Life After the Second Line

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Yeah, I'm a Slacker. A Big, Huge Slacker

See, this is why I so unwisely deleted One Pink Line. My posts had become so infrequent that I just couldn't justify the $4.95/month. At least here, where it's free, I don't have to feel quite as guilty when an entire week goes by without me putting up a new post.

Anyway, all's well around here. The babies have just slept through the night for the second time -- not second straight time, but second time, nonetheless! -- so I am feeling better rested than I have for months. Also, I've stumbled on a new and improved method for handling their middle of the night feeding when they still need it (which is usually). Ever since the babies were born, I've been hesitant to nurse them. It just didn't feel right -- there was no way to see exactly how much they were eating, it was very messy, and I just couldn't figure out how on earth to do the two of them simultaneously the way I can with the side-by-side Boppy technique using bottles with expressed milk. But finally, more than four months into this whole mommy thing, I've realized that none of those reasons justify not nursing ONE of them for that middle of the night feeding. So here's what we've been doing. Whenever one of them starts crying at, say, 3:00 a.m., G goes in and gets him/her and brings him/her to me in bed. I whip out the boob, and that baby goes to work. The crying is halted immediately. G then goes downstairs to warm a bottle for the remaining, sleeping baby, who he then awakens to feed when the bottle is warm. The whole process takes maybe 25 minutes, and then everybody's back off to dreamland. Even better, we've eliminated the whole issue of the shrieking, inconsolable baby while waiting for the bottle(s) to warm. And finally, in this whole process, I never have to get out of bed! It is 100 million times better than the old technique, wherein we would be awakened by a screaming, hungry baby and have to listen to said screaming during the entire bottle preparation/warming process to then feed both kids by bottle -- after which time I would have to sit up alone in the dark pumping for the next feeding. You'd think I might've figured this out earlier but alas, I am not the sharpest tack. I am especially not the sharpest tack following four and a half months of grossly interrupted, minimal sleep.

In other news, the twins have their first playdate next week. I'm taking them over to visit the little girl I used to babysit (she'll be two next month) and her new baby sister, who was born at the end of July. I should add that the new baby sister weighs precisely 7 ounces less than E, who is 4+ months old. I AM feeding the kid, I promise! Anyway, the girls' mom is staying home with them this year, but she'll go back to teaching next fall. At that point, she said, I'd be more than welcome to have my old job back (bringing P & E in tow, of course). It's an interesting idea. I'd be dealing with four kids between the ages of 1 and 3, but then again, they paid very well. We'll see if I'm up for it. Going back to practicing law might be easier!

One last thing: how much time is *too* much for a baby to spend in a swing? Honestly, sometimes (like yesterday) it is the only place where these two are happy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Great news

P & E had their four month checkup today. Everything looked perfect! Granted, they're both still awfully tiny for being four months old, with Ethan not registering on the chart at all and Peyton slipping into roughly the third percentile for weight (but tenth for head size -- clearly she's going to have a huge brain like her mother), but I have to keep in mind that they should only be about 2.5 months old. For that age, they're about average. Besides, the important thing is that their growth curves look normal, which they do.

We're not allowed to start cereal yet though, which is a downer. I would kill -- kill! -- to get a full night's sleep at this point, and I've convinced myself that cereal is the magic bullet. One more month, the doctor says. Argh.

Aside from that, though, it was all good. The doctor said both babies look great and seem to be developing just fine, so unless they get sick, he won't be seeing them again until they hit six months. Works for me -- I saw more than enough doctors the first seven weeks of their lives!

And on an unrelated subject, having a "new" blog sucks ass. Granted, this blog is mostly for me, so that I'll have a record of P & E, but it was nice to have readers back at the old place. And nice to get a few comments once in a while. Then again, it is my own stupid ass fault for deleting the old blog, so I'll have to take my lumps. Nonetheless, if you know anyone who wouldn't be offended by reading a baby blog now and then, send them my way, would you? Please?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Four Months Ago Today

Happy Four Month Birthday, Peyton and Ethan.

Four months ago today, at this time, I hadn't seen you except for the instant they held you up for me to get a quick glance before they whisked you out of the operating room and down to the NICU. I knew you were beautiful, but I didn't know you yet, then.

Ethan, I didn't know that you would turn out to be my easygoing, busy little man, the one who would always have a smile ready for anybody. Especially anybody who happened to be female. That you would love, love, love your brightly colored toys and would be able to spend ages (in baby terms, at least) batting at them and laughing. That you would be obsessed with light, whether natural or artificial, and that the ultimate state of nirvana for you would be to lie on your playmat in the sun. That you would always wake up when I tried to lay you down in bed at night, no matter how soundly you'd been sleeping in my arms just minutes before, or how hard you would fight to get out of the swaddling everyone at the hospital had assured us you'd love. Or that, when you finally did break loose of said swaddling, you'd fall asleep immediately with a tiny smile on your lips -- victorious at last. Or how, when I go in to get you out of bed, you would curl your whole body into a tiny little ball and snuggle into my chest, with your head buried in my neck, and fall asleep all over agin.

Peyton, I didn't know you'd be the more emotional one, the one whose feelings would get hurt so easily if anyone dared enter the room without smiling and talking to you immediately. That your smile would be harder to come by than your little brother's, but that it would light up your entire face -- the entire room! -- when you decided the time was right. That you'd be a bit of a mommy's girl, always seeking me out in the room no matter who was holding you, and that you'd always settle down when you realized I was close by. I didn't know how interested you'd be in interacting with people rather than things, and how you'd bypass any toy to "talk" to anyone willing to listen. Or that you'd be everyone's favorite little teddy bear, always content to snuggle in someone's arms for as long as they'd have you -- which, as cute as you are, is usually quite a long time. I didn't know that you'd be the one who would have a harder time making it out of the hospital, but that finally, four months later, you'd be a happy, healthy ten pounder who will never remember how long you spent hooked up to oxygen and monitors.

These four months haven't been the easiest of my life -- not by a long shot. But because of you two, without question, they have most definitely been the best. You'll never understand how much I love you, but I promise I'll try to show you every single day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Return to the NICU

I mentioned in my second post that Peyton had an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist. That was just last week. The appointment was back at the hospital where I was imprisoned for two weeks, and where the twins were subsequently born. I hadn't been there since June 8, the day we finally drove home with both babies in the back seat.

It was so hard going back. Driving that all-too-familiar route, pulling into the parking garage, making the endless trek up to the fourth floor -- it put knots in my stomach. I felt like crying. All the fear, all the uncertainty, all the heartache I thought I'd put behind me when P finally came home turned out to still be there, lurking just beneath the surface.

As I said, though, we ended up getting great news at P's appointment. She's a healthy little baby girl now, and when my husband asked if there was anything we needed to do from here on out, the doctor said, "Yes, enjoy every minute with her. She's perfect." Hearing that was a relief greater than I can put into words.

I also felt sad that day, though, because while we were there I ran into another NICU mom whose baby was born about two weeks after P & E. She's still there, with no hope of going home anytime soon. And I guess it just made me think, again, of how unfair life is. But also of how much my definition of "lucky" has changed over time. Why was I the lucky one whose babies got to come home, healthy? But can I consider myself lucky in the first place, considering that, unlike the vast majority of newborns, my babies had to spend time in the NICU at all? Why was I the lucky one who had a successful IVF attempt the first time out? But how can that be lucky, when 95% of the world never needs IVF at all? In how many other ways am I "lucky" right now that don't even occur to me because I've never had to think about them?

Anyway, after the appointment, we took all of P & E's preemie clothes and donated them to the NICU. I have no idea if I'll ever have any more children, but I'm hoping, superstitiously, that by not keeping the preemie clothes in the house, I'm helping assure that any subsequent babies around here in the future won't need them. Future, full-term babies? Here? Could I be that lucky?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Can Anybody Help Me?

I can't figure out how to create a blogroll here.

A Few New Things Since the Tragic Demise of One Pink Line

1. P & E have both started smiling. A lot. I am so in love with them, I can hardly stand it.
2. E has fallen off the couch. Yes, I am the worst mom ever for allowing that to happen, but in my defense, I did not know he was mobile yet at the time. Lesson learned.
3. I have learned I am not an ideal person to have on hand in case of an emergency. When said couch falling incident occurred, I became an incoherent, sobbing wreck in the 90 seconds it took the pediatrician to return my call. True, E fell probably about a foot, onto carpet, but it took at least a week for me to really convince myself he had not suffered any brain damage.
4. I got my first pedicure. It was heaven. My toes look great even when the rest of me looks like hell. Which is usually.
5. I've started my period. What??? I'm exclusively breastfeeding twins. I was sure I was in the clear for a few more months, anyway.
6. I've taken the babies for their first "real" pictures. They were little angels and caused me to spend far, far more money than I'd intended by looking so dang cute.
7. P has been evaluated by a pediatric cardiologist and been given a clean bill of health. Yay!
8. I've worked (and by "worked" I mean "nursed") my way back down into a single digit pants size. Will wonders never cease? I've been recommending breastfeeding as a weight loss tool to everyone I know. Men included.

I think that about covers it.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

I'd like to start this blog by providing a link to my old blog. This is, after all, a continuation of the same story. That, unfortunately, will not be possible, because like a dumbass, I deleted it.

The original blog was called One Pink Line, and it told the story of the world's longest single IVF cycle (May through September!) and the twin pregnancy that finally resulted from it. The babies, Peyton and Ethan, were born on April 19, 2005 at 33 weeks. After a four week NICU stay for Ethan and a seven week stay for Peyton, I finally got both babies home on June 8. Following that, I kept the blog going for another month, but then, in an exausted haze, I decided to shut it down. If I had any free time, I figured, I would want to spend it sleeping, not getting online to babble incoherently for $5/month. So, I cancelled my Typepad subscripton and rode off into the sunset. The blog was deleted immediately.

About two days after I did that, a friend of mine said, "Oh no! You shouldn't have just deleted it. You could at least have downloaded it so you'd have a personal copy of everything you'd written. Damn, I wish you'd called me before you'd done that."

I, being the borderline computer illiterate that I am, had no earthly idea I could've done any such thing. Still, what she'd said got me thinking. By hitting that damn delete key, I'd erased the record of my infertility (which was ok) but also the record of my pregnancy (which was not). How could I have just erased the post from the day I FINALLY got a positive pregnancy test? Or the day when, to my complete joy and amazement, I found out I was having twins? Or when I found out they were boy/girl? Or how about the day they were born?

You get the idea.

And that's why, just more than a month after my "last" post, I've started a new blog. I may have deleted my pregnancy and birth experiences, but the twins are not even four months old yet. I figure, if I restart a blog now, I'll still eventually end up with a wonderful record of their babyhood. And the kicker: here, at Blogger, I'll end up with that record free of charge! (Yeah, I'm that cheap).

So welcome, everyone, to My Blog, Part II.