My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday it got bad

The prozac isn't working for me.  I felt a little better mentally for a moment, and then some side effects started kicking in.  I felt even more drowsy than usual, and a bit dizzy.

Tuesday night, K gave me 2 solid 5 hour chunks of sleep.  A total of 10 hours interrupted once so I could pump.  And yet the drowsy and the clutziness didn't get any better.

Wednesday was day 7 of K working straight.  All day I was trying to sleep when the kids slept, but I would lie down for 5 minutes, that wave of drowsy and drifting into sleep would wash over me, and a kid would scream and get me up.  When you allow that wave to hit and you get up in the middle of it, you just feel 10x worse.  I did that several times throughout the day.

Halfway through the day, both kids were screaming, Charlotte was refusing to eat even though it had been a long time since her last bottle, I knew she was hungry, and Tina was spitting up whatever she ate.  I started crying and wailing along with them after being unable to soothe them, and then I started crossing that line from frustrated and into pissed off.  So I put them down, walked away for a few minutes, and then came back.

But this time, when I walked back, I wasn't any less pissed off than when I had walked away.  Honestly, I was so drowsy, and somewhat dizzy, and now angry, I was feeling drunk.  There's a reason I don't drink, I don't like feeling drunk.

Crying, I called a friend of mine and asked her to come over.  It was only 3 hours until I expected K home, but my candle had burnt out.  I really did not have 5 more minutes in me, and I really felt impaired with tiredness.  So she and her husband came over and each took a baby, while I puttered around doing some other chores until K got home.  When I accidentally broke a glass when rinsing some dishes, I knew that I had done the right thing by calling friends over and not trying to hold a baby.

After K got home, I went into the bedroom and cried.  Couldn't even pull it together to say goodbye to my friend when she left.

Back to the doctor on Monday to find an alternative to prozac and I've stopped taking it in the mean time. Still feeling tired, but not nearly as tipsy as I was.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Babies don't meow

Just another symptom of messed up brain.

One of my cats has started sleeping next to my pillow.  And I sleep with a stuffed animal (don't judge me!).  I can not tell you how many times in recent weeks I've half woken up with a hand on my cats back thinking it's my babies head.  Or with the head of my stuffed animal shoved up under my chin and me thinking I have a baby on my chest.  My cat hates to be held or confined.  It's a hold over from being stray the first 3 months of his life, he panics when confined.  So he'll try to move and I'll try to scoop him closer and we'll play this tug of war for a few minutes with him trying to escape and me thinking that a baby is falling and needs to be caught and held closer.  It's not until his tail goes through my clenched hand that I realize it's a cat and not a baby.

I have never actually fallen asleep with a baby on my chest or snuggled a baby in my sleep (too scared of smothering) so there's no reason why my brain should conclude that's what I'm doing when I've been snuggling cats in bed my entire life.

That's how confused baby brain can make you.  It's very confusing to wake up thinking you're in the process of dropping a baby when in actuality a cat is in the process of jumping off the bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breastfeeding exhaustion

I'm leaving this little factoid out there for every woman who is trying to explain to her man why she is so friggin exhausted by breastfeeding.

On the outside, producing milk doesn't seem very taxing.  However, I've just done a little math and in the last 2 months, I have output my own weight in fluid through my boobs.

Using my own numbers (and if anyone reminds me that I'm fat, thanks, I'm aware of that), here's a little perspective.  It took 8 months of twin pregnancy to gain about 60lbs.  I started somewhere around 235 and finished somewhere around 295.  Within three weeks of giving birth, I was back down to 240lbs and now it seems to have settled somewhere between 235-240lbs.  Yay me!

I've been producing milk and squirting it out of my boobs and into bottles for 10 weeks now.  I average 60oz a day.  Yes, I told you before, I'm producing enough for 3.  Yay me again!  So 60oz a day times 70 days = 4200oz.  16oz = 1lb.  Therefore, I have produced approximately 262.5lbs of milk.

That's right - 8 months to produce 60lbs worth of baby and other materials, 10 weeks to produce 262.5lbs of fatty fluid!

Holy shitballs and Yay me hard core!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Living on a stopwatch

Time really moves differently now that I'm a mom.  I'm a mom.  Sheesh that still sounds like a weird claim for me to make!

Time absolutely flies now.  Everything is according to various stop watches built in to the tracking app on my phone, Baby ESP.

A baby will cry and I'll think "I have no idea what you want because I just fed you."  Then I look at the app and see that over 2 hours have gone by since they finished their last bottle.  Really?  It's been 2 hours already?  How long do I have to go to the store before it's time to pump again?  I've already lost a full hour and a half of my 4 hour break?  But all I can remember doing since then is going to the bathroom, where did the other hour and 25 minutes go?

What do you mean it's after 5pm and offices are closed?  Another day has flown by and I didn't make the phone calls I needed to make!

When the girls go to bed at night, I feel like it's a race to get myself in bed and asleep.  15 minutes goes by while brushing the teeth or taking my vitamins and I know that my chance to get a solid chunk of sleep is slipping away minute by minute.

Time dragged unbearably slowly while trying to get and while being pregnant, and now it's just flying out from under me.  That's why it's now so easy to go a week or two between blog posts.  It just doesn't seem like it's been very long.

The first outgrown outfits

It's time to retire a few of the things I bought for the girls.


I'm really sad to see these things go.  I've barely purchased any clothing for the girls because we borrowed from the preemie closet of the local moms of multiples club, and we've received so many hand me downs and gifts that I don't think the girls will have time to wear everything people have brought for them as it is.  But when they were preemie sized, I wanted to buy a couple of cute things, just cuz I wanted to.  But they are outgrown now.

My Itty Bitty is becoming an Average Annie and my Middie Biddie is becoming a Chunky Monkey.

So here are the monkey jammies and the mint chocolate chip jammies in preemie size that will soon be going to the consignment store.

And a recent picture of my girls in all their chubby glory.  Apparently not in the best of moods.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diaper rash part deux

After several days of using the cream the doctor gave us and not seeing any improvement, I changed tactics.

I tried letting her air out her butt, but she was having none of that!  4 hours yesterday of trying to keep a diaper off of her and her butt clean and I was exhausted.  She wouldn't sleep and just cried the whole time.  I had layers of those bed protector mats down in her bassinet, I tried a few layers of chux, and I tried setting her butt on a pile of cloth diapers interspersed with waterproof burp cloths all in an effort to let her just pee and poo in bed and still be able to clean it up quickly.  But sheesh, that did not work!  With the pile of diapers and the chux, she would just kick them all out of her way and smear her butt straight on the sheet.  The bed protectors worked fine, but she was peeing or pooing every few minutes so I had my entire collection of those in the laundry within an hour.

Keeping her butt clean was just constant.  The moment I had her cleaned up, I would turn to throw away the  shop towel (it's like an extra thick and soft paper towel) I had used in place of a wipe, turn back and there was a little bit of fresh poo all over her butt again!  Not much, just a sharts worth, but enough that I didn't want it irritating the skin so I'd start the cleaning process over again.  So frustrating!  I cleaned her butt 4 times in the span of 10 minutes.

So I gave up on the airing her tush method.  Here's what I've been doing for the last 24 hours and we're seeing a lot of improvement today.

Using the shop towels with plain water in place of wipes.  I'm keeping a peri bottle of water at the diaper changing station for this purpose.  I did get some chemical free wipes from Whole Foods yesterday and I'm starting to use those too.  After cleaning, blot with a dry shop towel.  Blow on the butt to ensure it's dry, then use a cotton ball to put on some corn starch.  Protect the face and blow off the excess (protect the face so baby doesn't breathe it in).  Cover with the powerful desitan like stuff the doctor gave us.  Put on either a cloth diaper or the chemical free disposables I also got from Whole Foods.

So far so good!  It's almost gone today.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Diaper rash woes

Tina has some hard core diaper rash.  I found it while we were getting an ultrasound on her hips on Tuesday and it's NASTY.  Remember, K had her all day Monday which is why I didn't see it sooner.  The doctor gave us some cream that's 3x more potent than desitan but it's not doing anything.  I've had her naked for a day, I've tried having her naked and on her tummy, I've tried smearing this crap on, leaving it off and just letting her be dry, I'm running out of ideas.  She's inconsolable today and I really don't blame her.  I'm about at my wits end because I know it's hurting her, I can't cure it, and I can't seem to comfort her.  And now Charlotte just woke up and is screaming at me after a very short nap.

This sucks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Awkward lactation

So we all know that my husband K is a saint.  Yesterday, he went above and beyond.

After the 6am wake up, I had a doctors appointment at 8:30am so he was left alone with the girls.  When I got home around 11am, I was feeling kind of dizzy so he told me to go lie down.  I woke up around 4pm.  I made dinner and was out the door for a Moms of Multiples meeting around 5:30pm.  When the meeting was over at 9pm, I called him because I wanted to go out with another mom to get some fries but wanted him to have the opportunity to tell me that it's a bit much and I should come home.  Nope, he tells me to go out and have fun.  I didn't get home until about midnight.  Yup, he was with the girls alone from 6am to midnight.  I would not have been so generous.

But it did lead to some awkwardness regarding my boobs.  I pumped when I woke up so by the time I went out for fries, it had been about 6 hours and my boobs were aching.  I had a pump with me, but no where to plug it in.  So, I took over the handicapped stall, lifted my shirt, unhooked my nursing bra, leaned over and milked myself like a cow into the toilet.  Fortunately I'm overproducing so much milk that I can afford to throw some of it away.  But all I could think was that if this bathroom had one of those pervert hidden cameras, someone was getting a show they were not expecting.

I went to bed last night wearing Lilypadz.  If you're not familiar with them, they are a thin layer of silicone with some adhesive.  You press it to your nipple in the middle and lay it over the front of your breast.  By sealing the nipple, you effectively turn the faucets off and because it sticks by itself, you don't need a bra to hold it in place.  Well, I guess my faucet wasn't fully turned off.  When I got up and peeled the thing off to pump, I dumped a bunch of milk all over the carpet.  Lovely.  So I had to pull out the steamer and steam clean a section of carpet in the middle of the night so I wouldn't end up with the house smelling like sour milk for the rest of our lives.

I feel pretty!  Oh so pretty!

Feeling lied to

I'm in full on postpartum depression.  It's crossed over from the crying of baby blues and into the dull, flat, nothing interests me of depression.  Today I start prozac.

I've never been a baby person.  Kids, yes, babies, no.  But everyone always said "It'll be different when it's your own".  They lied.

They said "you'll fall in love like you've never understood before when you see your baby."  They lied again.

Every picture of the new mother looking lovingly and longingly at her newborn baby is a lie.

It feels so good to love my husband the way that I do.  I always imagined that when I had a baby or two, I would get to feel that same way about additional people, maybe even stronger and that's the reward I was looking forward to.  But it's not happening.

I keep trusting that it will come.  Maybe when they start smiling at me, maybe when the prozac kicks in and takes the depression away from between me and my kids, I dunno, but I keep trusting that the overwhelming love and affection will wash over me at some point.  It's getting harder to keep that faith though.  I trusted it would come when I felt them move.  I trusted it would come when I first saw them.  I trusted it would come when I held them, then took them home and really started parenting, then when I got into a bit of a groove.  But the benchmark of when it will come just keeps staying in front of me, just out of reach.

I sometimes feel about them the way I felt about my bitchy cat.  Just this evil, horrible cat that I raised.  Her littermate was raised exactly the same and he's affectionate and generally happy, but that cat never was.  I spent more than a decade trying to find out what was making that damned cat so unhappy so I could fix it and we never did figure it out.  Sometimes I'm afraid that's how it's going to be with these kids.  They'll be crying and I want to fix it, but I can't figure out what the problem is.

Lots of people are telling me this is normal.  Many mothers are saying how they didn't feel a connection until 6 months, a year, 18 months.  If that's how so many mothers feel, why does everyone lie to us about how wonderful it is the moment you see them?

I'm not feeling the rewards of my struggle yet and I feel betrayed and angry.  I'm going through all of the motions including playing the part of the doting mommy hoping it's a fake it until you make it kind of situation.

It's scary to admit these things.  I fear that someone will take it wrong way and get all scared that I'm a horrible mom and the kids are suffering or something.  I promise all of you, the girls are well cared for, getting plenty of snuggles and affection.  They are getting the rewards of a mommy who loves them, it's just me who isn't.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just adopt! Yeah, just blow me

Whenever anyone says "just adopt!" I want to kick them in the teeth.  All those comments on Dear Abby articles where people talk about how selfish and narcissistic it is to go through fertility treatments when there are so many poor little babies who need homes, I just want to smack the people who make those comments.  You know who makes those comments?  People who have never, ever looked at what it takes to adopt.

My cousins are experiencing this right now.  And they didn't even have to do the hard part of finding a birth mother.  Someone at their church said that there's a baby due in August, does anyone want to adopt it, and my cousins stepped up.  They went through all the medical exams, home invasions - errr, home studies, etc etc etc and were expecting to bring home a baby girl this week.  They had everything set up including a breast milk stash from the family dairy cow (hi!) and traveled to be with mother and child when she was born.

The day before the birth, one of the potential fathers shows up at decides he wants the baby and will sue for custody and child support.  So the mother decides that if he's the father, she's going to keep the baby and sue him for child support.

Turns out he is the father and the mother took the baby home.  My cousins are still very involved because they are the most supportive people on the planet and because these other two people are complete flakes.  Well within 5 hours of having the baby home, the mother pawns it off on my cousin to babysit so she can go out with her boyfriend.  Cousins lawyer says that having the child without the mother present is a really bad place to be legally so cousin tracks down the mother and gives the child back.  Within a few more hours, the birth mother is sick of this baby thing and hands the baby over to the father.

Cousin is keeping in touch with the father and offering parenting advice (they have 3 children already) and are feeling ok that the dad may be a decent guy who really is going to try to raise this little girl well.  But CPS is keeping an eye on everything and so that door is open that in the months ahead, my cousins might still end up with the baby if the father flakes out or something.

They had the easiest adoption situation in the world, and it still went to shit.  They traveled expecting to bring home a daughter and they come home empty handed and totally jerked around at the last minute.  I don't care how you expect to have a baby, to come home without the baby you've been expecting is heart breaking and no one should have to do it.

Fertility treatments aren't narcissism.  That has nothing to do with it.  They are honestly the cheaper option with the most chance of actually bringing home a baby in our country.  In this country, there are now very few closed adoptions so when you adopt, you are inviting a host of other people into your lives and the life of your child.  Let's face it, someone who is giving away a baby probably doesn't have the most together life going for them, so you are inviting a person with issues of some sort, that you might never choose to associate with otherwise, into your life.

So if the words "just adopt" have ever crossed your lips, don't let it happen again.  Your ignorance is showing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Postpartum Depression

Pretty sure I officially have it.

I'm not crying as much as I was before, but I've lost interest in pretty much everything.  My parents came over to babysit for the evening yesterday, just to give me a break and let me go out and do whatever I wanted.  And I couldn't figure out anything I wanted to do or anywhere I wanted to go.  I hate being here, but can't think of a better alternative.  Just kind of numb, unhappy, and bored with everything.

I made an appointment with a shrink for next Monday.  I want to see if I can get myself back before I completely miss the whole newborn stage.  Because right now, I'm so unhappy all the time that I am missing it.  I'm going through the motions and the girls are being cared for, but at some point, I've got to find a way to be interested in life again.

And frankly, I'm pissed off about it.  Not surprised of course, but just pissed off.  I didn't get to enjoy the conception of the girls like a normal person, or the pregnancy because of all the bleeding and scary stuff, the birth was no fun, and now I don't even get to enjoy the actual babies.  I knew that I would be sacrificing some of the normal life experiences that most people get to have when starting a family, but come on!  Let me enjoy SOMETHING damnit!

Apparently I'm supposed to stop typing now, a cat is laying her chin on the back of my hand.

Spraying down the house

Seriously, if you want to have a baby, or two, marry a man or woman (mama's choice!) like mine.

K doesn't do things for points, or because I convince him to, or because I make him, he does things because he if sees a way to make me happy, that's what he wants to do.

The other night, that meant staying up with 2 fussy babies without even telling me to expect to sleep through the night and just letting me do it.  I woke up around 9am very confused as to why I hadn't pumped for over 8 hours.

There is a price to pay for this my friends.  I woke up damp, sore, and looking like a porn star.  I went into the bathroom and gingerly removed the pads and my sleeping bra.  You have to do it gingerly because even that much handling of the boobies hurts when you're that full.  Well, the weight of my full breast against my rib cage was enough to squeeze out a stream of milk.  Yes, I sprayed down the bathroom with breast milk.  Not a drip, not a leak, but a spray like a super soaker.  D'oh!

Other random bits and pieces -

Charlotte is threatening to actually smile at me.  Neither one of them have smiled in response to anything yet, just a few facial ticks that look like smiles when sleeping, but they're starting to look at me with a hint of recognition.  I'm really looking forward to that smile, that connection.  Any day now I think.

I'm pretty sure Tina flashed the devil horns in her sleep today.  The awesomeness is inherent.

I think we're growing out of the newborn sized diapers and into 1's.  Yay!  We're going to have to start trying to use some cloth diapers in earnest soon.  It's difficult when they are so small, but they are about a pound or two away from fitting into some of the fancy schmancy diapers I bought while pregnant.

We're starting to use Gripe Water.  They've decided to generally be fussy between about 10pm-3am.  So far the gripe water seems to be working a little bit, but then again, we tend not to give it to them until they've been fussing for a long time, so it might just be that they wear themselves out shortly after we give it to them. I don't care if it's just a placebo, at least I can feel like I'm trying something when they are upset.

I went into the nursery to find that our little kitty had snuck in past me at some point and was sleeping on the table next to the crib guarding her girls.

Official 2 month doctors appointment tomorrow.  I'm curious to see how they are looking on the growth charts.  Since at 2 months they are around 7-8lbs, that's probably still too small for their age to be on the regular charts, but as long as their own growth lines follow the right path, it's ok.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Definition : Fake up

Fake up:  The cry that a baby emits during the night that makes parents start prepping bottles and diaper changes, but does not actually result in the baby waking up for another hour or two thereby needlessly depriving said parents of sleep for no good reason.

"Oh shit, it's 2am and I just went to sleep an hour ago.  Is this a wake up or a fake up?  Cuz if it's a fake up and I sit here ready to go for an hour that I could have been sleeping waiting for an actual wake up, someone's gonna get hurt."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Busy busy

It's been a while since my last post, but that's mostly because the days are all blending together and it's hard to tell just how many of them have gone by.

I did an interview at the Mommyish blog.  Ehhhhh, you all know my story, and well, it didn't really come across the way I would have told it had I written it myself rather than just responding to interview questions.  But yeah, so that happened.

K and I have reached a general system for night time wake ups.  I start the process by getting one girls diaper changed and I prep the bottles.  Then I set her down and start her feeding while K changes the other diaper.  Then he comes over and takes over the feeding while I go and pump.  Usually by the time I finish pumping, the girls are done eating and it's burping, snuggle, just get them to fall asleep again time.  It seems to be working out pretty well for the most part.  The benefit of this system is that I'm not stuck awake pumping for an additional half hour after we care for the girls.  The drawback is that K gets most of the interactive time with the girls.  But I certainly make up for that during the day as I watch the clock waiting for him to get home and help me.

A couple of milestones we've reached:

The girls are picking up their heads and looking around at the world.  The wall behind the couch is white with black stick on designs, so I think they're looking over our shoulders at the nice contrast behind us.

The rough night stage.  Ugh.  The girls sleep pretty well during the day but they've started having trouble getting to sleep at night.  We've had a few nights now where one or both have been up and pissy for 5-6 hours.  They'll go to sleep for about 10 minutes, just long enough for us to believe it's over, and then the screaming starts again.

Yes, we've done the 2"30am trip to McDonalds for shakes and fries in an attempt to quiet the girls with a car ride.  I felt like we had a valid reason to be up and aimlessly wandering at that time of night, but I don't know what the heck the jogging guys excuse was.

And to again demonstrate how awesome K is, we were both exhausted and just desperately wanted sleep, but when I suggested a ride in the car, and we determined that I had to drive because the car seats were in my car, K got dressed and got in the passenger seat.  All he really wanted in life was to get into bed, but it didn't even cross his mind to go to sleep while I was driving around trying to quiet the girls.  He's awesome.

You know how when you're so tired, and it's the middle of the night, and you're really punchy, everything becomes 10x funnier?  That's what the drive turned into.  Honestly, it's going to be one of my favorite memories of this time period.  But don't tell K I said that.  We were supposed to be exhausted and miserable so I think he'd consider me a traitor if I came to the conclusion that it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Ok, pictures!

Charlotte demonstrating her archery skills.  Daddy used to teach archery at a kids camp.
Tina plays a little twist and shout.  Still trying to figure out this weird contortion, tongue thing that she does.


What the hell was that??? (it was a bath)
 Sleepy babies.

Just chillin

Mama moby's up!