Nesting All Wrong

In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that I am doing what can only be described as nesting. Now I know this sounds very weird, I mean I’m not pregnant and haven’t been for a good 4 months, but I have a theory on this (I always have a theory right or wrong lol).

See when I was pregnant, right about that time when nesting kicks in, I was pretty much incapacitated. I was on crutches, walking was excruciating, hell sitting, standing and lying down hurt too. To get for the couch to the toilet and back was an excursion in bravery and pain management. So I guess my brain decided to be helpful and forgo the whole nesting thing. Pretty nice of it if you ask me.

However my brain must have also decided that nesting was vitally important, albeit not a critical part of this whole growing a baby thing, and so it sat back and waited. It waited for me to recover from my Caesar. It waited for me to get the hang of caring for two newborn babies and a 4 year old. It waited until I started to get myself more organised. It waited for the housework to start being done on a more regular basis. And then it sprung. Hello unstoppable desire to clean, organise, sell off unwanted or unused items, and a never ending shopping spree to spruce up the place.

So far I haven been behaving myself and have bought most of the items second hand or been gifted them by friends (even when trying to force money on them like some kind of crazed ATM). I have sold off the buffet, coffee table that was a TV stand, bar stools and many other items. In their place I have a proper lowline TV unit, a play centre for Niamh with her table and chairs and a new book display unit for the colouring books, reorganised toys and draws, bought an activity table for the twins, and bought a book display for Niamh’s bedroom. Oh and the item that started it all, a new rug so the twins would have warm backs when playing on the floor. This very cheap rug. I love deals direct!!

But the piece-de-resistance has to be my new table that is on order. This beautiful table that I have been lusting after for such a long time. I have wanted a table that looked somewhat like this since hubby and I first moved in together 8 odd years ago! It is just divine, with chocolate chairs and metal inlay details. The big bonus, we managed to get it on sale. I can’t wait for it to come home and live with us. A close second is a gorgeous second-hand executive desk I got for a steal over on gumtree AND it doesn’t have a gross green leather inlay. I hate green. Of course there is no longer a computer to live on this desk, but I’m hoping our tax returns will help provide a new Mac to take care of that problem.

I’m so happy and filled with euphoria over my nesting blitz that I thought I would share some images of my new look living spaces and items.

20130811-225516.jpgMy beautiful desk, at least 15 years in the desiring.

20130815-144525.jpgThe rug, TV unit, and toys organised. There are 5 tubs of baby toys to be rotated, PS3 games in alphabetical order, Wii games in alphabetical order, Wii miscellaneous stuff, an educational games tub, play dough, spare colouring books and paper, and colouring / craft. There is a box of craft odds and ends and the red tub has a baby train set.

20130815-144835.jpgNiamh’s baby swing out of storage and cleaned up. This one is for playing, the other two for sleeping

20130815-144917.jpgNiamh’s craft area. She has a whole room for her toys,etc but this is for the messy stuff I want to watch her do (to stop ruined carpet and/or walls syndrome!)

20130815-145032.jpgThe new book display. This way favourite books can be kept in Niamh’s room instead of spread from the toy room up the hall

20130815-145125.jpgBarbies live here. A. Drawer for dolls, one for clothes, one for the car and other accessories

20130815-145212.jpgHad this for a while but now organised the movies. High 5, princesses / barbies / Disney females, Disney, wiggles and TV shows, kids movies, older kids movies

Now I know I could have “styled” my house and photos but that wasn’t the point. I am never going to win any prizes for a neat and tidy house, or be featured in Home Decor or any other home magazines. I just wanted to show off what I’ve been busy doing. These photos are the real me, tidy chaos and all lol

Have you undertaken any projects you are proud of lately?

Twin Misconceptions

I am known to be a very sarcastic person with a somewhat “unusual” sense of humour. People do not always know how to take me or to be able to tell when I am joking. So for the interests of not offending anyone or being misconstrued:

This post is meant to be humorous. It may sound bitchy in parts, it may not be funny to you, you may not get it. These are actual misconceptions I have personally come across and dealt with, and are then honest internal dialogues I have with myself each and every time I come across them. It’s amazing how little people know about twins unless they are one, have a set, or have siblings who are twins.

Are they identical? . Hmm now how do I tackle this one?? I could try subtle but have found the whole one’s a boy and one’s a girl invariably leads to a repeat of the original question. The not-so-subtle sledge hammer type approach of one has a penis and one has a vagina does get some strange or shocked looks, but it does not always lead to understanding. All that’s left is a deadpan “uh no” while internally I laugh my ass off and roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all. The worst cuplrits of this are actually adults, kids get it pretty quickly when you explain the impossibility of having identical male / female twins!! The scariest thing is I have had medical professionals ask me this one!!!

How can you tell them apart? Yep another variation on the above! You mean beside the fact that one has a penis and the other a vagina??? Don’t even worry about me, how can YOU not. I’m making it easy on you. One is in blue, the other in pink. Simple really. Unless of course you think I cross dress my children??

My kids are 9 – 18months apart. That’s like twins. . OMFG are you really serious? Like really? Really???? It. Is. NOTHING. Like. Twins. It is hard I am sure, but it is not like having twins. At all. In any way. Ever. I mean for one there are different birthdays (unless you’re talking to someone with interval twins – born days or months apart – I kid you not that exists). You were pregnant twice and did not have the same risks, pains or difficulties a twin mum had. One is on solids the other milk only. One sleeps all the time (hopefully) and is still at that crying for no reason or every reason stage while the other is awake a lot more, can sit up, probably move and somewhere close to walking. I could keep listing reasons but I think you get the point!

Then there are the people who refer to them as “boys” or “girls” as the concept of twins to them means same gender.. This one I ignore. Honestly I do. There’s no point because its usually a stranger and they are obviously colour blind. And when I will subtly use he and she when referring to each child (especially now I know Harper is an old English girls name but an Indian boys name!) it makes no difference. Smile, nod, leave.

They’re not real twins. . I actually first heard this from someone whose best friend had a twin sister. To make matters worse HE WAS A TWIN HIMSELF! This is where I really just want to put on my best teacher voice and ask “What does the word twin mean to you?” This is a huge misconception. Twin = identical. Even if they don’t look the same, same gendered twins = identical. Lets just say I was at a party at the time, he was drinking, and I walked away when we got down to the very mature “Yes they are / No they’re not” retorts.

Did you do IVF / You must have had assistance (e.g. clomid or IVF). This is even after I have assured people my twins were naturally occurring. This really does piss me off. Not so much if its a question (although that is quite rude – lucky I’m an over-sharer and don’t mind) but when it’s a statement, or worse yet someone is arguing with me about the presence of assistance to conceive, that gets my internal bitch stark raving mad. And if you’ve caught me on a bad day I’m imagining slapping you on the upside of your head. Do you realise you are calling me a liar when you question my “no they’re natural”?

Are you sure you’re having twins, you’re not that big. This may surprise you but I found that just as insulting as if I was carrying a singleton and you asked if I sure I wasn’t having twins because I was so big. It made me feel as if I wasn’t “growing” my babies properly.

Linked to the above was “they must be really small, even for twins“. Um no they’re really bloody big actually. 95th percentile at 30 weeks kinda big. I think people should have a filter inserted when speaking to pregnant ladies. Comments about their weight / size are a no no. So are comments about the babies’ weight / size. When you link the two it’s better just to STFU because I guarantee you will offend.

You’re bottle feeding because its easier with twins / You can’t breast feed twins. First of all many women breast feed twins very, very successfully. It’s amazing how capable a woman’s body is when it comes to their babies. Unless of course it’s not. I did not make the choice not to breast feed my body made that choice. It can be a sensitive issue for me now considering Declan’s allergy could be more easily managed if he was breastfed. There are times I feel like a failure. So if you just assume I made the choice because its easier for me, that I am the sort of person who would put my own needs before those of my children, there are two words for you that I am too much of a lady to utter.

There must be twins in your family. This is a big misconception. There is no familial link with fraternal twins, or so I have read over and over again. There can be hormonal problems that can be passed down but this does not guarantee twins. I was shocked, I still am. This is a misconception I don’t want to let go of. Maybe that’s because I like to scare all the women in my family who are either at child bearing age or still too young. Lots of female cousins are still under 20 and I love making them sweat!

I bet its really hard and you’re struggling / You won’t be able to cope. I will be straight with you. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. When pregnant I would work myself up to a nice little panic thinking about how I would cope. It’s no harder than one (if your one is like Niamh was as a baby). My twins sleep better, are happier and are more settled than my first. The upside of already having a child. After I tell you this shut up. No seriously. I am not lying and if you push the point you are calling me a liar. Again. It’s amazing how many people think you are lying. It’s insulting. The whole you won’t be able to cope thing is seriously THE most single insulting thing that has ever been said to me. If you can’t figure out why not only are you nasty and rude, you are also one of the stupidest people on Earth.

No more kids for you! Why? Are women supposed to stop at two or three? Or is it because I have each gender represented? Do you think I wouldn’t be able to cope with more or am a bad mother to the ones I have? Seriously since when is it up to you to tell me when to stop??? It’s like those people who give couples a hard time that only have one child. It’s none of your bloody business!!! I actually like the thought of another (I have a fixation on even numbers) but I’m not sure financially and physically it would be the right decision. But guess what, it’s OUR decision (my Hubby’s and I) and not yours so back off.

So have I enlightened you any on the mysteries of twins? Is there something you were wondering or not sure of that I didn’t cover that I could help you with (if I know the answer lol)? Have you heard any twin misconceptions or old wives tales that I haven’t?

Harper & Declan – Your Birth Story Part 2

As I was wheeled into the recovery cubicle I saw you both snuggled in your cribs and smiled. I was shaking and cold but overjoyed. I smiled at your daddy as I was given a shot of Maxalon in my thankfully numb thigh to stop the nausea. Harper was quickly named, it was the only name we both agreed on for you anyway. Declan you were originally Harry, but your dad was adamant it didn’t fit and that you looked just like a Declan, so Declan you became. That’s when everything becomes blurry in my memory and my recollections are far less than accurate. Turns out I am allergic to Maxalon and suffered a psychotic episode when I was given it to stop my nausea. Rare but apparently this can occur when it is injected instead of run through the IV. I began to thrash on my bed. One minute I was gazing at you both, the next my head would whip away. My arms and legs were leaping off the bed, my back jumping around, my head gaining speed, and my throat and jaw began to tighten. I got frustrated as all I wanted to do was look at you both and I couldn’t stay still long enough.

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I remember your dad telling me he had called my mum, dad and sister, and asked if there was anything else I wanted him to do. This is where my recollections divert from everyone else’s. I truly believe and recall with absolute clarity replying something along the lines of “thanks that’s great but I can’t really deal with this at the moment.” In reality according to all others in the room I erupted in a string of abuse, dropping the f bomb like it was going out of fashion. Your poor dad had no idea what was going on but knew something was very wrong. It was at this point the students were asked to leave and there was talk of eclampsia, testing urine, urgently paging the senior anaesthetist and deciding to take you away from me yet again.

It had been hours since you were born and you needed to feed. I wanted to breast feed but obviously that was dangerous for you both so the paediatric nurse tried to hand express my colostrum. Yet another problem, there was none at all to be found. The blood loss and reactions to the epidural and Maxalon had taken its toll. Your first feed would be formula and I was devastated. However I had bigger concerns on my mind.

I’ll be the first to admit I had started to panic. Eclampsia? WTF I had been perfectly fine. OMG I’m going to die. My poor babies will never even get a hug off me. Niamh will hate her siblings cause they killed me. How will hubby raise 3 kids alone, let alone newborn twins …………………

Turns out paranoia is also part of the Maxalon psychotic episode reaction. However at the time I didn’t know that so while outwardly I didn’t let on, inside I was screaming, panicking and desperately scared.

The anaesthetist came and started asking if I was feeling paranoid. I didn’t want to tell him I was scared, terrified in fact. After the way I had carried on with the spinal no way was I going to act the wuss again (warped thinking hey, gotta love going crazy). So I kept it simple. NO. He asked again. Again I answered NO. There now he’ll think I’m a good mum. Strong, and brave, and tough. I doubt I had him convinced as he quickly deduced I was indeed paranoid (God knows what my face looked like to give me away so quickly, or was it the fact I was constantly telling all and sundry I wasn’t faking the thrashing and jerking – pretty good feat if I was considering I couldn’t feel 85% of my body lol) and diagnosed the allergic reaction. So no eclampsia, no death, no orphaned babies or widowed dad. I was relieved, and after a shot of morphine, had started to calm down.

Unfortunately I don’t do well with strong pain medication and became so relaxed I don’t remember much at all of that night. I don’t really remember my first cuddles, or bottle feeding you both, what happened when your sister met you for the first time (although I do remember her coming). I remember who came to visit that first night but not what was said. I remember Declan being taken to special care nursery to use their blood glucose meter as there were some concerns about your blood sugar levels being too low, but not how I reacted. I was told later by my girlfriend Bel she was surprised with how calm I was when he went but there was no other option really. The morphine had me floating with no worries in the world.

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So that is your journey into this world my beautiful twinnies. It may not be as accurate as I would like, there are chunks missing, but that’s how I will always recall it. Regardless of the end stretch I am just very grateful you are both here, healthy, and a part of our family. Regardless of how scary or traumatic some parts were, knowing that the end result was always going to be the blessings that are you both, I would go through it all again regardless. You have both completed our family and brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined. Welcome to our family little ones, we love you both xoxo

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Earning My Tiger Stripes

Bel from Life @ No. 2 wrote a very courageous post about her post pregnancy(ies) body that you can find here. She encouraged other women to share their thoughts and feelings about their own post-children bodies, and bloggers to write their own version of her post and link back, and I thought it was a marvellous idea. So here’s my own journey.

I have never liked my body, not ever. Even when I was in high school and very trim I just felt big and ugly. I always compared myself unfavourably against the other girls and lacked self-esteem or a positive body image. I’ve never worn a bikini (well ok since I’ve had a say in what clothes I wear, I don’t think childhood counts) or figure hugging clothes. My style can be best explained as comfortable body-hiding attire.

20130501-162308.jpg Pre-children body. Nothing to get excited about, something I’ve always been ashamed of. Wish I knew where that dress was though, loving it!

I have struggled with my weight. I mean really struggled. I am constantly dieting and watching what I eat. It’s a source of great frustration for me when I watch so many around me eat whatever they want, in greater quantities than me, and stay slim. I rarely feel good about my body and am truly uncomfortable in my own skin.

So it may come as some surprise to the world out there that I truly LOVE my body when I am pregnant. I love watching my body grow in size and know there is a reason for it. I feel beautiful, feminine and desirable. I lose my negative body image and embrace the experience. I don’t even mind the stretch marks, after all I am not one to show off my belly anyway.

I will admit this time around, however, with the twins, I was a bit distressed about the battering my poor belly button got. In the end I had no belly button at all and after the twins were born it was extremely bruised and sore looking. The only other thing I don’t like is all the hormonal hair I grew over my lower belly. Thick black hairs that sprung pretty much the instant I found out I was pregnant and have hung around ever since. This occurred when I was pregnant with Niamh also, but arrived near the very end and had gone by the time she was three weeks old. No such luck this time.

20130501-162909.jpg My poor battered belly button and the torn scar tissue I suffered. On the upside seems the hair does not photograph. Trust me it IS there, and in abundance!!!!!!!

The best thing about my pregnant body, and post-pregnancy body, is the weight loss I obtain through no effort whatsoever. Both pregnancies I came out of the operating theatre with a weight much smaller than my pre-pregnancy weights. And by much smaller I mean 17 kilos lighter. This time I lost so much weight I never regained my pre-pregnancy weight even at my biggest. Now I know this time around a combination of horrid sickness and an inability to eat much due to there being no room for food in my stomach (twins take up SO MUCH space!) contributed to this. But I want to make it clear I did not diet, watched what I ate, or tried in any way to lose weight. It is just a very pleasing bonus I experience during pregnancy.

20130501-162552.jpg Post-twins belly. Not the prettiest of sights but I’m not fazed by it. I think I was lucky considering there were TWO FREAKIN’ BABIES in there!

So all in all I have quite positive feelings towards my body at the moment. It’s not all that attractive or slim, but there is nothing much that wasn’t already there before I had kids. If anything any negative feelings, unsightly lumps and bumps, or parts I wish I didn’t have can all be attributed to it just being my body regardless of the ordeals I have put it through having kids. As for the fresh marks and scars it now bears due to housing all three of my children while they developed and grew before entering the world, I believe the following sums up my thoughts nicely:

20130425-142423.jpg I’d like to give credit for the source of this photo but I am unsure where it originated. I just stole it from one of the many places on Facebook it can be found.

Harper & Declan – Your Birth Story

** I never realised how traumatised I was about the whole process of your birth until I wrote this post. Or should I say until I attempted to write this post. I would sit down and start again, and again, and again. I started when you were only two weeks old and yet I would get to the part where I had to write about the hospital, theatre and recovery and would stop. There was always something I had to do then and there. Whether it be one of you cherubs calling for me, your sister to play with, a need to shower, eat, something I really wanted to watch on TV, paperwork for Centrelink (OK they WERE important) it seemed anything and everything was more pressing. I have even written other posts and begun drafts for more. Then it clicked. Although outwardly I feel fine, really good and positive in fact, somewhere in there I am far from fine. Upset, scared or panicked in fact. I am scarred. Then I thought about it some more and realised this blog post isn’t the only thing I have avoided. I have still not put any newborn / hospital photos on Facebook (so very unlike me) and actually no photos at all other than tagging myself in your gorgeous professional pics. So here I go at attempt 12 of writing this post, wish me luck. It’s time to face my demons. xoxo **

It’s been six wonderful weeks today since you both finally came into this world and our lives, and I thought it was about time I wrote your birth story for you to one day read and share. I wish I had had a blog when I had your sister, or at least the thought of doing the same for Niamh. She will have to rely on my memories of her birth but I am sure I will be able to tell you all wonderful stories about your first days on this Earth.

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We had been awaiting your arrival for so long and near the end I was in a lot of pain and so uncomfortable that I was becoming impatient (you can read about how over it I was here, here and here). We were given very late notice of your Caesar but everything fell into place nicely. Your nanna (your daddy’s mum), came to stay the night to look after Niamh the next day, and it was nice to have Niamh home with us that night so we could enjoy our last night of being a family of three.

As per any surgery I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after 10pm. Unfortunately for me that also meant no quickease, which had become an addiction of mine, a necessity to help me get through the night. Needless to say what with the excitement, hip and back pain, and the absolutely tormenting heartburn / reflux, I didn’t really sleep. 5am arrived and I was up and showering, butterflies going mental in my stomach. It was finally here, the day you would both arrive and make our family complete.

When we arrived at the hospital there were some questions to answer, tags to put on, and a gorgeous set of gown, hat and slip on bits of material that supposedly passed for shoes, to put on. Your daddy and I then had an hour and a half to sit and wait, to talk about your imminent arrival, try to narrow down your names (still no luck, we decided to wait until you were both here and see what you looked like), and pretty much dispel our nerves until it was my turn to go and be prepped for surgery.

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After what seemed months the anaesthetist and a midwife came to get me and I was led to my doom the theatre. That’s when the horror fun began. I’ve had a Caesar before so I was aware of the process of getting a spinal and was prepared for the cold smear of antiseptic solution, the sharp little pricks of the local, and then the pressure as the spinal was administered. The whole process was a breeze last time and I had no qualms going through it all again. What I wasn’t prepared for was the absolute shocking pain that then ensued. Turns out when you have been in chronic pain for the last 8 weeks or so it makes your back, or more accurately, your muscles HYPER SENSITIVE. So instead of pressure as the spinal and epidural was being administered I experienced excruciating pain in my right hip and mid back. Pain that had me screaming and pulling away from the needle, although I was trying my hardest to stay still. I was begging them to get it done quickly but of course they couldn’t even get the needle into the cavity between my vertebrae as my arthritis had calcified the bone.

Now if you’ve never had a spinal block before you may not know the awkward position you are in whilst it is happening. Here I was hunching over, hugging a pillow to my large stomach, pushing my spine out. An orderly was pulling one of my shoulders forward and my head down and a midwife was holding my hand and holding down my other shoulder. I feel so sorry for that poor midwife. I wouldn’t be surprised if her hand ended up severely bruised if not sprained or broken! My face was awash with tears, covered in snot and saliva, and bright red. After 45min the head anaesthetist took over, let me know if he couldn’t do it I’d have to be given a general (put under) and he worked his magic. I cried harder because a general was not an option for me, repeatedly apologised for my fuss, and continually assured all and sundry I was not lying it was really, really hurting. So all-in-all we were off to a great start!!

I remember being gently laid onto the table as my legs started getting hot pins and needles sensations and your dad was FINALLY led into the room. It was what I needed, your dad there to help make me feel safe and calm again. He took one look at my face and rushed over to hug and kiss me. He spent the rest of the surgery until Harper arrived rubbing my arm and trying to soothe me. Although I had been through hell I was ready to put it behind me and move on to meeting you both. I was still very excited if a little shaky.

The curtain was put in place and the surgeons were ready to begin. I found it weird but a nice touch that I could see both of the doctors operating on me as last time the only view I had was blue sheet. As I looked up at the kindly grandfather-like face of the head surgeon I remarked it was taking a while. Apparently second (and subsequent) c-sections take longer as they recut the original scar and it takes great precision and concentration. I was again feeling impatient and just wanted to yell at them to hurry up, I just wanted to meet you both. All of a sudden there was a great feeling of relief, of a huge pressure being lifted, and I could breathe properly again (although I had been unaware I was having any troubles at all). I actually yelled “OH MY GOD” then had to explain why as I had everyone more than a little concerned. It would have been funny had there not been two doctors elbow deep in my uterus at the time. I chuckle now thinking of it but am sure everyone else was unimpressed. Hubby certainly was. Next moment I had a red, squirming, loudly protesting bubba thrust into my view. “It’s the girl” some medical somebody pronounced and Harper was whisked away to be examined. It was 11:38, you were crying and a healthy 3.176kg (7 pounds), and I had tears streaming down my face in joy.

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But we weren’t finished yet. Now it was Declan’s turn. Your dad was bouncing between checking on Harper and coming back so he didn’t miss the arrival of Declan. Again there was a great sense of relief but this time no cry. I had a brief glimpse of a smaller baby but was given no time to look. The tears started again but this time it was from fear. What’s wrong with my baby, where is he, why isn’t he crying I kept asking again and again. Midwives, the anaesthetist and your dad kept reassuring me everything was fine, Declan was just in an alcove room as there wasn’t enough room for us all together. I now know that wasn’t actually true. Although your dad was unaware everyone else knew Declan needed help. His APGAR score was only 3 and he needed a CPAP machine to help get some extra oxygen. However at the 5 minute mark he improved considerably and I heard a high pitch scream that I thought was Harper. When I was told it was actually Declan the tears of relief came and I remarked “but he sounds like a girl”. Maybe not the best thing to say but it was all I could think of. Declan you were (and still are) smaller then your sister, weighing in at 2.7kg (5lb 15oz), only 3 minutes younger but seeming so much more frail. Once you were both OK and I had a good look you were taken into recovery as I was having some minor problems.

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After a while, not sure how long but enough to make me wonder how much longer it was gonna bloody take, I was put back together. I’d had a few extra jabs of who knows what because, as per usual, I had haemorrhaged. With a litre of blood lost, as they were wheeling me off, I began to feel very queasy. So queasy in fact I began to chant, well mumble, “I’m gonna be sick”, over and over again. I had the shakes from the epidural, was feeling a little miserable, but so very excited to be finally making my way to you both.

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Positivity ….. gone

I have turned into THAT pregnant lady. The one I never thought I would be, the one I never foresaw coming, the one I really, really, really don’t want to be. But I find that no matter how much I don’t want to be that woman I can’t actually stop myself being that woman!

I am crabby, I am sooky, I find myself constantly moaning, bitching and whinging. I know I am no fun for anyone, there is no sunshine bursting forth, no pregnant woman glow. I am sure people are sick of hearing me complain, listening to my bemoaning my situation, reading my negative texts. I know there are people in worse situations than me. Intellectually I know it’s not much longer and I can do it. However physically and emotionally I DON’T know any of this. I don’t feel it and no matter how much I try to logic myself into feeling it I just can’t. And I HATE it and really dislike myself for not being able to change it.

I have my reasons for feeling this way but truly I feel pathetic because they are pathetic and there are people living real problems that have it far worse than me. I could blame the hormones, but really what a cop out.

I am in agony. I mean true never ending agony, in the lower half of my body. I walk like I am just learning and a shuffle is the extent of my ability to move. Standing hurts, moving hurts, sitting hurts, lying down hurts. I take Panadol to help but it does nothing. I can’t take Panadeine Forte because I have a low tolerance and can’t pass out with a 4 year old in the house. This pain affects my ability to sleep and I find myself waking a few times a night having to get up and wander around to loosen up.

I am EXHAUSTED. The type of exhaustion that comes from being in agony all day every day for over a month mixed with an unhealthy dose of being unable to sleep. I’m existing on approximately 4 – 5 hours a night, broken of course. Between the constant urinating, the loosening up, the hand swelling that needs to be run under water, it doesn’t leave too much time for sleep. Then there is the insomnia that kicks in when I go to bed. The exhaustion I feel does not equal the ability to actually go to sleep.

One of the worst things is the tears. I find myself crying on and off during the day. Sometimes I know why, sometimes I don’t. I find when I speak to hubby on the phone I get off and then cry. I am lonely. I wish he was home all the time because when he’s here I feel less emotional. He is my rock and so supportive. But someone has to work. This is also in no way me trying to secretly complain about my friends. They are amazing and supportive. But people work, have lives, and other commitments. I also don’t want to be the needy friend who can’t leave the house but expects everyone to be at my beck and call.

I am housebound because even using the crutches it hurts to walk and I don’t get far because the pain gets too much or I get exhausted. I leave for Kinder drop offs and pick ups, and hospital appointments. I am finding driving is becoming hard and am hoping I can continue to the end just for these short trips.

But in all honesty I know what the biggest cause is. It is the blatant disregard that I am being shown by most medical professionals I have the “pleasure” to deal with. I leave appointments, and more recently emergency, feeling as if I don’t exist. That my person has been relegated to a baby baking machine (or an incubator as per this post) and that my needs, health and suffering are of no consequence. It is demoralising to know health care professionals can actually see the pain and exhaustion I am suffering, comment on it, and yet also disregard it out of hand. It is hurtful to hear a doctor answer my husbands question of “how much does she need to suffer” with an answer that amounts to “as long as the twins are OK who cares”. It is frustrating to hear that EASTER is the reason why I must wait a week longer in pain than is usual and to hear one of my obstetricians discuss a woman due the day before me being shown consideration and being given a date much earlier than mine, a woman with no complications at all. It makes me feel as if I don’t matter. It also makes me feel as if I am being selfish if I so much as think of complaining about anything that is occurring in my body.

The worst feeling I am suffering though is guilt. The guilt of not being able to parent my 4 year old daughter the way I want. That I can not fully be there for her in the way she deserves. I feel guilt and shame about the decline in the appearance of my home and that the onus of the upkeep falls to my husband who already does so much and takes on more than he really should have to. I feel I am letting down the two people who mean the most to me, no matter how understanding they are, how supportive, how loving. Sometimes that just makes me feel worse.

And all of the above are the things that I whinge, moan and complain about. These are the things I am sick of experiencing, sick of sharing, sick of living. It’s all too much at the moment and I am really not handling it all that well. I know how I feel is not healthy or productive. It is not helpful but it is also not something I seem to be able to help. I know it is not normal to feel this way and will raise it with someone at my next appointment but am not confident I will be heard. I wish I could just snap out of this funk, brush it off and get over it. I wish it was that easy. I also wish that a part of me, a strong part, did not get so disappointed in my current state, did not want to slap it out of me. Usually I am so strong, so confident, so together (if only outwardly) and I am proud. Usually too proud to even admit that I am not coping. Usually I will say I am fine when I am not because I find it easier to deal on my own, or with my husband who in all honesty is the only person I would usually share so much with (no use hiding it he can always see it, he knows me too well inside and our). I am also scared of being judged, of appearing weak.

This post, although cathartic, scares me more than anything I have written. This post is the absolute commitment to my promise about my blog, my reasons for writing a blog. This post reflects me truly in this moment and is more honest than I have been with most people around me lately. There are parts people close to me know, the people I trust to listen and not judge (not that others will, the trust issue is mine alone) but this is it all laid out bare in one setting. This post scares me so much it is currently a draft set to publish later in the week. I need time to be brave or to decide this post was just for me, to vent.

I hope I am brave enough to share and that you get to read this …

I have decided to post this because for weeks this is how I have been feeling. Today however, I am feeling more positive. In 2 weeks the bubbas will be here, the weather was beautiful today, and even though I am in a lot of pain I have also managed to remember those things for which I am grateful. I hope this change stays.

Thank you to Wildchildonboard for saving this post. It somehow deleted but not before it was sent to her Feeddler RSS app. I owe you. It wasn’t until it was gone that I realised no matter how mixed up my emotions were about it and sharing it, it was important to me!

Not Just An Incubator!

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I was looking forward to my 32 week appointment at the hospital. This was the appointment where my caesar was to be booked, or so I had been told by every obstetrician and midwife I had seen leading up to this point. It was an “overbook” appointment meaning two doctors would be in attendance. I agreed that a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesar) was too risky with twins (two lots of pushing putting double the strain on my previous scar) and as I like to be organised (not that you can tell looking at my house a lot of the time but I swear its true) getting this date was reassuring for me. Of course I also understand twins can come early so this date was just an “if not before” booking.

I was somewhat confused when I was called in and there was only one obstetrician but thought I had gotten that part of it wrong when we began the paperwork for the caesarian. It wasn’t until the obstetrician began wrapping up the appointment I asked about the date. I was given the idiotic very helpful answer that “someone will call you sometime to arrange that”.. Yes that is a direct quote. No, really, a direct word-for-word quote. I questioned this as my paper schedule I was given at my very first appointment, and everyone else I had seen, had told me something very different. He was adamant. “So can you at least give me an approximate date please, I have a four year old at home I need to organise, and my husband’s work to inform?” I asked very politely (a warning sign for anyone who knows me. Just like my Dad, the more polite I get the greater I am getting pissed off and the more trouble there will be). Normally elective caesars are booked for the Friday of the 37th week apparently and so I was looking at around the 29th of March.

Now here is the problem with that date, it’s Good Friday. This is not a problem for me but is for the hospital apparently. “Don’t worry we’ll just push you out to 38 weeks” I was cheerily informed.

OK now here’s my problem with that solution:
1. I seriously don’t think I can physically make it to 38 weeks even if the twins can. I’m already on modified bed rest (no bed -unless I want to lol – but very limited activity) and I have to use crutches because of my pelvic instability.
2. I hate when plans change when they’ve been considered set (I know not good but it’s true)
3. I will admit it was also a big excitement killer, or let down, to have another week just whacked onto the end willy-nilly

I did try to explain point one as eloquently as possible, without crying as I know that wouldn’t help, but knew it wasn’t doing any good. Either he couldn’t or wouldn’t adjust the date.

So here is what has me most upset and just a little angry. I DO NOT want these precious bubbas to come before it is safe for them to do so. I DO NOT want my pain, discomfit or inability to basically move put them in a position where NICU or special care was required. I definitely DO NOT want my impatience excitement to meet them to put them at risk. However there must certainly be a time where it is agreed my babies are in the good to go zone and my physical, mental and emotional health can then become a priority too, yes? If 37 weeks is full term for twins what is the difference between 36 +6 and 37 +1 (original thought for date)?

What upset and angered me most was that I left feeling that my pain and inability to move very far was not a consideration. What I felt was that I was a vessel carrying two precious bundles, a thing with no rights or feelings, some thing not to be considered. And I am definitely NOT JUST AN INCUBATOR!

What do you think? Am I over reacting, hormonal, or selfish? Or am I justified in these thoughts? Or is it somewhere in between?

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The Meltdown That Had To Happen

There I was, standing in a deserted toy aisle at the local KMart, on the phone to hubby, having my own personal meltdown. Sobbing like my heart was breaking or a dear friend had died. Out of control, ashamed and hiding, distressed and past the point of holding on.

Why? What happened? I hear you ask.

Because I couldn’t print the photos that Niamh needed for Kinder and her daycare homework, and they were already late.

Because the Bluetooth on the self-serve machines did not work, the Facebook link up wouldn’t let me type, the cables were not for an iPhone 5 (although signage about the faults would have been nice and saved me 20 minutes).

Because it took 20 FUCKING MINUTES to walk from the closest car park to the entrance of the store in my granny shuffling way. Even with the oh-so-sexy tuby grip and belly brace on.

Because I was tired from the constant trips to the loo, the constant heartburn and inability to get comfortable in bed that has occurred every night for months.

Because a trip to the chemist and KMart took almost 2 hours instead of the pre-third trimester 20 minutes.

Because Niamh had had a sooky, wilful, “I won’t do it just because you asked me to” kind of morning before going off to Kinder and it took all of my willpower not to react and stay calm.

Because I was in agony and could hardly walk.

Because I feel useless and frustrated about how little I am physically able to do now.

Because I uttered the words “I’m over it” but then was horrified at how selfish that sounded and what the alternative is.

Because I am terrified these babies are going to come early and go to NICU, much earlier than I feared.

Because I got a huge scare on the weekend when I was rushed to hospital in unending pain that felt like everything on my left side was being torn to shreds or broken.

Because I realised how naive and overconfident I have been, maybe even cocky, and its been hard having to face that.

Because I have not organised everything I need for these bubbas yet and have been reminded I am not ready (see above as to why) even though I have organised some things.

Because I am pregnant with twins and the hormones raging at this point are at heavy-duty strength.

Because I have been told to rest but I feel guilty doing it, but then feel guilty if I don’t because I don’t want to risk the twins.

Because even though they don’t mean anything by it, wouldn’t even think for a second I would take it that way, would be mortified if they knew it upset me, people have made comments that have compounded the guilt I feel having to rest. And so I push myself and then feel guilty about not taking medical advice.

Because I find it near impossible to ask for help no matter how much I know I really do need it. And when it’s offered I feel guilty (don’t ask cause I’m really not 100% sure why, although I have my suspicions).

And probably a whole lot more that I’m not even aware of on a conscious level!

Now that I’ve got it out there I feel better, not fantastic but better, and all I can do is take on the lessons I have learnt this week and move on:

I need to respect my body, listen to it and do what I am told.

I need to put the needs of the twins first.

I need to ask for help.

I need to stop feeling guilty and realise that the reason for resting is the greatest one of all.

I need to give myself a break and stop thinking I need to be perfect. It’s ok to feel crap, and complain, and share, and then move on.

Have you ever just had enough after trying to keep it altogether and positive for too long? How did you deal and move on?

Firsts

Yesterday seemed to be a day for firsts in my family. New experiences, new feelings, and new worries.

First and foremost, yesterday was Niamh’s “first” day at Kinder. You may wonder why I have put that in the universal finger quotes? It’s because officially the first “real” day is Wednesday. But yesterday my darling daughter and I went to her Kinder to participate in her small group interview. This was the first time she had been in the building, met the teachers and some of her classmates, and got a chance to play and explore. It was a big moment for me and I admit I nearly cried (I’m blaming these damn hormones that are running rampant and have taken absolute control of my body!). Needless to say Niamh loved every minute, didn’t want to leave when the session was over, and is very much looking forward to Wednesday.

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Yesterday was also the first full day I have taken off work just to spend time with Niamh. I know how that sounds but I promise I’m not a nasty workaholic mum who has no time for her child. Since I had to go back to work all of my sick and personal days have been spent looking after Niamh when she was sick. Unfortunately that has been a lot of the time over the last three years. Daycare will do that to a child. The upside is that I am very confident there will be very little school missed next year as Niamh now has a kick-ass immune system! Either way, I made the decision that yesterday instead of taking Niamh to daycare and rushing back to work, we would spend the day together and enjoy just being together. I know once the twins arrive those times will be severely limited, especially at the start. And I’ll be honest, yesterday was lovely and just what we needed.

Another first for me yesterday, experiencing what I can only believe was a braxton hick contraction. Now I know what you are thinking, hang on doesn’t she already have a child, hence already been pregnant, hence why is this a first????? (Lots of hences I know). But I can unequivocally and without a doubt state that this was indeed a first (lucky last time I guess). And wowser I’m glad this was a first. When these are explained you think small cramp. Now I’m not sure if my body just got overexcited and went all out, but this pain was more than I had expected, longer than I expected, and put gastro pains to shame. I actually had to pull over the car and wait until it had subsided as it took all of my attention. I’m secretly hoping this was a first, and a last, lol.

And finally, the least pleasant first for the day. Last night was the first time I began to truly worry that I may not make it to the 37 week mark and that my precious babies might arrive earlier than that, perhaps much earlier. The thought of premature babies needing special care and a lengthy hospital stay scares the shit out of me. I know that if this was to happen I would cope, there is no other choice, but nobody wants to have to go through something like that. I know that my confidence up to this point has been short-sighted, over-confident and perhaps even a little arrogant, but the statistics are not something I have wanted to face. A large number of twins are born premature, most in fact from what I’ve been told by doctors and the like, and the 35th week seems to be a reoccurring theme amongst the mothers of twins I’ve spoken to. When full-term is considered 37 weeks you know there must be a reason. But Little Miss Denial me has happily ignored all of that. That is until yesterday. I am sure it was the braxton hicks that got me started on this train of thought. Couple that with the fact that both of my twins are currently measuring larger than their dates (based on the averages used) at 1.4kg and 1.3kg respectively and their body part measurements are at least a week bigger (I make big babies I’ve learnt, Niamh was always big for dates). Then there’s the part where I already feel like I did at the end of my last pregnancy (tired, sore, big and unable to move) and I’m only 29 weeks. This is obviously the wake up call I needed and I have determined to take it easier (and not beat myself up over this – actually harder than the doing less bit) and put myself and these babies first.

So overall it was a huge day of firsts for us! What firsts have you experienced lately? What did you learn, or change, from experiencing them? Or are you a mum of twins and have some advice or reassurance for me (both more than welcome and needed at the moment!)?

I hope you all have a great weekend full of amazing firsts.

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