Posts Tagged ‘grown up’

I typed this with one hand.

November 3, 2009

Snapshot:

Slowly fermenting baby puke is in my bra, spread between my boobs like hummous. I am wearing my third outfit of the day…it has been dug out of the dirty laundry. I am wearing what were, until I purchased jeans, my ‘fancy trousers for best.’ These are black sweatpants.

I managed to rip a comb through my white girl overnight dreds this morning, but now my pulled back hair has the distinctive sheen of dirty.

Pause to smell the baby puke.

My back is breaking as I am hunched over my daughter (aka The Puker). She is not blinking, staring fixedly at the dead space above my shoulder. She is not asleep.

My son is in his bouncer, where I had to put him when she started screaming. He is biting his hand so hard I am wondering if I remember baby CPR in case he gums off one of his fingers and it gets stuck. He is not asleep.

They are both teething.

I am listening to folk music on lastfm, the place where people who cannot afford to purchase music hangout. I am wearing the same fuzzy red socks I put on after my shower last night.

I am not asleep.

My wife is working till nine tonight. She got a letter in the mail today telling her she was fabulously smart and did extremely well on her dissertation. She is not at home to help me when one baby is puking so hard it will soak through my sweatpants into my underwear, while the other screams like someone other than himself has bit his hand off….and my father-in-law plays on facebook, asking me the odd question about how to friend people while I am passing off my farts as belonging to the babies.

Oh.

Baby boy now crying.

We. Are Not. Asleep.

(You wanna bone me now, don’t you? I may no longer be breastfeeding, but my tits have more milk on them than you can possibly imagine.)

 

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I want to put them between two pieces of bread, cover them in gravy, and eat them.

October 16, 2009

Snort and Coconut are changing. They have never been cry-ee (do you like my use of the Fake Dictionary?), only crying when hungry or burpy. In the beginning, those cries were harsh, insistent, not ending until something went in – or came out – of their mouths.

Now they hang out for a good long while. Coconut will stick out her lower lip in a pout so gorgeous and heartbreaking I could die, but if you grab her hands and make them dance around, she’ll laugh. If you turn to Snort, without touching him, and just say, ‘Hel-LOW, Snortie’ he will smile and smile and smile.

It takes a lot for them to get riled up. I even fed them one at a time today, every time, despite the fact that they were hungry at the same times. I don’t know. It’s like they’re learning to wait, or perhaps trusting that food will come, even when it takes awhile. This has led to several feeding fails, where myself or TMD thinks they are making hungry faces, and then they refuse to eat much. I never thought I would miss that crying!

I love to kiss their necks. My mom said Coconut looks just like I did at her age (did I tell you that already?) and today I had the weird thought that I was caring for myself when I changed her diaper. In a way, I suppose everthing I do for them is caring for a small part of myself – not just the part of the grown up me who gets nourished by loving them, but the pieces of me I have passed on.

More than anything, these two little individuals are growing and learning and laughing (and pouting), and I am here to cheer them on. For who they are right now, and who they will develop into.

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Mom, motherhood, weight loss.

October 15, 2009

Mom went home yesterday, and boy do I have a lot to write about! I think we both learned a lot about each other, which is interesting because it happened on a scale it hasn’t before. I’m not sure if it is because I am a mother now, too. I felt like she saw me in a different light, and it has made us approach each other on a different level. Was very sad to see her go, and no doubt Snort and Coconut will miss her hangout sessions with them.

Not sure where to go with this entry, mainly because there is SO much to say. I think I will keep it short, as I’m not sure when Coconut is next due a feed….and Snort is awake, so I might give him some Your Mom Is SO FUNNY time. This morning I just poked at his left foot every time he kicked it out, and jesus did he laugh. Over and over and over again. Coconut spent some time squealing with laughter, but I was not the cause. I’m not sure what was, either.

ANYWAY.

Yesterday they had their first set of immunisations. I was sort of scared about it all, but both have (thus far) responded like troopers. They settled with about 30 seconds of cuddling after the two shots, and still have their appetities, sleeping well, no fevers. Good stuff! We also had them weighed.

So yesterday they were 9 weeks + 1 day. Snort weighed 12 lbs 7.5,  Coconut weighed 11 lbs 8. Can’t believe how big they are, especially when you consider they started at 7 lb 8 and 6 lb 6 (and went down to six something and five something, respectively).

Me? I weigh considerably more.

I’m going to start doing the cheapie version of Weight Watchers; namely, using the skills, knowledge, and experience I got from the last time I did WW. I think attending meetings is a big part of weight loss, for me, so we’ll see how the at home stuff goes. I don’t have the ability to get out (yet!), nor do we have the money to spend on WW.

I’m going to make a page that will keep track of my weight loss. I am fretting about putting my weight on the internet – it’s not something I’ve ever done before, though longterm readers will remember that I successfully lost a lot of weight a few years ago. I only ever put how much I had lost, but now that I am not having The Fear (aka motivation?) of weekly WW weigh ins, I thought this page could function for me in that way. Of course my other concern is how, exactly, to record my weight, as I am still trying to be anonymous. Eh. Fuck it, right?

I gained weight while Mom was here. Bless her, she cooks wonderfully and feels she is being very healthy, but she really doesn’t have a conception of how to eat in order to maintain or lose weight. She’s an average sized lady herself.

I have more weight to lose this time than I did before, but some excellent reasons to do so:

1. Snort.

2. Coconut.

3. My flaming SPD.

I’ll love you and leave you now.

Remembering myself.

October 7, 2009

I have ridden an elephant,
visited over 15 countries,
learned how to do double
inside out braids on myself.

I have learned and forgotten
how to be semi-fluent in
talking with my hands, my face,
my body.
I loved signing.

I cannot do cartwheels,
I have fantastic boobs,
I am happiest when writing.
(Snuggling babies excluded.)

I have had sex with more
men than women.
I’ve had a shaved head,
and pink hair, and purple hair.
I do not shave my lady garden
hair – to each their own, but
I think it makes women
look like little girls.

I always always always
grow my hair long and then
chop it off. I’m never totally
happy either way.

I grew up on the border of
two big countries
and now live
in one
small
country.

I have one sister. I have
four step-brothers, and one
common law step-brother. I
am older than all of them.

I have been a library assistant,
a lifeguard,
a nanny,
a teacher,
a bag girl. And other things.

I am always looking for
The Next Big Thing
to hold in my hands and
make me happy.

I met my wife in 1998. I knew
she was special from that
first day, but didn’t realize
how special.

We have signed partnership registers,
we have married ourselves,
we have legally tied the knot. Nothing
was quite so special
as drawing rings on ourselves
from pen, and taking arms length
pictures of us, smiling and naked
and happy.

I grew up with a father with
a
very serious
mental illness.

I wear glasses, and I
love them. My left ear has four
empty holes, my right has
one. My feet appear to have
enlarged during pregnancy;
an un-handy thing in a country
of people
with freakishly small feet.

I love bags. I LOVE camping.
I miss the camp I used
to work at,
but don’t have the energy
to imagine going back.

I can pray before meals
in Spanish, but I don’t pray.

I know an awful lot about
sex and sexuality
and those sorts of things.
Both personally and professionally.

I like play therapy.
(Doing it, I mean, though
I suspect I would like
being in this form
of therapy
myself.)

I’ve been in therapy.
I have trained as a therapist.
I LOVE it, from either
perspective.

I always felt like the fat
kid growing up, but when
I look at pictures of my childhood
self I want to reach in
and say,
‘You’re beautiful.’

I am an excellent swimmer.
I love bookshelves.
I like garish colour combinations,
and I also like plain old
ordinary lookin’ good shit.

I blog, I twitter, I fritter
away time
quite effortlessly.

I really really like Shel Silverstein
poems and books. I have a
few postgraduate degrees.
I’ll probably get more.

I worry about things a lot.
I used to be terrified of death,
and to be honest,
I’m not a big fan now. (Who is?)

My grandmother, Coconut’s namesake,
died in 2005
and it’s funny how the world,
like plastic,
has rebounded.
Most of the time.
Other times, I feel bruised and
sore and
disbelieving.

I have not kept in touch with
people from high school. (I do not
count facebook as ‘being in touch.’)

I am tall, I am carrying baby weight,
nothing seems to fit me.

I like exploring new cities,
I like walking in new forests,
I want to hike the Appalachin Trail
sometime (soon).

I love Stephen King’s writing,
I need to listen to music when I am
walk-communting for work,
I have two gorgeous babies
who just happen
to be twins.

I took ski lessons as a child. I like
rollerskating a LOT and ‘taught’
TMD. She doesn’t like it.

I read: horror novels,
classics, literary books,
therapy magazines, romances,
children’s books. I LOVE
DYSTOPIAN FICTION, particularly
those written for teens.

I lurk on the borders,
I hog the spotlight,
people seem to like me.

I’ve had a license for 15 years
yet am not allowed
to drive without supervision.
I’ve never had a ticket.

I don’t cook. I like to eat.
I love the world of academia,
I like the smell of university libraries.
I like experiential learning, too.
I am a geek.

I get pissed when I lose at
board games,
I am most upset when I am
inauthentic,
perhaps by not speaking up
when I should.

I love waterslides. I am
sometimes deeply annoyed
by people from
the country where I grew up.
God, the accent(s).

I am me, me, me, even
though I am now
Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.
(Or will be ‘Mama’ in about ten
months, all going well.)

I am the hottest shit this side of the Atlantic.

October 2, 2009

CHAMpion!!!

This afternoon I successfully tandem fed the babies, a la bouncy chairs! Happy Mama is me! Happy babies are they!

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It was the quickest, least painful feed ever. With time for cuddles for both Snort and Coconut at the end, with NO VOMIT.

Amaze.

The truth.

October 2, 2009

Thank you to all who responded yesterday. It is always a pleasure when people reach out to help me, particularly as I have never been one to say when I needed help – at least prior to my training as a counsellor/therapist, anyway. That changes things, or at least it changed me.

I think one of the problems is that I have been treating Coconut and Snort as singletons, at least in relation to eating. But it is inescapable that they are not singletons. It’s interesting to talk to moms of singletons versus moms of twins. Twim moms talk about crying a lot whilst both babies are crying – who do you go to? How do you prioritise? Twin moms also talk about all the different things they have tried – different routines, different feeding techniques – all the ways they have fumbled along before time or ‘routine’ was a success. Singleton moms don’t have the same need for routine.

Let’s say it takes Snort, on a good feed, about twenty minutes to have his bottle. Then ten minutes of burping or whatever. That’s right quick, indeed, but sometimes he manages it. So then he’s awake for awhile. But Coconut and her snacking (think I have it figured out – she is part vampire. She is ‘snacking’ during the day as he does at night, when he doesn’t need as much to eat. We need to keep her AWAKE during the day, for god’s sake.) – it could take her 20 minutes to eat a little bit. An hour later and she needs another 40 minutes or so.

When you look at my ‘schedule’ as a whole, I am feeding one baby for about an hour. There may be a slight overlap of sleep or play time, say ten minutes (like right now!). Then the cycle starts again with the other one. This is what comes of being baby-led. I’m not saying I want to turn into a drill sergeant, but in some ways we HAVE. Going out? We have bags packed, bottles ready, feeding sorted as best we can. If hell breaks loose when we are out, TMD and I have ways to immediately manage (of course, this would be different should I be alone).

The thing is, the one adult to two newborns ratio has some inherent problems, and it’s going to take me some time to sort it all out. The mini goal for today (though it is probably quite a challenge) is to get them used to going flat on their backs after eating, instead of passing out in their bouncy chairs. Snort in particular will resist this. I am scared of it with Coconut, because DAMN can she vomit – and being tilted helps. That being said, I have thrown her on a pillow on the ground, and she is merrily kicking away. No vomit to be seen.

I feel there was a lot more I wanted to say. To vent, to figure out, to explain to other people.

It’s nice to read that other twin moms find it really hard. There are also some who choose to take the hardness, and use to to help those that follow. It is a community unlike others, though ‘mom communities’ seem to me to be more welcoming, inclusive, and understanding than many I’ve belonged to. Twin moms just have the added level of knowing how fucked up it sometimes gets.

Me? I think I am a person dedicated to herself. Suddenly having snatches of time here and there for me, which I devote to updating this blog and keeping my sanity, is something I am unaccustomed to. As is working this fucking hard. My GOD, is it hard. Even as I am admiring Coconut’s stunning eyelashes, a small part of me is glancing at my chart to see when Snort is due to wake up. It’s like a constant little ball of dread, of oh fuck, of ‘I just need a break. Please.’

My life will never be the same again. I think I am only just starting to comprehend what that means on a very basic level. I think the tears rolling down my cheeks for about 3 hours straight yesterday were due to this being the first week on my own – and yesterday was the first day without any visitors. My SPD is still bad. Really bad. I have not properly slept in the seven weeks since they were born. I am also not one who does well emotionally when she is stuck at home; I know this about myself from long before I was even pregnant.

Crap. Snort waking up. Coconut doing some intermittant crying. Hope she settles soon on that blasted pillow. Need to go feed him. I am not done with this entry, not by half. But will post it now as not sure when I’ll get another chance. And if I post now, maybe I will get comments now?

I am lonely.

October is my favourite month, autumn my favourite time of year.

October 1, 2009

I sent Kleinette (my ex-therapist) a birth announcement. She immediately sent a card and gift special delivery – two pairs of gorgeous, knitted, fleecy slippers for the babies this winter. The card was lovely, announcing that she whooped and danced around the kitchen table when she found out we had twins. Kleinette heard a lot about my desire for children, and I thought it fitting she knew that the world was now richer by two gorgeous individuals.

The things I repeatedly said I wanted to achieve in therapy are happening. One major complaint was about Day Job; jesus, Kleinette must’ve wanted to shoot herself every time I mentioned it. Now I am well out of Day Job and in love with Operation Fingerpaint (though probably planning on not returning when my year’s maternity leave is up). I wanted to work as a therapist for a small, warm hearted charity with a close knit staff team – you couldn’t more perfectly describe O.P.

I wanted to move out of the city. In a pathetic way, the walk along the tiny lane to the street leading to her house was rejuvinating if only because it was 20 seconds away from the endless traffic. I loved (still do) that city; living in one of the world’s largest and most diverse cities is an experience. But, fuck, give me some trees. I know it is a marvellously attempting-to-be-green city, a city of old architecture, a city with weird little alleys and roads with nothing but used bookstores. Delightful. But not for me, not for living in. And now? We bought this wonderful home outside of the city. We’re surrounded by green. Our ‘city centre’ fits in the palm of my hand, and that’s just about perfect.

I wanted children. TMD and I were constantly engaged in a debate about when ‘the right time’ would be. Apparently, that’s now. From being filled with envy and sadness every time I saw a pregnant woman’s belly, I now have two luscious babies I can dance with, kiss, and sniff to see if they have pooped.

I wanted to get published, in a bigger way than I’ve been published before. This is (always) the final thing, the final goal. If I can do all these other things – AMAZING myself – then why not this?

It was nice to hear from Kleinette again. She is like a constant cheerleader who you know wishes you well, whether you ever speak to her again or not. What a gift. I hope I have given that to some of the children, young people, and adults I have worked with. I can see most of them very clearly in my mind. On this sunniest of sunny mornings, I send them all a little piece of goodwill.

Advice for parents-to-be of twins.

September 25, 2009

Six weeks in, and all I can say is: relax.

While you may have imagined two babies screaming non-stop, or two little angels gurgling away – or probably something in between, you didn’t imagine it correctly. How could you? Don’t blame yourself. There you were, mammoth and pregnant, and all the cute little socks and fancy prams were gorgeous – but was it really possible to imagine two little people would be in those socks?

We were very anti-pacifier. We didn’t know about the glory of vibrating bouncers (buy two now). We were hardcore about breastfeeding.

Six weeks in, and our babies aren’t very into pacifiers…but the thing is, sometimes they are. And it helps. You’ve got one baby on your lap, feeding it and possibly holding the bottle in place with your mouth while your other hand tries helplessly to mop up the rivers of milk flowing down the side of a little face and pooling into the crevices of the neck. And let me tell you, formula does not smell nice when it has been allowed to fester in fat folds.

So your upper body is busy. You have also, of course, wedged one foot into the frame of a bouncy chair holding the non-feeding baby – because while the vibrations are great, when a baby is really hungry you might as well have placed them on a bed of spikes. You are trying to get a good, strong rhythm of bouncing going ….while not disturbing the delicate balance of bottle-in-your-mouth. Your other foot is probably sockless, while you use your toes to grip a muslin, soft book, or other toy and lift it carefully. Your aim is to somehow fling the book up at your own face, so that you can stop wiping the milk river for a minute and hold the book in front of Baby Two, who is still merrily howling away, in increasing levels of high pitched agony.

You may decide to stop feeding the first baby and give the second a nibble. You may keep switching back and forth. One thing you can be sure of, while you are engaged in this mental dance of Who Shall I Feed And How Should I Do It, you will not wind the babies enough. They will spit up. All over their fresh outfits. (For this reason, ALWAYS have a muslin draped over those expensive vibrating bouncy chairs, because otherwise you need to sponge clean and it leave it empty while it dries. This is not good. An empty chair is a wasted chair). If you do manage to get the worst of the burps out, and somehow also manage to fully feed both babies (who will be inclined to pass out once they have eaten a certain amount, what with you ignoring them to feed their twin), there is no doubt one or both will get the hiccups.

Hiccups make the least burpy baby on earth dribble. And sometimes you just sit there and watch the spit-up cake their cheeks, necks, clothes – because you are locked into some crazy ass feeding position with the other twin.

All of this is trial and error. Most of the time your babies will be really, really happy. They are possibly at their happiest on completely opposite schedules, as they get all one-on-one time….and you, of course, literally never get a second of time to yourself. Being pregnant with twins is excellent training, because that constant feeling of needing to pee? It gets you used to it, which is a good thing because you will have to have a bladder of steel if you want to keep the baby cycle going.

Of course, you are free to leave the babies both screaming while you take the time to pee, with an added luxury of wiping.

Put handwash by every sink. Invest in a thick, non-smelly lotion for every sink, too. While your hands will be cleaned and sterilised to within an inch of their lives, your knuckles start looking like you are an eighty-year-old woman who has made her living by taking in other people’s washing.

Relax. If the chairs work, they work. If the pacifiers do – and you are against them, ease up on the guilt. Life with two newborns is about flexibility, love, a sense of humour, and being honest with yourself. Because you will be tired, you will be snappy, you will feel a guilty relief when you shut the door to the bathroom and excuse yourself from motherhood for an hour – shoving the baby duties onto your equally tired partner. Every baby is different, every adult is different, and every family is different.

Be creative. Try new things and don’t be afraid to mess up. You learn a lot from getting vomited on and peed on at the same time, believe me. (Want to know how to stop your baby boy from peeing everywhere? Let me know. I AM THE MASTER.)

People (and the endless books) will tell you that everything is definite. You must form a routine for twins immediately. You must use black out curtains. You must do this, you musn’t do that. I’ve found that if you just use a bit of common sense and match things to fit your lifestyle and personality, you’ll probably be just fine.

I have spent the first six weeks quite happily, and messily, mucking along. Feeding on demand, completely following each baby’s lead, etc. While no book advises this and says it causes mothers huge amounts of stress, things have been okay. Really okay.

But in the spirit of flexibility and longer stretches of sleep at night, things may be changing soon. In the meantime, we are sleeping them in the same cot (you win a prize of honour or horror, depending on who you listen to), feeding on demand, having playtimes whenever it can be assumed they won’t vomit, talking loads to them, having them sleep on us during the day when we feel like it, etc. We even have them sleep in rooms that are not pitch black…shudder, horror. Things are fine.

This is my last week with Mil here. Next week I’m completely on my own the whole week. You may see less of me in this blog, but rest assured I am probably wearing very comfortable pants, my hair pulled back into messy buns, and I am spending a lot of time kissing little cheeks.

If you are expecting twins, you can expect to be surprised a lot – by how capable you are, by how tired you are, by how special it all is. You can also expect to spend a lot of time thanking various deities that you did not have triplets.

Love to all.

Today is a special day. (And not just because of what happened at 4 am, though THAT ROCKED.)

September 16, 2009

Today I was alone with the babies, twice. Time one included screaming, feeding, and throwing up. Time two involved nappy changes, feeding, shit explosions, and naps. I WAS SO HAPPY.

I like being on my own with the babies. I was lucky enough to feed them one after the other, so each feed was nice and calm. I had the birth cd on and sang to each of them while they ate; Baby Girl just stared and stared into my eyes. And then I felt it – the overwhelming rush of love that was like a punch in the stomach – it made my eyes tear. Forty minutes later and Baby Boy shifted suddenly during his feed, paused, and stared right through me. How lucky was I to have a second crashing wave of love run through me?

I think it’s because I was on my own with them. I am more than capable of this. Sure, I’m going to probably cry from stress or pain or fear on occasion. But the powerful feeling of caring for these babies, my boy and girl who are so lovely and cherished? It makes me feel like the strongest woman on earth, the first woman to be so sure and solid and brave.

*kisses*

September 14, 2009

Okay, kids, will send links to my last blog to those who requested it asap – tomorrow? And if you wade through all that, there is more. Momma been blogging a long time.

In the meantime, I just ranted about Mil to TMD. We have a plan in place. Again, will try to update tomorrow. It’s a bit manic as they are getting weighed and stuff in the morning, then I have physio in the afternoon.

It is a (sick) relief to read that other people also have problems with their Mils. MY Mil is the sort of lady who takes great offence at the smallest thing, and then is wounded for the next forty years. I hear the same stories over and over – all of them make her sound crazy. I am SO POLITE.

I ignore the small stuff, but some stuff she does actually hurts the babies. Remind me to tell you about the fucking hats. Ridiculous.

Ventfully yours,

Me

PS – I reply to all your comments in my head. I also read your blogs. I am just shit for time, particularly when I have to be on high alert to be able to participate in my own children’s lives. Mil has GREAT intentions, just too fucking many of them. She is now also mocking my mother.  Nighty night.