Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It's been a long time since I have been excited for Christmas.  This year I have so much to celebrate and I couldn't be happier. Last year I couldn't even begin to imagine that we would be celebrating Christmas with, not one, but two miracles.

We're having a pretty low key day. My mom is here and we are all going out to dinner instead of cooking. My in-laws will be here over New Year's. It's been a nice first Christmas. It makes me excited for next year when the girls will understand presents and toys. This year there is a lot of indifference on their part. Oh well. It's been fun for us to dress them up in silly Santa themed clothes.

Best presents ever!

   
Paige does not appreciate having to do tummy time on Christmas








Monday, December 23, 2013

3 months

Ok, it's really more like 3 months and 1 week, but...close enough. The passage of time is a very weird thing right now. We are basically living our life in 3-hour increments.  Everything we do revolves around feeding the babies and what we can do between feedings (shower? groceries? nap? cleaning?). Sometimes, I can't believe they are 3 months old already. Other times I wonder how they can only be 3 months. Being in the hospital feels like a lifetime ago.

Having preemies is a challenge as far as developmental milestones. They should be hitting all the milestones based on their due date and not their birth date, which puts them 7 weeks behind. I am trying not to google or read any parenting books to see where a "normal" 3 month old should be. I have a vague idea of what they should be doing, but I am trying not to stress too much about it. Our pediatrician will ask us at our appointments if they are doing certain things (smiling, cooing, etc) and usually we say no, but within a couple weeks they do it. So, it seems like they are behind the curve as far as birth date and ahead of it based on due date. The really hard part is we essentially had a very extended newborn phase. In the last couple weeks, they finally started cooing and smiling and responding to us and it is so amazing. It was a very one sided relationship up until then, which at times, could be frustrating. Especially when we are up at all hours. Don't get me wrong, newborns are sweet and snuggly and adorable, but after 2 months I needed something back from them. Why is it so gratifying to get a baby to smile at you?

They pretty much hate tummy time. Especially Paige. With a passion. I think she gets her dislike of exercise from me. She will tolerate it for about a minute before she starts fussing. I try to let her work it out for awhile, but then she just starts screaming and burying her face in the blanket. Then it takes a good 20 minutes to calm her down again. I end up not giving them enough tummy time because of that. They do a little better when we lay them on our chests. They are still managing to get stronger as far as holding up their heads, though.

Riley is having bad problems with reflux. Sometimes, it seems like she is spitting up everything she eats and she is doing it all over our couch. I feel like I need a hazmat suit to sit on the couch now. She is definitely in pain for a lot of her feedings and we have to struggle to get her to eat 2 ounces while Paige consistently eats 3 1/2 - 4 ounces each time. We thought there was no way she gained enough weight between her 2 and 3 month appointments. But, she surprised us and gained over 2 pounds! I don't know how it's possible. At their 2 month appointment, they both weighed 8lb2oz (they were also the same length. crazy, right?) and weren't even on the growth chart. At their 3 month appointment, Riley weighed 10lb6oz and is in the 6th percentile and Paige weighed 10lb13oz and is in the 10th percentile. Rock stars! So, obviously the reflux isn't hurting her growth so we got some zantac to help her with the pain. Unfortunately, she hates it because it is peppermint flavored. The pharmacy tried to cover it up with grape but it's still really minty. I can't imagine any baby would like peppermint, but who knows. She has only been taking it for a few days so we don't know yet if it's working.

Sleep is getting a little better. We now get about 5 solid hours a night. The sleep from about 1am - 6 or 7. It's fantastic. I sleep so deeply now. I used to not sleep very well at all.  I would toss and turn and wake up throughout the night. Now I am dead asleep the second my head hits the pillow and I don't move all night. I actually went to brush my hair the other morning and didn't even need to. Not a single tangle since I didn't move all night. I am hoping we can soon get rid of the midnight/1am feeding and get them sleeping all night.  That will be positively dreamy. They are still sleeping in our room in the rock n plays. I'm not sure when or how we will transition them to their cribs, but I know we probably need to do it soon.

Our biggest problem right now is their heads are getting flat. They both favor their right and always lay with their heads turned to the right. Riley has a flat spot on the right side of her head that we hope can be fixed with just repositioning her head. She isn't really that bad. Paige also has the flat spot on the right, but also the back of her head seems really flat. Her head is in much worse shape. Our pediatrician recommended a moon pillow so I bought that and a noggin nest to see if those help. She wants us to give it one more month of using the pillow and keeping them off their heads before we try anything more drastic. I really hope this works because I would hate for either of them to need to wear the helmet.

That's basically where we are at 3 months. It's been amazing, wonderful, exciting and pure bliss. It's also been exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming and scary. I find myself in this weird place of being excited to watch them grow and discover new things, but sad that they are growing up and won't be little babies for very long. They finally got too big for their newborn clothes and it made me a little sad to clear all those clothes out and bring out the 3-6 month wardrobe. It's crazy that just a couple months ago the newborn clothes were way too big for their tiny little bodies.

Also, I'm not gonna lie - I sometimes miss my old life. I miss being able to be spontaneous. I miss deciding we want to go out to eat and leaving the house 5 minutes later. I miss being able to watch a tv show or movie without having to pause it to tend to a fussing baby. I miss sleep. But, I wouldn't go back. I wouldn't change anything.

Here are some pictures from 1 to 3 months. Riley is on the left and Paige is on the right. People always ask us how we tell them apart. SH tells them that Paige is blond and Riley has darker hair. I just tell people it isn't an issue because they don't actually look anything alike. At least, I don't think so.




So tiny!
Synchronized baby squirming
Yeah! We made it onto the growth chart!



Multitasking. SH just took this picture of me writing this post.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blogiversary

Last week was my 1 year blogiversary.

It seems appropriate that I am posting about this a week late. That's how I operate with this blog. I am not a writer and I have a hard time opening up to people - even anonymously on the internet. I was/am constantly thinking of things to write about and spend a lot of time composing blog posts in my head. And then they never happen. Or they happen weeks later. I have good intentions and somehow just never get around to writing out more than the title of the post. Sigh. It's the procrastinator in me.

Despite that, I am so happy I started this blog and found all of you. I only wish I had started it sooner! I could have really used you guys during my first two rounds on IVF. It took me a while to get into reading blogs, actually. It seemed like at first, every new blog I found had just gotten a BFP or was going in for their first ultrasound. That was, of course, great news and very hopeful, but it wasn't where I was at in my journey.  Then I finally started finding people who were in the same place I was and had the same problems I did. I wanted to talk to all of you because I finally found people who got it. The only way to do that was to start my own blog. So here I am. And I actually have followers. What? I am more surprised than anyone that there are people - strangers! -who are actually interested in what I have to say. It baffles me, to be honest. Thanks to all of you who continue to read my babbling and for all your comments. I appreciate them more than you can know.

I'm still in a little bit of shock at how different my life is one year later. It is, of course, what I was wishing for but didn't really believe would happen. I had essentially given up hope. And then to be blessed with two? It still feels very surreal. I don't know what's going to happen to this blog. I don't really think I have it in me to be a mommy blogger. At the same time, I don't want to leave this space just yet. I am too invested in all of you and your stories and I want to see you all be successful. So, for now I'll continue to write the occasional post and share the occasional baby picture. I'll definitely be reading all of your blogs and commenting when I can.

Cheers!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Regrets

I have a terrible tendency to dwell on the past. I question my decisions. I wish I had said something else. I wish I had done something differently. I think about it all the time. To the point where I don't always appreciate the present because I am worried about what already happened instead of what is happening. I feel like I am not fully engaged in the present and that just gives me more to look back on and regret.

When I finally got pregnant, I wished I had handled infertility differently. I wished I had gone to an RE sooner. I wished I had found this blogging community and started this blog before my first IVF and not my third. I regretted not going to the support group sooner so I could have actually connected with people going through the same hell I was. Instead, I just kept withdrawing further into myself. I felt sorry for myself and very alone. I shut people out which only made the situation worse. I was completely emotionally detached by the time I started my 3rd round of IVF. I couldn't handle any more disappointment so I just shut down. I think I am still clawing my way out of that place and trying to connect with people and the world again. I got really used to keeping people at arm's length and I'm not sure how to let them back in again.

Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I find myself looking back and wishing I had handled pregnancy differently. I felt really disconnected from my pregnancy a lot of the time. I wouldn't say I was afraid. Sure, I was painfully aware of how many things could go wrong, but I think I was strangely confident that it was going to work out. I held my breath a little at the beginning of each ultrasound until I saw both heartbeats, but I wouldn't say I was overly anxious. Or maybe I was and I just dealt with it by continuing to be a little (a lot?) detached. I wish I would have been as excited for myself as other people were for me. Why didn't I take weekly bump pictures like I planned? I wish I hadn't been so hesitant to talk about my pregnancy with the people who were constantly asking me about it. I wish I had blogged more so I would have a record of it all.

I have been desperately trying to remember how it felt to be pregnant. How it felt to carry around that huge bump. How it felt when the girls moved. But, I can't. I can't bring up the physical memory and that makes me a little sad. (I'm sure that's nature's way of ensuring the continuation of the species. I probably wouldn't feel nostalgic for pregnancy if I actually could remember how it felt.) It feels like such a distant memory now. Yet, instead of letting it go and moving on to the next phase, I dwell. I can't let it go.

I need to stop this pattern. I want to live in the present with my girls. I don't want to look back and regret that I wasn't fully present. I already feel myself starting to think of things I can regret (why didn't I get newborn photos taken? did I try hard enough to make breastfeeding work?). I am making a conscious effort to stop worrying about the past or the housework that needs to be done or how we are going to manage teenage girls and social media. I am trying to stop and enjoy this time. It's a crazy, exhausting whirlwind but it's going to be over before I know it and I don't want to miss any of it. I want to be the mother that they deserve.

I can't change the past no matter how many times I replay it in my head. I can only learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes. The fact is, everything that has happened to me and all the decisions I have made (both good and bad) have led me to where I am today. While my life is far from perfect, I have SH and my miracle baby girls, and I wouldn't change that for anything.