So, It’s Been A While

I think it’s fair to say that my attempt at October’s NaBloPoMo officially went in the pooper. I’m starting to believe that putting that darn button up in the first place is like the blog equivalent of shooting myself in the foot. Not that I won’t give it another shot next month… I’m many things, but a quitter is not one of them. I will get this right, dang it. One of these months, I’m going to pull off blogging every day.

Mark my words. In orange. Because it’s so much more festive than yellow.

Anyhoodle.

I’m happy to report that both Claire and Jane were discharged from the hospital a good while ago. They are exactly three weeks old today and doing marvelous. I don’t know what I expected Life With Newborn Twins to be like, but it wasn’t this. Both of them have a pretty solid sleeping pattern and I’m not nearly as rundown as I thought I would be… Knock on wood.

Truthfully, the only thing I had to ‘deal’ with, so to speak, was random people cooing over them… Right before they ask me if I’m sure they are twins.

No, they had a two for one sale at the hospital. Come on, people.

They look nothing alike, I’ll give ‘em that. Claire looks exactly like I did as a wee little bébé – chubby and blond. Jane is the spitting image of Sam, and – according to my mother-in-law – ‘the most Native looking baby their family has seen since Sam was born’.

I’ve seen the pictures. The woman is not lying.

Needless to say, we’re able to tell them apart without much difficulty.

Nevertheless, yes, I am sure they are twins. I counted them while they came out of my whoohoo. I may have been a tad bit stoned at the time because of the epidural, but I’m sure this didn’t affect my ability to differentiate between one and two.

It was definitely two.

Which makes a grand total of four children currently residing under this roof. It can get a little crazy – and messy. I don’t think there has been a night where I didn’t hear Sam grumbling ‘effing Lego blocks’ while getting up at night to feed the girls… But it’s all great fun. Because schadenfreude. And also, because we’re all happy and healthy.

And just a wee bit tired.

Now tell me, what did I miss?

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Too Tired To Function

My reaction:

I think that sums up my current mental state quite accurately. Dead tired.

 

Life On Pause

The night I was discharged from the hospital and arrived home with all my personal stuff, gifts, balloons and flowers but without my babies, I broke down a little. From the get-go, I knew this would most likely be the case. All the birth stories I read about women having twins seemed to ‘end’ this way – mom got to go home, but the babies didn’t… or at least not just yet. I knew this would be the case for me when I delivered my girls a day short of 32 weeks. They might be doing Awesome and Great (which they are), but the hospital isn’t going to let them go just yet. And I learned that knowing that something is going to happen a certain way doesn’t automatically mean that you prepared for it. Big, big difference there.

When I arrived home and sat down on my bed, I had a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was happy to be back in my safe place, with my own bed and shower with decent water pressure. I get to fall asleep next to my husband and tuck in my two other kids and kiss them goodnight before I do. On the other, my babies are now a 25 minutes away by car, instead of an elevator ride and a few steps.

I know they are where they need to be right now – in their safe place, with an amazing NICU staff who will be there to take care of them when we’re not. These nurses, these amazing women, have been able to answer all my questions in a language that I can understand, and I have no doubt that they will look after my girls and make sure they have everything they need. I trust them. But still…

… I want them home.

The next couple of days will probably feel like our lives are on hold, driving to and from the hospital and settling into a routine we’ll break out of the moment we do get to take our beautiful girls home.

Let’s hope I’ve stopped crying before that day comes.

Smiling, Nodding and Drooling

<3

Today, I’m full of love.

Full of love for my two brand new girls, who announced themselves with a ROAR that immediately let me know that yes, they were out and yes, they were more than fine. I’m in love with Claire’s chubby cheeks and Jane’s big eyes. With their fingers and their toes, their noses and the sounds they make. I’m so in love with both of them that it breaks my heart every time I have to leave them. I’d trade in my comfy hospital bed in a heartbeat and sleep on the NICU floor if they’d let me.

Of love for Cole, who – with only minimal supervision from my mother – dressed himself and his sister this morning, combed her hair and helped her brush her teeth, all because that way Sam could have a few extra minutes of sleep.

Of love for Sadie, who somehow totally gets what most adults don’t – that these two girls are not ‘just’ The Twins. They are CLAIRE and they are JANE and they EACH deserve a drawing, because they are two people, y’all!

Of love for my father, who arrived in his pajamas. For my mother, who shows her love by harassing the hospital staff with questions. For my twin brother, who said everything without saying a word.

Of love for my parents-in-law, who can’t stop crying their happy tears.

Of love for my amazing gang of sisters-in-law, who bring me everything I need without me even having to ask for it, and for being the crazy, silly, loving aunts that they are.

Of love for my normally oh-so-tough brother No. 2, who demanded I put Claire and Jane on the phone so he could listen to them.

Of love for brother No. 3, who filled my hotel room with flowers even though he’s countries away.

And brother No. 4 & 5, for the video messages they made.

Love, love, love.

Love.

Hello x2!

I had a whole post thought out for yesterday, but this happened instead!

Albeit being born much earlier than we had hoped for, both girls are doing really well. They’re getting some extra love and care from this hospital’s amazing NICU staff, who are all very pleased with their weight and breathing. I’m completely in love with my two beautiful girls, and will absolutely give a more detailed update when I have the time and energy. Everyone who has been rooting for us: thank you for calming our nerves and having nothing but faith in me. I love y’all!

Odds

Last Wednesday at my weekly appointment, my OB/GYN asked me if I had made up my mind yet about what I wanted to do about birth control after the twins are born. She knows this pregnancy was unplanned, so it’s been a topic we’ve been revisiting for weeks now. My answer hadn’t changed.

‘I really don’t know.’ I told her.

Because I don’t. I’ve lost my faith in birth control. I lost it the minute I got pregnant straight through the Depo shot, which I was told was The Safest Option. Virtually no chance of getting pregnant, they said. You have a better chance of winning the lottery, they said. They even said that when I did wanted to have children, it could take up to a whole year before I would be able to conceive. I told them I could live with that.

Yet here I am, a very pregnant non-lottery winner. And they ask me what gamble I want to take next? Apart from neutering my husband (oh relax, I wouldn’t do it myself. I’d have the vet do it!) and Abstinence (which to Sam sounded even less appealing than being neutered), I don’t see a way to not get pregnant again. Except maybe using all forms of birth control known to mankind simultaneously… Which, my doc informed me, was not an option.

So she whipped out her chart. ‘Let’s have a look.’

‘Just give me three things I can use on top of one another.’ I pleaded.

‘Two.’ She haggled.

‘Fine. I just don’t want to get pregnant again.’

The moment I heard the words come out of my mouth, I felt bad. ‘Not that any of them are unwanted, though. Just…’

‘Just that four in one year is enough.’

Four in one year is enough.

Right before my 24th birthday last March, Sam and I first started talking about maybe having children in two years. Or three. Maybe four. Would six be pushing it?

We weren’t ready yet, we thought. We lived in a very small split level studio smack in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, because it was all we could afford at the time. Sam had to travel for work a lot, and his second job involved working nights. I was still in school. We. Weren’t. Ready.

Yes you are, God said, here, have two!

And he was right. We got our shit together, we settled down (which, I’ve learned since then, is not a bad thing), we got excited. And somehow, after all that growing up, relocating and organizing, we ended up being able to give two more beautiful children a home the moment it became clear that they needed one. Today, I have no doubt in my mind that this is how it was always meant to be.

But I also know that this is it. This is my family.

So yes, birth control. I went home with folders and flyers and I Still. Don’t. Know.

If anyone has the answer, do tell.

Things I’ve Learned Today

  • Sea food is only for Dolphins.
  • I’m a liar, because sharks DO TO make a sound. They go DAH DUM, DAH DUM, DAH DUM (cue my husband spitting out his coffee back in his cup because he was laughing too hard to swallow it, which was malignant (magnificent))
  • At weddings, you eat toast.
  • Pregnant women can’t wear shoes with laces. It’s forbidden by law.
  • Chicken is made out of chicken.
  • In this house, we have Sam Meat and Rhye Meat. Sam meat is very delicious. Rhye meat is meat that you keep chewing, but will never go away (thanks, bud).
  • Sadie is two, and therefore the oldest she has been in her entire life. Can’t poke holes in that logic.
  • Men have to shave. Their foreheads, too. Because they look like Bert from Sesame street if they don’t.
  • When you’re all grown up, you only grow sideways. And fur.
  • ‘Yia Yia teaches bullies to behave themselves!’ (She fosters pitbulls)
  • Old and wrinkly people are old and wrinkly because they fall asleep in the tub and stay in too long.

… And it’s only 7am.

A Dress To Impress

I accidentally overheard my neighbor crying yesterday, saying how she couldn’t afford a homecoming dress for her daughter. Apparently she didn’t plan on going, but got asked by the boy she’s had a crush on for years. My neighbor was on the phone, and the only reason I overheard her was because I was standing on their porch to return the sander we borrowed. I really hate invading people’s privacy like that, so I raced off as quick and quietly as I could.

Pretending I hadn’t heard her didn’t make me feel less bad about their situation, though. Au contraire to the next door neighbors, the family across the street is lovely as can be. A single mom raising two teenage kids, working impossible hours. I don’t know how she does it, and hearing what I heard nearly broke my already overly emotional heart.

It stayed on my mind the rest of the day until finally, around two in the morning, I had a eureka! moment.

I slapped my husband awake, who was almost out the door with my hospital bag before he realized I wasn’t in labor.

‘Help me, I need to find my green Prada dress!’ I almost shouted in excitement, throwing clothes left and right.

Now, before you think I’m some fancy lady who can afford Prada – I’m not. But I do happen to have a brother who’s in fashion and isn’t opposed to stealing taking souvenirs from work.

A mere two minutes later, we had located the dress. Luckily it was just as beautiful as I remembered. I stuck it in a dress cover and handed it to Sam.

‘You need to hang this on the neighbor’s porch.’

The awesome part? Sam actually did. Like a ninja, he ran across our lawns in pitch black darkness to secretly deliver the dress.

I just really, really hope it fits her.

Meet My Husband, ‘Snorts Like Horse’

Can I take a moment here and ask ye people of the world to please not attempt giving your children Native American names? You’re keeping my husband very busy saving all of you from your poor choices, and he has a day job. And a family. We need him at home, and we need his money… You know, for Dairy Queen.

Just today, an intervention was once again needed when he overheard a pregnant lady announcing the title of her unborn son during our hospital tour.

‘Tseeveyo,’ she explained with a somewhat smug smile. ‘It means spirit warrior in Cherokee!’

Cue the ooh’s and ah’s from bystanders. And what is possibly the loudest snort in history from my husband.

‘Actually, Tseeveyo is a horrible ogre who rips children out of their homes when they’re bad.’ He said with only the slightest of sneers. ‘And it’s Hopi.’

I’ll bet you ten bucks that the little guy will be named John or Dennis after that.