Saturday, August 14, 2010

Anyone Still Around?

Well, I royally broke my promise to be back soon. “Soon” is relative, but this is ridiculous. Every time I think about re-starting my blog, I become totally overwhelmed. So much has happened. So I’ll just start here and see where it goes.

The babies will be nine months old next week. Incredible. Both of them are crawling and, most recently, pulling themselves up to a standing position. They’re starting to really play with each other and sometimes even fight “nicely” over a toy, which is hilarious to watch. We’ve also just started seeing them copying the other one. It’s very sweet how they acknowledge one another properly now – it took longer than you’d imagine to get to this point. For several months they totally ignored each other. Sometimes we’ll catch them laughing at one another or, better still, actively trying to make the other one laugh.

I’ll go back and talk about some of the things I list below in separate posts, but here are some bullets for now.

• The babies were born more than six weeks early – November 23rd with a due date of January 7th; one of my bags of water broke at 11.45pm on Sunday, November 22d and we were at the hospital by 12.15am. They weren’t delivered until late the next morning , after the blood thinner had been out of my system for long enough. I had a c-section. J the Elder forgot how to dress, how to use a telephone and what his name was. But, regardless, he was FABULOUS throughout!

• Cecily came home from the NICU two weeks and two days after they were born and Benjamin three days after that; they were both around 5lbs when they came home.

• J the Elder took a whole month off work to be at home once they came home; my sister-in-law came and stayed for a week right at the beginning and then my Mum came for a month; while she was here, my girlfriend (in the American sense!) came to stay from the UK for a week as well. The help from all of them was invaluable.

• I breastfed the babies for six months, with some supplementation due to supply issues. I struggled with severe pain for most of this time (a post in itself). Even though I did reach my goal of six months, I have a sense of failure with the nursing that I need to shake off. There are many things I wish I’d done differently, had I known better; and most of them were things I was advised to do by professionals.

• I make all their solid food myself. They have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as oatmeal and rice cereal (always mixed with fruit). I make the food in bulk, puree it and freeze in ice cube trays, before popping the frozen cubes into ziplock bags. Their favourite meal so far is a mixture of sweet potato and avocado. I’ve just introduced chicken, in the form of pureed chicken casserole.

• The babies have had two colds each so far, at the same time as each other; the first was at about six months and the second at eight months. A miserable time was had by all.

• Cecily has had a persistent ear infection since it was discovered at her six month appointment. Poor thing. She doesn’t seem to have been in a lot of pain, but she did poorly in her hearing test a few weeks ago and we decided to take the advice of the pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor to have tubes put in her ears. It’s an out-patient surgery, quick, but surgery nonetheless. She did brilliantly and has been much more smiley and babbly since. Her hearing is perfect now, too.

• We’ve been on three road trips to Florida with them, one at two months, the next at five months and the third at eight months – an eight hour journey without stopping, and more like twelve with all the stops. We made the first two trips to visit my father-in-law who was very sick and the third one was for his funeral. We’re heart-broken, but also very happy that he was able to see the babies twice. We have some lovely photographs of the three of them together.

• We’re now getting a fantastic amount of sleep compared to the first few months! The babies are sleeping for twelve hours every night, from 7pm to 7am and have been doing so since they were about six months old. They do sometimes cry out in the night or stir and babble for a short time, but we very rarely have to go in and sooth them. The only time they don’t sleep well is when they’re sick and that’s understandable. In those cases, we go to them immediately if they’re in distress.

• Getting my weight back down to where it was before has been a constant struggle. I’ve joined a gym with daycare and have been dieting since I stopped nursing but not much of it’s shifted. My body seems to be a completely different shape, too. My ribcage has been pushed out, probably irreparably, and the less said about my new hips, the better. I’m still hopeful that it’s mostly a question of time…..

• I’ve been at home with the babies since their birth and haven’t gone back to work yet. It’s been amazing having this time with them, especially given my drastically different lifestyle for so many years before, travelling all over the world in my job and never being in the same place for very long. I’m currently interviewing for a new job – I’ll be very upset to leave them, but am also looking forward to working again (and, not to put too fine a point on it, to being able to enjoy the treat of two decent incomes) .

• Cecily looks like J the Elder and Benjamin looks more like me. Their personalities seem to be the other way around, though, with Cecily more like me and Benjamin more like his father. Obviously it’s early to make such a determination and we don’t want to type-cast them either. So we’ll see.

• We’re heading to Germany and Italy in a few weeks’ time to see some of my family. I’m oscillating between excitement and sheer panic at this point.

• There’s much more, but at least this is a start. We still can’t believe we’re the parents of beautiful twin babies. It’s utterly amazing. We couldn’t be happier.