Monday, August 5, 2019

A New Strength

Welcome to Microblog Mondays! Want to learn more and read more? Head over to Stirrup Queens for the details!

Later this month, my husband and I will have been married for 13 years. We've known each other for 22. We have been through a lot. Three houses. Years of long distance. Cross-country moves. Business ownership. Layoffs. Deaths in the family. Births in the family. Health scares and fertility treatments. Much can happen in 22 years, and much has happened. Now, 22 years in, I am more in love with him than ever, and more proud of and impressed by him as well.

When pondering kids, my last great worry was our marriage. I didn't want children if they would risk our marriage. I hear from so many people how hard babies are on relationships. I didn't want to damage mine. I have not. DH is the most amazing father and partner that I could hope for. For many years, I was the type-A planner and do-er of things. DH . . . wasn't. In the last four years, my health, physical and mental, has forced me to stop being the do-er. Rather than let life go by un-done, DH has stepped in and not only picked up my slack, but gone so far beyond in keeping our lives moving it's amazing. He's thoughtful and planful and takes care of things while caring for people far better than I could. During the years between my first MC and A and T's birth, he's been the responsible one and he's been there for me emotionally, too. 

Now, with the babies here, I am even more in awe of him. While in the hospital, he was diving in first, learning everything he could from the nurses. He changed diapers and took temperatures and gave first baths. When I was in too much pain to visit more than twice a day, he lived in the chair in their bay, one hand gently touching them (the most contact we were allowed to have) to calm them after cares and feedings. When we were allowed to do skin to skin, he was the first to hold Tess, after offering me the chance. From then on, he'd stay up until all hours of the night holding them if that's what was needed to calm them. Now that we're home, I've joked that DH will need the sleep training, as he's the one with the propensity to snuggle a baby rather than put him or her back in the crib!


The joy he takes in interacting with the babies is utter and in turn raises my own happiness. I honestly can not believe how lucky I am to have him as my husband and T and A's father. I never would have guessed that kids would make my marriage stronger, but seeing him care for the babies and me in every sense possible has done exactly that.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Baby Book: 5 Months

The babies are approaching six months old, four adjusted. Overall, they're doing fantastic. I chronicled my pregnancy by week so I'd have some record. I thought I'd do the same for the babies, by month. It'll be the electronic equivalent of a baby book. Some big observations:

Both are sleeping 8 - 10 hours a night most nights and started at 4 months actual/2 adjusted. Yes, I am bragging. 
Both have an inconsistent nap schedule, despite our best efforts. Neither is what I'd call a good napper. Yes, I am sad.
Both are eating 800-1000 ml/day.
Both are smiling and enjoy spending time with 'their' people. Nothing makes me happier than getting home to big smiles from them.
Both love balloons and spending time on their 'jungle' gym mat.
Both are ambivalent about going on walks in the stroller.

A is on the verge of rolling over. He can get from either his front or his back onto his side, where he gets stuck on his arm. If you push him over it, he freaks out and cries.
A is the happier baby. He'll smile more readily and for longer than his sister. In general, he will be happy in someone's arms longer than she will.
A is just starting to 'talk' now. He has fewer sounds, and tends to grunt and whine more.
A is the more deliberate eater, and the heavy dripper. A burp cloth is always needed under his chin when feeding him.
A found his thumb/hand well before T did, and started drooling first.
A dislikes the carrier, and likes the car seat only when the car is moving.
A sleeps fewer hours overnight, but often falls asleep shortly after the bedtime routine is done.

T is our big 'talker'. She found her cooing/phonemes much earlier than A. She's got a huge range of phonemes.
T has also found the 'little girl shriek'. My colleagues tell me this will last until about age 12. Please send ear plugs.
T has figured out how to use her hands, and can grab and tug on toys and balloon strings.
T is the more serious baby. She has a fabulous smile, but she'll want more time in her chair and less time being held compared to her brother.
T likes peeing on me during bath time. Every blasted night. Please send wine.
T enjoys being with me in the carrier and will fall asleep almost every time.
T is the better eater. She'll finish faster and more, and rarely leaves anything behind.
T sleeps longer overnight, but takes much longer to go down. That said, she can self soothe herself at naptime, just not at bedtime.

The differences and similarities are really fascinating. Their coloring remains very different. T has slightly darker skin, dark hair, and I'm pretty sure her eyes will be brown. A has more fair, sensitive skin. He's about as blond as they come and it appears he'll have blue eyes. Here are the two of them. I'm pretty sure A's whispering in T's ear, "Don't tell them it was me who drooled on your jumper!"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Microblog Mondays: Thank You, Universe

Welcome to Microblog Mondays! Want to learn more and read more? Head over to Stirrup Queens for the details!

One year ago today was trigger day for A and T's cycle. Three hundred and seventy five days ago was my baseline scan, where I saw an AFC that mimicked that from Alexis and Zoe's cycle. That day I sent a desperate plea out to the Universe for a similar cycle with a happier ending. Today, I got sleepy smiles from my daughter and my son as I left for work this morning. Today I'll get to go home to a house full of people, both big ones and tiny ones. Today I am grateful to the bottom of my soul (soles?) for how everything has gone, and for these fantastic babies. 

I mean, just try and resist smiling back at this fellow:


Thank you, Universe. I don't take it for granted.
Love, 

Me

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Another Birthday

Today is Quinn's second birthday. Today my daughter would be 2: running, smiling, looking forward to cake and presents. Instead, my heart breaks that she isn't here, that I never knew her, that her dad and siblings never knew her. My grief is fresh, despite the years and everything that's happened. It's at moments like these that A and T feel unreal. I'm not certain why, but I suspect it's because loss was my reality for so long that life seems almost unbelievable.

Logically I know that a day will come when I won't ache this badly for my missing girls, but that day isn't here yet. For now I comfort myself with Quinn's blanket from the hospital, her tiny footprints, and the memorial bears for each girl. How disheartening that of a beautiful, wonderful child, this and my memories and love are all that remains.

Love you always, Quinn.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Microblog Monday: Holy Grails

Welcome to Microblog Mondays! Want to learn more and read more? Head over to Stirrup Queens for the details!

Yesterday we experienced the Holy Grail for all parents. Well, perhaps the Holy-ish Grail, as I suspect the Holy Grail was having both sleeping through the night at once. That happened at the end of June.

This, this was something else. T and A were laying on their jungle play mat. T looked over at A, made eye contact, and smiled. A held onto the eye contact and smiled back. They kept up smiling at each other for nearly 5 minutes. I melted.

Years, losses, heartbreak, all soothed by the most amazing balm possible: my children smiling at each other.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Help!?!

Ladies, HALP!

I've been exclusively pumping for the 19 weeks since the babies were born. Breastmilk has been fortified with Neosure to raise calories since day 1. For the last ~8 weeks, due to supply issues, I've fed 50% fortified breastmilk/50% straight Neosure. There have been no issues.

I started back to work on Monday. Thursday, first Aaron, then both babies, started refusing bottles. This morning Adam gave them Neosure only and they slurped it down. Conclusion: they won't take my breastmilk any more.

Please tell me there's a fix to this! I have 300 oz frozen, and 1.5 days worth mixed that will have to be discared within the next 20 hours if they don't drink it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Leftist

On Monday I reclaimed the left bathroom stalls at work.

Two years ago this month, while pregnant with Quinn, I walked into the bathroom, picked a stall on the left, and discovered I was bleeding. Three weeks later we said goodbye to her. I haven't been able to bring myself to use those stalls since.

Monday was my first day back after maternity leave. I walked in the bathroom, started to turn to the right, and then decided that with rainbows here, it was time to reclaim the left, so I did. Using a work potty has never felt so celebratory!