Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Monday, December 27, 2010

OH, JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE LIFE AS A MOTHER OF MULTIPLES...

Here's the story of my “fun” last 2 hours:

Elijah MASSIVELY blew out of his diaper, through his clothes, and onto my pants while I was feeding him. Grrr..I knew size 1 diapers were getting to small!!!! But I was insistent on getting through the last few ones. I'm too frugal...guess I learned my lesson the hard way...

I go to change his diaper and contemplate just how to do this. I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to get his onesie off without getting poop everywhere. By then it had proceeded to ooze out more and more. In fact, the more careful I was to not get it anywhere, the worse it got. Poor little guy had it all over his body…even up on his ear. And that poor onesie...oh my. I wasn’t even sure it was worth trying to clean. And of course it was the first time he ever wore this outfit!

Meanwhile Will woke up and was screaming. Just when I thought it was bad enough, oh yes, it got worse!! I set Eli naked on a blanket on the floor quick to go save Will. During the 20 seconds it took me to get Will and come back up to the nursery, Eli had peed all over the blanket and carpet. He also had huge spit up as I didn’t have time to burp him. I threw a diaper on Eli quick (should have taken the time to do that before...oops, rookie move!) and got Will’s bottle and feed him so he stopped crying.

It was calm for a while. Whew! I can handle this I thought!! I finished feeding Will while sitting on the floor holding the bottle with my chin and using my other hand to calm Eli who was on the floor with just a diaper on. Thankfully after Will's bottle he laid there quietly while I then finished feeding Eli. I changed Will’s diaper. It was just pee…thank goodness. I remembered there was poo on my leg...GROSS...and went to change my pants while it was calm for a moment. I got a bath all ready for Eli and start bathing him. Suddenly I heard massive bowel movement sounds coming from Will. Oh my. I said a quick prayer that Will wouldn’t blow out of his outfit too. I hurried to finish Eli’s bath and grabbed the bowl of clean water to rinse him off. In that split second, Eli starts peeing all over in his baby bath tub and out onto the kitchen counter. I didn’t bother to change the water because pee is sterile, right?

I got Eli clothed and went to clean up the diaper pad area. I then half changed Will’s soiled diaper (that he didn't blow out of!), but stopped to go get Eli because he was now crying. I put Eli in his favorite chair, brought him upstairs, and bounced it with my foot while I changed the rest of Will's diaper. And.. wahlah, I have survived!!!! Oh yes, and I cleaned and sanitized both the pee filled carpet and pee stained kitchen counter.

Just a few months ago, heck, maybe even weeks, if this would have happened I would have shut down and cried uncontrollably on the floor and given up! But not this momma… I have mastered this twins stuff. (Or at least I have myself pretty fooled!) Oh, and by the way…seriously, this is all true. I’m not creative enough to make this stuff up! I’m so proud I made it through this without crying myself!

FYI: I am happy to report that both babies are now soundly sleeping, all the poo clothes are rinsed out, and I am sitting here thinking of rewarding myself with a nice glass of pinot grigio. (The brand of wine is “Mommy’s Time Out” from my dear friend Keri and her mom. Thank you ladies!! This mommy thinks she definitely needs a time out.) Yes, it’s only a little after 4 in the afternoon…but I think I’ve earned it…

But these cute little faces keep me going. This photo is from Christmas Day. Oh and yes, look closely, you can see that Eli has peed through his pants. The fun just never ends....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!


Merry Christmas from the Vincelli's!

This Christmas holds new and precious emotions for me. It will be my first Christmas as a mommy. During the four previous Christmases (2006 through 2009 of trying to get pregnant), Nick and I wondered if we’d ever hold our own baby in our arms. So, this year as I hold my two precious babies, I give thanks for these two miracles we prayed years and year for. I think about the birthday of our Lord and Savior. I am truly in awe of the power of the perfect baby, Jesus, and how He was sent to die for our sins. A beautiful, tiny baby born to save the world. So much hope lies in the faces of all babies…a hope for the future, faith for God’s plan, and love for always.

When I look at Elijah and Will, I try to imagine their future. Who will they be and what will they accomplish? I know God holds their future and I feel so blessed to be in their lives to be with them as they learn and grow. What an honor to be called their mommy! And when they look back up at me, (usually while they're spitting up...ha!) with those tiny beautiful blue eyes, I wonder if they’ll ever truly know how loved they are. Not only by me, but by so many who love them so! I wonder if they’ll ever truly understand what it was like to spend 1430 days praying for their safe arrival. But overall, I pray they’ll always know they are my miracle babies and I’ll love them no matter what, forever and always…

So, as we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, we remember the power and gift of a tiny baby. The tiny perfect baby who died for our sins and saved the world. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Monday, December 20, 2010

OUR CHRISTMAS LETTER 2010



Sometimes when you pray for a miracle…you get two!

This Christmas, as we reflect on the blessing of the birth of our Lord and Savior, we give thanks for the both the blessings and hardships of 2010. God has given us our greatest miracles this year. Exactly four years from when we started trying for a baby, our precious twin baby boys arrived. Elijah Kingsley and Will Clarence were born one month early on September 13th and are beautiful, happy, and healthy! And we give thanks for the unconditional support, love, and prayers from YOU, our remarkable family and friends.

As our family has doubled fast from 2 to 4, we have quickly learned that two babies are WAY MORE than twice the work, but WAY MORE than twice the blessings. We hear a lot of, “You sure do have your hands full!” comments. Well…if you think our hands are full, you should see our hearts…

Unfortunately, we aren’t given twice as much time, therefore, this is the end of our very short Christmas letter!! We pray that you believe in miracles this Christmas and always! Jesus is the reason for the season!

Merry CHRISTmas!
Nick, Amy, Elijah, and Will Vincelli

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

STUPID THINGS PEOPLE SAY TO THE PARENTS OF TWINS

Here's a great article a friend of mine messaged me. She's a mommy of boy/girl twins. I can honestly say that I have heard all of these except for #1, #2, #6, and #9. WOW!!!
Enjoy,
Amy :)


Stupid Things People Say to the Parents of Twins
I've Got My Hands Full? Really??
By Lisa Smartt

I've said stupid things, and you've said stupid things. We're all guilty, but there's one classic stupid phrase in America today that wins first prize in the parenting category. It's used by people of all walks of life when they come face to face with a parent of small children. The following scenario takes place in every city in America. It goes something like this:

A perfectly intelligent person looks up from a grocery cart and sees a young mom trying desperately to separate the oldest of her three preschoolers from a box of over-priced, fudge-covered, muskrat-shaped graham crackers. The mom wants to send out a search party to arrest the person who devised the advertising campaign for these sugary "Muskrat Morsels."

Meanwhile, the 2-year-old dumps the diaper bag. The 3-year-old starts eating dry spaghetti out of a box on the shelf and begins to choke uncontrollably. This poor mom is about to dial 911. And all the bystander can think of to say is, "You've got your hands full." Ding Ding. You win the prize. That's the understatement of the century.

Most parents handle the above situation pretty well. They smile and say, "Sure do." But that's not what they're thinking. Oh no. I know what you parents really want to say when someone says, "You've got your hands full."

Here goes: "Really. Do you think I've got my hands full? I had no idea. I thought I was on a vacation in the Bahamas right now. I'm expecting a massage and a pedicure on aisle 7. The stock boy will probably be bringing my complimentary fruit tray any minute now. Being as I'm so relaxed, I considered writing a novel or experimenting with crocheting when I'm waiting in the checkout line. LOOK, LADY, I know my hands are full! If this concerns you, feel free to take these children and a roll of quarters out to that slot-machine carousel on the sidewalk. Stay at least an hour. I promise to stay in the store. I'll be right here in the snack bar with a lukewarm cup of coffee and two cucumber slices from the produce department resting comfortably on my eyelids while the gal from the bakery paints my fingernails."

OK. Therapy session over. Breathe deeply. This is not an appropriate reaction. Keep smiling and say, "Sure do." Remember the value of kindness?

Parents of twins face a special brand of stupid comments, delightfully all their own. Three friends, all moms of twins, recently gave me some keen insight from the frontlines. I've compiled their comments into a special list:

The Top 15 Stupid Things People Say to Parents of Twins

15. "I could never do it." (Oh really. What would you do? Are you suggesting I put them on the curb with signs around their necks that say, "Free to a good home. My mom can't do it"?)

14. "Do they have different personalities?" (No. They are the same human being divided into two parts.)

13. Said by a stranger, "They're identical, right?" Mom answers, "No. They're fraternal." Stranger response, "They are NOT!" (OK. You're right. I have no idea what I'm talking about. These are not my children. I thought it would be fun to borrow them from a mom down at Baby Gap. It's been more than an hour. I guess I should return them.)

12. "Are they 'paternal' twins?" (Yes. They have a father. There was only one virgin birth.)

11. "Just wait till they're older. It only gets harder." (Thank you. I woke up this morning hoping I'd receive a word of discouragement while pushing a cart of preschoolers down the cereal aisle.)

10. "When one cries, does he wake the other?" (No. Twins cannot hear each other's cries because they all communicate with their special telepathic language only.)

9. From a perfect stranger: "Were they in the same sac?" (Hello. Nice to meet you, too. Will you be sharing your gynecological history with me as well?)

8. "Are they developmentally behind?" (Well, let's see. They're 3 years old and thus far, all their graduate school applications have been denied. We'll get back with you on that.)

7. "How do you do it?" (Haven't you seen the Nike commercials?)

6. Said by a dentist: "I was shocked that they didn't have the same bite patterns." (They are two different human beings, not clones.)

5. "You must be so busy." (Are you volunteering to clean my house?)

4. Said to a mom of fraternal twins who are different sizes, have different eye color and different face structure: "How do you tell them apart?" (I just look at them.)

3. "What do you do when they both cry at the same time?" (Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I go to Starbucks.)

2. Said to a mom of boy/girl twins: "Are they identical?" (Uh. Not exactly.)

1. Only one comment could be voted No. 1. The choice was clear. Drum roll, please. After a stranger had been informed that the toddler boys were twins, she asked a simple question: "Are they brothers?" (Enough said.)

Let's be honest. People are fascinated with twins. They don't mean to say stupid things. It just happens. It happens to all of us. Saying stupid things is one activity that joins us all together as human beings. Learn to forgive the frailties of others and enjoy the laughs later. Life is a journey. Enjoy the double-stroller roller coaster ride!

Monday, December 13, 2010

THREE MONTHS

It's hard to believe my little babes are three months old today! And each day just gets better and better. I love you, Eli & Will!! I'm so proud to be your mommy!

At 3 months old, Will now weighs 11 pounds 9 ounces. (A pretty big gain from leaving the hospital at 4 pounds 11 ounces!)


At 3 months old, Eli now weighs 11 pounds 13 ounces. (A pretty big gain from leaving the hospital at 4 pounds 15 ounces!)



Mother of Twins Prayer
There's two to wash,
There's two to dry;
There's two who argue,
There's two who cry.
One's in the mud,
Having a ball;
The other holds a crayon...
Another marked wall.
Some days seem endless,
My patience grows thin.
Why did God choose me
To be a mother of twins?
The answer comes clear-
At the end of the day,
As I tuck them in bed
And to myself I say...
There's two to kiss,
There's two to hug;
And best of all,
Thank You, God, for two to love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BABIES IN CAR SEATS: THEN AND NOW!

Oh, what a difference 3 months makes!!!

Here are photos of the boys in their car seats the day we left the hospital on September 18th. And then photos of the boys in their car seats on December 5th. Hard to believe those are the same little dudes. They were so teeny tiny! They've grown so fast!! Praise God!

Here's Eli weighing in at 4 pounds 15 ounces...


And now at 11 pounds 13 ounces...


Here's Will weighing in at 4 pounds 11 ounces...


And now at 11 pounds 9 ounces...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

NEW MOMMY FUNK

Being a new mommy is everything I had hoped it would be. I have never felt so fulfilled in my life. Everything is absolutely perfect. Ha! Yeah, right! I’m pretty sure anyone who truly believes motherhood is 100% perfect is in denial…

First, I must admit that I am proud of myself. Why? Because I'm truly in awe of how far I have come along in these first three months of not only being a brand new mom, but a mother of multiples! If you would have told me what life would be like at the current time during our first week at home after the hospital, I wouldn't have believed it for a second…

Let me preface by saying that after writing this and right before posting it, I thought I should just destroy this post. Who would want to remember these feelings I was writing about? But after I thought about it – I realized that these were my real feelings that should be shared. And even though I wish I never had to have felt them, I know that by me writing these and sharing them – someone else will read and perhaps think, “Hey – that’s what I’m feeling and/or felt and I wasn’t the only one!” I’m sure many others have felt this way and are just too afraid to share it.(Or maybe I am the only crazy one! HA!)

After all, my whole purpose for starting this blog was to share my experience with others, so someone may find comfort in it if they were going through the similar things. So, why stop now!? I’m the type of person who isn’t afraid to admit her weaknesses, especially in hopes of hopefully helping someone else to cope! Even though I’m proud of myself for making it through these tough feelings, I know that this isn’t about me. This blog is about helping others and that is what I will continue to do! I don’t want to sound ungrateful, especially given what we went through to become parents. And I’m not. Trust me, I’m not!

So, here is what I have to say about those first three months of being a brand new mommy with twins…which is about how long it took me to get out of what I will call my “new mommy funk!”…

I felt like I had a lot of "strikes against" me. But I will prevail!

STRIKE 1: Premature babies. (Not sure I was emotionally prepared for them to come one month early.)

There I was. I had just delivered two baby boys via c-section one month before their due date. It was as if they were ripped right out of me without my approval. The hospital was a blur. And then what? I was supposed to bring these babies home and devote my life 100% to them. It is a hard adjustment going from years and years of just caring for myself to suddenly having 2 precious little lives 100% dependent upon ME. Honestly, it was really scary. Everyone really trusts me to know what to do and how to take care of these precious little things? What? How could the hospital just let us go home!? We didn’t really feel prepared. (But I’m told no one really ever does.)

STRIKE 2: I had two whole years of full freedom not working.

At first I felt like I had lost my independence. I was so used to being on my own, doing whatever I wanted, basically whenever I wanted. I set my own schedule and suddenly it was being set for me by two little babes needing to eat every 2 hours. How could such tiny little things take so much work, 24 hours a day? Would I ever get a break? I wasn’t getting much of anything done (besides taking care of the babies) and I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done promptly. I’m very organized and all I felt was chaos. Everything was so out of control and that was so unnerving for me. I like to get things accomplished and move on to the next. But those other things weren’t getting accomplished and my list of “to do’s” just kept getting longer and longer. People have told me to “let go” of things, and I slowly am learning. So, like I said, it was and still is an adjustment. One that I’m sure will take a while to get used to!

STRIKE 3: Infertility (For those who have gone through infertility treatments and get pregnant with multiples, there is a 75% chance that the mothers will have postpartum depression.)

So...after over three years of trying to have a baby, you’d think everything would be perfect, since our dreams had finally come true and the babies had arrived. But it wasn’t and that was a hard thing to feel. I felt guilty and ungrateful. I was feeling all the things I swore I'd never feel due to our struggles with infertility. I felt like a horrible person. It was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we were so very grateful for this miracle we had prayed years for - yet now that the time was here, at times, I wanted to go back. I wanted my old life back, my old body, and my freedom back!! For a while, I felt that I was going through a mourning phase for the life Nick and I shared together, just us alone. I was so used to that life for over six years. So that change with the babies now here (for the good, I know), would take some getting used to.

While I was pregnant, I had read that for those who have gone through infertility treatments and get pregnant with multiples, there is a 75% chance that the mothers will have postpartum depression. I told myself that wouldn’t be me, as I didn’t have any wild expectations. I already knew ahead of time that multiples were going to be hard! I thought if I told myself it was going to be crazy hard, anything else would seem easier. But I think I was wrong. After the first weeks after the babies were here, I finally realized why those statistics are so high. It’s because IT IS SO UNBELIEVABLY HARD! When those who try and wait so long for a baby, find out that it isn’t picture perfect, they want to go back in time, and feel oh so guilty. And that guilt for something you’ve waited so long for is very disturbing. You feel horrible for feeling that way (which I’m told is how all new mothers feel to some extent).

STRIKE 4: Depressing Weather

Did I have postpartum depression? I’m not really sure. Maybe. The symptoms of that are things such as: insomnia, lack of appetite, mood swings, crying, anxiety, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, etc. I didn’t have those symptoms except for crying and anxiety. But who wouldn’t experience that after having a baby, right!? And especially two!

I know I definitely had what they call the “baby blues.” It usually lasts just a few weeks, but I think mine lasted a while longer. (Therefore I am self diagnosing myself with “baby blues that lasted longer than the usual two weeks”!)The week we came home from the hospital there was major flooding in our town and that didn’t help put me in a good mood. Seeing rain and no sun for days was depressing. And yes, I was extremely anxious. My whole world was totally different and I feared being alone with two babies for the rest of my life! I didn’t want to do anything wrong as a mother, so I put unrealistic expectations on myself. Looking back, I now know I was thinking too much of the whole picture, instead of living and surviving one day at a time.

STRIKE 5: Cesarian = Major Surgery

Recovering from a major surgery is difficult. And recovering from a major surgery after having a baby and trying to care for that baby is extremely difficult. And then multiply that times two for two babies. I couldn’t do much and had to fully rely on others, which was rough for me. There was laundry to do, thank you’s to write, meals to make, etc. I’m a clean freak and the house was total mess. I honestly thought that I would never have time to make a meal again, yet alone even have the time to eat it! I was a wreck! Not to mention the many many visitors who were always flowing in and out of the door. I was thankful for the love, but it was much too overwhelming for me. I was stressed beyond belief and not getting any rest.

STRIKE 6: Not one but TWO babies!

I often thought about how I needed to write and journal for my blog and get it updated before I forgot all the memories and emotions of what I had been going through with the birth of the babies! But there was just no time to even think about it, yet alone time to type it out. Those first weeks at home I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly. But to my defense, the schedule was insane. It was feed, feed, feed the babies every two hours so they would gain weight. And as I’ve mentioned before, I breastfeed each baby separately and then we had to supplement with the bottle after each nursing session because of their extreme weight loss in the hospital. Needless to say, I felt like I was feeding them all day long. Between that we had to remember when was the next time for me to take my different medications at varying times. And to make sure I was taking the correct dosages of drugs together, but at the same time trying to slowly wean off of them so I wouldn’t become addicted. Between trying to recover from surgery and breast feed two babies, there wasn’t time for anything else!

STRIKE 7: OCD (I like things calm and everything was frantic!)

Like I mentioned, I’m a very organized person and like to plan and be prepared. The c-section delivery happened so fast and that threw my world upside down. I felt gypped because I didn’t get to bond with the babies right away as they were brought to the nursery for hours. I didn’t get to have that one-on-one skin-to-skin “kangaroo care” contact that everyone preaches is so important and vital for mom and babies immediately upon birth. I didn’t even feel like I got to bond with the babies in the hospital because it was so busy with their feeding schedule and with the tons of visitors we received. (Don’t get me wrong, we were thankful for the wonderful visitors, but ultimately I think it was too much for us. It was nonstop and we should have been relaxing and bonding more as a family.)

I also felt as if I was neglecting people and that hurt me. I’ve always been the one to support others and now I had no time at all. It especially hurt me when I thought about my two nieces. They’d come over to visit and all I could do was take care of the babies. I didn’t have any time or energy to play with my nieces. It just broke my heart. My sister told me that my three year old niece, Cora, was crying saying, “I want Amy.” My sister told Cora that I missed her. Then Cora called me, crying on the phone and asked, “Why do you miss me?” It broke my heart. She’ll never know how much I truly missed her…my little “Monster Coco”! But Nick reminded me that someday I’d have time again to support others more like I had in the past, but for now – I have to accept their help and support!

In the first month after the twins were born, more than one person asked me, "Can you even imagine your life before the twins?" I knew they were expecting me to say, "NO!" But I replied, "Yes, yes, I really can!" Because yes, I definitely could! I imagined my old laid back life, wearing clothes without poop, pee or spit up all over them, and a full nights sleep! I realize now that any dramatic life changing event mixed with extreme sleep deprivation will make you feel a little out of it! And that's okay, you just need to keep moving forward...taking each day one day at a time!

It wasn’t until almost a month after the babies were born that I realized a lot of my pain was because I ultimately blamed myself thinking I was a bad mother already. I blamed myself for not being able to carry the babies until full term. Therefore, I blamed myself for them losing weight in the hospital and getting sick. And then at home, I blamed myself for deciding to stop breastfeeding. I felt selfish and unworthy. After I realized that I was blaming myself, I felt relieved and came to the conclusion that what I was feeling was normal and okay and that I am a good mother because I do care so much. I couldn’t control not carrying the babies until full term, I couldn’t control or know how much they were eating (hence them getting sick), and I didn’t have to feel bad for stopping breastfeeding. This relief was such a blessing. It helped me move forward.

Looking back now, I realize I should have also stopped my outside commitments in order to full focus on myself, Nick, and the babies for those first few precious months. I think things may have looked a lot saner if I didn't have all those outside factors weighing on my mind and pressing on my time, when I should have been bonding with the twins. I should have completely temporarily halted my craft business and not accepted custom orders.How I found time to make a few things and get them shipped out at that point is beyond me! I should have not worried about making it to bible study or getting the baby thank you's written in a timely manner (I mean, hello, I think people will understand if they are a little belated when you are dealing with a new baby...or two!). I should have designated my church commitments to someone else for the time being (Faith Walk meetings and events, New Membership Board and taking new member photos, Wedding Coordinator, etc.) And last but not least, I should have not worried about keeping my blog up to date. Shoulda, coulda, woulda...I know. Next time will be different. I'm older and wiser now. :)

So, now almost 12 weeks after the babies were born, I am finally feeling like myself again. My hormones are finally back to normal. (I hope!) I’m proud of myself for taking two babies out and about by myself, being able to feed two babies at the same time, and surviving every day. Life is easier, I feel comfortable with the babies, and I am happy. I've learned a lot about myself and I've learned I'm stronger than I thought. Motherhood is about learning as you go. And boy, oh boy (times two!) I am learning more than I ever imagined. I am a mother and I love my little crazy babies. I’m choosing joy amongst the chaos. And I know I will make it through this!

Friday, December 10, 2010

PREGNANCY PROGRESS

I've finally had some time to sort through and find all of the side photos taken of me during my pregnancy with the twins. I thought it'd be fun to put them together to see the progression.

They're not the most flattering photos. My face was so swollen. But hey, give me a break, I gained over 45 pounds in just 8 months! I can't even begin to imagine how I would have looked if I would have made it the last 4 weeks and gone to full term. WOW!!

13 WEEKS



15 WEEKS



17 WEEKS



19 WEEKS



20 WEEKS



22 WEEKS



23 WEEKS



24 WEEKS



26 WEEKS



28 WEEKS



31 WEEKS



33 WEEKS



35 WEEKS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

GRANDMA/GRAMMY

To: Grandma Cox & Grammy Carolyn

My Grandma's Embrace
Dear Grandma, When we first met I was so very small. But I could tell that grandmas love their little ones most of all. You snuggled and cuddled me and hummed lullabies in my ear. And gently flowing down your checks I saw your happy tears. I want you to be a part of my life as you watch me grow. Hold my hand and keep me safe; there's so much I don't know. We will be such great friends; no one else could take your place. For there is nothing as comforting, as a grandma's embrace.
Love, Elijah & Will

Grandma Cox


Grammy Carolyn

GRANDPA/PAPA

To Grandpa Cox & Papa Ron:

My Grandpa's Hand
Dear Grandpa, from the very beginning I knew right away Grandpa's have a special love that is in their hearts to stay. Your firm yet gentle touch is as loving as it can be. The tears in your eyes tell me how proud you are of me. I want you to be a part of my life as you watch me grow. Tell me stories and teach me things only grandpas know. We will be best buddies, then one day you will realize, I'm all grown up and my hands are big, just like grandpa's size.
Love, Elijah & Will

Grandpa Cox & Eli


Papa Ron & Eli


Grandpa Cox & Will


Papa Ron & Will

Friday, December 3, 2010

KEEP THE FAITH



A precious friend messaged me this, (on a day I so desperately need to hear it!) a few weeks after the babies were born. Since then, I’ve read it again and again:

"You are a warrior, Amy. Keep the faith, laugh, enjoy the moments, and shed a tear when you need to."

And that is just what I have done. I've kept the faith, laughed, enjoyed the moments, and shed a few tears here and there. And that is what every good mommy does. Because as I know now, there are good days and bad days. But there are always more good days than bad.(Thanks Lisa, you are my kindred spirit!)

So, no matter if you are a mommy or not, remember this awesome advice, "You are a warrior. Keep the faith, laugh, enjoy the moment, and shed a tear when you need to!"

Here's Lisa with the babies when they were just 11 days old!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AFTER DELIVERY SYMPTOMS!

I never had time (imagine that!) to journal about much of what happened as far as my symptoms following after delivery. I recently just started jotting things down. Although I know I’ve forgotten a bunch already – which is probably okay! The following are such random thoughts. And I just decided to blog them that way…

- As far as “after effects” from the surgery, I did throw up a number of times during the first evening. And my whole body was jerking and shaking off and on for hours after. Apparently this is the body’s reaction after a traumatic event. I was on a morphine drip and would push a button to give myself more meds.

- I remember the nurses making me get up out of bed to try walking the next day. It was so painful. I never realized it would be like that. I honestly thought recovery immediately following the surgery would have been much easier! A few days later I could finally make it walking one lap around the birthing center while pushing the babies in their bassinets!

- It hurt my stomach and incision when I would laugh, sneeze, cough, etc. for weeks afterward. (They tell you to hold a pillow over your stomach/incision when doing these things.) I was afraid I was going to bust open the stitches! My sister, Jesse, seemed to always make me laugh and I threatened I wouldn’t let her come back to visit me anymore! Why does everything seem more funny when you’re not supposed to laugh!?

- Speaking of my stomach hurting, the nurses would come in and push down on my uterus. They do this to help the uterus contract which helps it get back down to it's normal size. Sounds easy enough but it's extremely painful. They'd come and do it in the middle of the night too. Not the nicest way to be woken up!

- You think you’re in heaven because you don’t have your period during your entire pregnancy. But people forget to mention that you will bleed for 11 weeks straight after delivery! And it's not normal "period" bleeding, it's big slimy blood clot bleeding. Not fun! One day toward the end I even had a golf ball sized clot. (Apparently 6 weeks is “normal” but for some lovely reason I bled for 11 weeks straight! I would imagine it has to do with having multiples.)

- For about the next 14 days after delivery, after sleeping, I would wake up with my whole body drenched in sweat. And I mean drenched. This was the excess water weight coming off. What an easy way to loose weight!

- Even though I am no longer breastfeeding or pumping, my breasts are still leaking a little. I am hoping that stops soon.

- The coolest thing for me was the movement of my stomach – aka GAS!! It was crazy weird…but really fascinating! (FYI – don’t keep reading if you don’t like talking about farts!!) About 24 hours after surgery, I was lying down and looking at my stomach because I could feel and see movement all over. (What the heck was there a THIRD baby in there they forgot to take out? HA!) You could see my stomach literally moving…a lot! It was as if something was inside and rolling a ball around up at my skin. It almost looked like water waves underneath. The skin on my entire stomach would move/roll around. This was due to the gas buildup. I couldn’t pass gas because my stomach muscles weren’t working (from being moved around during surgery). Therefore, how can you push a fart out? You can’t. The gas pains were uncomfortable. I remember wanting to fart so badly. (Sorry for the details!!) I was lying on my left side (which is supposed to help), and finally I felt a big one pass. It was a quiet and slow release. I swear it lasted at least 30 seconds! I can’t even describe how good that felt!! Jesse and Nick were there when it happened, it was pretty funny!

- The whole week in the hospital I had high blood pressure, so they kept a close watch on that. I guesstimate that they checked it at least every 3 hours all 6 days in the hospital. It still wasn’t that great when I was released, but it had improved. At my two week post partum check-up, it was back to normal. Thank goodness!

- They put you on stool softeners and gas tablets. I didn’t have a bowel movement in the hospital but did about 8 days after delivery. That’s all I’ll say about that!!

- For weeks my stomach was very sensitive and I couldn’t lie on my side. When I finally could, I had to prop a small pillow underneath my stomach to “hold up” the “swishiness” of it. The best way for me to describe it was that it felt like a waterbed stomach. If I was on my side, I had to prop it up, otherwise it seemed to swish down and was uncomfortable. I know you’re thinking, “ewww, that’s weird.” Trust me, I know…it was!! And now 11 weeks later, it’s still swishy, but it’s gone down a lot.

- My back (even now 11 weeks after delivery) still feels very sore at certain times. If I stand in one place too long or bend over, such as during a diaper change or bath, my back feels very sore. For the first month or so, at times I found myself breathing really deeply because it felt like I couldn’t breathe properly because of my back. I would imagine this is due to the fact of my body readjusting itself to not having all that weight on the front.

- I’d say at about the 6 week point after surgery was when I started feeling healthy again. I could walk for longer distances, which was AWESOME! I remember at the end of my pregnancy telling Nick, “Don’t ever let me complain about walking again. I miss it so much!” And then the first weeks after surgery I couldn’t walk far without being winded. So, now I’m hoping to never take such a wonderful and basic thing as walking for granted!

- While I still had the catheter in, I remember suddenly getting a huge urge to have to urinate. Which obviously shouldn’t happen when you have a catheter in. I beeped a nurse in and turns out the tube was pinched so my pee wasn’t going through to the bag! As soon as she straightened it out, it was fine. Later that night, after they took the catheter out, I had a really difficult time urinating for the first time. I had to go horribly bad. I had sudden sharp pains that felt like they were shooting up my vagina. The doctor said this is because of the uterus contracting and pushing on the bladder. The pain was unbearable. After having a catheter in, you need to teach yourself how to pee again. Somehow you have to get your brain to connect and make your body do it’s job! It is really the strangest thing. I sat on the toilet trying to urinate, but nothing would come out. They sprayed water on me and turned on the sink water to make the running water noises to try to help. Nick stayed in the bathroom with me and starting chanting some song about peeing. That didn’t last long before I was about to punch him in the face!! HA! (Two of my friends, Sara & Melissa, were here visiting me during all of this. I’m sure they thought I was crazy!) I tried to relax and just let it come out, but nothing was working. The nurses talked about putting the catheter back in. But I was determined and finally I was able to go! Talk about some awesome relief.

- After delivery, I had PUPPS (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy). It is more common when you carry multiples and so 70% of people who experience PUPPS deliver boys. Interesting!The rash started on my stomach. In the following days coming home from the hospital, it spread to my legs all the way down to my feet. The rash was red and raised and was extremely itchy. I tried not to itch it, but that proved to be very difficult. My ankles were the worst. I did scratch those a lot. And I still have a little scar because of it. My OB said it was from the hormones. At my two week post partum check-up, he told me that I had so many hormones going through my body that if I took a pregnancy test right now, it would still be positive!! He said once the hormones slowed down, the rash would go away. And it did! Here’s a photo I took of my legs! (I have one of my stomach too, but I’ll spare you from the horror of that photo!)



- Without having the use of my stomach muscles, that proved to make it very difficult to get around the house and take care of two babies. I couldn’t get down on the floor and going up/down stairs took a while. The hardest part was getting out of bed. I would scoot up toward the headboard while lying down and then grab the headboard and use my arms to help push myself up.

- My stomach is still numb and sore. It hurts if it’s pushed against or if clothing is too tight. My OB said this can last up to 6 months or longer.

- One other thing I’d like to add is that while pregnant, when I would comb my hair, NO hair would come out. Seriously - I don't think I shed but a few hairs!(Before the pregnancy, a little bit of hair would come out.) But now when I brush my hair, tons and tons of stands come out in my hand and on the brush. I feel like I'm shedding way more than anyone should. (And I have a right to be scared, I had Alopecia when I was 18 years old and began losing my hair. Thankfully it all grew back. But that's whole other story.) Anyway - after some research, I found that thanks to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you hair becomes thicker and you shed less of it. And after delivery, hormone levels begin to return to normal, resulting in hair loss. In fact, people shed a lot of hair right after delivery because you held on to all that hair during pregnancy, so you may lose up to 500 hairs a day instead of the usual 100 or so. Well, that would explain the gobs of hair that look like a small rodent in my bathroom wastebasket! Ahh! Although it can seem dramatic because your hair is making up for lost time, it's okay because your normal growth cycle will resume in about three to six months. Thank goodness!

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll remember more later and add it as the thoughts present themselves!