Part I: Once Upon A Choice
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Part I: Once Upon A Choice
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The morning was fine, we went to an Early Years Learning Center and met two other twin families and the boys played happily. But once we were home again they had a shorter than usual nap and woke up miserable. They clung to my legs, screaming and punching each other while I tried to make them lunch, which they then refused to eat and told me this by whipping their bowls across the room (and no i still haven't cleaned the food off of the walls).
I'm thinking "Ok. The morning was great because they were out of the house playing with new friends. My only chance of survival is get them on some kind of adventure." So I hatched a quick and what I thought brilliant plan:
I took them with me while I drove our "part time live in nanny" to her other job. So far so good. Then we drove to another city and took my sister to her work. The weather was terrible, traffic was horrible and the boys screamed the whole way. Once my sister got into the car they were little angels for her (of course...)
My sister works at Petsmart which is great because while she grooms dogs my boys can watch her, and the other dogs, and see the kittens, birds, hamsters, and fish. Its usually worth the long drive. Not today. Its getting close to dinner time and we are far from home and its rush hour. What to do?? So I called my husband and asked if I could crash his work dinner meeting. He works in another city but closer than home. The Plan is to make my life easier:
- restaurant means I don't need to cook
- my husband being there means I'm not the only one parenting
- his work friends means the boys will be cheerful because they are better behaved for other people than me
- plus at the end of the meal I can switch cars with my hubby he can drive the long drive home in horrible weather, in rush hour traffic with the screaming twins while I drive home ALONE in silence: a much needed break from my 12 hr day of horrors.
That was the plan but it didn't go like that. We got lost driving to the restaurant. It took an hour to find it. The boys are sreaming. We get there and my husband isn't there, just his new intern. I have toddler twins so as soon as the waiter appears in spitting distance I ask him to bring my boys food "No not appetizers, not water, teas, whatevs, food now sir: GO! thank you."
We wait, the boys are not cheerful, they don't care that the intern is new or that other people are watching us. They throw their crayons, they pull on the blinds, they slam forks against the table, they scream to be released from their highchair prisons. I'm dying. Usually our twins are so well behaved in restaurants that I can proudly flaunt them: "Yes, they are twins. Yes, they are beautiful. Yes, they are so well behaved thanks to my excellent parenting. Yes, I AM SUPER MOM!" But these kids were MONSTERS. I could feel people's eyes on us. I could imagine them thinking, "Look how misbehaved those children are.What was she thinking bringing them to a nice restaurant? They are so loud. Please leave and take your terrible spawn with you." But worse than that was I know some people were pitying me: "That poor woman, she has twins..." I'm humiliated.
The poor intern is trying to make small talk with me. I'm trying to entertain my kids. The waiter shows up with their food "Hallelujah!" but no, the order is wrong. There is cheese on their food. The boys are allergic to diary. "WHATEVER I'LL PEAL THE CHEESE OFF" I tell the waiter. He says its OK. it will only take a few minutes to make another dish. Its clear this guy doesn't have children, or twins either. LOOK INTO MY PLEADING EYES WAITER, you better not be lying to me, OK. go make a new dish...
Still no husband. Still no food. Still screaming children.
Finally the food comes back. Its too hot, its burnt, IT DID NOT TAKE A FEW MINUTES. My boys burn their mouths they are so hungry. They gobble it all up in a few minutes. The waiter doesn't come back to check on us, to take our orders. Its been an hour, my hubby is missing, his cellphone isn't working. I'm hungry, the intern is hungry, and my boys are full but still screaming. I apologize to the intern saying, "I'm so sorry, I'm going to have to leave" (He's probably thinking "Thank God"). We exchanged numbers, I told him to call me and let me know if my hubby ever arrives. Now I'm waiting on the bill. The intern says he will pay it.
I pick up my children and wrestle/chase them outside. My husband just pulls up, he say the traffic is terrible and apologizes. There are accidents on all the highways and on a lot of the detours. He helps me put the boys in the car, tells me an alternate route to get home, and goes to start his meeting.
I drive around for 45 mins lost, the boys are sobbing they are so tired, and I'm on the verge of tears: will this day ever end?! I keep calling the intern's cell so I can get directions but he isn't picking up. I almost get into two car accidents because I'm such a mess mentally. I shouldn't be driving. I wish a cop would pull me over so he can take me to a mental hospital and my children home. Finally I found my way back to the restaurant, my hubby finally calls me. I say, "I'm back. Come outside." When he comes out I just burst into tears. I can't even speak. I'm so done. I'm burnt out, lost, and I feel like a terrible mother. All my efforts to make the day easier failed miserably. And now I've ruined his work meeting. I don't have to say anything. He takes one look at me and runs back in to pay the bill. We switch cars and I follow him home, crying the whole way.
He gets the kids' teeth brushed, changes their diapers, and puts them to bed. We pray for them, kiss their foreheads, and I tell them I love them and that tomorrow will be better.
It turns out that 4 people died yesterday in 3 different accidents. Which is why the traffic was terrible on all the highways/roads. Their day, their familes' day was worse than mine, by a long shot. I will forget about my day in a few weeks. Those family members will always remember Sept. 14th 2012 as when they lost their loved ones. That and a good night's sleep is the perspective I need.
Parenting is hard, twins, triplets, or singletons. It can be brutal, it can nearly break you. But we are blessed when life goes on. When after a long awful day we can tuck our babies in, kiss their faces, and start again the next day. That's a blessing and I'm thankful for it.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Here are a few suggestions to personalize your babies' birth (Of course if there is an emergency some of these can't happen):
Get a mani & pedi done beforehand - all mamas deserve to feel beautiful while birthing
Bring your own music to play in the OR
Ask not to have your arms tied down
Ask to have a doula at your side - she can be your birth photographer and explain whats happening, so Dad can hold your hand and enjoy the experience.
Ask for delayed cord cutting and for your partner to cut the cord
Ask for a mirror to see the birth or that the drape be lowered
Sing Happy Birthday when your Little Ones are born
If your babies are well ask to hold them skin to skin
Yes, with some help from your doula/partner you can even nurse laying flat on the OR table
Talk to the anesthesiologist beforehand about medication options, doses, and side effects so you are prepared and understand whats happening to your body
Have a lactation consultant teach you breastfeeding positions that are easier on your body post surgery
Organize postpartum care: friends, family, and a postpartum doula can drop off food, do your dishes, and allow you time to shower and nap each day
Get creative, this is the day your children are born and it should be celebrated! Caesarean birth is still birth, and while its not everyone's first choice, it can be beautiful.
Did you have a Caesarean birth? How did you make it your own?
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I have been inspired. Two women have inspired me. I have never met them and they have never met me, but they have changed my life. One is a mother of five (soon to be six) children, who has suffered through illness (Hyperemesis gravidarum) with each of her pregnancies, and is an avid supporter of breastfeeding mothers. The other is a mother of 9, the youngest of which are triplet girls, who breastfeeds, baby-wears, and uses clothe diapers. Now I am just a mother of two (twins) and I struggled to breastfeed and stopped after 12 months. I use disposable diapers and I never baby-wore because I didn't think of it. I don't have much in common with these women and their lifestyles and in general I tend to be a conservative-crunchy mommy (if that makes any sense) however they have inspired me.
Jessica (a.k.a "The Leaky Boob") the-soon-to-be-mom-of-six was a great source of information and an encouragement to me while I was still breastfeeding. She also inspired me to start my own FB page for parents of twins, triplets, and higher order multiples ("Parenting Multiples"). We aren't a focused group like Jessica's which is for mainly breastfeeding support but rather for all parents of multiples (P.o.Ms), whatever their parenting style, however they choose to feed, diaper, raise their multiples. Because parenting multiples is quite unique from parenting a singleton, I felt like I should create a page for P.o.Ms. on which we can respectfully share our lives, experiences, questions, and advice with one another on a variety of topics.
Nicole whose blog aptly named "One Day At A Time" is the other mother who has been my inspiration. She blows my mind. As a new mom of twins I was led to believe that in many parenting issues I had no other option. Want to breastfeed? “Well, its very difficult and most mothers end up using formula”. Want to use cloth diapers? “Too messy, too much laundry, and too expensive for twins.” Want to co-sleep? “With twins?! HA!”, “ You'll have to cry-it-out”, “ You'll have to use a nanny”, “You'll have to get a full-time job to pay the bills”. You will ____. You won't ____. You can't ____. etc., etc., etc. Well Nicole is a woman who defies the norm. Defies the "won'ts" and the "can'ts". When I first "heard" of her it was because I stumbled upon a picture of her on someone's blog. She was breastfeeding two of her triplets and the third she had snuggled in a sling on her back. I thought, "Is this possible? Is this hope I feel?" And while my nursing days are over for my twins, my soul is glad to know of the possibilities for other moms of multiples (M.o.Ms) out there!
In the past mothers like these two women wouldn’t have inspired me, but rather filled me with guilt. Now the majority of my guilt was due to post-partum depression which is more common with M.o.Ms, and why PPD for M.o.Ms is also known as “Twin Shock”. But still, I would have felt like a failure as I listened to my boys cry-it-out, as I mixed another bottle of formula, as I had to call on friends to cook me meals, babysit, and do our laundry. But I have learned to have grace for myself, to surround myself with positive people (like Jessica and Nicole), and to lean on God for the rest. As I have read on Jessica’s FB community wall over and over again, “I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time”.
Now, inspiration must be followed by action otherwise its wasted. So if you find yourself in a low place dear reader follow my lead: pick yourself up, take a deep breath, smile and press on!
Maybe one day I'll blog again.