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


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 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 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.