Archive for August, 2009

And then there were two.

August 31, 2009

Due  to how jacked up WordPress is behind the scenes, I only just realised (20 days late – our babies are 20 days old!) my sister wrote this. Sticking it up for posterity’s sake…

This is blondie writing to say that my sister is safe & sound and both of the babies are doing great. I won’t give away anymore details because I’m sure she wants to let you know the rest. However, if you were as worried as I was I thought you’d want to know she’s happy & healthy!

In case you needed to know.

August 30, 2009

I just unclipped the right side of my bra so I could pump, and there was a tiny dead fly thing on the nipple pad. Either our hygiene standards really are hitting a new low, or my body has started producing insects.

I hear they are a source of protein.

Little butterball turkeys.

August 29, 2009

Babies weighed yesterday, and both are now over their birthweights. Getting heavy, yo. But as TMD says, after holding Baby Girl, Baby Boy feels like a toddler. He is now 7 lb 11, she is 6 lb 10 and a bit. Both are in 9th centile for heads and weight, which apparently means they are perfectly in proportion. And both 9th? Twins, yo.

Did you see that? A double ‘yo’.

TMD did every single baby thing last night so I could sleep (she is worried about me and wants me to heal). This had the curious double effect of giving me a good night’s rest, while also making me feel a bit distanced. And now I sit on the couch pumping (and the left side of the pump has stopped working. A very expensive thing to happen.) while everyone else is in the bedroom. I am going to hobble back there and hang out, me thinks.

Thank you for the comments on yesterday’s entry. I don’t know if I am feeling better, worse, or the same. I do know I am feeling more and more pushed aside, through nobody’s fault. At least they are still getting some breastmilk. That makes me feel better. (I’ll write about feeding soon, I promise. It is a work-in-the-making.)

Not yet.

August 28, 2009

Just read this article (linked midway through) and it made me both cry and feel better.

I am feeling incredibly down about this SPD pain and the effects it is having on my ability to care for my children. I thought I had felt glum about this during pregnancy, but I had no idea. Yesterday I woke up crying, cried throughout the day, and the middle of the night festivities culminated in me repeating, ‘I am rubbish, I am rubbish, I am rubbish’ over and over again. TMD has been hovering nervously, and she took the time to read the article about postpartum depression that the health visitor gives to all new parents.

To a certain extent, I believe I am having a normal reaction to a terrible situation. However, my ‘normal reaction’ is pretty horrid, and I need to take care to be mindful of my mental health. The study linked above mentioned the devestating effects SPD can have on mental health, and I can believe it.

I feel like I am missing all the normal parts of being a mother. I can’t change their nappies. I have difficulties holding them for long periods of time, and there is no chance of me picking them up and giving them a cuddle. I can’t carry them around. I could go on and on – it is getting pretty easy to fixate on the negative. Even things as simple as not being able to shift position in bed, meaning I can’t put them over my shoulder to burp them (both of their preferred positions).

I just sob and sob, apologising to them. To TMD. I feel like I am letting my babies down. All I want to do is cuddle and care for them, and I am just as stuck in one position as I was before, and if anything, things have gotten slightly worse. I have the ability to get myself on and off the couch/bed which is lovely, but due to the fact that I am no longer sporting a giant bump. The pain has not gotten better. I am on mega painkillers now, and it still hurts more than it did when I was pregnant. Next week I am getting a home visit from a physio, and you’d better believe I am not going to fuck around with their advice. Exercise? You got it. I’ll do whatever you say, ma’am, just make me get better.

I don’t want to stay like this.

It’s a bad limbo period. The babies are two and a half weeks old – I was warned I’d still have to have the crutches for a good few weeks, but right now I don’t know whether this is a normal part of recovery, or if I will be one of the freaky few who have SPD for a long time after birth. We often have more than one medical professional in the house at a time, and I am always being referred to like this – ‘Existere has very severe SPD.’  ‘Existere is incapacitated.’ ‘Existere has SPD, which is excruciating.”In extreme cases, women like Existere may need crutches.’ (Um, hello? A zimmer frame and wheelchair, bitches.)

The word ‘severe’ is used again and again, much more than it was when I was still pregnant. Maybe they expected me to rebound. A bitter part of me, looking for someone to blame, points to the fact that the morning after my c section, they made me walk through the ward, down the hall, and to the bathroom. Thanks to that experience, I passed out for the first time in my life, an alarm cord was pulled, and I had about six people to help me back off the toilet – and wipe me. And then back into a wheelchair. I should never have been expected to walk that far, and I should have stood up for myself.

I don’t know. I can’t look at the babies while they sleep (TMD is on my side of the bed, cot pulled up so it nestles to her) because I wouldn’t actually be able to shift position or respond quickly enough should there be a vomit alert.

I feel inept, useless, a burden. I feel I am letting my children down. I feel pointless, and useless, and in love with little babies I am not touching as much as I should. I almost find myself shying away from feeding them, because I feel it is one more area I will screw up (to the second degree, though you don’t know about that yet) or let them down.

My mother asks every day, surprise and worry in her voice, ‘You aren’t walking yet?’

No.

A question.

August 28, 2009

I keep having morbid worries about the babies. Is this ‘normal’?

Thirty-eight weeks. (Or: today is your REAL due date.)

August 26, 2009

Thirty-eight weeks ago today – exactly – my eggs had been collected, and the two embryos that would become our son and daughter had already been mixed with sperm. We would find out three days later that all our embryos had done well, but two were absolutely perfect in every way, and these would be placed back into my womb for a loooooooooooong  journey.

‘Thirty-eight weeks’ sounds like so short a time, so little space occupied in the expanse of a life. But in that time you went from a few cells to  beating hearts to hiccupy madness….to real people.

As we hold you today, you are already both so different than you were two weeks (and one day) ago. More alert, more awake time. Tummy time times two, hanging out on beanbags, beginning to make little baby noises. You both hold your heads up so well.

And while you look so different (to us, anyway – medical professionals keep asking if you are identical, which is a little offputting because you would think the whole penis-vagina thing, not to mention medical training, would clue them into the fact that you are non-identical twins), you make such similar facial expressions.

Little girl, you are hungrier than your brother. You have just had your lifetime record of 150 mils, and now you are blissed out in the beanbag while we watch you for signs of abrupt vomiting of this gluttony. You wake up quiet and wide eyed, and you go to sleep the same way. You like to curl up like a prawn, and maybe that’s because you were that way in the womb. Poos make you scream.

Little boy, you are much noisier. You pee everywhere, including on your sister (who also is a champion at peeing on people). You have a little bit of a tongue tie, and are a lazy feeder, and that makes mealtimes…interesting. And long. You kick, kick, kick while you sleep, you squeal, you stretch. You snort. You are a poo deceiver, appearing to be asleep while it still pours out of you.

So far, you’re both just the way you were in the womb. You sleep together at night, but during the days you mostly hang out in your carrycots attached to your Super Pram ™ and don’t seem to mind too much that you are having some alone time. You are both very easygoing, happy, and relaxed babies. Touch wood.

I know I need to write your birth story, but I sort of want to do that when I can be sure I’ll have enough time. Only today did I finally hear TMD’s version of events, especially as she experienced things quite differently than I did. I still have a huge numb spot on my ass (like my whole right cheek), but as a permanent reminder of that experience it could have been worse. Our other reminder is the scrubs I made your mommy steal because she looked so hot in them.

Yes.

Okay, time to go now. I am utterly stinky and tired, and this appears to be a very rare calm spot in the evening hours. I don’t know if I even care about showering (but the itching, oh, the itching), but I do know that should I decide to shower, you will both begin screaming the second I do so. It happens every night, and TMD is left bouncing, jiggling, getting peed on, and singing.

All this to two little eggs that came out of me, exactly thirty-eight weeks ago.

To you & your family

August 26, 2009

To my dear friend,

When I found your blog in September (interestingly, the first post I commented on is called “The first risk of IVF: twins“) I didn’t know that I had found a friend.

Little did I know that I would follow your journey through IVF and pregnancy with not only bated breath, but genuine tears and love.

When you had to poke needles into yourself, I cringed, but I kept reading.  As you read through the donor profiles, I wished there were some way you and TMD could just conceive together and not have to involve anyone else at all.  I cheered for you when you showed us your positive pregnancy test.  I wept as nausea and vomiting overwhelmed you and left you feeling wrung out and horrible.

In short, ever since I found you in September, I have been swept along by your words.  As we became friends — an organic, natural process — I’ve been swept along by your personality.  I couldn’t be happier.

Very very soon, I’ll know how you felt when you posted about my Maia arriving.

I’ve said a thousand times that I wish I could be there, with you and TMD, helping you out when the babies arrive.  I mean it.  I’ve always meant it.

Life is going to change so fundamentally for you that everything pre-babies will seem important only because it brought you to them.  Your relationships with people — and yourself — will change.  It’s difficult.  It’s really, really difficult.  You’re going to realize you’re a stronger person than you ever knew.  Stay strong but flexible.  Cry when you need to.  Let TMD cry if she needs to.

Trust each other.

There will come a time when it is just you two and your babies at home, and it will blow your mind.  But then it’ll become commonplace, simply the way things are, and you might lose the wonder that you felt when they first came into your lives.  Try to hold onto that wonder.  There’ll never be a day when you don’t need TMD’s support or she doesn’t need yours, but there’ll be moments when you think you’d be better off without one another.  You’ll doubt each other.  Go back, find the love that brought you together, find the wonder that bound you when you first looked at your babies and then one another, and hold it as fiercely as you can.  You need each other.

You choose your spouse, because you want to be with them forever.  You don’t choose your children, but you want to be with them forever anyway.

You’re going to be amazing mothers.

All my love,
Tatiana.

Baby racing. (Yesterday, their 2 week birthday and official due date.)

August 26, 2009

IMG_1151

Longest entry with babies, and stinging nipples.

August 24, 2009

Today we registered the birth of Mano and Torre (names for use of blog to be decided on, and a way for you to find out real names will be posted soon!) and received birth certificates. What an entourage we were – TMD’s dad’s girlfriend pushing my wheelchair, TMD pushing the giant double pram, and her dad snapping away with two cameras. This was our first real trip out, and Mano and Torre both behaved themselves in a fashion befitting Perfect Lovely Little Babies.

We are slowly trying to organise everything else we need to do – get TMD parental responsiblity, attempting to book apts to get them passports for Country A, etc etc. When this is all over and done with, we will have seven passports between us. Mental.

I want to write about some of the glories, and some of the real challenges, that have been part of our little family. Some of the areas make me nervous to write about, particularly in regards to feeding. I know people have very strong opinions on this matter – and rightly so – but it requires a little more awakeness to write coherently, and a little more time to do it thoughtfully. Feeding has been our only real challenge thus far, aside from what I assume is the ‘normal’ sleep deprivation and time issues.

I think about people with only one baby (please please please do not take offense!) and I wonder what it must be like to have such an easy life! I also wonder what it would be like to not have two little human beings bopping around, which seems inconceiveable to me. Since before we knew we definitely were having twins, since before we knew I was definitely pregnant, we have always expected to have these two little ones. Life is more fun, more hectic, more tiring. But we love it. I don’t know what we would have done with ourselves without that ‘extra’ person. (Thank god it’s not triplets, though. Seriously.)

At this point, Mano and Torre naturally gravitate towards being on the same schedule. But it’s like cars waiting to turn at a junction – when I was a child, I never understood how sometimes the blinkers/indicators would be in sync, only to then get completely opposite to each other within seconds. Twins are like that, or at least ours are. They are good little sleepers, though. If only there was not so much to do when they were asleep and TMD and I could occasionally nap as well!

My SPD is still really bad. Going to have physiotherapy at home, and have been told it will probably be five to six months until I recover. This is personally very challenging for me. I can’t do all the things normal moms do – change diapers, pick up a baby, walk around with a baby, make feeds, pick out outfits. It’s funny, as I worried about TMD feeling left out as the non-biological mom. In reality, I feel very left out and frustrated because I am missing out on all the babydom things I want to be doing.

It also means a lot of the weight of things is on TMD. Even if I do all the night feeds, for example, she still has to be awake to get the bottles, clean the breast pump, hand me babies, change diapers, etc. I think she felt awkward the other day, though, because she took them for a lovely walk in the park (again, I wonder when I will be able to take them out – or even take MYSELF out, for that matter) and no one commented on the twins….this is odd because they are twins (aka attention grabbers). She said she felt like people thought she was an au pair because she clearly had not just given birth.

Regardless, we soldier on.

Mano and Torre are both incredibly aware – easily able to focus on my eyes, etc. Torre is a particularly strong little girl, considering she’s a pound lighter than her brother. The babies are both very into cuddles….crap, I think Mano is stirring.

Okay. Going to have to come back later.

Do any of you have any questions about us, the babies, etc? Feel free to leave a comment with one, two, or seven questions. I am online when pumping, and short entries requiring only one hand could be useful for me! At the moment both kidlets are asleep and we have done a LOT in this….yes, Mano awake and snorting. Like a little pig.

Or a donkey.

See you on the flip side.

11 days old, first nappy change.

August 22, 2009

I am itching everywhere and have consequently broken the skin again and again.

Aussie came today for a visit. While I was cuddling our little girl, Aussie gestured at my chest with a confused look. Yes,the scab from a place I’d scratched earlier had broken, a river of blood was running down my chest, and I had left a giant patch of sticky blood all over the side of her freshly-washed head.

After a frantic scrub with some cotton wool, I finished feeding her. Cue diaper change. I have not changed one yet (bad mobility issues, the subject for another entry) and Aussie didn’t know what she was doing, so we attempted it together. She peed everywhere….everywhere. While we were laughing in horror and trying to contain the mess, she promptly puked.

Wtf. She was covered in blood, pee, and puke. Things like this simply don’t seem to happen when Mommy TMD is in charge. Lucky for our little boy (just feeding now) that TMD is back awake, otherwise who knows what calamities might ensue.


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