on my pumping sessions.  For nine months I pumped 8x/day.  I now do it about 6x/day.  At my last moms of multiples meeting, a woman came up to me and asked if I was still pumping.  When I said yes, she was shocked and impressed.  I'm the only one in my 'age group' who continues...most gave out about at month 3.  Its hard in general, but doubly hard for twins I think, especially if you are a stay at home.  And often, most women won't have enough to pump for two (pump is less efficient, so while you may be able to breastfeed two, pumping for two is much harder) so they have to supplement a little anyway.  We always did, and still do.  The girls probably get 70/30 breastmilk/formula.

But 6x/day is a lot.  I have to plan my day around it.  I can go about four hours before I feel like I should stop and pump.  Which means I do it twice at work.  Weekends also have to consider when I can get back and pump.  I've done it in the car, I've done it DRIVING while in the car, I've done it in bathrooms, parking lots....  I'm going on a work retreat this week, and will have to bring my pump and had to ask for a fridge in my room.  Pain in the butt.

But six weeks.  Six weeks to go.  Despite it being a pain, I admit that it will probably be hard to stop.  I want to continue until the girls are solidly on milk, so I'll probably try to transition them a bit before their birthday to make sure they deal with it ok.  And its going to be a gradual decrease for me...I remember stopping for Zev and having a few weeks of pretty bad discomfort.  So I think I'll start to drop some sessions in a month or so while starting to give the girls some milk and hopefully we'll both finish transitioning at the same time.

Six more weeks.  Bittersweet.  Glad to not have the inconvenience, sad that it means my girls don't need it anymore.  I could of course go longer, but I think my husband would kill me.  I think he's anticipating the end more than I am.  He's been wonderfully supportive the entire time, but having it impacts him as well.  So I'm sure he'll be grateful once I'm done.

What will be interesting to see is if the girls are healthier than Zev was during this first winter.  That is one of the benefits of breastmilk:  increased immunity.  If it means they won't have the same ear infection problems he had (he had a ton of ear infections...at least 7 that first winter), it will be well worth it...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Its a tie

We've had a rough few weeks in the evenings.  Tzelia, always the difficult sleeper, has been even more difficult.  She will stay asleep once she is asleep.  But GETTING her down is another question.  Since I am still on my 'no lifting more than 10 lbs' restriction, that leaves Jason to trying to figure out how to get her to sleep....whether it is a bouncer, walking, rocking, or even putting her in a carrier and going outside for a half hour walk at 10pm.  Her days were equally fussy...needing to be held constantly.  And lets not even go into the blow-outs she's been having...

Two evenings ago she was inconsolable when Nicole brought the kids home...she had barely eaten all day.  I took a look at her gums...nice and swollen.  Finally.  Well, that explains that!  Ten and a half months, and she finally starts getting a tooth.  Poor thing.  Enter Tylenol, and half an hour later she's a happy baby, swimming across the floor and eating Cheerios.

So imagine our surprise when Nicole comes home yesterday and says:  You know Meorah has a tooth, right?

She DOES?  Our always happy, easy sleeping, 'see food must eat food' baby?  We'd been so busy with her drama queen sister, that we missed it.  Both girls were cutting teeth at the same time, but Meorah barely blinked while Tzelia acted like a little whiney princess.

As my husband's Facebook status stated:  Its a tie, but Meorah gets bonus points for taking it like a champ.

Tzelia, you're a wimp.

Now if both girls would just grow some hair already....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lifting, mentoring

Work actually went ok this week.  I had more energy than I thought I would, so my hypothesis was right:  I was tired because I had nothing to do.  I'm sure the narcotics I was taking, the second surgery, the blood loss, etc., played a role, but getting out of the house and feeling 'useful' again, certainly helped my energy level.  I can't do a fair amount of my 'normal' job since I'm on lifting restrictions, but I can do seated work.  Which basically comes down to experiment scoring, data analysis, and validation.  Yay.  But at least I'm back into a routine.

I saw my surgeon a few days ago, and he 'graduated' me from weekly check-ins.  I go back in three weeks.  I'm still swollen and numb, both of which will take months to go away.  That's normal.  And I still have pain, but its a different type of pain:  up and down my abdomen where (I imagine) the sutures are.  Yesterday I actually had to take some Vicodin for the first time in about a week.  It was my fault:  I was laughing a lot at work and laughing + abdominal surgery = pain.  Laughing, coughing, turning over while laying down all still cause pain.  And I'm still wearing a compression garment, which I hope to stop using soon.

Baby steps.

Speaking of which, both girls are now pulling themselves up on furniture, and Meorah can now lower herself back down.  Prior to this, she would pull herself up and then cry because she would be 'stuck'.  Now she can slowly lower herself back down.  Tzelia still isn't crawling...she's doing this odd breast-stroke crawl:  using her upper body and dragging her legs across the floor.  It looks like she's swimming, but darn it she's fast!  Nicole said when she isn't wearing pants she actually WILL crawl, probably because dragging her bare legs on the floor must hurt.  But if she's in pants, she'll just drag her legs behind her.  She must have great upper body strength for a baby.

And bridging off that...I really miss the gym.  As said, I'm on a lifting hiatus until mid-November.  Nothing over 10 lbs until then.  And even then, I'm going to ask my surgeon what is ok.  Typical day-to-day lifting activity is different than throwing 80 lbs on your back and squatting (as we like to say) ass to grass or doing Pendlay rows.  Even when I do go back, I'm going to have to go slowly...much like I did after returning from bed rest.  I was so weak then, but regained strength rather quickly.  I'd rather take more time off and be 100% sure I'm ready than risk going early, going too intense too soon, and hurting myself or possibly ruining the surgery.  (Plus, since I go at 5:30 in the morning, going that early in December isn't something I'm looking forward to...its freaking cold!!).

Had my Moms of Multiples meeting this week and I'm now running their 'Mentor' program.  People contact me if they want (or want to be) a mentor to someone else in the club. When I was on bedrest, I had a mentor through another program and found it immensely helpful.  And I like being involved...its a way to 'force' me to talk to people and feel like I belong better.  I sent out an email yesterday and got many responses, so now I just have to match people up.  I don't think it will take up that much time...this first response was a lot because it was an initial email, but I don't imagine it being so busy normally.

Going out to lunch today.  Our old summer nanny is coming to babysit.  We haven't seen her in about a month and a half.  It will be nice to see how she's doing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buying used clothes

Saw my surgeon again.  He said he's getting tired of seeing me.  Trust me, I'm getting tired of seeing him.

He drained off two ounces of fluid from my seroma.  He also recommended ginger tablets to help minimize future fluid gain...I guess some patients have said it helps.  I think I'll stop by Whole Paycheck Foods tomorrow and get some.  I've been in a fair amount of pain the last few days, and I think it is because of the excess fluid.  I had tried going a day without the compression garment a few days ago, and that was just awful....all the fluid just pressed against my jeans and was quite painful.  Plus the swelling of the skin with the bloating has been causing bruising which is quite painful.  Now that the fluid is gone, I really hope I'll feel better.  He wants to see me in a week to see if it returns.

I'm still torn about when to go back to work.  I had to nap again today, but the narcotics also make me tired, so I don't know if its an effect of the drugs or the recovery.  I need to be able to get through the day without a nap.  I had emailed my boss and said I was hoping to be back on Monday, and he told me not to come back before I was ready:  that it did me or the company no good if I came back before I could really work.  Good point.  I just feel so guilty being out of work for so long....

Other exciting news...finally got to pick up some clothes for Zev.  I'm a big believer in buying gently used clothes.  With three children, I just can't afford to buy everything 'new', especially for the girls who grow so quickly.  I couldn't go to my Moms of Multiples tag sale the other week, so I had sent out an inquiry on Craigslist and our Multiples Listserve asking if anyone was selling 2T boys or 9-12 month girl's clothes.  I got a few responses, and was finally able to make it out to pick up one of the responder's clothes today.  Some good things for Zev for the fall:  a few button down long sleeve shirts, some sweaters, some pj's, some sweater vests, and a few fleece.  He actually likes being 'preppy' and loves button down shirts, so I actually think it will work out well.  Tomorrow I'm heading out to another woman's house who is offering me some clothes for the girls.  And tomorrow night someone is  dropping off some clothes for Zev here since I can't make it out to her house.

I think its funny that some people are squeamish about buying used clothes/toys.  I figure...once you wear it, its used anyway.  And like I said, with three children, I just can't buy everything 'new'.  The majority of the girls' clothes are either used that I bought or gifts.  New clothes would be nice, sure, but I can't rationalize the cost.  I even have clothes that I bought/found for Zev and the girls that won't fit them for a year or two because they were a good bargain.  I'll just hold onto them until they are the right size.

Speaking of clothes, I have bags and bags of clothes all three have outgrown that I eventually hope to sell at some point.  Bags and bags of them.  Some clothes that have never even been worn, or worn just a few times.  Nicole (our nanny) said she would buy some of them off of me, but I also have a sister who may end up getting pregnant at some point, and I want to be able to offer her some as well.  Assuming she would take them, of course.

My dad left for Israel for about two weeks today.  I'm very jealous.  I've never been.  Hopefully I'll get to go some day.  Jason told me that I should try to find a vacation idea for the two of us...maybe next summer or the summer after he and I could go on a solo vacation.  Wouldn't that be lovely....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pictures

Haven't shown any in awhile.  These were taken last weekend when Jason, my mother in law, and the kids went to a local zoo.  Zev was a bit young for the zoo itself, but I heard they had a good time.  A couple of things always amaze me when I see pictures of my children.

First, Zev's hair color.  Both Jason and I have black hair.  Zev's is light brown.  It will probably darken as he gets older, but I still find it fascinating that it is so light.

How different Meorah and Tzelia look.  Tzelia actually looks a lot like Zev, and Meorah looks a lot like me.  I know they are completely different babies, but I just find it so amusing that even though they are twins they look NOTHING alike.

But they are all beautiful.  At least I think so.







Monday, October 4, 2010

Still home

I had been hoping to return to work this week.  I get my drainage tube taken out tomorrow morning, so technically I should be able to return to work on Wed.  I had been feeling pretty bad until I decided to stop being a martyr and take the drugs that were prescribed for me.  I took one yesterday before going out to dinner, and couldn't believe how much better I felt.  Or, as I said to Jason later, I could have been just as uncomfortable, I just didn't care about it anymore.

Vicodin rocks.

Now I feel much better.  However, Jason did point out to me this morning technically I'm not supposed to be driving while I'm under the influence of narcotics.

Well, damn.

I thought of doing it anyway, until around 1pm today.  I'd been up since 6am, getting various things done, and crashed.  I slept for an hour and felt much better.

If I still can't make it through the day without a nap, I can't go back to work.  So it looks like one more week of recovery for me.  Better safe than sorry, I know.  And I also know that my hematoma happened only a week after my first surgery, so it isn't as if I'm 100% healed and everything is groovy.  I ended up adding an extra week to my entire recovery.

But I will say it again:  despite the second emergency surgery and the continued pain and discomfort, I am so glad that I had this done.  For the first time in three years, I don't look pregnant.  Those who know me 'in real life' probably would laugh at that, but its true.  I'm not a very big person, which made the diastasis all the more visible.  It was actually painful to not have any abdominal support and I would wince whenever Zev would sit on my lap or I would bump into something with my stomach.  Granted I'm now extremely swollen and numb, am stuck wearing compression garments that suck everything in, and definitely don't have abs of steel, but even if that didn't completely heal and this was the best I got...I'm still glad I did it.  I never had bad body image until this diastasis, and I am finally feeling better about myself.  I finally feel like 'me' again....I can recognize myself in the mirror.

Totally worth it.

I am still upset that I can't be as interactive with my children.  Meorah is now cruising along furniture...we'll have a walker pretty soon.  And Tzelia is starting to leave her 'lazy' stage and crawl around a bit more....just an army crawl, but at least she's moving.  Zev is....Zev.  A friend of mine commented that I didn't mention him that much in an email to her (although I talked a lot about the girls), and my response was:  he's two.

He's a pain in the ass.  He refuses to listen, hates hearing the word 'no', and while he doesn't 'lie', he isn't always truthful either.  He's just two.  But then he'll be adorable and you just have to forgive him.

Until you want to kill him again.

Unfortunately as he gets 'better', the girls will be approaching two.  Two girls who are two.

And we'll really be screwed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Exactly one year ago I was put on bed rest.

Exactly one year ago I went to a doc appointment to be looked at.  Go an internal ultrasound to look at my cervix and see how things were progressing.  We could tell it wasn't good by the way the technician was acting.

Went back into the room to wait for my OB.

Was told to go directly home.  Directly to bed.  Do not go to work to pick up your things, do not stop for anything.

Go to bed and stay there.  As long as possible.

I was 20 weeks pregnant.  The goal was to make it to 24 weeks.  If something happened between before then, there was nothing they could do.  I was to call and come in so I wouldn't be alone, but there would be no saving the babies.  If I wanted to end the pregnancy now, I had that option:  the stress of long bed rest can be rough.  If I made it to week 24, I was to be hospitalized and given steroid shots.  And we would then take it week by week.

I made it to week 24.  I got my steroid shots.  Went home, stayed home for Halloween and enjoyed that.

I made it to week 26.  I went into pre-term labor.  That was stopped with magnesium sulfate.

I stayed in the hospital until week 28.  At the height of the swine flu.  I barely got to see my son due to hospital lock-down and lived alone in a hospital room due to the fact I am a MRSA carrier.  Other than my nurse, I hardly saw anyone for two weeks.  The only nice thing was the daily visits from my husband since he worked there.

Discharged at week 28.  Was home for Thanksgiving.  Celebrated my birthday a day early with my family. Pre-term labor at week 30, on my birthday.  Couldn't stop that one.  OB was in Dallas, was giving directions via text to his associates while I was paralyzed and throwing up on magnesium sulfate.

Girls born 30 weeks, 1 day.  Day after my 32nd birthday.

And now they are doing great.  My health has yet to be good...I realized this after coming back from the surgeon yesterday.  Since Oct 2nd, 2009 I've dealt with the above pregnancy problems.  That was followed by the bad c-section recovery, the ulcer/GI problems. pneumonia, continued diastasis issues, and now the abdominoplasty complications.

I feel really really bad for my husband for having to deal with all of this.  He is a gem, he really is.


(I can't believe how naive we were....)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Recovery, continued

Went back to the surgeon today.

I was discharged from Beth Israel with one drainage tube.  Unfortunately, the tube was on the opposite side of where the hematoma was, and I started collecting fluid at the hematoma site.  By last night it was very uncomfortable and I knew it was only going to get bigger.  I called the surgeon this morning, and he had me come in to see one of his associates (he was at another site).

She was able to drain off 3 oz of fluid.  Yummers.  Just stuck a needle right in me and aspirated it out.  Didn't hurt a bit though:  that area is still completely numb.  She did warn me that it would probably come back, so when I go back to the surgeon on Tuesday to get the drain removed I will probably have to have it done again.

Yummers.

I should re-title this blog to something having to do with my crappy luck in health...

I do feel better now that the fluid is gone, but I am emotionally feeling rather out-of-sorts.  I hate that I have to miss another week of work.  I hate that I have another drainage tube.  I hate that I'm so uncomfortable.  I hate that my appetite is gone, yet again.  I'm exhausted due to the loss of blood, but am not taking the iron pills like I should because they have a rather...constipating...side-effect, and I don't want to have to deal with that.  I'd rather sleep or drink coffee.  I feel bad that Jason is doing so much parenting now, especially when it is 10pm and Tzelia still refuses to go to sleep.  My incredible no-napping-no-sleeping baby....  I thought babies were supposed to sleep 12 hours/day?  They obviously never met Tzelia.

But since this blog IS supposed to be about my kiddos, lets chat about them...

The girls did swimmingly at their Early Intervention.  The girls were assessed for fine and gross motor abilities, feeding, and receptive and expressive language.  Meorah scored at her actual age (9-10 months) in everything except feeding, where she was at her adjusted age (7 months).  Tzelia scored at her adjusted age for everything except expressive language, where she scored above her actual age, at 11 months.  She's just a babbling machine.  Both girls still qualify, since they are technically 'behind' in areas:  Meorah just for feeding, and Tzelia for everything except language.  We won't be continuing, though.  They are scoring at their adjusted age, which is exactly what you would expect for a preemie.  They are meeting their milestones, and their pediatrician is very happy with how they are doing.  Instead, if I am concerned in a year, I will call for another assessment.  Those are free.

Speaking of milestones, we found Meorah pulled up on her crib rails this morning.  Time to lower the mattress down and get ready for a walking baby...  Tzelia still isn't a fan of crawling, but I have a feeling she'll be talking first.  I chat with her all the time.  I don't know what we talk about, but she finds it interesting.  I watch her watch my mouth and try to copy me.  Then she just lets out a big 'BAH!'.  Its quite cute.

Zev is....almost three.  'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

These things always happen to me

I'm back in the hospital.  I should be discharged today, but we can add one more hospital night stay to my resume.

I was home yesterday.  I woke up from a nap and had gone downstairs to make something to eat and pump before I was to head out and buy some 12 month girl's clothes from a woman I had been talking to through email; she had responded to a request I sent out through my 'Moms of Multiples' listserve asking if anyone was selling children's clothes.  As I was finishing cooking, I felt a 'twitch' and something 'move' in my abdomen...kind of like a gas pain or what it would feel like when I was pregnant and a baby kicked.  It didn't hurt, but it felt a little odd.  I looked down and my compression garment looked weird.  I unzipped it, and I realized my lower abdomen now looked 7 months pregnant:  it was hugely protruding, very hard, and had a dark hue to it.

This cannot be good.

I called my surgeon's clinic and just told them I was coming over.  I didn't waste time explaining.  I drove myself, which probably wasn't the best idea, but no one else was around and it would have taken time to wait for an ambulance or a taxi.  I got to the clinic in about 15 minutes, and they took me right to a room.  I called Jason on the way and told him he had to leave work and meet me there.  I was pretty sure the stitches had blown and I was going to need surgery...again.

Well, it wasn't that, but I did need surgery.  I burst a blood vessel and was developing a hematoma.  I felt another twitch while I got there, and a third one just as I was being laid out on the operating table.  It never hurt, but the pressure was incredibly uncomfortable, and getting worse as time went on.  And it was frightening.   Even my surgeon was surprised when he saw it; this is an extremely rare occurrence.  And it was just a "fluke"...there was nothing I had done that could have caused it.  A blood vessel just gave out.  Luckily they found the one that did and tied it off.  I lost a liter of blood.  When I woke up from the surgery, I felt so much better.

Since I lost so much blood, my surgeon had me transferred to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, which is where he is affiliated.  I haven't seen him yet today, but he is supposed to come here this morning to check on me and release me.  Jason was here when I checked in, but obviously he had to go home to be with the kids.  He's coming this morning before he goes to work (once again, I'm at a hospital he works at!) and will drive me home when they discharge me.

I'm feeling ok...but now really scared its going to happen again.  Because if something bad happens to anyone, it will happen to me.  I was hoping to go back to work next week, but since I now have another drainage tube, that is going to have to wait.  Which makes me feel bad.  But I'm also too scared to go:  I know this wasn't my fault, but I'm paranoid to do anything really 'active' now, even working.  So my plan is to spend the next few days/weekend in bed as much as I can.  Jason's mom is supposed to be coming this weekend anyway, so at least there will be a little help there.

My life seriously should be a TV-movie.  Because this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

surgery recovery continued

I'm just about a week post surgery.  I saw the surgeon today, and he took out the drainage tube I had.  He was a bit concerned with how red and swollen I was, but thinks its because I was wearing the compression garment too high.  So now I have another type of compression garment and will be going back to see him on Thursday.  I'm supposed to call if I have any signs of infection:  fever, etc.

I'm still in a fair amount of pain.  As long as I'm on my regimen of Tylenol I feel ok...but once it wears off, ouch!  Definite pain.  And lots and lots of swelling.  I'm definitely glad I did it, but the recovery is pretty rough.  From what I've read, it could be a few months before the swelling completely goes away.  I'm going to have to take it easy for that amount of time, which is fine.  I don't want to mess up the recovery and have it all be a waste of time.

Regarding the kiddos, the girls have their six month Early Intervention assessment this afternoon.  They've been seeing an Occupational Therapist through the MA Early Intervention system since they came home from the NICU:  they qualified because they were preemies.  So every 2-3 weeks, we've had a visit and the OT has looked at them to see how they're doing.  Now that its been six months, they'll have a formal assessment and it will be decided if they still qualify.  Obviously the goal is to be kicked out of the program.  If they still qualify, we'll have to decide if we want to continue.  Unfortunately, due to state budget cuts, the cost of EI went up 400%, and to keep them in the program for another six months, it will cost around $1000 (that's for both of them).  So if they still qualify, Jason and I will have a lot of talking to do.  I am interested to see how they are progressing.  Meorah is a crawling machine, and Tzelia is just starting with the army crawling.  Both girls are on solid foods, but cannot feed themselves either solids or their bottles.  Finger foods are completely absent.  Both girls can sit a little bit, but are not all that stable, Tzelia particularly has difficulty with that.  Both girls are very vocal.  Obviously I'm not an expert, but I think they are on par with their adjusted age.  We'll see what the professionals think.

Zev is starting to get into the habit of leaving his room when he gets up in the morning.  I'm considering getting him a toddler clock to teach him to stay in his room until the clock turns a certain color....something like this toddler clock.  They get good reviews.  This morning he came into our room at 6:30 and didn't want to go back to his own room.  I'd rather not have to deal with that every day.  There are a few different types, so I'm going to look into them and pick one out.  If it has a clock on it, he can also start to learn how to tell time.  Nicole has him working on the days of the week and months of the year, and he already has a general idea of the seasons.

We also need to step up the potty training.  I think I've been slacking a bit on that.  He isn't even three, and I know boys can be later than girls.  I just have so much on my plate, its hard to get to everything....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

surgery

I went under the knife a few days ago.

An unfortunate consequence of my pregnancy was a pretty severe diastasis.  A diastasis is an abdominal wall separation, which most women have after a pregnancy.  For the majority of them, the separation is minor (less than a centimeter) and corrects itself after a few months of time.  I had one after my pregnancy with Zev, and it became worse after my pregnancy with the girls.  Second pregnancy + twin pregnancy + small body + already present diastasis = severe diastasis.  I had a four-five centimeter hole down the length of my abdomen, and no amount of time was ever going to fix it.  Due to the lack of muscle support, I also appeared about four months pregnant all the time, which for someone who is already pretty small, was a bit overwhelming to me.  Physically, it was quite uncomfortable:  I could not have Zev sit on my lap without feeling pain because there was little cushion between him and my internal organs.  I also ended up with an umbilical hernia due to the separation, which was quite uncomfortable and needed to be fixed.

So for all those reasons I decided I needed to get it repaired.  Unfortunately, insurance does not cover such a procedure for women because it isn't technically a health problem:  I could live with it forever.  However, to [b]me[/b] it was medically necessary.  I was miserable being in that state and it was well worth the $$ to both me and Jason to have it fixed.  Given the long recovery time, we waited until now to get it done so I could finish up some projects at work.

The surgery was a few days ago.   To be a bit graphic and summarize, the surgeon basically had to separate the skin away from my body and sew the muscles back together.  It took about 2 hours, plus time to recover from the general anesthesia.  I went home with a drainage tube, which helps keep the swelling down.  I'll have that removed in a few days.

It is a pretty brutal surgery and I feel really beaten up now.  I've spent most of the last few days sleeping.  I was on narcotics for awhile, but they have a constipating effect, so I've decided to lay off of those the best I can.  I can't take ibuprofen due to my stomach issues, so I've been relying on Tylenol for pain.  My appetite is completely gone, but I'm forcing the fluids in so I do not get dehydrated.  Believe it or not, I am still pumping, although my supply was awful those first two days.  My acid reflux is also terrible, which I'm sure is an effect of the stress of the surgery.  I'm also experiencing hot flashes (as Jason said to me this morning:  what's up with the menopause?) which is probably my metabolism going into overdrive to try to heal.

Basically I'm pretty miserable.  And I can't do much with the kiddos:  this is a six week recovery and I am not allowed to pick anything up that is more than five pounds for six weeks.  Which includes my children.  This is really upsetting to me....it hurts to see them cry for me and not be able to pick them up and comfort them.

It hurts a lot.

When the pain gets better, Jason said he can place them on my lap, which will be nice.  But even that is probably at least a week away.

I'm out of work for at least a week.  My surgeon has written me out for three weeks, and we'll see how I feel.  I told my boss I would let him know by the end of next week how I was doing.  I hope to feel at least a [i]little[/i] better by then.  At least have my appetite back and not be so exhausted...

I'm glad I did it.  I just hope its worth it in the end.  Because this is pretty miserable.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

apple picking

As promised, some pictures from apple picking/pumpkin picking



Attack of the Happy Baby!!




If I were Zev, I'd be scared too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dr. Seuss

Two babies.  Two babies crawling.  Crawl babies, crawl!

This is getting interesting.  Meorah has been crawling for about two weeks now.  Tzelia just started a few days ago.  And now I have two babies...two babies crawling in opposite directions.

They are becoming 'real' people.  They are now learning how to ask for what they want.  Recently Meorah has been following me around and when she wants to be held will crawl on top of my feet and pull at me while crying.  She's also showing some signs of jealousy:  if I am holding Tzelia, she will come over and cry to be held as well.  As for Tzelia...if she's hungry and she sees a bottle, she'll make a bee-line for it.  I found her with one in her hands the other day and when I brought some real food over to her, she dropped the pacifier out of her mouth and grabbed for the spoon.  Its all quite cute, but as they get more and more demanding about getting individual attention....god help us all.

They are just over 9 months old now, roughly 6.5 months adjusted.  Tzelia is doing well on the real food-front, although Meorah doesn't quite get it yet.  They have their Early Intervention assessment in two weeks, and we'll see what the therapists think of that.  That is my only concern regarding the two of them: I'm pretty happy with how they are doing otherwise.  Tzelia is still a peanut (barely 14 lbs at 9 months) but we'll see what her pedi says at her appointment in two weeks.  Meorah isn't that much bigger (roughly 16 lbs, I think), but she looks huge compared to her sister.  Which is all amusing considering its Tzelia who can eat the real food and Meorah who hasn't figured it out.

Zev is being a bit more difficult in the evenings.  Our little boy who used to love to go to bed now decides to have a melt-down every night when we tell him its time for bed.  Most of the time he's the only one going upstairs, so I understand his reluctance.  To make it worse, in the last few days he's started coming downstairs around 6:30am (I'm usually pumping then, so at least I'm down there already) rather than staying in his room until someone comes to get him.  We're going to have to break him of this habit.  Today I just told him to go back upstairs and find Daddy.  Ha.

As for me....surgery in 4 days.  Jason is going to come with me in the morning and will drive me home (it is outpatient and I will be leaving after I recover from the general anesthesia).  The surgery is starting to freak me out more, and I'm also starting to worry about Zev's reaction to my disability afterwards.  He did not react all that well when I was on bedrest and in the hospital, and that was a year ago.  I won't be able to do much with him for a month or so; he likes to jump on me and that is going to be a big NO-NO.  He is old enough to possibly understand a little, so I think I'm going to start talking to him about it so he is prepared.

I have some pictures to upload, but blogger is being difficult, so I'll try to do it later today....

Friday, September 10, 2010

happy belated new year

L'Shana Tova!  Happy new year.

The Jewish holidays are early this year.  This September Rosh Hashana fell the week of Labor Day, and Yom Kippur will be in mid-September (and unfortunately on Shabbat, which sucks).  I realized the other day I hadn't done my normal yearly personal inventory...normally I spend a day going over the events of the last year and think about what I've learned, where I've been, what direction I am headed in, and my aspirations for the next year.

Honestly, I think I've done a lot of that this year already.  I'd rather not recap for the umpteenth time what has been going on.   But I would like to try to think about where I'm going and what I'd like to head towards in the coming year....

Being on bedrest did make me stop and actually rest for the first time probably ever.  It did teach me a lot (hey, that's how I came up with Meorah's name after all) but I do admit that since being active again I have lost some of that 'balanced' feeling.  I am naturally a high-strung person.  I decide whether or not a day is successful by how productive I was and how many things got crossed off my 'to-do' list.  I have an inability to really sit quietly; I can't even watch a television show without multitasking, and I can't read a book without thinking about what I'm going to do AFTER I am done reading the book.  So I do really need to try to bring some balance back into my life and re-learn how to enjoy doing NOTHING and being ok with that.

 I do have to give myself credit however for not being as physically active as I used to be:  its only my brain that won't be quiet, not my body.  Those who know me well know that I used to be a [b]very very[/b] active person:  high intensity interval training, jogging, weight lifting, biking, etc.  I kept that high activity for years.  Bedrest obviously stopped that in its tracks.  And since the girls were born, honestly, I've done my lifting and a little bit of biking but that's it.  My 'drive' to always be active and moving has disappeared, and for that I am very grateful.  It was too exhausting.  Sounds odd to be grateful to NOT be so active, but we all fall on one side of the continuum, and I tend to fall on the 'extreme' side.  What I need to do now is learn how to quiet the mind like I've learned how to quiet the body.

Motherhood:  I think like everyone I have my good days and bad days.  I wish I had more patience, particularly for Zev at the end of the long day.  Perhaps that is too much to wish for.  I know I do a good job and maybe my perfectionism is coloring my view.  So maybe rather than more patience for Zev, I need more patience for myself for not being perfect.

Marriage:  We have three kids under three.  We both work full time.  We live in a house that keeps falling apart.  Life is stressful.  We do have a babysitter and I think we just need to be better at enjoying marriage outside of enjoying parenthood.  I don't want to fall into the trap of only living for our children and ending up in trouble later.

In all, I'm pretty happy with how things are going.  Life is stressful and busy.  We have a lot on our plates.  I feel tired and cranky much of the time.  But my kids are healthy, our house hasn't fallen down (yet), and no one is in crutches or a cast.  Ha.

I do have my surgery in two weeks.  I am getting very nervous about that.  I am very much looking forward to having this fixed, but not looking forward to the surgery itself nor the recovery period.  I'm sure it will be fine and in a few months I will be grateful I had it done.  But the day itself will be very nerve-wracking.  I have to drive myself there:  Jason has to wait for Nicole to come to the house and then he'll bus/bike over to the clinic.  So I'll be alone for the pre-op stuff, which is probably right when any PTSD is going to start to kick-in....ever since my hospitalization, even being in a dressing gown makes me very anxious.  Hell, smelling the hospital soap makes me anxious.  I'll just have to practice my breathing and tell myself it will all be ok...  my family will be helping out for the week and a half I am out of work, and that will make things a lot easier.

So happy new year.  Its been quite a year.  Here's to hoping the next one is a little less eventful.