Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Baby Book: 13 months

13 months and their very first pandemic! How exciting!

We are extremely fortunate in that we both have jobs that can be done remotely and are not in immediate jeopardy. Our nanny is healthy and smart about social distancing. My MIL is sad to be stuck with us and unable to visit her other son, but we're super fortunate to have her help here. We have enough diapers, baby wipes, and formula. Being homebodies with babies, we didn't have much of a social life before the virus, so we're not missing out on much now that we're stuck at home! There are certainly things I had looked forward to for years that we can no longer do: walking with the babies at the arboretum, play dates with their friends, our summer boundary waters trip. Despite that, we're very lucky overall. I continue to hope for the well being of those around us.

In baby news, they are doing so well!

  • T took her first intentional steps last week. She can now walk at least 3-5 steps in a row and she's just so excited about it.
  • T also had her first temper tantrum last week. I'm sure we're in for it, but it was pretty amusing as far as developmental milestones go.
  • T is getting to be a slightly better eater. She'll feed herself some solids and drink some milk from a straw cup. She refuses a lot more than she eats, though. We're still giving bottles because I can't get enough food in yet. Pediatrician said that's ok through 12 months adjusted. 
  • T has learned how to sign 'more'. She understands what it means and uses it in context, both with food and when she wants to have an adult do more of something she's enjoying.
  • We've had several past attempts at sleep training, by which I mean teaching the babies to fall asleep independently. Those attempts always crashed and burned when I turned bedtime over to DH, because he and MIL would go right back to rocking them all the way to sleep. DH went on another business trip and I realized just how bad their sleep was and threw my own tantrum that we were going to fix this sleep mess. T has responded beautifully to sleep training. She's now getting about an extra hour of sleep a day and the change in her personality is amazing. She's so much happier now than she was. Less crying, more exploring and playing. I'm so, so happy for her and for us. 
  • T has had her first illness, an ear infection, right before her first birthday. She did great, slept well, and didn't even act like it was a problem. The cold that preceded it was more distressing to her. 

  • A is a master stair climber. Last week we set him down at the bottom of the stairs. With no hesitation or wobbling, he climbed right to the top like it was the most natural thing ever. He may not be walking, but he's certainly mobile. 
  • A's also getting slightly better at eating solids. He'll feed himself some solids and two days ago started drinking milk from a straw cup. He likes a different mix of things than T does, which is tough, but we keep exposing them both to see if something sticks. 
  • A has not taken well to sleep training. We're 11 days in and while nights are pretty good, naps are horrid to non-existent. The sleep deprivation makes him as cranky as T is happy. It hurts my heart that he's having such a hard time, but as someone who has struggled with insomnia, I desperately want him to learn to self-soothe to sleep. It's a skill I didn't pick up, and I don't want him to have the same experience I do because of that lack of skill. 
  • A also had his first illness, an ear infection. It came about two weeks after Tess's. He was a mess, clearly in pain, and barely slept until he'd been on antibiotics for almost a week. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Unreservedly Happy

Wow. A year has gone by.

 Thinking back, I can't say that raising twins is the hardest thing I've ever done, because losing twins was harder. I can say that it's the most rewarding, in an ongoing sense. Getting my PhD, that was rewarding, and in a 'change my life' sort of way. But it wasn't as joyous as raising twins. The babies, well, they bring so much joy. I am in awe of them every single day. Their growth, their curiosity, their personalities - what can I say, I'm hooked! I am so grateful for this outcome every single day, even the days with the 1:00 am wake-ups and the inconsolable crying.

 Physically the last year has been tough. The c-section itself was NBD, but the digestive system complications were beyond-adjectives horrible. Weeks of agony. The bleeding didn't stop until 7 months out. My decision to try to pump for twins was also challenging. I didn't get more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep until 7 months out when I dropped the 1 am pump. Mid February was the first time I got 8 consecutive hours of sleep. Bending, lifting, holding, wrangling twins, and twins in bucket seats, all of those things are physically challenging. My neck and back don't love me too much!

 Emotionally the year has been a roller coaster, although mostly on an uphill journey. The NICU stay, the pain, the grief over never having a normal pregnancy and delivery, those were hard. I had DMER, so every single letdown was preceded by overwhelming feelings of thirst, followed by soul-crushing sadness, followed by a return to normal. Realizing first hand what we missed out on with Alexis, Zoe, and Quinn. All that made for some serious 'down'. But the up? The ups have been the best. Rocking a baby to sleep. Seeing huge grins on both babies when I walk in the room. Getting hugs. Hearing my first 'mama!' Watching DH and our parents interact with T and A. Seeing personalities develop. Every one of those things have been absolute highs that really helped ease all the lows of past and present.
Am I a different person today than I was a year ago? Undoubtedly. Am I happy about that? Unreservedly.