Postpartum

I knew going into pregnancy that my anxiety could rear it’s ugly head after the girls were born. I am used to recognizing when it is off the scales, addressing it, and moving on. These are learned skills. I usually can pinpoint what is making me anxious and rationally deal with it to the best of my ability. When I can’t pinpoint the source is when things start to unravel.

I am used to anxiety from work, school, marriage. Anxiety from motherhood has been a huge wakeup call. Not only is it difficult for me to ascertain where exactly it is coming from, other than it is Evie and Liv related, but it is hard for me to talk myself down from.

As I have talked about before, getting Liv and Evie’s health insurance and pediatrician taken care of has been an uphill battle every step of the way. It still isn’t completely in place. There are still bills that need to be taken care of from their time in the NICU that I haven’t addressed because, hello, I do not have time to sit on hold, thank you very much. Second, they should be in an early intervention program to address any developmental delays they will experience due to being preemies. Still waiting on a call back from that program.

These things, as frustrating as they are, aren’t catastrophic problems. But they are enough to make me hyperventilate. And I don’t recognize that it is causing me so much anxiety until I am well into losing it. I was talking to a friend the other day when I accidentally stumbled across it. I have no idea how to manage the anxiety that comes along with being a new mom. Because hey, I am a NEW MOM. So on top of having twins being five million times harder than I anticipated, I am not responding to issues in a rational, collected way. Neat.

So, I did what I do. I took some of the time that I have when I have sitters and found a new therapist. I found a new psychiatrist. Both of these things are ridiculously time consuming. Taking my precious time when I could be on hold with the hospital about NICU bills to find myself adequate mental healthcare is hard to swallow. I feel like I am failing the girls by saying, hang on, I need to get my shit together.

I just keep telling myself I need to put my oxygen mask first, before putting theirs on.

IMG_3813

Evelyn & Olivia, 3 months

A little less than a week ago I just sat down in my bathroom and cried. And cried, and cried. Everyone says it gets easier and in some ways it does, but in some ways it gets harder. I am tired. There is plenty to say about life with two three month olds and I will try to say it, but I am tired. More tired than I have ever been.

Let’s break this down..

1) Sleep – Currently we feed the girls after dinner (somewhere between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.). We then attempt to get them to go to sleep. This can be a long process. We are lucky if everyone is asleep by 11 p.m. Then we are up again at 3 a.m. We feed them, change them, etc. and are hopefully back in bed by 4 a.m. Then they are up again at 6 a.m. Praise be to God that almost every morning all I have to do at 6 a.m. is wake up my parents and hand them babies. I then go back to sleep until 9:30 a.m. Rob is not so lucky. We are definitely spoiled because we have my parents, but I definitely am feeling the lack of sleep.

2) Food – I gave up on breastmilk last week. It was a hard decision that I still don’t feel 100% about. I just wasn’t making enough to justify continually spending a couple hours a day pumping. Those are hours that could be spent napping. Or cleaning. Or bathing people. They are getting formula now. I know that it isn’t going to kill them but I kind of feel like I suck at being a mom because I only made it 3 months. Also, speaking from experience, breastmilk tastes fine, kind of sweet. Formula tastes gross. So.. there’s that.

3) Growth – My little chunks are on either side of 11 pounds! Olivia is 11 lb 6 oz. Evelyn is 10 lb 13 oz. They have fat wrists and thighs and cheeks. They look like real babies more each day.

4) Personality – Both girls are big smilers and are right on the verge of laughing. It kills me. They are relatively happy babies. Life would be a breeze with just one of them. Olivia continues to be the louder of the two, but Evie is closer to laughing. They recognize voices and faces and they definitely know mom and dad.

5) Sanity – This week has been a good week. There have been bad weeks. And really bad days. Days where I felt like everyone who said, “it gets easier” deserved to be punched. Days where it felt like I was never going to be able to manage. So, what has saved me? My older sister. My birth group. My mom. Rob. Rob continues to keep me afloat when I feel like I am coming apart. I like to think I do the same for him. Jillian just recently was able to connect me with other moms of multiples and I feel like it is going to be a game changer. Like I said though, this has been a good week. A week where the smiles and coos far outweigh the crying and the lack of sleep.

6) Marriage – Rob and I have rarely turned on each other. We are a united front. Sometimes it does feel like it is us against them. Them being the little crazy people who think staying awake all night is awesome. But I was in for a rude awakening when I went to get birth control after having the girls. I have loved that I keep getting to see my OB. I have not loved the limited options because I was breastfeeding. Not anymore! Muahahaha. Rob and I are mainly able to grab some time together to snuggle.. nothing more.. in the middle of the night. But it keeps us connected. The rest can wait.

And now it is time.. for a month of cuteness.

IMG_3281Santa babies. Olivia | Evelyn

IMG_3311_2Nana with the girls. Great Nana, I suppose.

IMG_3315_2This just makes me laugh. Jake loves the girls.

IMG_0639Christmas Eve, look at us! We showered!

IMG_0645Rob’s dad came to visit over Christmas. The girls got to meet their Granddad!

IMG_3336Babies’ first Christmas! We didn’t get them many presents because.. what do they know?

Olivia | Evelyn

IMG_3377Right before bath we do naked time. Or naked time plus a diaper. Because naked time can get messy. The girls love it. They wiggle around like they are free!

Evelyn | Olivia

IMG_3352I can easily tell the girls apart right now and I actually want to get them tested to confirm that they are identical. Rob thinks I am crazy.  Evelyn has a much rounder head than Olivia. My OB told me this could just be down to how they were positioned in the womb..

IMG_3379

IMG_3359Evelyn is so close to laughing.. lots of squeaks!

IMG_3376

IMG_3397We take baths together. I just find it easier and the girls love it. I have been pooped and peed on multiple times. Oh motherhood.

IMG_3344_2The girls are getting much more alert and active and right now it is a struggle to keep them entertained because they aren’t capable of much. I thought this might work.. Clearly they are still a bit small for it! We put it away, hopefully in another month they will be ready.

IMG_3544_2New Year’s Eve! We went out to lunch and then stayed in. No partying for us this year. We were pretty okay with it.

IMG_3611Olivia | Evelyn

 

Red Tape

I don’t generally do politics here because who wants that? No one. But, I am going to have to dip my toe in the water here for just a second.

I have been unemployed since Thanksgiving of 2013. Unemployed = no health insurance. So, I jumped on the Covered California bandwagon. And, aside from plenty of bureaucratic kinks, it has been excellent. So, when it came time to deliver the kiddos, I did what you are supposed to do and called my insurance. The girls would be insured through my insurance for their first month of life. Then I could add Evie and Liv. I called to add them October 10. I had a C-Section on October 4. I was working on it while I was still on Vicodin. I feel like I kept my part of the bargain.

Well, red tape. Covered California couldn’t add the girls during the open enrollment period. What? They assured me that when they dug through the system the girls would be added retroactively and it would be set. Call back in two weeks. So I called back in two weeks. Still not figured out. The new system couldn’t handle adding people during the open enrollment period that weren’t new customers. The girls were considered existing customers. Call back in two weeks.

I called back and I got bounced around a couple times and finally talked to a really nice man who had a granddaughter named Evie. The girls could not be added to Covered California because they qualify for Medi-Cal. Say whaaa? Awesome. Medi-Cal for Evie and Live would save Rob and I $500 a month.

Holy hell. I love the expansion of affordable healthcare, but nothing works the way it should. All of these new systems in place and none of them communicate with each other. The state doesn’t talk to the county and the county doesn’t talk to the state. I have a different number for Covered California than my Medi-Cal number. Medi-Cal can’t talk to me until I have a Medi-Cal number. I only have a Covered California number. The Covered California people can tell me that I qualify for Medi-Cal but nothing else. Then when I talk to Medi-Cal they can tell me what plans I can use under Medi-Cal but not what doctors I could visit. Also, did I mention that it’s twins?

So, three months later, I think I have it figured out. I asked my parents if they could take both Evie and Liv for 20 minutes while I finished the final step of enrollment this afternoon. Two hours later I had to give up because offices closed for the day. I love my pediatrician. I can’t stay with her. I can’t even see a pediatrician in the city I live in. Also, the girls had no coverage for November and December so unless I appeal that I have to pay for all of those pediatrician visits out of pocket.

But I think I have a group of pediatricians one city over that I can see.

Maybe?

Evelyn & Olivia, Two Months

Evie and Liv hit two months on December 4. So this post is only a million years late. Let me tell you, being Type A with twins is rough. I am the type of person who hates when people take hours to text back. Now I am that person. I am the worst.

At about this time two months ago I was at the hospital wondering if I was going to be sent home or if it was time. The past two months have been rough, but I feel like we have finally hit our groove. It isn’t easy, by any means, but I no longer feel like I am going insane.

In two months Evie has gone from 4 lbs to 8 lbs 3 oz. Liv has gone from 4 lbs 14 oz to over 9 lbs. Yay, chunky girls. They finally have thighs instead of creepy leg bones. I still have people ask me if they are “brand new” when we are out. It often comes with this weird sort of judgment. Like, they are so new that I shouldn’t have them at the store. Bitch, please.

The girls have started to go 4 hours in between feedings, praise God. I think what has been the hardest adjustment is constantly being Mom. As an employee or a student there are times when you are not working. Whether it be the weekend or Christmas break, there are times for a breather. Mom is on-call 24/7. And that can be joyful and wonderful but it can also be terrifying. Something is wrong and it is on me to decide what to do, at all times. Sure, I have help and people take care of the girls when I am not around, but when the shit hits the fan, I am in charge. No pressure. There are moments where the weight of this seems enormous. Like when Olivia is losing her mind in a Walmart bathroom and you are both covered in poop and she’s just kicked all the wipes onto the floor.

We are in our second week with sitters and it has made an enormous difference. I am able to enjoy the girls more by having some time away. Sure, I spend that time away getting stuff done but it is still refreshing. Today is one of those days. So far post office, phone calls, studying. I have two more hours until they leave and I feel like I have 100 hours of stuff to do. Christmas time with twinfants is a little crazy. I have no idea who I have bought things for. I just keep getting boxes from Amazon. Did I order this? Or is this a present for me? What? Wait, who ordered this? Crap. I have this persistent feeling that something is wrong with my brain. I think it’s called being a new mom. Did you know that you can heat milk for coffee in a bottle warmer? Just a life hack from me to you.

This will be my last weekly update about E & O. I will still post about them plenty and continue to do monthly growth updates. But now that they are two months, I feel like continuing to do weekly updates on them is a bit much. I am going to also hopefully get back to other posts. Still hoping to post twice a week. Ha.

IMG_3023Okay, we have Olivia on the left and Evelyn on the right. I can currently tell them apart easily. Olivia’s face is more oval whereas Evelyn’s is more round. I think this has a lot to do with Olivia still weighing a bit more, but only time will tell. Also, Olivia continues to be more wide eyed than Evelyn.

IMG_3045Evelyn and her duck.

IMG_3051Olivia and Grandpa. This was the first time all eight of us went out to eat – we started with lunch. It went well, no one freaked out and we all got to eat. Win!

IMG_2988My imaginary brother is infatuated with the girls and has done many 4 a.m. feeds. He doesn’t want anyone to know though, it would ruin his street cred.

IMG_3103Naked time! Plus hats. Both the girls have started smiling slowly. Actual smiles. Not, I just crapped my pants smiles.

IMG_3095A good friend knitted Thing 1 and Thing 2 hats for Evie and Liv. They are so damn cute.

IMG_3096Hi, everyone!

IMG_3115Both girls love bath time. They usually take baths with me, but this was an emergency, Olivia just pooped everywhere, bath. She got all nice and clean and then threw up everywhere.

IMG_3123And then Evie followed by throwing up just after the bath. Luckily she didn’t get herself covered in puke, just me. Luckily.

Evelyn & Olivia, Week 7

I can barely count this as week 7, I am so far behind. Having twin infants (or twinfants for those in the know) is rough. Having twin infants that are preemies is brutal. Having twin infants that are preemies, with unexplained health issues, is a new realm of hell. You don’t know panic until you are sitting on the toilet, holding a screaming baby, while hooked up to a breast pump. Even with four adults against two babies, we have been losing hardcore.

The girls level of fussiness over the past couple of weeks has gone from irritating to Dear God, what is wrong with these babies?! After a trip to urgent care that was utterly useless and another trip to the pediatrician, I think we have some sort of explanation. The girls are having pretty significant digestion issues. We thought it was just run of the mill baby discomfort but after seeing them on Wednesday, the pediatrician said something was definitely amiss. Part of me was concerned, part of me was relieved. So you mean it’s not normal for them to scream for hours on end? You mean maybe it is fixable? Sign me up. 

We are on day three of baby Xantac and it definitely seems to be helping. We are still trying to figure out dosage and if we need to do a formula change on top of the Xantac, but just in the first day their discomfort has gone way down. Way less screaming and hours of calm. HOURS. I don’t think that the Xantac is going to be a magic bullet, but at least we are headed in the right direction.

On top of the girls being barely manageable, I have deadlines starting to pile up for my new job. I went from being concerned to barely holding it together this week as I started to get more and more work emails. And no, I can’t go into what my new job is. Other than it isn’t law. At all. ::CONFETTI:: So Rob and I have gone back and forth about what to do so that I can get some work done. We were going to hire a sitter but none of us can manage both girls on our own. We don’t feel like we can ask that of a sitter. So then we seriously looked into daycare, even though the cost of it would basically dump out our savings.

We decided to sit down and have a family meeting. In a moment of particular brilliance, my mom suggested we hire two sitters. WHAT. It is still cheaper than daycare and then I don’t have all of the concerns that come with daycare. Germs, murderers, etc. Two sitters isn’t going to be cheap, but we will only be doing it about 10 hours a week. Just enough for me to get shit done and brush my teeth. We’ve interviewed a handful of people and I am hoping it works out. Fingers and toes crossed.

IMG_3288Rob and I had a wedding to go to last weekend. First time out! Thank God for spanx and nursing pads.

IMG_3291So, so tired.

IMG_3311Two of my loves. 2:00 a.m.

IMG_3314

IMG_3316Reach for the sky, Evie!

IMG_3317This is what we have to do for the girls’ acid reflux. It is like living in a Dr. Seuss book.

IMG_3319I finally got boxes for Evelyn and Olivia’s stuff from the hospital and their first couple weeks. Preemie onesies, ankle bands, they were so tiny.

IMG_3321Liv loves her red dog.

IMG_3326My imaginary brother, home from college. Uncle Jake, finally meeting the girls.

IMG_3332Hi Liv!

IMG_3335

IMG_3338Rob insists on feeding with a bib, even if it is an improvised one.

 

'