Back In Black…Definitely Hitting the Sack…

Wow.  I have never taken such a long hiatus from writing.  The past few months have been absurd, enlightening, wonderful, and (sometimes) tragic.  I have had the opportunity to reflect on my existence in a way I’ve never done before, and for that I am absolutely grateful.  Now that I’m at the endpoint of turmoil, I’m able to really breathe.  Relief.  That’s the forefront of my thoughts.  My body, coiled and tight, is unwinding, and I’m existing in the moments of sweet baby smells (why does their hair always smell so good?) and laughter, sweaty races in the budding spring weather and dirt lodged under our fingernails.  

I look forward to sharing with you again.  

It doesn’t have to be the end…

In the past two months, I’ve experienced a lot of loss.  The loss of one of my twins, the loss of respect for my children’s father, and the loss of my former self.  Each of these things has required a significant amount of time in silence and introspection.

I can’t discuss much about the second point at the moment.  Suffice it to say it’s relatively similar to a recent GOMI post about a certain “Thrifty” blogger.  Everyone has darkness inside of them.  Everyone holds something shameful as secret.  Why I’m so embarrassed about my situation, I have no idea.  It’s not my fault.  I want to draw strength from within, but I’m pretty depleted.  The most I can do at this point is prepare and wait.  Inhale sweet baby scents.  Be especially open to slobbery kisses and sticky hugs.

Everything I’ve done since I first saw that second line was for my children.  It’s especially true now.  It has to be.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, A Tale of Woe…

My existence feels like it’s come full-stop.  Most days I can’t even fathom being in an upright position, much less consider doing the many chores that are constantly piling up around the house.  The children now play in the living room most of the time to be nearer to me.  I am suffocating on guilt.  For a while they pleaded with sorrow in their eyes for Mommy to play with them.  They became frustrated by my inability to do something as simple as move my head without purging what little food or water I was able to consume.  Olivia begged me to sit on the floor with her, build blocks, put together puzzles, wrestle, snuggle–do anything but lay supine–but I couldn’t.  Can’t. 

I’m almost in my second trimester and I’ve lost a significant amount of weight.  My face is skeletal.  I am thinner than I was before I conceived Aiden, and I was visiting the gym almost daily.  I am not showing.  With twins.  My abdomen doesn’t pooch unless I’m lucky enough to have eaten a meal and kept it down.  If it weren’t for the ultrasounds and monitoring, I’d think I had the worst case of two-month-long food poisoning in the known universe. 

I have never felt this ill in my life.  I wouldn’t wish HG upon my worst enemy.  Not only has it taken from me my energy, it has robbed me of my ability to be present in my children’s lives.  The worst part is that I have high-strength medication, but it either does not work or it does and I feel well enough to eat a meal only to suffer from debilitating stomach cramps for hours later.  The nausea is unpredictable.  The only thing I can do is to eat and drink immediately when I stop feeling ill, and after that, if there’s time, do what I can around the house or play with the babies if they’re awake.  Tonight it was a mere 20 minutes of reprieve which was spent dancing to loud music and having a “clean up party” with Olivia. 

I don’t know what to do.  Most of the time I feel so defeated I want to lay in bed and sleep this entire pregnancy away, as horrible as that is to admit.  I can’t think anymore.  I’m so tired, but I wake frequently at night to vomit or dry heave.  I’m cranky and impatient. 

I don’t want to spend almost a year in this fog of illness.  I can’t.  I just can’t.

Whoa.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’ve been silent on the blog front because I’m terrible at keeping secrets.  I’m also still in shock, and it’s hard to convey my thoughts when they are so profoundly muted.  Here it goes.

I’m pregnant.

With twins.

No, I’m not on fertility medication.  No, this wasn’t intentional.  Littlest bean is but a mere thirteen months old, and I really wanted to give him the attention I provided to Olivia.  I know it’s silly.  I love my children and I will try to enrich their lives as much as I always have.  I’m sure, with the exception of purchasing a mini-van and an extra car seat, things will remain pretty similar.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m freaking out.  I’m struggling with acceptance.  It’s all so surreal.  “There’s one baby,” the ultrasound technician said.  My brow furrowed slightly.  That is a strange thing to say, I thought.  “And…there’s the other one.”  My mouth agape, I stuttered, “H-how could…are you sure?”  She confirmed by allowing me to hear each heartbeat, one slightly slower than the other.  I cried for the first time in nearly six months.  The tears weren’t sorrowful.  In a way, I’m grateful, I think.  I’ve been given this beautiful gift–these gifts–without the pain of wanting so badly and becoming more disappointed as the months pass.

I don’t know what else to say right now.  I’ve been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum which has caused me to lose ten pounds in a little over two weeks.  I either can’t keep anything down, or I’m so tremendously dizzy and nauseous the mere thought of eating makes me retch.  I have an OB appointment on Wednesday, and I’ll likely update then.  Maybe I’ll even do some weekly belly photos.  Who knows.

There it is, folks.  Digest it slowly.  I’ve had to.

 

 

Oh my word, moving is tough…

To explain the absence, I present this gif:

http://onesosmall.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/e3e66-tumblr_lp7zvzgt5c1qakh43o1_500.gif?w=529

Truth.  Even after having two newborns.  I am officially out of commission for at least a few days (now that everything is moved, cleaned, and put away).

I’ll resume blogging soon.  I have new photos and soon we’ll be starting on our new plot of garden.  I am so excited!  Tired, but excited.

Aiden is ONE!

I don’t have any pretty photos of today (yet), but I wanted to announce that it’s my little munchkin’s birthday!  Unfortunately the kids have been stricken with a very bad illness, so we’re doing everything as low key as possible so they can recover from their 103(!) temps.

When we get settled into our new house next weekend we’ll likely have a little party (salmon and corn on the grill, anyone?) to properly and officially celebrate.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAmars news 001I love you, little poot.

Three Years…

It’s my husband’s birthday today.  Three years ago after an early lunch with my sister of barbecue chicken nachos, I went into labor with my daughter.  She was born the next morning.  We’re not having a party this year because we’re moving at the beginning of next month, but I will do everything I can to make my little girl’s day amazingly fun.  She requested banana-egg pancakes for breakfast.  After that, we’ll go to a local soft-play center and she can run, gallop, and frolic to her heart’s content.  I know everyone says this about their kids, but it’s so surreal to have a three year old.  Wasn’t it yesterday she was struggling to nurse through GERD?  Didn’t I just see her first shaky steps?  Time hits you like a punch to the gut.  Where does it go so quickly and can I please get a little of it back?

Happy Birthday, Andy.  Happy, happy, happy birthday, Olivia.  I love you more than I can possibly convey with these meager words.

We love daddy because Olivia

How Obvious Is It, Really?

After the kids are in bed I sit down with a hot cup of chocolate hazelnut tea, turn on my computer, and “read my blogs.”  That’s what I say, without fail, when my husband asks me what I’m doing.  I don’t know why he still asks me, it’s always the same.  I began reading A Little Pregnant in my first or second year of college.  Julie’s amazingly intellectual, smarmy, and often sad compositions made me fall in love with both her and blogging in very short order.  Then I began reading other blogs with an infertility theme.  As I grew older and struggled with my own issues becoming (and staying) pregnant, I sought out those who could relate to my sorrow.  I found an amazing group of women (and a few men) who were the most supportive sort I’ve ever encountered.  Reading about their lives allowed me a connection, albeit only online, with another human being who could say (and mean), “I know how you feel.”

Years later, blogging has taken a different turn.  It’s rare to find a genuinely kind individual amongst the judgment and hatred.  Though I’m sure popular blogs those years ago were compensated financially through advertisement, bloggers now have a kind of slimy sheen to them.  Gone are the days of genuine emotion, the human part of writing, the errors.  It’s been replaced with sand-dry meanderings with not-so-subtle cues to look at my sidebar!  Click the link!

I think the worst part of blogging is seeing the writing you once really enjoyed become dull and overly edited for “safety.”  That rawness you felt so compelled to once flickers out and you’re left with writing as bland as a saltine cracker.  This often happens after they receive some negative feedback.  It’s unfortunate, really, that some people will try so hard to harm another with their viciousness.  Hiding behind a computer screen, an identity only so strong as your IP address, someone can easily post some of the most awful things you’ve ever seen directed toward you without an ounce of regret.  Granted, when you open your life to the public, so comes scrutiny.  You have to develop a thick skin if you elect to write openly about yourself or your family.  People will comment on your appearance (or worse, that of your kids), your grammar, your choices.  Anything they can possibly grasp in their meaty claws and shred to pieces, they will, and they will enjoy watching you squirm in discomfort.  But what do you give up when you edit your content so much that you appear to have the happiest family, the prettiest pictures, the most normal life?  You give up the ability for your readers to relate to you in any meaningful way.  Sure, we all go to the grocery store, but honestly no one wants to read about your choice of eggplant.  We want a crisis!  We want to feel what you did!  We want to cry with you, rejoice in your happiness, anxiously tap our fingers while we wait for the next post.

This is more than just having an exciting life.  You can have as little conflict as the Dalai Lama, but if you happen to be a wordsmith, anything can be an adventure.

That’s not the point I’m trying to make.  I guess I’m getting a little off-topic here.

So these blogs to which I’m referring, they have this annoying little problem affectionately termed, “White Knights.”  These are people in the comment section who will defend the blogger until thy death!  There are cheesy coined phrases like, “You’re doing an awesome job!” “You’re a great mother!” “Forget the haters, it’s OBVIOUS you are the most amazing person in the world!”  I counter those statements with this:  How do you know?  This person is always happy.  Their Twitter is filled to the brim with as much irritating optimism as their blog, and the “crisis” situations about which they write are so utterly without any real sentiment it’s difficult to tell if they are even human.

It is not at all obvious to me that these people are good parents.  I wonder if the WK’s realize that they all sound as if they’ve had a little too much of the Koolaid?  Where is the emotion?  Where is the skepticism?  Where are the debates?    “Like, really, who do they think they’re fooling?” as Juno so aptly put.
“Juno MacGuff: How do you know I’m so poisonous? What if these adoptive parents turn out to be, like, evil molesters?
Leah: Or, like, stage parents.
Bren: They could be utterly negligent. Maybe they’ll do a far shittier job of raising a kid than my dumbass step-daughter would. Have you considered that?”

To that end, although I try very hard to tell my readers even the goriest of my truths, I don’t think it’s obvious at all that I am a good mother.  I hope I’m perceived by others as thus, because I really do love my children.  But on a blog where all the content is written by me, filtered only through my version of events, and without any feedback by anyone else that knows me, it’s easy be biased.  Please, readers, never say to me or anyone else that it’s “obvious” that I’m a good mother/cook/wife/person unless you know me personally.  If you witness my frustration and exhaustion as a parent, my weariness as a wife with a husband who is terribly depressed, and if you see me drive past a homeless person with a sign on the side of the road asking for a few dollars so he can eat, only then can you make an accurate judgment.

Rule one of storytelling: put the protagonist in conflict.  Your life doesn’t have to be terrible to be interesting (in fact, I hope it’s not).  It just has to be honest.

Support…

I cannot express the gratitude I feel for my eldest sister.  She and I are both highly introverted and don’t have many who are particularly close to us, but I can say without any doubt that she is my best, most treasured friend.  It’s rare that we go a day without speaking, and although we’ve certainly had issues too numerous to count, she is the one person I can count on to be there for me in any situation, ever.  I try to do the same for her.

Our sense of humor is slightly...unconventional.

Our sense of humor is slightly…unconventional.

She practically raised me.  Well, at one point that was literal, but I’m not going to delve into my sordid past at this point.  Even my earliest memories were composed of her being the supreme caretaker of her three younger siblings.  Unfortunately she had to sacrifice her own childhood to ensure we were all safe and fed, but she seems to have overcome any feelings of resentment and instead chooses to focus on the positive.  She is so very strong.

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She provides me with amazing advice and perspective.  There was a time within this year that I never said a single positive thing about my life.  My husband’s father had just died and we were having a lot of duress in our marriage because of his extreme depression.  I was in the depths of a despair so great I just could not see how beautiful my life was, how grateful I should have been to have these amazing children, to have a home I could call my own, support and love.  She snapped me out of it.  I was not pleasant.  I’m the first person to admit that.  I would call her several times in a day to vent, to cry, and she just listened.  I know it was hard for her, she had her own struggles with which to contend, but not once did she ignore my phone calls or refuse to see me.  She continued to tell me that she loved me, talked me through my own issues, and eventually I walked out of that fog of sadness.  I have her to thank.  If it weren’t for her support, my marriage would have ended, I would be on antidepressants (and not nursing anymore)…I don’t know if I ever would have recovered.

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She loves my children profoundly (and I hers).  We are so much a part of each others lives.  Birthdays or holidays, we know with whom we’ll be spending our time.  It’s her house or mine to host for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I cannot fathom my life without her (and Desi, of course).  Everything would be different, everything would be worse.

I love you, sis.

It’s Happening…

Mobility, that is.  What ever will I do when both of them are walking, rumbling, tumbling, wreaking havoc?  Oh, my.  The thought alone palpitates my heart.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERANot only is he standing, he’s performing a concerto the likes of which classical music has never seen.  Sure, it sounds like cats fighting, but in an infant this is MAGICAL.

Let’s not forget about the older child.  My ham, the Spud, who will be 3 in just a couple of weeks.  (She’s getting a wooden dollhouse…don’t tell her!)

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOh, yes.  And the dog, Mars.  He’s a Chow/Shepherd mix, and yes, he is that big.  We got him from the local humane society almost two weeks ago.  He is fitting in beautifully.  We love him dearly.

Andy’s been back in school about a week now.  The transition wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  Wednesdays are the “tough” days because he’s gone all day and I’ve got to deal with solo kid bedtime.  No worries, it’s gone off without much of a hitch!  At least the dog hasn’t pooped in the house…yet.  (NO JINX!)

 

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