Sunday, January 20, 2013

More than our fair share of sick

Well, the inevitable happened – James and Andrew both ended up with the Norovirus.  Luckily the girls haven’t got it, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that their immunities are well built from breastfeeding so they’ll be fine.  I would feel terrible if they got sick.

It was several nights ago, James was run-down from his cold, but otherwise seemed fine, and then I went for my sleep shift.  45 minutes in, I’m woken up to James telling me I had to get up because the babies were fussy but he was sick.  I knew exactly what he was going through after just having finished the process myself, so I felt SO bad for him.  I also felt extremely anxious and freaked out because the harsh reality sunk in that I would be having to single-handedly (at least mostly) prepare us for our move, and our weekend plans of going on a blitz getting ready for it would no longer be happening.  I was so stressed out (and in some ways still am, but I’m trying to be calm!)

James seemed to have a bit of a milder case of the sickness than I did, although he had it pretty bad and is still recovering.  Andrew came down with it the day before yesterday…We knew he had it when he threw up all over his bed…He had a way milder case, though – more than anything, he’s just been a lot more tired than usual and taking long afternoon naps.

I’m now coming down with the cold James had before he got the virus.  Can’t I get a break?!!  My gawd!  I hope this is the end of sickness for us for a LONG time.  I just want to focus on our move and enjoy the process as much as possible, rather than feeling so stressed, strapped for time, and too exhausted to properly work at getting us packed.  I accomplished a lot today, but it wasn’t nearly what we’d had planned to do before any of us got sick.  So frustrating.

BUT in less than a week we’ll be in the new place.  And my AWESOME dad painted the kids rooms for us this weekend!  I can’t wait till Andrew sees his.  He picked the colour for both his room and his sisters’ room.  His is Little Boy Blue and the girls’ is Bunny Nose Pink.  When you go up the stairs and turn the corner toward their rooms, it reminds me of Easter eggs!  Lol  I love it.  It’ll be so cool once Andrew’s superhero wall decals arrive so we can get his theme going, and I’ve ordered some cute prints for the girls’ room, which will have an owl theme to it.  I’m so excited to be decorating their rooms!  Now to get rid of this cold and get my energy back (what little I had, that is!) so I can be more productive…Less than a week till we’re in the new place…Eeek!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A long post about the flu, milk (or lack thereof), moving, and children

Not only have I not been journaling AT ALL (which makes me so sad because I’ve been so good at keeping up with it for so long), but I haven’t even turned my computer on since whenever I last posted on here!  I rarely ever use it anymore, now that I have an iPhone…oh yeah, and two more kids LOL.

I feel sad about not writing much because I’m not documenting all the little details about the girls and our lives right now, like I was able to do when it was just Andrew.  It was so much simpler then, now I just can’t find a moment to myself at all most days.  Moments to myself pretty much ALWAYS consist of bathing, napping, or running a quick errand for diapers or groceries or what have you.  THAT’S IT.  ME TIME, what’s that?  It’s a distant memory, which means it’s pretty much nothing because my memory is basically shot these days.  Ha!

I feel great though.  And the reason for that greatness?  Today is the day I suddenly felt better after a four day flu from HELL.  It was the Norovirus and somehow I managed to get it (and thank gawd no one else in this house has got it so far, and hopefully they won’t, because I wouldn’t wish the way I felt on my worst enemy) despite the fact that I rarely ever leave the house…So unfair!

It was the worst flu I’ve ever had, which isn’t putting it into proper perspective given how few flus I’ve ever had.  But it was SO BAD, I can’t even explain it.  I only threw up a few times (thank gawd, I mean honestly, like I didn’t just go through my share of vomiting for, like, years, after a double pregnancy!) but I felt nauseous pretty much the entire time, and I still have almost no appetite (so unlike me!)  I felt super nauseous, I was feverish constantly so I had spells of sweats and then freezing cold over and over which was brutal, I had bowel issues that we won’t talk about, I was SO ACHY, so freaking achy I cringe thinking about it.  I had a severe headache for 2 days of it, and had scary dizzy spells.  All of it was horrendous and I started to feel as though I was never going to feel better, because I kept feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed by all the symptoms.  It was awful.

But this morning I woke up and felt amazingly better, and I sort of felt like Scrooge on Christmas Morning.  I sort of felt like dancing a jig!  I had so much energy and just felt alive again.

The only thing that’s plaguing me still, and is totally stressing me out…is that the flu caused my milk supply to take a serious nosedive.  I am used to being able to pump full bottles nearly every time I pump – so 4oz on each side (or more) in about 10 minutes.  Not every time – often one side pumps a bit more than the other, but always enough to satisfy each baby, and I generally have 3-5 bottles in the fridge so as they go down I’m able to replenish before they run out entirely.  It would be a very rare occurrence to be down to one bottle, I feel nervous if there’s not enough left for someone else (usually James, of course) to help with feedings!  I do nurse the babies in between, of course, they nurse many times a day/night, but the pumping has never stopped.  Until this flu.

Basically I was OK-ish for the first day of it, and then the supply just dwindled, and while I HAVE managed to pump SOME milk over the past several days, it has been so minimal, and NOT enough to satisfy the babes.  We had something like 5 bags (roughly 4-5oz in each bag) of milk in the freezer as ‘stock up’ and now we are down to ONE.  And we’ve had to give them formula.  It has been SO stressful for me.  I’m praying that my supply goes up again and this isn’t going to be the end for me, because for one I’m not ready to give up nursing my babies but also because we literally can’t afford formula for 2 babies, it’s too expensive and we’re already going to be spending several hundred dollars a month more given how much more expensive our new place is.  So formula in my mind just isn’t even an option for us, not even half, because when you think about it, ‘half’ formula for 2 babies is full formula for one!  And my babies, I swear they eat more than the average baby!  They are ravenous, like, 24/7!  And they LOVE mommy’s milk!  And I’m used to being able to provide it!!!!!

So hopefully the supply goes back up.  I’ve been nursing them and they still seem satisfied with it most of the time (I heard that when ill, the body will produce less milk due to dehydration etc, but that the milk produced is higher calorie than normal, so a smaller amount is almost the same as if they were getting the extra ounces)…but if I nurse, I can’t get anything out at all when I try to pump.  And I’ve had people tell me NOT to supplement no matter what I do and just nurse, nurse, nurse – but if all I was doing was nursing while sick, how was I supposed to rest and get better?  I HAD to allow for supplementing because otherwise I’d never have slept! 

I’m still totally worried about my supply, but I’m doing everything in my power to get it up.  I nurse, pump regularly, I’ve been eating oatmeal, drinking a special tea from the health food store that’s good for milk production, getting as much rest as I can…Drinking lots of water.  Oh, I even tried drinking beer because I read that hops can help make the breasts engorged with milk, and as much as engorgement is uncomfortable I am WANTING that feeling now, to know that the milk is back!  I hadn’t had a beer in I think close to 5 years, which when I think about it is CRAZY but seriously I think it had been that long!  I used to drink beer way back in the day (I’m talking rez days at SFU and early 20s mostly!) to get drunk, but I’ve never really been one to want to sip a beer because I truly enjoy the flavour.  So having it when getting over a flu and still being too nauseous to eat a lot was kind of gross timing for it, but I figured I’d try anything!  (And for the record I’ve been trying my best to eat what I can, and have managed prenatal vitamins to at least ensure I was getting what I needed for the babies)…But so far I’m just not noticing enough improvement.  I’m thinking positive thoughts that by tomorrow things will start to ‘perk up’ – Haha (yeah right, like they will EVER be perky, SO not gonna happen!!)  lol

Well now that we’ve discussed the girls (and I don’t mean the babies!) I have to say that I have NO IDEA how I’d have got through the flu without James.  WOW.  He did EVERYTHING!  He was so amazing, I honestly don’t know how he took on absolutely everything for me.  He looked after all the kids, made meals, kept up at least on some of the chores, and he let me rest pretty much whenever I needed to.  It was INCREDIBLE and if I hadn’t had him doing all of that I have NO IDEA how I would have survived.  So I’m very grateful for having such an amazing husband.  I chose wisely!!

Unfortunately he has come down with a reeeeally bad cold, and it’s pretty much at its worst right now, which sucks but at the same time thank goodness for the small miracle of the fact that I got better before he got worse!  And let’s hope it remains ‘just’ a cold and he doesn’t end up with the same virus I had (which I know I called a flu even though technically it’s not, but it’s very flu like, if not worse!!)

I just wish he hadn’t used up all his sick days in the first 2 weeks of January when he doesn’t get any more till the start of NEXT January  =(  THAT kinda stresses me out…

Oh yeah, to top it all off, did I mention we are moving in less than 2 weeks?  Yep, we are.  And I’m a little stressed about that, too, although also VERY excited.  We already have the keys to the new place and tonight we went over and had a little pizza picnic and checked the place out a little more.  Andrew is so excited about it, and it was the girls’ first time there and they seemed totally relaxed right away – which sounds ridiculous, they’re 3 months old (already – it’s crazy, I know!!) so they had no idea they were in their new home and I know that, I’m not insane!  But I thought they seemed very at home there, and I liked that!  They slept through our picnic so we had a bit of a chance to talk about placement of furniture and fun things like that (at least until Andrew got annoying due to the Coca Cola we let him have with the pizza as a treat to toast the new place…oops on our part!)  There are definitely some issues with the place that are going to take me some time to get used to, but there are so many things that make up for those issues.  We really felt at home there tonight, even though all we had there with us besides each other were a couple of blankets and some pizza.  But then, what else could we possible need?!  LOL

So much I want to write about, like how smiley the girls are (which is VERY!), and how they are both cooing more and more (Margaret started first, even though Emily always made so much grunting noise in the beginning and we figured she’d be the one with the voice!  But now Emily has started cooing more too, and it’s the cutest thing ever, both of them)…How they both enjoy sitting up and as soon as we are in the new place I plan on getting them Exersaucers because I think they are going to love those every bit as much as their big brother did, and it was his favourite thing ever as a baby!)  I want to be documenting their day to day, but I’ll get going on that hopefully more regularly once we’ve moved and are settled in.  Even if I could just find the time like this to sit down a couple of times a week…I will strive to make that happen!

I just love the girls SO MUCH.  And Andrew continues to be an amazing big brother, he just adores his sisters and loves to kiss them or try to help when they’re crying (which sometimes ends up being somewhat less than helpful, but he means well!)  He is super adorable as well, of course, and I don’t want to stop writing about all the cute things he does because of the babies…One funny thing he did this past week was he thought I was watching tv and he went to his bedroom door in the middle of the night when I was up and said, ‘Mommy, are you enjoying watching your shows out there?’  I said, ‘Actually I’m not watching shows, I’m writing on my computer!’ (so obviously it was the last time I used my computer that he did this) and he replied, ‘Oh, ok, I’ll just go back to bed then!’  LOL  Yes, I have to make an effort to write about Andrew and the girls more often, more regularly.  Of course I should have other things to talk about too, but all in good time!  I really don’t know how some people manage – dealing with 3 kids and almost nothing more is about all I can take on, truthfully, and I have my overwhelmed days just at that.  Tackling moving with 3 month old twins and a 4 yr old is proving to be VERY challenging.  Very challenging, indeed.  Suffice it to say, I believe we will be madly packing the night before the move to finish up, and we won’t even begin the cleaning process till the move has taken place.  BUT it WILL all get done, right, because it has to, so I’ll just keep reminding myself of that!

I just can’t help but say one more time in relation to the girls, how much I adore them.  James and I have both found ourselves saying quite a few times that we honestly couldn’t imagine NOT having twins.  I just couldn’t picture it!  I love both my girls SO MUCH and they are both so precious and unique and fill my heart with so much joy.  To imagine just one baby, it doesn’t even make sense to me!  Yes, twins ARE a lot of work, but the pay off just in love alone makes it all worthwhile!

(Insert adorable children picture here --> as if I have had time to upload my photos!!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Just a few more weeks and we're out of here!

The girls have so far pulled through from the shots AMAZINGLY.  Basically the only side effect they’ve had is the drowsiness, which is kind of awesome…Or, rather, should I say, WOULD be awesome for me if it wasn’t for Andrew!  If he would let me rest, I’d have been able to totally catch up on sleep today because the girls have slept SO much.  Emily had a fussy patch for a couple of hours this afternoon, but by fussy all I really mean is she wanted to be held and feel ‘involved’ in what Andrew and I were doing (which was sorting and packing boxes!)  Margaret has slept almost the whole day through, just waking for quick feeds and going back to sleep.  Both of them have been full of grins, which has been SO sweet to see.  Margaret grinned so big that she let out a little squeal as if she was laughing at the same time, too cute!!  So they didn’t get fevers or anything negative from their immunizations, at least not at this point and you’d think if they were going to it would have happened by now.  Not feeding as much has also meant I was able to pump a little extra milk, so maybe I can freeze one feeding’s worth (unless they go on a frenzy tonight to make up for lost time, which is always possible!!)

Today a couple came through to view the condo, and another woman was supposed to have been by now but never called to say she wasn’t coming so I’m sort of waiting around not knowing if she’ll show or not (which is super annoying, not that I was planning on going anywhere, but I feel like I can’t put my pajamas on, or let things get any less tidy than they already are, just in case she suddenly calls to say she’s on her way).  I really liked the couple that came through today, actually everyone who’s viewed the place so far has been really friendly.  It doesn’t matter ultimately who ends up living here, for my sake, since obviously this place isn’t tied to us in any way, but it would be nice to have a good feeling about the next tenants, especially since we might run into each other, given how close we are going to be living to here!  LOL

I’m getting so excited/NERVOUS about our big move, omg.  We get the keys in less than a week, AAAHHHHH!!!  We’re not moving till near the end of the month, but still, we can start moving bits and pieces over when we have time (which means not much at all, since it’s kind of hard to do much of anything with 3 small kids in tow…I can’t even take the garbage out these days if I wanted to, not easily at least!)

Today I (with some help from Andrew!) spent a big chunk of time packing – kitchen stuff and books.  Still SO MUCH left to do and yet we have a crazy amount of boxes already packed, which scarily doesn’t even scratch the surface…I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  It’s so hard to find the time to get stuff done, the energy to do it properly…I have no get up and go, EVER, it seems.  BUT I am pretty excited about getting into the new space and setting up, so I’m just trying to remind myself of how great it’s going to be to have that extra space and feel like we’re living in a proper house with enough room for all of us!

The girls first shots

Written yesterday...(I'm always a day behind these days!!)

Today the girls went for their first immunizations.  I booked their appointment late and couldn’t get in when they were 8 weeks, so they got their shots at 12 weeks 2 days.  (I can’t believe they are going to be 3 months old in less than a week!!)

Emily is 14lbs and Margaret is just over 13, so they have nearly tripled their birth weight in just under 3 months.  Crazy!!  James and I figured they were around 11-12lbs, but 14?!  Wow!  Healthy girls!

Their shots went well, about as well as can be expected.  I had to go alone because I didn’t have anyone other than my mom who could help me out, and the best help was for her to watch Andrew for me while I took the girls on my own.  It was a little bit challenging with there being two babies, since it meant I couldn’t cuddle them as much as I would have after their shots if it was just one baby.  But twins seem to get used to that pretty quickly, or at least I think ours have!  They both get plenty of cuddles from many people, there is definitely no shortage of love for them.  But they seem to have more patience somehow than a singleton does, because they have to get used to sharing from day one. 

Emily went first, and I was a little nervous because I thought she would be the fussier of the two, since in general she is the more high strung baby (although it’s minimal, they are both such good girls).  She sobbed when the needles went in (2 in the left leg, one in the right…and an oral one that she didn’t seem to mind the taste of, though she spit out more of it than Margaret did, I swear Margaret would have had several more syringes of it if she could have!  lol)  And she cried a bit after the shots…I was worried that she would be fussing when I inevitably had to put her back in her car seat in the stroller to get Margaret out for her turn, but she settled right down and was calm as can be while Margaret got her shots. 

Poor Margaret though…I felt so bad for her.  I was reminded of how fragile seemed at birth, just because she was so skinny and tiny and just seemed like a fragile little baby compared to Emily.  She cried like I have never heard her cry before, and did a quivering lip thing that I’ve never seen her do either.  It just broke my heart to see her like that!  But it was fairly short lived.  Both babies cried a bit at the same time when I took them out of the room where the vaccinations were done, but I gave them both a bottle at the same time and they fell asleep after a few minutes, so I took them over to my mom’s and the rest is history!

At least that’s over and done with.  So far tonight they’ve been maybe a tiny bit fussier than usual but not really anything to speak of.  At least not yet!  No fevers or anything.  So hopefully they will just breeze right through.

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