Friday, April 29, 2016

Technology: Mommy Help or Hindrance?

I'm not sure if our moms had it easier or harder when it comes to raising us WITHOUT technology.

On the one hand, I have the following:

- Unlimited ideas for showers, nurseries, pre- and postpartum tips via Pinterest and the interwebs
- Online support groups for everything from twin moms to breastfeeding to swapping out baby goods
- Camera phones - I can capture every moment
- Online shopping, grocery delivery, food delivery, laundry pick-up, all of the things that make life with two babies a bit more convenient.
- My phone to keep me company during late night feedings. The girls can nurse up to an hour each and if they're not too squirmy, I surf Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, watch Hulu and listen to podcasts during that time.

On the other hand, I have the following:
- A constant buzzing on my phone from well wishers. This is a blessing (please don't stop checking on me, I need you all), but it requires me to respond. I wonder if my mom had to call as many people as I have to text and or email about our health and wellbeing.
- Camera phones - Everyone feels entitled to photos. I'm not ready to post anything to social media and I don't feel obligated to. I think everyone's just doing what's normal for others and expect you to fall in line. No one would even know what falling in line was if this was 1980, but in 2016 the internet has made the oversharing CRAZY!
- Online shopping, grocery delivery, food delivery, laundry pick-up - If I didn't have these things, I imagine I could delegate these responsibilities to another human and therefore get them off of my brain. Sometimes, even calling to get the laundry picked up is too much to remember.
- My phone. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the children a disservice by multitasking while they're hanging off my breasts. I'm going to ask my mom if she read magazines or chit chatted on the phone while she was nursing us. No way she just sat their staring at our greedy faces.

I'm sure there are other things, but [mommy brain], I can't remember. What do you think is cool about parenting with technology in 2016? What could be easier if we went back old school?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's My Birthday!

It's all fun and games until your children steal your birth month. Not only am I in no mood to party, I'm sure every message I receive will be "Happy Birthday... and congratulations again on your twins" because my birthday is now a shared day.

My mom is still in town and has a gift for me. I'm going to attempt to take a shower today and maybe ask my boyfriend to make a special meal (he's a chef though, every time I eat, it's a special meal).

Now I see why my mom was taking so many birthday trips when we were old enough to watch ourselves. I'm looking forward to my next birthday trip in 2031 or 2032.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Medical Doctors...

After giving birth, one thing has become clear to me. Our healthcare system is jacked. It never occurred to me that people are M.D.s and not H.D.s. Medical doctors, not healing doctors. They can tell you what medicine will either A) make your illness feel like you don't have it or B) make it go away. They can also always tell you what they think something is, but they can never be sure. They are probably taught this in med school since our society is so litigious. It's unfortunate.

All of the health issues I've had and I decide what I tell people is wrong with me because the doctors never tell me with any certainty.

They tried to give me Percocet so many times for pain in the hospital. I'm like I just had two babies. I'm sure I'm supposed to have some level or pain. They were trying to get me to a zero. I'm like you know what, I'm straight.

Anywho you never call a doctor with a fever and they tell you "put a cold compress on your head." No, they're going to tell you to take Tylenol to bring the fever down.

I'm not mad about it, but I wonder why I didn't pay it more attention before. I guess I've never been sick before or mired down in health issues. On the one hand, I pretty much follow the system. If the doc tells me to do it, I do it. I don't want to go rogue with someone with whom I've entrusted my care.

On the other hand, I wish I had the time or courage to be one of those people who never pop pills, who look into homeopathic remedies for everything. Who hear the diagnosis and then come up with all kinds of alternative treatments and get the job done. I'm not them, yet, but after all of these hospital visits, I wish that I was.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2 Weeks Old!

My girls are two weeks old today. I teeter totter between being bluntly honest about my labor and delivery and postpartum experience and being a complete liar about it.

I've learned in the last two weeks that being completely honest MAY NOT be helpful. Rehashing the gruesome details and dealing with other people's concern about them sometimes puts me in a bad mood. On the other hand, lying about it makes me feel like I'm not setting folks up well for their own truths. Like if I tell a woman who doesn't have kids that everything is ok, then she's going to think everything will be peaches and cream when she has kids. Like I'm bamboozling her the way I've been bamboozled. I also don't waste any opportunity to tell people "this ain't that" when it comes to twins. Twin life ain't single-baby life. It's just harder, period.

I'm going to give you more details later [maybe], but here are my health issues I've had in the past two weeks (post-delivery of my babies)

At the hospital
- Stroke level high blood pressure 
- Severe preeclampsia
- Excessive blood loss (but not hemorrhaging)

At home
- Edema (based on my left leg going numb, I was advised to go to the ER for possible blood clots, thank God it wasn't that)
- Vaginal Infection (based on the pain, I thought my stitches had ruptured. Nope, just a good ol' infection, and another doctor's appointment away from my children in their first two weeks of life)
- Continued high blood pressure (they've increased my med dosage 100% to keep it at bay)
- Fibroid pain and heavy bleeding (which actually can't be treated because it would interfere with my blood pressure meds)

I also had a fever a few days ago, which was my body's way of fighting off the vaginal infection. Breastfeeding when you feel extremely hot or extremely cold is likely terrorist level torture. I wanted to explode, but babies gotta eat!

I've never been so sick in my life. Add sleep deprivation and unregulated hormones and this could seem like a never ending saga. The good news is that I felt pretty normal 2 days ago and hopefully I'll feel much better soon.

The girls are the picture of health.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Song for Joy

I dare you to be pregnant and/or just have given birth and listen to this song and not cry. Music is such a powerful language. This song is old as dirt and I've heard it a million times... And I knew what it was about before... But now that I'm a mom, when Lauryn screams out "MY JOY!" Honey, I feel her so hard, my heart might as well be getting pulled by a bulldozer.

Lauryn's joy is in her Zion and the light of my world is in my Joy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Song For Lahna

While there are a million songs with Joy in them, Lahna, not so much. However, Lahna means peace, so I hear songs about peace in my head when I think about her. Today, I hummed this while nursing her. This is my song for Lahna:

May the peace of the Lord be with you, 'til we meet again!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

They're HERE!!!!

My beautiful baby girls were born on Tuesday, April 12th. We welcome Lahna at 3:20 p.m. and Joy at 3:32 p.m. I have so much to tell you guys.

First, I think being a mom is going to turn me into an optimist. There is so much wrong with me physically right now, that if I told people about it, they wouldn't believe me. It's like you know what, let's know even discuss my ailments. Let's discuss that my daughters are healthy and strong and that I will prayerfully get better.

HOWSOEVER, when I get some free time, I will share the gruesome details of my labor and delivery with you guys. I think it could help others who are suffering in silence and maybe feeling alone through this process.

Please be patient with me. More blogs to come!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Twin Project

Let me tell you about my amazing mother. She touches down in New York is ready to work. I can't do anything, so she's my proxy. Cleaning closets to make space, dropping clothes off at Goodwill, making Target and deli runs... all stuff I expected her to do.

But here's what I didn't expect.

She made me a scrapbook. And when I got it, I thought this is great, it'll be a couple of pages of me pregnant and a couple of blank pages for my girls.

Start flipping through the book and my beautiful mother had included personalized messages from every twin or twin mom she has ever met or encountered. To populate this book, she sent a note asking them to send pics and write me a letter detailing whatever their experiences had been. She then took the extra time to mark up all the pages with cute scrapbooking details. Anyone who scrapbooks knows this is a time-consuming labor of love.

What's more, is she wrote me a touching note in the beginning of the book telling me WHY she wanted to do the project. She realizes her limitations having only had one child at a time. And she knew there were others who could provide more insight.

I've been downright furious throughout this pregnancy that so few people understand my plight. And being mid-misery, I really don't have the energy, nor the temperament to explain to everyone what I'm going through. But my mom recognized  how hard my pregnancy has been, how unique twin pregnancies are and that her advice could only go so far (Basically she's not a know it all).

That's what I wish SO many others would realize. It's like I appreciate the care and concern, but you don't have to try to find common ground with me. If you are not a twin mom and/or you didn't have a difficult, complicated pregnancy, empathize with my situation instead of trying to find ways that we are SO ALIKE. Seriously, stop trying to make fetch happen.

So when my mom came through with this scrapbook, it was exactly what I needed to remind me that even though only 3% of all pregnancies are twins, I DO have others I can reach out to. I Do have support. Someone DOES understand what I'm going through. Everything WILL be ok.

Here's the best part, my mom created a bibliography page. It includes names and phone numbers of everyone in the book and all these people said I could call or email them with questions. How amazing is that?

Every time I look at this book or flip through its pages, I break down in tears. I'm so blessed to have all of this support and to have a wonderful mother who's discernment helps her to recognize her own limitations, but STILL provide the empathy and support I need.

God is good and my mom is amazing.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dream Sessions: Therapy In My Sleep

Last night was nonstop with the microdreams. I'm going to type what I remember. It also seems like a lot of emotional stuff was coming up for me last night... all surrounding relationships with the men in my life. Not that I avoid these things during the day, but what sense does it make worrying about things I can't control [other people's actions/support or lack thereof].
  • I had a dream I was having a conversation with my oldest brother. Unfortunately, we don't talk in real life. Yesterday was his oldest daughter's birthday and I called, but neither him, nor his wife accepted my call. In my dream, we were chatting on the phone like nothing happened. Of course, I wish that dream was real life. 
  • I had a dream my former boss was back. Homeboy quit after 6 weeks last fall, so this was a dream for real. He's a short guy, quirky guy who I would never date, but he was flirting with me because I was pregnant. I was trying to get him to sign an expense report and I was waddling around the office in an oversized white tee and skinny jeans (I haven't worn pants in months, so again, you know I was dreaming.) He had on a tie for a client meeting and this is a dude who is super casual. He said something like "I see you ma" and I was flattered because I feel like such a sloth right now being pregnant.
  • I was a worked in some sort of manual labor capacity and LeBron James came into whatever establishment I was working at. I was in charge of checking bags. But we just put bags on the floor. So I took his nice black, leather bag and put it on the floor with all of the rest of the bags. He's so tall that he saw me do it behind the counter. I thought he was going to be mad, but he saw I was pregnant and still working and started asking me questions. He asked about my dad and the male figures in my life and I got really emotional and said they were lacking. I mentioned that my dad didn't come to my baby shower and didn't even tell me directly, he tried to tell me through someone else to soften the blow [true story]. I also told him that I hadn't talked to my day since my baby shower weekend [true story]. I said something like "I've done the best I can do to be perfect, but you can't make someone love you." In my head, I was thinking: he's going to have pity on me and buy me something or pay off a student loan or something, otherwise this pouring out my heart to LeBron nonsense wasn't really worth it.
  • I had a dream that I was in a college class and it was some sort of special day like unofficial St. Patrick's Day at U of I and they served not one, but two types of fried chicken. One was from Popeyes and the other was from Honey Butter Fried Chicken. I've never eaten at HBFC, but it just sounds delicious. Everything in their name is great: honey. butter. fried. chicken. I haven't had fried chicken my whole pregnancy, so I was mad when I woke up and realized I really wasn't eating fried chicken. A mess. 
  • Also, after a string of dreams last night, I closed my eyes and my mind was racing. It was flashing camera photos through a string of images. It was almost like looking at Pinterest and Instagram through a photographer's lens, a different shot every time and I couldn't make it stop. I don't know if I was asleep or awake at that point, but I knew none of the images were anything I had ever seen before. I chalk this up to online shopping/internet surfing before bed. 

Despite all this dream trauma, I slept for like 7 hours straight with minimal bathroom breaks last night. That was awesome. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Now, We Wait

I have:
  • Finished March client billing 
  • Transitioned all work responsibilities and meeting invites
  • Billed 16 weeks of maternity leave 
  • Turned off call forwarding
  • Left my maternity leave voicemail AND 
  • Set up my Outlook 
Your girl is off work til August!

The nursery* is set up! 

My mom got here last night!

And now we are just waiting for our girls. Get excited. TWO BABIES!

*The "nursery in a 1BR NYC apartment is approximately 1.5 walls of which baby stuff occupies in our bedroom. I am proud of my "make it work" attitude and minimalist approach. Very few thrills, but as much love as a home with a nursery the size of my entire apartment. 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Their Little Faces

I can't wait to see my children's little faces and bodies. Based on what I know about myself and their dad, here's what I know.

The Good
- They will have beautiful hair
- They will have long limbs, like a ballerina, track player, volleyball player or maybe even a model (although their dad is not down with the modeling route)

The Ugly
- My children are doomed to have ugly feet. My feet are ugly. My whole family has ugly feet. And my boyfriend's feet a hideous. They are doomed in the foot area. If they end up with pretty toes I will be shocked and extremely concerned... like what did we give up in order to get those pretty feet?

The Interesting
- They will have big foreheads. Again, my boyfriend and I share this trait in common. I just hopes it makes them beautiful, maybe even exotic, but not alien like. Like lots of folks, they may have to grow into their big heads. That's ok.

Everything else is a mystery to me now. Their size and stature, their skintones, their voices, if they will look more like me or him. (So far, on the ultrasounds, they seem to have my lips and his forehead.) If they will look like neither of us and look just like our parents or grandparents. If they'll be like Parker and look like both of us at the same time.

Since they're fraternal I wonder if they'll look just alike. Or will they look so much alike that other people think they're identical, but they look nothing alike to me. Or will I be able to tell my own children apart. I may need to get them name hats or bracelets or something.

I wonder if one will get the thickness gene and the other will be slim like me. Will they be little chunky babies or lean machines?

Of course, it doesn't MATTER what they look like, but these are the things I can't wait to see and find out.

All the Feels

My boyfriend was playing YouTube music the other day and Zion by Lauryn Hill came on and I was a basketcase.

My best friend sent me a scripture along with one of her many gifts... I can't remember the text, but I'll paraphrase and I know the story.

I think it was Esther. She was supposed to go into the King and ask his pardon on behalf of the Hebrew people. And the scripture said "Perhaps you were made for a time such as this." To indicate that everything that she had been through up until that point was leading her free her people. (Lord, I hope I'm not butchering this Sunday School story trying to tell it off the top of my head with no text).

Anywho, I heard that song about how Lauryn Hill got excited about one child. And I hear how many people can't describe in words the love they have for their children, especially right after they are born.

Then I realized that God blessed me with two little girls. He gave me the responsibility to usher the lives of two little girls.

I cannot wait to meet them and be their mother. Perhaps, I was chosen for this task specifically.

Snotty nose listening to Lauryn Hill and all. We're so close folks! If you don't hear from me for an extended period of time, it probably means I'm A) at the hospital B) had the babies C) A new twin mom with no time for blogging.

I'm not going to quit though, so stay tuned for the REAL about parenting and who knows, I might share a photo or two of my sweethearts. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Just Like Major Payne

Who remembers Major Payne? What a hilarious, goofy, feel-good, family friendly movie that was. Well, in the beginning to show a window into Major Payne's take no prisoners character, a soldier was complaining about being shot. Then Major Payne broke his finger to get his mind off of the shot wound.

Pregnancy is just like that. As soon as I get mad about not being able to breathe, something else starts throbbing or itching or burning or falling out or growing (where it's not supposed to be growing). And it's like, I can't even remember that my nose is congested because the stinging in my feet from my swollen ankles is so unbearable tonight. Who needs to breathe if you can't stand or walk.

(Everyone. Everyone needs to breathe.)

I digress.

I'm currently up in the middle of the night because of one of many ailments that won't let me sleep. I'll be very sleepy tomorrow when I'm SUPPOSED to be working. Three more work days then I'm on maternity leave, babies or not.

I have to laugh to keep from crying. Let me go see if Netflix has Major Payne. That should be a treat full of nonstop laughter.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mommy & Me

One benefit of pregnancy (there are so few chile) is getting closer to my mom. It's one of those things that I would have never known could happen if I had never gotten pregnant. She has such a wealth of information from being a mom and just things that would not have been relevant to share with me if I wasn't pregnant.

She's always been super supportive of my endeavors. And is a big reason I have such a strong, opinionated voice. She always felt like children should have a voice (I don't know if I agree, kids need to stfu sometimes, LOL!)

But she likely raised me that way based on not being able to say much as a child and hopefully I'll be able to take what she did for me and add my own philosophy to make it my own thing.

I know sometimes getting calls from my mom would completely interrupt my flow. But now that I'm pregnant, I talk or text with her several times a day and I'm always happy to hear from her.

I think there's a bit of understanding that I'm gaining as well. About what it has meant to be my mother and the care and concern and pride she has for me and about me. I get that so much better now.

So many experiences in life happen to us to help us better understand others and I'm happy that I get to share in the joy of motherhood with my own mom. I don't take it for granted at all.

P.S. I just went back & realized I wrote a similar post 2 weeks ago. Had NO RECOLLECTION of writing it until someone wrote a comment. Pregnancy brain is real.

Monday, April 4, 2016

35 Weeks... And Counting

On the day that I'm writing this, I'm 35 weeks pregnant. One week away from full term for twins (so tired of explaining to people that my actual due date is useless. If I'd known that at the beginning of the pregnancy I would have just told people my due date was April 6.)

Anywho, everyday I go to sleep exhausted, in pain, miserable and I think, well at least this is the worst it could get... and then it gets worse.

I don't know how anyone's body can take this much stress. This much trauma. All of the ugly stuff, the dark skin on my neck and breasts and underarms, the moles that have popped up everywhere, my swollen ankles, my nose being the size of a mack truck... I thought all of that stuff is supposed to signify to people how horrible I feel.

But it doesn't really. I think it just makes people dig deeper for compliments. People say stuff like "you look great to be having twins." Or "You don't look big at all." It's almost like how much uglier do I need to be for someone to acknowledge that this is a grueling, horrible process.

Only one person has told me I'm glowing this pregnancy and she was lying. I'm not glowing, I'm dimmed. I'm tinted a horrible, horrible shade of miserable.

I guess it would be worse if people walked around like "Girl, you look like you're carrying at least two babies." That would suck, too.

Despite multiple trips to the triage this pregnancy (sick of that, too), I am healthy. My babies are healthy. I am grateful for good health and continued prayers and the support of family and friends. I am happy that my children are big enough to be viable outside of the womb, likely without the NICU.

I am suffering, but they are good. I heard this is the beginning of a life of selflessness. And so it begins.

Pardon me, while I go attempt to sleep while not being able to breathe (congestion is a pregnancy side effect), not being able to turn over (groin pain is a pregnancy side effect) and while coaching fetal karate class for two VERY ACTIVE little girls.

Maybe I'll only have to pee 3 or 4 times tonight instead of 6 or 7 like usual.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dream Sessions: My Baby's Face

 A few moms have told me before that you will see your children's faces in your dreams and they will look just like they actually look.

I had a dream that my child had a very round face and a cute little button nose (no way that's going to happen). And I was hugging her and she was talking to me like she was grown.

She was like "hey ma, what's good." And I was like "no, you're my sweet little baby. You're supposed to coo and cry and hug me back. She was like "ma, you trippin'."

And I was so sad because I had waited all this time to meet my baby (I'm actually waiting to meet two babies, but dreams don't make any sense)... I had waited all of this time for a baby and my baby was a grown ass woman in a little kid's body.

She looked like a light skinned talking orange from YouTube.

Then it flashed forward and she was about four years old with cute little pigtails and the cutest outfit and she was hugging me goodbye. Like she was on her way to grandma's house or a sleepover or something and I was sad again because she wasn't staying with me and I felt like her life had passed by too fast.

This dream sucked a little bit, but it'll be cool to see how much this grown baby looks like one or both of my actual daughters.