Friday, November 26, 2010

Babies' first Thanksgiving





 We took this opportunity to recreate some baby pictures of my Uncle Ron and Aunt Rose, the previous set of fraternal twins before Michael and Sophie.




My mom and brother introduced the babies to the piano.  And I got carried away with the b/w.



Michael rockin' out...
video

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The thanks we give

One year ago on the day before Thanksgiving, Mike and I sat in a dimly lit room staring at blobs on a screen and were asked, "Did you know you're having twins?"

We didn't.

Neither of us passed out, or swore, or cried....initially. 

I said, "Nope.  We didn't know that."

Mike squeezed my hand and asked, "Are you serious?  Are you sure?"  He might have said that a few times. 

We were shocked, but I think we took the news pretty well. 

The ultrasound tech double-checked what she was seeing and left to let the receptionist know this appointment was going to run long...twice as long.

In that brief time alone, Mike and I had a rapid-fire chat that laid the groundwork for many conversations to come.  "Two babies?  This is amazing.  How are we going to afford this?  Two babies?  This is unbelievable.  Holy shit. Two babies."

We were thrilled to learn that I was carrying a boy and a girl, that both looked perfect, but the shock was still there.

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN in that same office immediately following the ultrasound.  The nurse  who weighed me and took my blood pressure made the first thoughtless comment.  "Better you than me," she said.  We've learned from experience and from other parents of multiples that these statements are ridiculously common. As well-intentioned as they may be, in the days when the news is fresh, comments like, "Good luck with that," cut deep. 

The doctor was somewhat apologetic, having missed one of the babies in the internal ultrasound she'd performed 10 weeks earlier.  We discussed how this changed a few things, like how the babies' positions could make a c-section necessary, how pre-term labor was likely.

We spent the rest of the day sharing the news via cell phone on our way up to Birch Run and Frankenmuth.  Both of our moms squeeled.  Mine said she knew it all along but tried to convince herself otherwise everytime she looked at the first ultrasound print-out.  Her mom had a set of boy-girl twins, my Aunt Rose and Uncle Ron.

The intention of that mini-roadtrip plan was so I could hit the Pottery Barn outlet and pick out nursery decor now knowing the sex of "the baby."  Instead Mike and I wandered those aisles in a fog, less sure than ever about how that nursery was going to look, unable to clearly envision much about our future.  "Two babies," we repeated, hoping the news would sink in and that the apprehension would slip away.

Since we were in the area, I wanted to get a Christmas ornament in honor of this big day.  At Bronner's we found a baby bottle, then a pink bootie, a stork, and finally a blue bootie.  The pink bootie and blue bootie were the winners. 

Before heading to the checkout, we stopped at the bathrroms, and as Mike took his turn I stood alone in the chaos of the day-before-Thanksgiving crowd looking at that blue ornament and that pink ornament.  My boy and my girl.  And it sunk in.  My emotional equilibrium righted itself, and I knew there was only one feeling that was true, like true north--gratitude. 


The next morning I cried on the phone with my mom, nagged once again by apprehension. Over the weeks and months to come, Mike and I attempted to plan financially to ease those fears.  Then the babies came, and, although they were few, we had some moments where we felt pretty overwhelmed.  But on all of those days, and on the ones in between, the emotions that have come and gone have all seemed to orbit that big ol' gratitude.  It never goes away. 

And I'm glad we had today to honor it once again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life in the seventh month

It's been a while since I've mentioned what the babies are up to, so here goes...

Both babies have been sitting up unassisted.  We still set their Boppys at their hips on occasion just in case they get tired, forgetful, or unexpectely wobbly.

Due to the above, there have been a few instances when Mike or I have had to kiss a bumped head, repeat "you're ok" a couple of times, and find distractions for a startled baby (they're always on carpet and a soft blanket, so any pain has hopefully been minor).  One of their daycare teachers pointed out a tiny bump on Michael's head one day that was due to a tumble, and I asked if she thought we should be concerned.  She smiled, shook her head, and said the more mobile babies bump their heads pretty regularly, and he seemed just fine.  I certainly don't love seeing my babies experience any pain, but they can't have Boppys around themselves forever, right?

Both babies also loooooove standing up.  My mom was trying to help them learn to lay back without banging their heads and showed me this little game they played.  She laid Sophie on her back, gave her her thumbs to grab, and lifted her into a sitting then a standing position.  She then slowly guided her back on her butt and then back to laying down.  We've done this a lot with both babies, and at this point they both push right past that sitting part and love looking at the world completely upright.  Their faces show such pride when we do this!

Our house is filled with giggles lately as well.  Combine the standing up game and a rendition of "Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof, woof, woof-woof!" while bouncing his arms to the beat and you'll hear Michael's.  See the last post for Sophie's.

Michael and Sophie have progressed from sharing one jar of baby food in the morning to getting three meals of solids a day.  At this point in a day we go through about nine small baby food jars.  To help with the cost and just because he's that kind of dad, Mike has been making some food for them as well (avacado, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, and so on).  This book has been really helpful for this phase.

The babies still nurse four times a day at around 6:00 a..m., 11 a.m. (I pump on work days), 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.  Do you notice what is now missing?  They no longer eat during the night.  They still wake up needing pacifiers, back rubbing, and general soothing back to sleep here and there, but that 2:00 a.m. feeding appears to be history.  As crazy as it probably sounds, especially since working our way out of that feeding has been a big goal of mine, it makes me a little sad that my babies have grown to this point. Sad, but a little less sleepy.

On a similar note, Mike and I now trade off on baby duty on a nightly basis.  We used to divide the night in half, but lately it's made more sense to take it night by night.  Now that there's no feeding involved, we both stand a good chance of getting a full night's sleep with this arrangement.  It hasn't happened for me yet, as I still wake most of the time whenever they do, but that night is near, I'm sure!  (I should do a post on all the lies we've told ourselves along the way...)

Michael and Sophie play in a more traditional sense these days.  They push buttons and swiches on musical, light-flashing toys.  They love their stacking rings, and suck on them, bang them together, and are getting some experience with sharing.  Peek-a-boo style games crack them up, especially when the game is with him- or herself in a mirror.

The most heartwarming development over the last month or so is that Sophie and Michael have really noticed each other.  It took a long time, but these days they are big fans of one another.  When they catch glimpses of each other after being apart to sleep, they usually smile and squeal in ways that seem reserved only for themselves.  When laying together in a crib or sitting face to face to play, they reach for each other, swat their arms with excitement, babble back and forth, and show us that these former wombmates really share a special bond.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Giggle Monster

If there is anyone in your life whom you suspect to be an undercover robot spy, show him or her this video.  If that "person" fails to smile, you do indeed have some sort of heartless machine in your presence. 

However, if the video does produce a smile, keep in mind that robot technology may be advanced enough to include some kind of emotional response programming.  I really wouldn't know.

Humans and highly advanced robots, get ready to grin...


video

This was the first time we witnessed Sophie laughing so heartily without being physically tickled.

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