Wednesday, May 29, 2013

4 months Post Twin Pregnancy

MIts been 4 months since the boys were born. I figure I should probably do an update on how I'm doing. I'm going to cover as many bases as I can in this post because I don't update on myself very often.

Now that we've experienced having a single baby, and having twins, I can't imagine having just a singleton anymore.  Its become such a normal thing for us to have two infants around that I think it would be weird to only have one.  I can't imagine only having one of the twins and not the other, I've tried to imagine it many different ways and I can't.

Well into my pregnancy, my left side ribs began to hurt me. They would be sore and often felt like my ribs were separating.  This happened because I'm not a large framed person, the boys didn't have a lot of space to grow so my entire ribcage expanded dramatically. So much so, that even my bras stopped fitting.  When the boys were born I really hoped my ribs would fix themselves. They didn't. At my 6 week checkup I mentioned that they still hurt much of the time and they suggested waiting it out. Well here we are 4 months later and they still bother me. It feels like they are popping out of place and get very sore at times. At some point I need to get in and have it looked at, but for now I just deal with the discomfort. The odd thing is, my van seats cause me the most trouble, for some reason I always have to sit leaning forward because it feels weird on my ribs to sit with my back against the seat... I realize this probably isn't the safest arrangement.

My belly button never fully recovered from the pregnancy.  It seems like it wants to stay semi herniated. I hate my belly button now, although I realize it could be much worse, I'm not sure the stretch marks could be. I will be wearing a swim suit that covers it all up. And really, the stretch marks aren't as bad as they look in the picture I'm posting, they appear much darker in photos than they are looking at them in real life - thanks a lot technology.

Although my body has obviously taken a beating I wouldn't change it for the world.  I won't wear a bikini again, but I'm not out to impress anybody with my body.  I can't complain too much. By 12 weeks I was able to squeeze into my pre-baby clothes, by 3 months I was back down lower than my pre-pregnancy weight.

My brain is on overload. There is so much I have to remember all the time: when the boys ate, were changed and slept (and for how long). When Evelyn ate, went potty and if she napped. When I have to be where at what time, what the date is, what day of the week it is, what we are doing next weekend, when the next doctor visit is, when the last time I talked to my best friends, which baby gets which breast, when did i go see Gabriel last, where my keys are, did I put diapers in the diaper bag, did I start the dryer after I loaded it, was it Logan or Sawyer who pooped, when did the other baby last poop? The list goes on and on of things that are constantly going through my brain. So if I don't remember - forgive me. My brain cannot handle this much information! 

We are still exclusively breastfeeding.  During the week I just feed them myself, on the weekends when I work they get bottles of frozen/pumped milk during the night. During the day Derrick just comes to wake me up when they get hungry. This system works the best for us.  When he would let me sleep I would wake up in pain and uncomfortable and it caused trouble with my supply.  So they get 1 or 2 bottles on Friday and Saturday nights.  They have no problems adjusting back and forth.

I love being a stay at home mom, I wouldn't change it for the world. However, this weather is seriously taking a toll on us.  We had snow into May - not ideal weather conditions to take a 2 year old and a couple newborn twins out.  We were couped up inside much longer than we hoped.  Now, we've had a only a handful of "nice" days and its been cool and rainy all the other days. I want to get out to more parks, I want to have the kids outside playing and enjoying some sunshine, but it just hasn't been very possible. So aside from the times when we get out to other people's houses or stores we are just hanging around the house, not doing a whole lot.

Getting around with the twins and a toddler is interesting - to say the least.  We've pretty much got it down to a science now though.  If I'm traveling alone with the kids: I put everything I need on the table as I'm getting ready to go (which is at least an hour and a half before I actually need to leave), this way I don't forget things like, oh, my keys.  I change, feed, and put each boy in their carseat and during that time I am convincing Evelyn to put her shoes on, which she eventually does.  I usually make multiple trips to the van, one with the stuff (diaper bag, wallet, keys, phone etc), one with Evelyn and one with the boys. 

Being on time is impossible for me. I always have to plan to be somewhere 30 minutes before I actually want or need to be there. It's a long process to get our of the house. 

We have changed the set up of the van a few times. During the snow months I took one of the middle seats out so Evelyn and one base was in the back, the other base was in the remaining "captain's chair". This worked great because we had a wide open space for putting a car seat in while addressing the other kids. That space also worked well for diaper changes and other things.  Now we re-arranged so both babies are in the captain's chairs and Evelyn is alone in the back seat.  This opened up a seat incase someone were riding with us, and made a seat where Derrick could sit if the kids were being a handful.

Its crazy that these boys are already 4 months old. I don't know where all that time went. As I go back and look at the pictures I can't believe how big I got, I never realized it. I can't believe how small they were and how alien-like they looked.

Overall things are good. The boys are happy most of the time, they really are content little guys.  I couldn't have asked for better babies.  We think they are teething so that makes life difficult and very frustrating at times.  Plus with Evelyn turning 3 next month, things get a little testy around here pretty fast.

I love watching Evelyn with her brothers, she's such a good big sister and wants to play with them so bad.  In time little one, in time. In the meantime she loves to kiss and hug them, she plays with their hands and feet,  and it absolutely takes my breath away. There's nothing sweeter.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

4 months old!

4 months old already! Where is time going??  I can't believe 4 months has already gone by!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Realizations and signs

I was reading through my blog today, reliving the journey we've travelled. It's amazing to me to go back and read everything we went through. It's so different to live it day to day than it is to go back and read it. 

While reading our posts, I had a realization or two. The one that stood out to me involved build-a-bear. Our first experience involved putting Gabriel's heart tones inside a teddy bear. That bears heart still beats and it still sits on my nightstand, I'd be incomplete without it. 

That experience also involved making bears for Gabriel and Evelyn. One for him to be buried with, and one for Evelyn to keep with her. Someday she'll know that her baby brother also has one. 

Our most recent trip to Build-A-Bear involved making 2 bears to match Gabriel's, one for each boy. Someday they too will know that Gabriel has that same bear with him.

While reading my blog, I came across a post that happened about 2 months after Gabriel's birth. I had taken Evelyn to McDonald's, after ordering they offered me a choice between some random toy or a Build-A-Bear toy - given our Build-A-Bear experience I knew right away that we needed those Build-A-Bear toy. When we got home I learned Evelyn received not one, but 2 of these toys! Both had hearts on them, Evelyn and I both felt like we had won the jackpot.

My realization was this: was Gabriel telling me we'd have the twins? Was this a sign? 

Or perhaps both those psychics had such a strong feeling we'd be pregnant soon because it would be twins and they were sensing that? 

There's been a few times I've hoped things were signs from Gabriel. Shortly after we selected his  headstone, the clouds in the sky looked like a dove, much like the dove we had placed on Gabriel's stone.

The night Gabriel was born, there was a single star in the sky at dusk, for 15 minutes it was the only star there, and I stood and stared at it. I love to think back to those minutes that we were connected and Gabriel was letting me know he was ok. 

These are moments I live for. These are the moments I believe Gabriel communicates with me. I haven't had a moment for awhile now, maybe again some day...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Catching Up

It seems I have some catching up to do. Getting time to blog these days is hard!

Now that it's summer I try to get Evelyn and the boys out and about as much as possible. Walking, parks, and just hanging around outside.  I usually end up typing into a blog on my phone while I'm wondering around, but I never seem to get around to finishing it on the computer so I can add pictures and edit it how I want to.

Build A Bear x2

Last week, my mom and I took the kids out to Build A Bear. The boys needed a bear to match the one we buried with Gabriel, that Evelyn also has.  Its great to know all the kids will have a bear that matches the one Gabriel has with him forever.

The bear is called "Champ".  We didn't realize until this trip in, that Champ has a story all his own.  He is in honor of a little girl who lost her battle to cancer. A donation is made in her honor each time a bear is sold.  What a fitting bear to have chosen for our purpose.

I was sad to hear that the bear would be redesigned in a few weeks. I really like the bear and knowing I can always get one. I suppose it doesn't matter what the design is, as long as it's Champ.

Mother's Day without Gabriel

Still tough.  I wore my Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness ribbon the whole day again this year. I guess that's my way of keeping him with me always. Nobody probably noticed, but I knew it was there and I knew he was with me.

I looked around at all the babies around me, thinking of all the mother's missing a child that day. It sad to see so many out there now, Gabriel is 3 rows back in a sea of babies lost.

Lunch With Gabriel

The first actual summer day - in the 90s today. We went out and had "lunch" with Gabriel, even though my lunch got left at home. My mom, step dad, and the kids joined me. This was the first time the boys were introduced to the cemetery and Gabriel's place. It was bitter sweet. I had been looking forward to having a day when I could take them out there, yet wish this wasn't going to be a part of their life.  Someone once told me it didn't have to be, that I didn't have to take the kids there. I guess they don't understand, I do have to take the kids there. I need the kids to know and to be familiar with their other brother.

This was also the first time I've gone out there on a day when it was nice enough to drag the boys out of the van. It started out at 65 degrees. In the hour we were there it was up to 80 and by the end of the day it was somewhere around 95!

The boys
Sleeping is better. They are now going 4-5 hours each night instead of 2-3.  Makes for a happy momma. They are also spacing out their eating times too, now they eat every 3-4 hours instead of 2-3.  Also makes momma happy. 

They are full of smiles and laughs. They love to watch and observe everything around them.  They love their sister, they laugh and smile at her as they watch her play and be crazy. She loves entertaining her brothers, she gets a big kick out of them.

Our little girl is such a helper, she loves to be around her brothers and help us with them. She is just dying to be able to play with them, she's always trying to pile her toys on them. What can I say, she likes to share.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cloth Wiping

Cloth wipes. Something I never imagined I would do, grossed me out just thinking about it (I have no idea why). Honestly, aside from cloth diapering, this is the next best decision I have made!  Why waste money and fill our trash with disposable wipes when I could be just washing them when I do my diaper laundry - hello, total brainiac here.

So I started off using what I already had. An empty, plastic, disposable wipes box. Circo Baby wash cloths (I wasn't currently using them for baths because I had better thicker ones for that), a empty hand soap container, and baby wash.

I put the washcloths in the wipes container, filled the bottle with water and a little baby wash, and I was ready to go. I was loving this already. Yet another way to save money, and more convenient than throwing a cloth diaper in the bag and walking all the way to the trash to throw away the nasty wipes. (Yes, I'm lazy like that. But actually, every minute is crucial when your a mom of 3 under 3!).

Then I won that amazing stash of cloth diapers and supplies!  All the sudden I not only had plenty of diapers, but I was stocked up on wipes as well! 

I had recieved these Osocozy      Terry/Flannel wipes. I LOVE these. They are not too thick but thick enough. I adore the rainbow border - rainbow wipes for my rainbow babies! Plus, I need every tiny bit of cheer and happiness to keep me going. I have 2 dozen of these and use them constantly. 


I fill my empty hand soap container with water and put a few squirts of CJ's Carcass Cleaner into it. I just pour it on the wipe to make it wet. After the diaper change is complete; the diaper, liner and wipe all go in my wet bag for washing.

Today I was finally able to try the Heiny Spray   that came with my stash winnings.  I LOVE this stuff!  You just spray it on, and wipe it off with a cloth or tissue. I, of course, used my cloth wipe - dry. It was awesome. I'll probably save this for the diaper bag and eventually invest in some more. Or perhaps I can create my own solution to put into the bottle because this is a genius idea.


This is my set up at home. On top of my diaper station, I have a basket with the wipes, a basket with the cleaners, and my original box of cloth wipes that now travels around the house.

For the diaper bag; I use the plastic container - made for disposable wipes - and put the Circo Bebe washcloths in it. Usually I can fit 6 or 7 at one time, if I'm gone longer and may need more wipes I just stick extras inside the diaper bag.  I never took along solution or anything (I would just use water out of the nearest sink), but now I may carry a bottle of Heiny Spray or even just water in a sprayer for convenience.

Cloth diapering on the go was never in my plan. Cloth wipes were never in my plan. but I'm addicted now!  I love this stuff!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Return to support group

Last night I was finally able to make my return appearance at Nickolas' Gift   support group. My how I've missed them!  It took a little planning to make it happen, but I did it.  The group has changed a lot while I was gone. There were a lot more people there this time, its great to know so many people are getting the support they need to continue on their journey.

Before heading out to the group, I always make a quick stop out to see Gabriel, to thank him for all the wonderful people he has brought into my life.  It is my warm up session before heading into group, gets me focused on what I'm doing.  This time when I went out, there was blue paint on the stone. I have no idea where the blue paint came from.

Walking in and seeing familiar faces, faces of people who care and are happy to see you was heart warming.  I really did need the group and missed it the last few months. It is awesome to have a place to go where you don't have to explain yourself or what you are thinking and feeling, you just be you and you'll fit right in.

The stories are heartbreaking. Many times we jumped from crying to laughing to silent all in the same minute. I had to leave before group was over, I had babies that needed tending to, I was sad to leave just like I always am, and waited till I just couldn't wait any longer.

The group is going to be attending Faith's Lodge  in September. I haven't told Derrick we are going yet.  Faith's Lodge is a place for bereaved families and parents to go and get together with people travelling the same journey. Its a place of love and peace and enjoying the company of people who understand. I can't wait to spend the weekend with the same familiar faces I see at group. Nickolas' Gift has rented out the Lodge for us to go to. I've been wanting to go, but things have been crazy. I hope to be able to attend the weekend NG has reserved for us! How lucky am I to be able to attend the Lodge with familiar faces? PLUS we get to bring the kids and they have arranged for someone to watch everyone's kids periodically. Part of me thinks it would be more beneficial to go without the kids, part of me thinks I should take them with us.

The group talked about pregnancy after a loss and parenting those children after a loss as well.  I think its important to everyone in the loss community that people realize and understand that we don't forget. We don't just move on. Our babies live on in our hearts forever no matter what other things happen in our lives.

Sure we've gotten pregnant again, but just because we have had another baby (or in our case babies) it doesn't get any better or easier, Earth just keeps spinning and time doesn't just stand still. This is true for us as well.

Going to group is the once a month that I feel I can talk about Gabriel and how he's impacted everything that is happening now without feeling like the person listening thinks I should have moved on. I haven't. I won't. I still miss him every day. I still think about him many times as I'm moving about our new life. I still wonder what life would be like with him around at almost 17 months old. He's here, he's in our hearts and our minds and we'll never ever forget or move on.

Often times I wonder if the psychics I talked to before getting pregnant again were onto something. Is one of the twins Gabriel's spirit returning? Could I ever know? My co-worker says I will, he says I'll have a moment when I just know and that it'll be an emotionally intense moment of pure joy and happiness.  Do I believe the psychics? I don't know, the idea seems a bit strange. Yet I play with the idea in the back of my head, wondering if perhaps they are right.

Next time I attend group, I might have to bring it up, talk about it. I want to see what things others think about this idea - Gabriel's return.

At group, we all wrote the names and dates pertaining to our babies on a white board. An opportunity to write our babies names again. I didn't realize till I got home just how seriously I took this small task.  Making sure his name looked good on the board was important to me, I erased and re-wrote letters to make them look better. I erased lines that were too long or parts that looked goofy. Why it was so important that it looked good is beyond me.  Opportunities to write his name come few and far between these days. I never realized how good it feels to write it again, to acknowledge that he was here, he was loved, and he is missed.