September 17, 2013

Learning to survive

Reality has been setting in very very slowly for me.  The twins were born on May 20; but they didn't come home until June 19th.  In just days, they will have been home for three months.  How wonderful!  And we are finally getting into a good routine.

Our "getting into a good routine" looks a little like this:  I wake up anywhere from 9am-1pm, depending what time I went to sleep.  I pump and store the milk.  I prep a bottle for Liam and I get their prefolds and covers prepared and set them aside.  Sometimes I can take another little snooze and sometimes someone is already waking up.  Whoever wakes up first, gets changed and fed first.  I either breastfeed Ellyana or bottle feed Liam --sometimes they wake at the same time and I have to feed them simultaneously!  After they eat, Elly can stay awake for about 2-2.5 hrs and Liam only lasts about 1 hour, sometimes a little more.  They nap --hopefully around the same time.  *sometimes by the time Elly is ready to nap, Liam has already taken his nap and is ready for 'mommy time'.

Now, take that little chunk of schedule and repeat every 2-3 hours...


Sometimes it goes so smoothly, it feels like I'm running a home daycare again.  Other days don't go as smoothly and it feels like I'm secretly being tested on my multi-tasking, ability to fast several meals in a row, and potty break effeciency --like washing my hands while I tinkle... I'm joking!

If I'm still sane and able to function well by 9pm, I will remember to change them into their 'night time diaper' and pajamas.  They will usually get their last feeding between 10pm and 12am.  At least, that's the plan.  Ha!  *If there's one thing that I've definitely learned and come to terms with is that I can do all the planning in the world and sometimes it just doesn't make a difference!  Twins need things at different times, same times, and all the time.

Liam used to be asleep by 11pm and wake up 12-14 hours later (usually).  However, these last few days, he has been staying awake with me while I pump and then needing another bottle before he finally falls asleep for the night.  So, recently, that's been around 2:30/3am.  There are even nights that he just doesn't want to be put down until he is asleep and that leaves me pumping at 3/4am.

Ellyana used to be up all night long and fall asleep closer to 6 and 7 am.  Some mornings were as late as 8am!  You're thinking, "oh my!", I know... I still think that when I go to sleep with the rising of the sun.  Thankfully, the two of them have some what flip flopped.  Elly has been going to sleep around 11pm/12am and staying asleep for approximately 12 full hours.  These nights are definitely easier to manage.  Nothing like the earlier nights where they were both awake and wanting mommy.  And of course, the majority of those nights happened at the same exact time that I decided to hook myself up to the darn pump!  That's a whole other blog post...

So, this brings us right back to when I wake up and pump in the morning.  Now, repeat that schedule . . . everyday.  It never ends.

There is no "break" for me; I just eat whatever I can, whenever I have a free moment.  I rush to the bathroom inbetween bottle-feeding, breast feeding, pumping, carrying babies, and changing diapers.  (It's amazing how a new mommy's body accommodates the new demands --I'm drinking approximately 90-150 ounces of water a day and have realized that I can survive on approx 2-3 potty breaks during the "day time".  Where all that water goes, I have no idea!)

Do I shower?! Haha! Again, right now it's all based on "how important is it?"  Am I leaving the house or expecting guests that might care (haha! -seriously!)?  Do I smell funky? (Lol -gross!)  Do I need a few minutes to myself?  If the answer is "Yes" to any of those, then my response is "of course I shower!" (And when I do, it's normally in less than 10 minutes, normally around 3 or 4 am.  Or right before we plan on leaving, while Chris is awake and sitting with the babies)

There's no such thing as "night" and "day" really.  I do whatever they need as soon as they need it, whether it's the sun or moon that's shining.  (Including diaper laundry)  It all still pretty much feels like one long, very long, day.

What I am happy about is the fact that my "sleep" doesn't feel like just one of several naps anymore.  I'm actually getting a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep at night.  The most I've gotten has been 9 hours, I think (that ONE time)!  Now that's crazy impressive in my book.

So, we finally have some kind of schedule starting and I'm so glad!  I'm starting to feel a little more "normal" again, just over the last few days.  I feel like I can breath --just a little.  Phew!

Well, this is it... how I survive.  :)

September 11, 2013

Facing Reality

I'm still awake.  The twins have been sleeping for about an hour now; yet, here I am —still awake.  I'm just not sleepy.

I've neglected blogging for many reasons.  The main reason is I lack time management skills right now.  The hidden reason is I don't know exactly what to write about anymore.  Strange, I know.  This blog has gone through my many different seasons:  happy marriage, troubled marriage, parenting a public schooled child, homeschooling, fostering/adoption journey, infertility/trying to conceive, aggravating health issues, IVF, twin pregnancy, and now... learning how to raise babies all over again and readjusting to a "new normal".

I wish I made time everyday to write a little something about our day.  But honestly, each entry would basically be the same:  "I fed the babies.  We played with them.  They smiled and coo'd.  Cloth diapering is still awesome and going very well.  They cried.  They napped.  I'm exhausted.  KJ had a great (or not-so-great) day.  My emotions kind of suck again today... etc."  ::pause::  yeah, my emotions really do kind of suck and that's what I'm choosing to blog about tonight.  I've always tried to be myself and keep things "real" here, on my blog.  Well, this is real.  My life right now is super crazy at times, with feedings, diaper changes, sleep deprivation, 9 yr old melt-downs, and unspoken tension.  However, my life right now is also super blessed!  I mean, serious prayers have been answered.  God blessed our family with way more than we ever imagined.  But hormones and emotions still feel out of whack and sometimes I feel like I'm loosing my joy (not my "I'm in love with my babies" joy (that's still at 100%!!).  More like my "I'm in love with life", as a whole, kind of joy).

All I want to do is lay around and only get up to feed my babies, really.  In my mind, I always plan tomorrow out to be different.  "I'm going to wake up at a decent hour and do something with my day."  I always plan to go for a walk or clean 'this' and 'that'.  I always plan on organizing something around the house to get somewhat of my 'old self' back.  But I either feel too exhausted and I'd rather not use up my "resting time" to clean and organize or I just don't "feel like it".  Yet, I can't stand that every day goes by and I don't do enough cleaning or organizing around here.  Doesn't make much sense.  I want to but I don't.  I think it's more like I've lost the "care" to do anything other than take care of my children.

That can't be healthy, right?

Now, after having my first daughter, back in 2004, I fell into [postpartum] depression.  I had no idea then.  I didn't figure it out until years later.  I looked back and realized that I really wasn't the healthiest, emotionally, that I could have been.  This time around, I kept saying I knew what to look for.  I fought hard in the beginning to stay focused on all the positive around me.  I openly discussed my thoughts and feelings with Chris and others that asked.  I felt "ready", in a sense, to tackle the postpartum stage.

Lately, I've started to wonder "what really qualifies as clinical depression?".  I'm only human.  I know that it's okay to have some low feelings.  I know that not every moment of every day will feel wonderful.  I know that this is just a phase and horrible concoction of 'new mommy hormones', sleep deprivation, mixed with health issues and a very slow recovery from the c-section —all on top of Chris recently going back to working 12+ hr days (after having 12 weeks off), leaving me to feel like I'm doing this all alone.  And I feel like such a baby when I fall into the "I'm just so tired" [whiny] mind set.  I knew I was going to have to be the one up with them during the night, since Chris leaves for work as early as 6am on most days.  I knew that I would be caring for three children during the day.  I just had no idea that my body would take this long to fully recover.  I had also forgotten what it felt like to get absolutely NO break from the never ending 'baby days'.

I will definitely take responsibility where needed:  my eating habits.  I have gone nuts-o with eating whatever I want, however much of it I want.  It's so HORRIBLE!!!  I've always been an emotional eater and right now it's probably at it's worse!  It's just a viscous, never-ending, cycle.  I wake up feeling blah, so I eat whatever I find.  Then my body feels uck again and I think of something else "yummy" to go and munch on.  Then I get bummed out that I'm just eating junk . . . and yes, then I go and eat more junk!  And I've read and heard so much about how food affects moods.  These last few days, I've really tried to be more mindful about what I'm putting in my body.  I'm trying to get back to the healthier mind-set I had while I was pregnant, working hard to keep my babies healthy and in as long as possible.

So, I decided to be a bit transparent about this phase of my life right now in hopes to gain some insight from others' experiences and also in hopes to help others know that battling these ups and downs is "normal".  It might not be a healthy normal but regardless, it happens and no one is alone in this.  That I do know.

I am in constant prayer and I do know that soon I will be able to look back on this time and know it was only part of this wonderful journey I am on.

... and now I shall pump and try to get some sleep!
Thanks for your constant support, love, and prayers.