life with three under 16 months…

IS HECTIC.  I am so thankful to have a very supportive husband, parents, and nanny.  Without them it would be complete and utter chaos.  Basically we divide and conquer.  Either my hubby or nanny take the twins and I take the baby.  Or we switch.  The twins are very curious about the baby. They like to touch her, poke her, take her bottle, binky, blanket, etc.  When we are all in the same room we have to do a lot of “police-ing”.  But they also give her kisses, stuffed animals, toys, etc.  Very cute.

I haven’t gone out with all three yet.  Too scared!

So in love with her.  She is a good baby. She only cries when hungry or getting changed.  She eats like a champ.  I am still nursing, but I am starting to wean.  I have been alone with all three babies a few times and it is too tough to nurse and police at the same time.  Not enough hands.

Here are a few recent pics:
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happy halloween!

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HereIMG_20141031_184117337~2 are the twins on halloween. Ava “got it” more than grace, but they got a kick out of walking around the neighborhood. I got a really good laugh watching them in their outfits!

The girls went for their 15 month check ups, though they are 16 months. Ava is 24 pounds, grace is 19. She is such a little peanut!!!

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She’s here!

And she’s beautiful. I’m soooooo in love. Devon Juliette, 8 pounds, 6 onces, which is my biggest baby yet (and my smallest weight gain of all my pregnancies). Her labor was fairly easy, and I pushed her out in 14 minutes. My water broke at home at 4 am. They gave me until 930 to get into a good labor on my own (contractions were 7 min apart, but I was still at 5 cm). They started me at the smallest dose of pirocin at 945, got the epidural, and 1.5 hours later I was 10 cm and ready to push. My mom and hubby were with me and it is a beautiful memory I will always treasure.IMG_229722607798993

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Ugh, back pain

I am nearing the end of this pregnancy, and I can say I am definitely counting down.  Not “normal” counting down, but counting down as in “please oh please come or I am going to rip my hair out”.  I am 39 weeks tomorrow.  I have gained 23 pounds.  My belly is huge, but thank goodness the rest of me is not.  No crazy swelling like with the twins.

On Saturday night I started having pain when I walked.  It is a shooting pain in my right side love-handle area, that goes through me right to the core.  Any time I put pressure on my right foot I get a shooting pain through my right side of my back.  Sunday I called my OB and she said they couldn’t give me meds over the phone – I would have to go to labor and delivery at the hospital.  I really didn’t want to go and spend hours at the hospital just to get a prescription, but after a couple more hours of this pain I went.  An hour after I got there I was having contractions every 5 minutes.  They checked me and I am 5 cm dilated!  I started thinking, wow! we are going to have a baby today!  But after 2 hours I made no dilation progress, and then my contractions tapered off in the third hour.  I was really disappointed – I am ready to meet our little girl.  I didn’t get my girl, but I did get a prescription for muscle relaxers.

The next day the pain was even worse.  I went to my chiropractor and that gave me no relief.  I called the doctor again and said I need something else.  Tylenol with codeine was next.  I took that Monday-Wednesday with the muscle relaxers and I felt no relief with my back.  At this point my sciatic nerve is so inflamed that I have pain on my right side of my back and then a shooting pain in my back whenever I put weight on my right foot.  Tuesday I started using crutches.  By Wednesday I went back to the chiropractor and had another adjustment.  Still no relief.  I had my weekly prenatal appointment and begged the doctor to induce me.  She said no (more on this in a bit).  She gave me a prescription for Percocet.  As of last night, still no relief.

Since I had a c-section 16 months ago I cannot be induced.  The docs will only give me a small amount of Pitocin to counter-act an epidural (side effect is slowing down labor), but they won’t give me Pitocin to start labor from zero.  She did take pity on me and stripped my membranes.   Not as painful or long a process as I had read about.  Felt like an internal, but more intense, and only lasted 30 seconds.  I am still 5 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  No change since Sunday’s hospital visit.  Baby is head down, but my cervix is still long, even though I am dilated.

Doc did offer to do a c-section tomorrow since I will be 39 weeks.  I declined.  Now that I know what a vaginal birth feels like and what a c-section feels like I can definitely say I would rather go vaginal.  Less recovery time, less time in the hospital, less pain, and I can’t lift anything heavier than the baby for weeks, and I can’t tell the twins mommy can’t pick you up and hold you for that long.  It is the better choice for our family.

This morning I noticed I lost my mucous plug.  I am hoping this means that labor will begin soon – today or tomorrow.  But Dr. Google said that loosing your mucous plug doesn’t mean that labor will start any time soon.  Maybe in combination of stripping the membranes this will produce labor.  I sure am hoping.

Unfortunately, I had to stop working at 38 weeks.  When all this back pain started on Saturday I knew I couldn’t teach in that condition, and it has only gotten worse each day.  I am also not allowed to drive on the meds because they make me loopy and sleepy.  I was talking to my supervisor each day hoping I would feel better the following day with the new med, but that is not the case.   Each day is worse that the previous day.  I would rather not teach on crutches while loopy.  I had a coworker offer to drive me, but my pain is really bad, so I finally accepted that I am done with teaching for quite a bit.  Hopefully once I have the baby and she is off that nerve I will be able to walk without pain again.  I have confidence in my replacement, so I am trying not to be so “type A” about the whole thing and just let it go.  My kids will do fine without me for 12 weeks, and whatever they don’t cover with my sub I will cover with them when I return.

The biggest disappointment about this whole thing is feeling helpless.  Had I taken off my last two weeks of pregnancy and didn’t have this back pain I could be “nesting”.  Finalizing things in the baby’s room, putting away her clothes, cooking and freezing meals, organizing the house, etc.  All I do is sit around and other people have to take care of me and my kids.  Thank goodness for my parents and our nanny.  She is taking care of the babies, and my parents are taking me to appointments and running my errands (my hubby is working).  When the babies nap our nanny is fixing my breakfast and lunch (I can’t carry too much while on crutches).

So that is the update for now.  Feeling defeated, but hopefully she will come soon and all this will be a distant memory.

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34 weeks

Wow – I can’t believe in a little over a month girl #4 is joining our family.  Nuts.

Pregnancy is progressing well.  Up 21 pounds, so the weight gain of summer has tapered off.  My belly is HUGE!!!  If you are currently or have been pregnant with twins and then get pregnant again – watch out!  Your belly will be absolutely ridiculous.  It is big and heavy and a pain to carry around.  I feel like if I sneeze the baby will fall out.  She also has a lot more room than my 7 year old or my twins had.  She swims all over all day.  And likes to kick me in my lady parts.  All the other pregnancies I remember having feet in my ribs.  Not this one.  My guess is she is breech and I have feet in my lady parts.  Super fun to get a kick there while teaching my classes.  She also gets the hiccups several times a day.  My back hurts a lot with this pregnancy.  I starting seeing a chiropractor a month ago for some relief.

I went back to work the end of August.  It wasn’t as bad or stressful as I thought it would be.  I guess that is one advantage to loving your job.  My students are awesome and I love my boss.  Unfortunately, I found out today he got a promotion and is leaving us next month, so I am super bummed about that.  I hope his replacement is as great as he is…

We are working on the nursery and buying all the things I sold when the twins were 5 months old.  I figured we were done having kids… little did I know a couple months later I would pregnant again!

The twins are doing great.  The transition to sharing a room was easier than I thought.  However, they have both had two colds and ear infections, so we had to separate them while sick.  They cry in their sleep and wake the other up.  I find that when they are sick and waking each other up they are even more cranky that normal because they are super sleep deprived.  I am guessing that the baby will be sleeping with me in the basement so everyone else can sleep (we have a bedroom, living area, playroom, and bathroom down there).  Maybe until January when I return to work that sleeping arrangement will work…playing it by ear.

They are both walking and cutting teeth.  Ava now has 2 and one that just broke through.  Grace has 5 and one that just broke through.  They are babbling like crazy and imitating sounds.  They can identify hair and belly, and we are working on nose, ear, and eyes.  They love to be outside and love to put mulch and rocks in their mouths.  It is an endless battle to curb their curiosity.  I follow behind them, nay “noooo”, then move them to walk a different direction.  And then they go right back to what they were doing.  It is quite exhausting.

My oldest is now in second grade and doing well.  She really likes her teacher this year.  She is taking dance this year and piano.

This weekend’s plans are to finish packing my bag and decorate the nursery.  Hopefully my husband will finish putting up a second bar in the closet so we can put the closet doors back on their track.

Off to put the twins to bed, then my older daughter, then make lunches, iron my work outfit, then fall into bed.  I’m pooped!!!

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pregnancy and twin updates

28 weeks and 2 days.  Definitely on the “count down”.  Looking forward to not being pregnant and having my body back.  I never got a chance to fit into my clothes after the twins.  I couldn’t seem to drop the last 5 pounds.  I am really hoping that this pregnancy weight comes off faster and easier.  A girl can dream, right?  I have gained much faster this time.  I am up 19 pounds, and it is mostly in my thighs.  Too much ice cream, dessert, and carbs.  I really need to eat better, but with the twins I find I eat what is convenient, not what is healthy or what has to be cooked/chopped.  I think my weight was better with the other pregnancies because I was working and packed breakfast and lunch for work so I could plan out my day…  My clothes at 20 pounds heavier (at 38 weeks with the twins) are tight.  Maybe I am just carrying different???  I feel like my belly is huge.  As big as it was when I was 7 months with the twins.  I think I am stretched out from them and I will be as big as I was with the twins.  Oh my.

The twins are great.  Ava is now walking and still as sweet as pie.  I am so lucky to have a smiley, pleasant baby.  She lights up my life.  Grace is crawling faster than I can catch her.  She has a “devilish” streak – she goes for something she knows she shouldn’t have, looks at me, smiles, then continues to go for it again.  I tell her no, she smiles, then does it again.  She also is my cuddler.  She wants to be in my lap and have all my attention.  She gets very mad and upset when Ava comes over for a cuddle and generally gets out of my lap, crawls two feet away, looks at me and cries.  She is cutting her forth tooth and has been crankier than usual for the last 6 days.  Ugh – a lap baby + teething = grumpy Grace.  Ty.len.ol and Mo.tr.in are not doing much.  She can imitate a bunch of sounds and is super funny.  She really makes me laugh.

The girls are now going to sleep in the same room.  We are moving them this week.  I am a bit stressed over how this will go.  Anyone else have their twins separate and then join them together after their 1st bday?

I go back to work in 2 weeks.  Stressing a bit over that.  I thought I would have more time this summer to go to school and prep or work in our office.  Life with twins got in the way.

My parents are watching the kids for 2 nights next week so my hubby and I can go on a much needed “babymoon”.  I am super excited for that – we haven’t been away together since summer of 2012!

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27 weeks

Amazing how different an unplanned pregnancy and a planed pregnancy are…

When I was pregnant with the twins I:

–  wouldn’t lift anything.  Now I lift 40 pounds of baby every day multiple times.  I can’t NOT pick up my 13 month olds. 

– wouldn’t eat lunch meat, smoked fish, skip a vitamin, drink caffeine, eat a hot dog, etc.  Now I eat anything that is fast and easy and in front of me.  Oh, and vitamins? Hell, I’m lucky to remember to brush my teeth at night.  Vitamins usually don’t make it into the routine.

– would think non-stop about names, the nursery, the perfect stroller.  Now, sometimes it is days between baby thoughts.  I am so consumed with life with three kids that #4 sometimes doesn’t make it into my brain.

– looked forward to the chaos twins would bring.  We knew it would be tough, but we wanted them so badly and for so long that the chaos was something that we would love, something we would willingly deal with.  I think this time both my husband and I are more logical about the chaos another child brings, not naïve or blissful about the impending chaos.

– was willing to “take whatever we got”.  This time around I had the DNA test done at 10 weeks.  Knowing this baby won’t have Downs was a huge relief.  I think I am more realistic about how life would be impacted if we had a special needs child and how the lives of the three children we have would be impacted well beyond our deaths.  If the test came back positive for a child with a disability I don’t know if I would have gone through with the pregnancy.  I don’t know if I could have ended it, but I do know I am happy I wasn’t faced with that choice.

– my hubby felt my tummy all the time.  My parents asked to feel the babies move.  This time around my hubby hasn’t asked once to feel it, nor have my parents.  I am sad by this, but I understand why.  This pregnancy has very sucky timing.  I think we all know that this is going to be a very tough time when #4 comes.  How will I manage with 16 month old twins and a 7 year old???  I don’t think anyone but my 7 year old is happy to be adding to our family at this time.  She doesn’t understand how difficult it will be.  How costly it will be.  How stressful, exhausting, chaotic it will be.

 

I know things will get better.  I am excited to meet #4.  See who she looks like.  Hold a newborn and cuddle her.  Sing to her in her room.  But each time I think of the positives I also think about the uncertainty.  How will we manage???  And at what cost?  We have no spare time now.  Where will the time come for #4?  How much more strain can our marriage take?  How much time can we spare from our 7 year old before she gets lost in the shuffle?   Add the stress of returning to work in late August (I am a teacher), then only taking 11 weeks after #4 comes… I see us snipping at each other more and more.   My husband and I joke that even if we wanted to get divorced we couldn’t.  We couldn’t afford it, nor would we want to take on 4 kids at a time as a single parent.  We aren’t getting divorced, we aren’t even thinking that, but we do know we need to bond again.  But there is no time in the day…  After everyone is asleep we do all our chores and then fall into bed.

God, how I hate the looks I get when I go out in public.  Every Ta.r.get run, every food shopping trip.  EVERY time I go I get “boy you have your hands full”.   At my OB appointment this week the nurse said “this wasn’t planned, was it?”.  I think people look at me and either 1-pity me (or maybe they are wondering how I handle it) or 2 – thank God it isn’t them.  The looks and comments have shifted over the last 3 months.  When I wasn’t showing people would say how cute the twins are, or think they are funny by saying “double trouble”.  Now I get “how far along are you” or “how do you do it?” or “do you know what you are having? oh my, 4 girls, wow I feel bad for your husband” with a smile on their face.  I smile back and walk away and try to explain to my 7 year old that people can be weird or think they are funny but aren’t.   Sometimes when I go out I keep walking when people stop me and I say loud enough for them to hear me, “come on sweetie, we don’t talk t strangers” hoping they think I am trying to protect my family instead of just not wanting to give them a moment of my time.  If my daughter isn’t with me and I only have the twins I keep walking and don’t stop.  I don’t care if they think I am a bitch.  I don’t have time for their petty comments.  The comments of “omg look! twins! how cute!” I give the obligatory thank you and then keep walking.  But the one that annoys me the most is when we are out and they are dressed in matching outfits in a double stroller and someone asks if they are twins.  No dimwit, I have two random babies that I dress the same next to each other in a stroller, but no, they aren’t twins. Idiots.

Anyway, life as we know it is changing.  I go back to work in 25 days.  The twins are getting bigger and doing more and more each day.  Ava is on the verge of walking and babbles non-stop.  She is an awesome sleeper and is a happy smiley baby.  She likes to drink more than eat. Grace shows no interest in walking and doesn’t babble too much, but can imitate sounds and loves to make others smile.  She has a devilsh grin and knows when she is doing something she shouldn’t. She likes to eat more than drink.  Ava is the bigger twin at 20 pounds and weighed 4 pounds more than Grace at their 1 year check up.  She was only taller by one inch.  Grace is like a string bean – long and skinny.  She still wears some 3-6 month clothing.  She has such a skinny belly – most clothes fall down.   She does best in dresses and rompers.

Maddy is my champ.  She loves her sisters, sometimes too much.  This is an ongoing theme since they were born.  She doesn’t always play as gentile as I would like, and many times initiates the screeching with the twins.  But she helps me when I need it, and entertains them in the car, and loves them to pieces.  I did have to put her in camp for this month.  I felt she was home to much and not socializing with her friends.  I am home almost all day with the babies because of naps, and Ta.r.get trips and grocery store runs are not too fun for a 7 year old.  She was having lots of play dates at our house, but then I was going days on end without leaving the house and going a bit stir crazy.  So we put her in gymnastics camp 4 hours a day and she LOVES it.  She didn’t want to go at first because she is shy, but now she asks the moment she wakes up “mom, how many more hours until camp?”.  We really don’t have the money to be spending on camp, but we know it is the right thing for her at this time.  Next summer we plan on signing her up for full day camp.

 Here are some “smash cake” pics from the twins first birthday.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

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