Archive for August, 2011
I haven’t been writing because I’m not sure what to say yet about the injections. So for now, some things for me, for TMD. Things we want to remember.
Coconut saying, ‘two…..SIX!’ before doing things: jumping off a cushion, jumping into our arms, etc. This morphing to ‘two….six….nine!’ She also accuately eyeballs things, as long as there are two of them. Pointing, ‘Two boobs! Two boots! Two cats! Two kids!’ Yes, yes.
Snort was pooping only under the kitchen table. Sometimes in the corner behind the curtains. This recently shifted to pooping by going into an empty room, slamming the door, and shouting, ‘NOOO!’ in a desperate voice if you dared to open the door to check on him while he was crouching. He loves sitting on the toilet, and he pushes. Boy wants to do him some toilet poop; he really likes dumping his poop nappies in there, too. Tonight, my friends, he shat on the potty. While holding my hands and pushing like he was in labour. It bodes well for the poop aspect of potty learning that he’s only ever a fart away from diarrhea.
Coconut is trying to organise everyone. I’m not sure if she is being particularly twinny in some ways – she is pushing a pushchair, so she wants Snort to do so. Likewise with many activities. As I say, I’m not sure if this is twinny, or if she is just trying to force him (and all other children) to experience the things she considers worthwhile and joyous.
Snort is cuddling her like crazy lately – and shoving her. Ah. It feels like every day I snap a picture of cuddling.
Coconut wants to be nakies constantly. She will allow a nappy to remain on (potty sideline – before our holiday she’d done a few pees on the potty and was positive about it. We decided not to bother on holiday, and since we’ve been back she ignores or is antagonictic regarding potties, so we’ve dropped the issue. Today she willingly sat on the potty, at her request, and after a few minutes announced, ‘All done!’ while applauding herself. Perhaps pee will reenter a potty soon.), but tugs and tugs at each item of clothing, inventorying them until I pull them off.
She is talking in like six and seven word sentences. Sometimes, increasingly often, multiple sentences right after one another. It’s stopped seeming miraculous in a new way, and is now miraculous in an every day way. She picked a flower the other day – a habit we are trying to encourage the end of – and TMD put the ‘baby flower’ in water. A few days later Coco wandered into the kitchen and gestured at it – ‘Look! Baby flower in the water!’ And this is our normal now.
Snort is at a stage that is like popcorn. You know, you have all these seeds and you know that shit is gonna taste good. Maybe you’ve even got the heat on but nothing’s happening – and then you get a few odd pops. ‘Cat! Car!’ Soon those pops speed up. ‘Pear! Chips! Poop!’ New words are suddenly exploding all over the place. He’s shifting in the way he communicates verbally, and here is a twin thing for you – he had mastered ‘down’ and ‘out’, etc. Coconut says,’ nak’ for ‘get me down out of this chair’. I don’t know where ‘nak’ came from, and it’s the only baby word that has not transitioned to ‘adult’ talk. Can you guess where I am going? Snort has stopped saying ‘down’ and now opts for ‘nak.’ He also says ‘nuk’, which is Coco for ‘milk.’
Both of them are saying things so clearly now that other people understand them. Except for ‘nak’ and ‘nuk.’ Ha. Snort has previously been obsessed with balls – and still is – but that has widened slightly to include, as he puts it, ‘Round and round.’ Round and rounds are fans, wheels, etc. Circles that rotate.
His cutest thing is still this sort of up and down excitement talk which is simply, ‘The ball! THE BALL! Oh, the ball! Balls! The ball!’
And speaking of circles? Coconut came up to my new GAY GAY GAY shirt the other day. It’s got a lot of stylised printing on it; all the ‘o’s are just circles. Homegirl starts pointing out all the colours (she’s known them a long chuffing time, friends!) and suddenly points and says, ‘Circle!’ I’m like, what? Who the fuck taught you ‘circle’??? She then proceeds to identify all circles on my shirt. She’s also identifying numbers by sight. See, who needs school?
Her other new thing is, very dramatically, ‘Oh NO!’ Oh NO the chair is lying on its side. Oh NO someone fell over – ‘knee, knee, ow, oh, the boy, knee, ow!’ Oh NOs also escalate to frantic screaming if the wrong is not corrected pretty much instantly. Snort has now adopted ‘Oh NO’ as his own, though he also says ….crap, what is it? Well, another Oh NO thing, anyway. We are hearing Oh NO and Oh DEAR from both of them a lot. It’s a bit wearing, though Coconut’s saying ‘Oopsies!’ THAT is cute. I didn’t realise I said that fucking constantly until it began to come out of her mouth – same as ‘come on.’ I say that a lot as we are walking, and now Coconut will puff her chest and lead the way and say, ‘Come ON, Snort Snort’ if he is dragging behind.
I know leashes are controversial, and you all know I love our backpacks with safety attachments. Those of you who are anti-leash clearly never had twins. I won’t enter the debate; for twins, for rambunctious, adventurous, running like maniac twins, those backpacks rock. But the big news is that while the backpacks are still a requested item (and functional, when we go for walks Snort’s epipen is always in his pack so I can skip carrying the nappy bag!), we have stopped using the attachments! I have left them on the backpacks, but tucked the attachments into the little water bottle pouches on the sides of the bag. Both kids can be trusted to stay on the ‘path’. Both kids will (usually) stop if I say ‘Wait!’ Both kids hold hands crossing the street. Score!
I know there is more. There is so much more. Things that are the bread-and-butter, the daily minutae no one but a parent would probably want to read. But for now I’ll stop typing. For now I’ll go watch Grey’s Anatomy and think about other things to write, another day.
Hope you are all well. I find toddlerdom a much more demanding process than babyhood, which is why I still read blogs but rarely comment – as I am reading on my phone and for some reason can’t comment. I never actually have the computer on during the day anymore, and I generally don’t miss it. But…I’m reading about your surrogate pregnancy, I’m reading about your home educating, I’m reading about your struggles and joys. I’m reading about your attempts to get pregnant, about how your twins and city life are doing. I’m reading you all, and thinking of you, and loving you.
Today was a terrible, no good, horrible bad day. Non-stop rain, blah blah blah.
Poop in the carpet.
But we did go out for a twenty minute walk when the rain slowed to mist. We all just walked and talked like a group of walking, talking people.
It was a good twenty minutes.
Too bad the rest of the day was nine hours and 40 minutes of the three of us and seventy million raindrops. And poopy nappies, each one necessitating me being a crabby ass mother trying to stop yet more poop from flying.
I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.
(but don’t they look CUTE?)
Last night before bath time, Snort got the little blue seat that fits on top of the toilet. It allows very little butts to sit on the toilet without falling in, and Snort loves him some toilet.
TMD looked at me as I walked into the bathroom, then inclined her head at him. ‘Looks like someone is menstruating.’
Snort had reached over and grabbed a pad, and was frantically waving it at me, wanting it open. I undid the little sticker, and he opened that sucker up….and then began pressing it against himself.
‘We are screwing him up.’
I laughed. ‘He’s never seen me do that. I don’t wear pads.’
‘He’s seen ME.’
After we got him down, he was standing there really pressing the pad against his bizness. I wanted a picture, but it was also so cute I couldn’t stop looking at him.
TMD rolls me into Labour & Delivery at 8 am. My stomach is stretched out to my knees, my shirt pulled into a shape it will never recover from. I am nervous, but happy. Excited, and scared.
I walk into a different hospital at 8 am. TMD’s dad is there with me, reading signs and pointing the way to the ward where I’ll get ready to go into Theatre to have my pain injections. We walk up to the reception desk, and for some reason when they ask my name, I say it like this: Pineapple. Penelope Pinapple. The rest of the day the main nurse will call me Pineapple, and by the time I realise she isn’t saying Ms. Pineapple it’s too late to correct her. The other nurses realise my name is Penelope, but they are unsure of themselves as their boss is sure it’s Pineapple. So everyone starts mumbling my name.
I was told I’d be the first birth, but upon arrival I’m told there is an emergency case and I’ll have to wait. I sit in a waiting room for ages, before finally being shown into a private labour room. TMD changes into scrubs, I am stuffed into two hospital gowns. We begin to wait. And wait.
I am hustled into a ward and the doctor immediately meets with me. ‘Here are possible side effects: heavy leg, bleeding, worsening pain.’ There are more. I don’t really take them in; he clasps me on the shoulder and says, ‘You will be fine. You’re young and healthy.’ Nurses put hospital bracelets on both wrists, then add bright red bracelets to warn people I’ll puke if I’m even in the same room as Morphine. There is no waiting. I am moved seamlessly from one section to another.
I look at the hospital curtains, so different from the curtains in the rooms I stayed when pregnant. I wonder what Snort and Coconut are doing right now. I hope I’ll be home so I can spend most of their birthday with them.
Finally I am wheeled into Theatre. My epidural/spinal takes a record breaking hour to get in. I feel every time the needles jab into me.
Finally I walk into theatre, ghosts of that terrible pain from two years still lingering. Today is a day to begin exorcing those ghosts. I am happy I am wearing a robe, because we walked through the whole hospital and…hospital gowns? Ass flashing.
A needle is pushed into my hand. I climb onto a table and lay facedown, a huge x ray machine over my head. The doctor is asking for x gauge needles, red tipped needles, green needles – and worst of all? A spinal needle. Jesus. Still, I’m not worried.
Then he begins poking and I flinch and he seems surprised the seditive has done nothing. I get another dose. I feel every needle jamming into my joint. By the time the third injection site is reached, the sedation has properly kicked in.
By the time they tell me they’re going to take Snort out, unreality has flooded me. My body is totally numb, but my heart is so full. He is held over the curtain, in those seconds I gulp him in. A minute later Coconut is held up but all I see is her little foot. The memory is burned into my mind.
The whole birth happened so quickly; it’s over so fast.
It’s over so fast. I was in theatre for no more than a half hour – and that’s at the absolute most – and I’ve been jabbed and poked and prodded. A lot. I am asked to roll onto a gurney and pushed back through the hospital. I think about what I have learned: my back left joint shows much more wear and tear than the right. I am cleared to begin Pilates. It will take fourteen days to feel the full benefit of the shots.
I am rolled into recovery and I begin to wait. My blood pressure is low.
My blood pressure has been creeping up the whole pregnancy, but it’s never mentioned as a possible issue again once my son and daughter are with me. The waiting is over. Life kicks into a hugely high gear. There is no time for anything, not even eating. When meals are delivered, we wait until they are cold and then TMD spoonfeeds me, as I use my hands to cradle two babies to my breasts. I am so busy.
I am so bored. The porters kept me waiting for a gurnney ride back to the ward, and once back on the ward I am still held captive with no clothes, no bags. I am in a room with four other women, and we slowly begin to talk and trade war stories. Four of us are there because we just had needles of every size and description pushed into our muscles and joints. One is there awaiting a surgery. We talk, we laugh, we bond in two hours.
There is no time to talk to anyone, and I end up in a private room. It’s full – so full – of all our stuff. My bite sized snacks. Nipple cream. Endless nappies and tiny baby onesies. So full of stuff but so little talking, because, my god, THE PAIN. My SPD is so bad I need a midwife, or TMD, to grab my ankles, hold my legs together, and lift them onto the bed. I cannot walk at all. Standing is difficult.
A physiotherapist tells me it’ll take 5-6 months to clear up. I am relieved she seems so definite, that this pain will go away, but worried it will take so long.
It’s been two years since the day they were born, and SPD has been with me every step of the day. I’ve lived in constant pain, though the intensity has shifted.
I’ve had these injections, this day in hospital, and I know I’ll be back for the second round of injections in another month.
As I love these babies so hard, I already know I want more. But I wonder if I’ll ever be back, if I’ll have more children from my own body. The risk may be too great.
Still, after five (seven?) days in hospital, I go home with these people accompanying me:
After less than five hours in hospital, I get to go home. I am shaky and find it surprisingly tiring and difficult to walk to the car. But my eye is on the prize. I get to go home to these people:
One day, and my life is changed so much. I’m a MOTHER.
One day, and I don’t know if it will change my life. I have to wait and see what happens, have to get more injections and physio before we can see how things are. But it’s also been two years, two years of kissing baby necks. Watching them learn and grow without me needing to try to teach them anything. Two years of dirty nappies and triumphs ranging from the small to amazing. Two years to get from babies to walking, talking, wonderous children.
The pain of pregnancy was worth it. It is worth it, I think, as I sleep every night with them beside me.
The pain of pregnancy was worth it. It was worth it, I think, as I watch my naked children screaming in joy and chasing each other around in the garden.
Tonight is my last night with two fabulous one year olds. Tomorrow at 2 18 and 2 19 pm I have two TWO year olds.
I hope I’m home for the afternoon. I’m just packing my hospital bag for the morning. Robe, kindle (thank you, sister, for your awesome hand-me-downs!), phone charger, etc. I’m using our Onbag, so all the babywearing mama power comes with me to the hospital.
It’s been a long three years of constant pain. Yes, literally constant.
I want to walk properly again. I want to go hiking next summer. I want to go to the zoo and not need a wheelchair. I hope tomorrow, and the subsequent injections a month later, are the start of something good.
I’m kind of afraid to hope too hard, so I’m sort of blase. I welcome your hope, though.
August is always the month of Big Happenings for us.
It features our anniversay, Coconut and Snort’s birthday, the anniversary of my grandmother’s death, etc. It is always a busy, full, kinetic month – I don’t know if this is something inherent about August, or just unique to our family.
I wrote last week about this being a scary week. Lots is going on, but I guess – for now – the only other thing I’ll mention is Thursday. That’s Snort and Coco’s birthday…..and also the day I have my first round of more invasive treatment for my SPD/PGP. I’m getting steroids injections as well as nerve blocks. The steroids, oh, the steroids. Multiple shots in my tummy, ass, lady bits. I have the second round in September; I’m not sure which shots are happening on Thursday, only that it’ll probably be my front or back. And I’ve been told they will be painful.
I tell you, I was actually more nervous about the driving test than these shots – on the test day, my hands were clammy, and my voice shook so hard at the beginning I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to talk. I should mention that this isn’t me. I know I come across in this blog as confident, outgoing, etc….and those things are true. The things that worry me about the shots are, really, the hospital they will be happening in. The place is a motherfucking rabbit warren. Lots of little buildings thrown onto a large piece of land in random order.
I’m having a sore week, and today is particularly painful. So I’m hoping we find the right place the first time round, as I can’t walk around searching for the operating theatre!
I’m hoping our pattern of changes in August holds true, and these shots make a big impact on my – and by extention, OUR – lives. Of course not all the changes in August have been good ones. Some have been soul destroying. But I figure the only way I can go from here in regards to the SPD is up. I needed a wheelchair on our recent trip to visit family on occasion, and I’m really ready to be able to plan a trip somewhere without wondering if we should hire a wheelchair for me. I’m ready for my life to expand again.
Within the little circle I live in – about a ten minute walk radius on good days – I have made friends and a life for myself and my children. But if that circle got bigger? Oh, it would be good. So good.
Anyway. On this particular August morning I am embracing the summer vacation ethos. Two little people are in nappies and are just doing whatever takes their fancy. For one bizarre moment they were just lying on the couch in a daze – picture to appear soon on facebook. They are in nappies, I’m dressed in all green like I’m in the fucking army or something, and no one has brushed their teeth yet. We are doing everything that little bit slower and it’s kind of nice.
The question we’ve already been asked multiple times: But WHY would you want to home educate? There are lots of answers. Here’s one…
Today I thought it might be fun to try fingerpainting for the first time. We carried out paper plates, paint, paper, wipes, and a big old colourful cloth to protect the grass. We squirted paint onto paper and exclaimed with joy as we mooshed paint between our fingers, mixed it on the paper, laughed. And then the wind came.
Papers were flying around the garden, dancing in little invisible cyclones. Papers were blown against the hedge. And here is why we want to home educate – we loved painting while we did it, but then the world changed, and so did our focus. We spent time screaming, running, laughing. Throwing whole sheets of paper into the wind, and then seeing what happened if we ripped, crumpled, folded it. I made a paper airplane.
This is home education to me, at least one faucet of it. Being able to be truly responsive to your child’s interests, needs, curiosities. We can paint, or we can figure out how paper and wind work together. We are fluid, we are flexible. We are learning even as we laugh, and as we carry on with normal life.
We embrace possibilities.
(And then we found a stash of acorns and touched them, looked at them, threw them in the hedge. And then even MORE wind came and we watched the trees and flowers dance wildly. So that’s what we did, too. And then I grabbed a sparkling blue pashmina and held it up; we clapped and talked and watched how it wiggled in the wind. I ran around with the pashmina over my head, two giggling kids chasing me. We took turns – Coconut was upset Snort had it for a long time, so she found another blanket to use. THEN we found a ladybird….two actually.
We sat and talked and watched and pointed. Snort was enraptured, and he learned how to hold his hand very still on the ground so that the ladybird could walk on his hand without being hurt. Coconut noticed his/her feet and we leaned in close to see how that ladybird managed to climb straight up a piece of grass, and how many feet she/he had.)
I don’t need to offer you, or anyone, reasons why we home educate. But here’s the thing: when I THINK about how to answer people I have stock answers ready, already. Or maybe I freeze up in the face of criticism. But then we wander outside and learn about the wind. Or I walk in to see one of my kids sat in a pile of books, talking to themselves as they read outloud. And in those moments, my heart sings.