Tuesday, May 29, 2012

from where i stood

366 days ago we arrived at unc hospital around 10:30pm. It all started while I was out in Wendell, nc working with little J. I had a session from 3:30pm-5:30pm and woulnd’t be home until 6:30pm at the earliest. As the day wore on I started to get a really awfule headache…the stress of everything I think had just boiled over to a point that it wouldn’t stop. Typically I would have waited till I got home to take anything for my head (and the heart burn that had started on my drive home) but angela had been texting me since around 5pm that she was having regular “irregular” contractions ranging from 5 to 7 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. As I drove home I decided that this would be the day that I would stop at a drug store on my way home to grab something to take care of the headache and heartburn and dehydration….i stopped about two thirds of the way home to get some migraine meds, zantac and a gatorade…then I headed home.

Angela wasn’t really contracting much when I got home so we went for the first walk we had taken together since she was about 23 weeks pregnant (at this point she was 36weeks 4days pregnant) – it had been almost 24 weeks since we had spent time together enjoying the things we used to enjoy (such as walking the dog). When we got back to the house she still wasn’t contracting all that much so she returned to her chair the lie on her side since that’s what had been increasing the contractions. She wasn’t up for dinner and I wasn’t feeling so great either – we shared a grilled cheese sandwich. Around 9pm that night I called all the grandparents to tell them we might be heading to the hospital tonight – this only after angela spoke with the OB resident on call in Labor & Delivery. The OB told angela that she was having “double peaked” contractions and that she was sorry…hmm, usually not a good thing when an OB basically tells you that this is what your labor is going to look like and that’s just that. She did sympathize because her labor had been the same way.

By 10:00 I made an executive decision that we would be going to the hospital. Bags were thrown in the car, pillows and toothbrushes grabbed and the dog given a few minutes of love (and maybe a few treats). By 10:10 we started the grueling 2 mile journey to the hospital…yes that’s right, we live 2 miles from the hospital and it was quite possibly the longest 2 mile journey ever! By this point in labor baby B (who we would come to know as Caleb) was attempting to burrow out angela’s side…
When we arrived at the hospital we were escorted up to L&D and the stork valet parked the car…they signed angela in (after giving me a significant amount of attitude for trying to help her with paperwork) and we were rolled into a a triage room. The resident who examined angela was impressed with her dilation (approximately 5cm) and we discussed what we were going to do next. We were taken to a labor room where angela and I walked the hall until the family arrived and then we all walked the hall for a while…this is where things became interesting, this was the first time that angela’ and my families had ever met. Our mothers had spoke on a few occasions but I think I can count on hand the number of times their conversation had lasted more than 5 minutes. By 1am the epidural was in and labor stopped…angela could no longer walk the halls and things just stopped – they sat her up at a full 90 degree angle in hopes that gravity would help but nothing happened…not sure what time it was but they eventually let her lay down to try and rest….little did they know this would bring on a massive (massive as in huge, gigantic, major, any other word in the thesaurus that means massive) drop in her blood pressure – bells started ringing, doctors were paged, angela started passing out, nurses rushed the room, anesthesia was paged, and meds were administered all in the span of 3 minutes tops. Once they had her pressure regulated and she had recovered (in less than another 5 minutes) the resident looks at me and says “are you ok?” – this was the first time all night someone had looked at me and recognized that I was so much more than a friend who brought her to the hospital…the resident talked me down a bit and made sure to come back before she ended her shift to check in on us.

Around 10:30am angela was still only 5-6cm dilated (according to the new doc she was even less than that but “it’s not an exact science – we all measure it differently”) – she was maxed out on pitocin and the decision was made to break her water. Well wham bam thank you ma’am because shortly thereafter it was time to start getting Jared out in to the world. The nurse we had at this point was an older woman who was really just not helpful at all when it came to helping angela push. So it was up to the two of us to convince jared it was his time. To this day I’m not sure where either of us found the strength – and angela will be the first to tell you that I did actually do a lot to help her with her labor – by 1:30 it was an “oops maybe we should call the doctor moment” because she was basically crowning…

What most people don’t know about delivering twins is that most hospitals require you deliver in an operating room in the event of an emergent cesarean section. So we are rushed into an OR – I am right by angela the whole time but then massive amount of doctors, anesthesiologists, NICU staff, pediatric staff, med students…etc etc begin to  swarm the room. The nurse and the rest of the room start arguing about whether or not to put angela on the OR table or let her stay on the labor bed…it becomes the most poorly organized circus I’ve ever experienced. The doctor finally arrives and we get to work – I can’t remember how long this part lasted but I remember there being a struggle to keep Caleb on the heart rate monitor – and then I remember Jared being here (2:19pm) and screaming his brains out…he came out peeing – and with the shakiest hands I have ever in my life had I was handed a pair of surgical scissors to cut his umbilical cord. I was taken with Jared and a nurse to a room outside the OR to examine him and clean him up – I remember not even checking his fingers or toes but just staring at his tiny little old man face. Less than 10 minutes later I was called back in to the OR for Caleb’s delivery – at this point they had lost Caleb’s heart rate so many times they inserted a probe to monitor his heart internally…he had flipped and was now laying horizontal instead of vertical…dr boggess made the decision to manually turn him…Caleb was born at 2:45pm less than 20 minutes after his brother. He came out sunny side up and with a full knot tied in his cord. I was given the honor of cutting his cord as well…he did not cry out and I held my breath (and tears) until hearing his first cry….the rest of that first day is a blur of time and space and people…our boys were here and that was all that mattered…our family was finally a family….

We would learn a lot over the next year – especially about finding ourselves again. Our relationship took a massive (again, insert synonyms over and over again) beating during the 3 year journey to pregnancy and then another 9 months of high risk pregnancy and bedrest. We struggled to find peace in our love for each other. Even during the first 3 or 4 months of the boys’ life we struggled. We struggled and fought – we fought the hardest battle we have ever fought and in the end it was so incredibly worth it because here we are today – 365 days after the first of our sons and we are stronger than we were the day we were told we were pregnant with twins. 

today we are stronger than we ever have been and more in love than we ever have been

love mommy

Wow I can not believe it has been a year already. Everyone tells you that time flies but you really don’t believe them until you are in the middle of it. What an amazing, wonderful, fantastic year. I never knew I could love someone so much that it feels like my heart is going to explode.  I look at our beautiful baby boys and feel so blessed to have them it often makes me cry tears of joy and thankfulness.  I don’t know if I appreciate them more because we had to work so hard and go through so much to get them or if I would have appreciated them and loved them this much no matter what. If it was all of the effort that helped me to feel so unbelievably blessed then I am so grateful for everything that we went through in order to get to this place. All of my life I have dreamed of being a mother, of holding my own children and never having to let them go or give them back to anyone. That day is here and it is everything and more than I ever dreamed it would be. Our little angels were born 3 weeks and 2 days before their due date. They were 5 lb 3 oz (Jared) and 5 lb 4oz (Caleb). Looking at them today it is so hard to believe that they were ever so small. Everyday they grew stronger and bigger! I remember sitting on the couch with Suzanne one night, I believe the boys were around 3 months old and Jared began cooing for the first time. We both burst into tears, we were so overcome with joy in that moment and there have been many many more of those moments over the past year. The boys learned to smile, laugh, coo, babble, and roll over, wave, crawl, cruise, and stand. Jared uses sign language to communicate, he knows the sign for more, please, all done, milk, and eat. Caleb would rather vocalize then sign.  He says baba (bottle), mama (when he wants to), more, and ty ty (for Tyler). We often think that he is saying other things as well, as he loves to play with making different sounds. Since Caleb was very little he has said uh huh, it is almost always following a question addressed to him or someone else in the room. I think he knows a lot more than we think he does.  The boys are learning prepositions such as put it in the bucket, or take it out. Jared has started taking steps and climbing everything. Caleb is not far behind as he is pushing our hands away and wanting to stand on his own.  Both boys are vehemently independent (ha don’t know where that came from) wanting to do everything on their own. They are beginning to use utensils, have mastered object permanence, their verbal comprehension is growing every moment, they understand simple associations, they are playing peek-a-boo, playing simple games to make each other laugh, dancing, experimenting with cause and effect, playing ball and tug of war with Tyler, climbing stairs, and much much more. Jared and Caleb have very different personalities. Jared is a leap without looking kind of a guy. He craves constant input from his environment. The more that is going on the better. He is very physical and loves to roll around and climb. He smiles and waves at everyone but would rather not be picked up and held by people he does not know. Even though he is really busy he will seek out the people that he loves, to give hugs and kisses and enjoys being held for night time bottles. Caleb is often quite and reserved in public. He likes to focus on one thing and can be overwhelmed by chaotic or noisy environments. He is very silly and affectionate especially one on one. He reserves his smiles and waves for people that focus on him. He is very inquisitive and will often figure things out on his own before showing others that he knows how to do them. Caleb loves to make us laugh and will do silly little things in order to make us laugh. He loves rough housing and will squeal with glee when held upside down or tossed in the air. This past year has been the most wonderful precious year of my life. The best part about all of it is it just keeps getting better. This past weekend Suzanne and I spent a great deal of time just playing with the boys. They are so so much fun. They are constantly giving kisses, laughing, and climbing all over us.  They are so happy, inquisitive, loving, and active little boys. I want to thank Suzanne again for allowing me the opportunity to stay at home with them this past year.  It has been a wonderful year and I can not thank her enough for the sacrifices she has made to make this year possible. I pray that we never forget the joy our children bring us, that we remember to cherish each moment, take time to play with them and enjoy them. The house can wait, the laundry can wait, and the errands can wait. As we have learned this past year…..time flies…..they grow so fast…..I hope and pray that we take the time to enjoy it and to be present each and everyday. That is the gift that I want to give them and us this next year and all of the years to follow. Happy Birthday my beautiful wonderful boys. I Love you so very very much!!!. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

i scream...

(started last week)

oh i mean ICE CREAM!
not too much to say with this one just a photo explosion of the boys' first real trip to Maple View Farms where they had their first real taste of strawberry ice cream - ice cream made fresh from the cows who stood there watching (from down the road) as we ate their ice cream
it was so nice to spend time with cousins (edan, laurel, ari, and aunt suzi) and just spend a lazy sunday afternoon eating some ice cream and enjoying the weather...although judging from their faces caleb and jared did not really enjoy their ice cream very much...strange strange children.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet sweet willa june

This is willa june
Willa June is Angela and my niece...she was born May 10, 2012 around 10am<br>
She is also our god daughter and she is lovely
When nina went into labor I was at work but my insanely amazing wife had a ticket booked and a bag packed by the time I got home 2.5 hours later
When I walked in to Nina's room at the hospital she was completely flabbergasted that I was there but so happy
It is such a joy to be here and be able to help her with my sweet niece
One nurse commented "you did a lot if research" when I said something about willa and I just laughed and said "no...I just have twins at home!"
I so wish we lived closer so we could be a part of this little girls every day...

This is willa and she is amazing

Friday, May 4, 2012

baa baa baa

our boy can sing :)

well - he likes to sing along with us...if you can spare angela and i singing in the background this video of caleb singing the "baba for the baby" song is amazing
this is a song i made up one night while they were both completely melting down and i was frantically trying to make bottles...i sang it for angela the next night when she was home and caleb started to sing along...it is the cutest thing ever. jared wont sing along yet but he does bounce up and down and squeal and gets quite excited.
cutest video we've taken in a long time

Thursday, May 3, 2012

new look

it's official...caleb had his first haircut yesterday - after a traumatizing first expereince with the actual haircut place (mom let her kid run out the door and he almost got hit by a car) we settled in to JJ's Kids Cuts in raleigh. It was not our ideal situation - there's this place in durham called PeekADoo which we have heard great things about but they moved and haven't reopened yet and after a weekend of people saying "she's so cute" and pointing to caleb we decided it was time.


more before

getting ready in the police car chair

i'm ready guys

after...what a handsome little dude

my handsome little man
my little boy looks all grown up!
next time we will definitely switch haircut places - but he did so well and didn't really squirm all that much.
i'll post the video when i have a chance - right now Jared says it's 'mama play with me' time!