whoop whoop

This post is long. The last couple days have been long.

Evie and Liv got their first real cold two Fridays ago. Runny noses, low fevers, lethargic, fussy babies. They just started daycare so I was pretty prepared for them to have colds. It was a rough week. We decided to head to the pediatrician last Friday because they didn’t seem to be getting any better. It sounded like the cold was starting to settle in their chests. I thought I was just being an overly cautious new mom, but the pediatrician surprised me by telling me she suspected whooping cough. Great. The girls were swabbed to find out if it was actually whooping cough or just a bad cold.

Saturday and Sunday the girls stayed pretty much the same but on Sunday night they started to sound a bit wheezy. I called the on-call pediatrician and guess what? She had just gotten the results. Positive for whooping cough. wtf. Since the girls were wheezing she wanted us to take them to the ER.

The ER on a Sunday night of a three day weekend is exactly what you would expect. It was insanely full of coughing kids and vomiting adults. And, for some reason, a lot of people weren’t wearing shoes. On top of this, the measles is going around southern California. Needless to say, the ER was really the last place I wanted to be. Luckily the intake nurse was understanding and let us wait in a little side room. I think this was mainly so we didn’t give people whooping cough, but I was still grateful. We were taken back pretty quickly but things went downhill from there. Though the girls seemed to have relatively minor symptoms, because of the positive test, they were going to be admitted. But there were no beds available in the pediatric wing. We sat in the ER for 14 hours.

I can safely say it was the worst experience of my life . Evie and Liv were sick and uncomfortable and had no real place to sleep. They decided to start IVs on both girls. It took four tries and a NICU nurse to find a vein on Olivia. I thought she was going to burst a blood vessel from screaming so much. The emergency room staff as helpful as they could be, but babies just don’t do well in that kind of environment.

At 10:30, Monday morning, we finally were admitted to the pediatric wing. We were able to feed the girls and they passed out in their little hospital cribs. Eventually we met with the pediatrician on duty and he told us,  based on the girls’ symptoms,  he doubted they had whooping cough. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. The main reason we were there was that positive whooping cough test. Rob and I finally decided we needed to get home and get some sleep and take showers. We had been up for 36 hours. We slept for 3, showered, went back.

No change in Evie and Liv, but they were going to keep them overnight for observation. So Rob and I decided to.. just do it. We went home and slept for nine hours. A huge part of me felt guilty for leaving the girls, but a huge part of me felt like.. OMG I JUST SLEPT FOR NINE HOURS. Each of the girls had their own nurse over night so really, they wanted for nothing. It was only mom guilt that had me worried.

This morning we went back and the girls looked great. They had received breathing treatments throughout the night and were breathing well. All of the nurses kept commenting on how healthy and chunky they were. I was like, I know. 13 lbs each, thankyouverymuch. After a few hours of hanging out the new pediatrician arrived and declared them free to go.

So. What now? We are still waiting on the secondary test to determine whether or not they actually had whooping cough. However, since there was a documented positive, everyone in the house has to do a round of antibiotics even though we have all been vaccinated. In itself, that isn’t bad, but getting 6 adults into the doctor during flu season is going to be fun. The girls have now completed a full round of antibiotics and are no longer contagious. We have to follow up with our pediatrician to ensure they continue to get better.

I declare whooping cough weekend over.

IMG_4249Evie, headed to the hospital.

IMG_4253Finally in the pediatric ward, passed out.

IMG_4257Look at that little bruise she got when they were putting her IV in! Grrrr…

IMG_4254This face says, sleep? I don’t even remember what that is like.

IMG_425613 lbs of solid baby belly.

IMG_4270Hi guys!

IMG_4274Dad needs some sleep too.

IMG_4277Liv is happy! Even with an IV.

IMG_4279Evie learned to roll over on Friday and has declared sleeping on her back to be the worst.

IMG_4285On the way home!

Evelyn & Olivia, Four Months

Man oh man, our babies are four months old. In some ways it seems like it has gone by in the blink of an eye, in other ways it seems time has crawled by ever so slowly.

First, let’s remember this..

IMG_2882Two weeks old, not even five pounds. I thought they were cute then. But looking at them now.. they are cute. But more in a starved sort of way.

So, where are we? They are on either side of 12 lbs. Evie is 11 lbs 13 oz and Liv 12 lbs 6 oz. They smile like crazy and are both just starting to laugh. Sometimes they try to laugh and start choking. It’s adorable and terrifying. They have just started picking up toys and attempting to put them in their mouths. They chew on their hands constantly which means I bathe them constantly. Liv is seriously starting to drool which makes me think teething and then,  Dear God no.  Evie is very close to rolling over, she gets halfway there and then just stares at me like, how did this happen?  

Even though the girls are getting closer in weight, I don’t have any trouble telling them apart. Evie’s head continues to be rounder. She also has a higher pitched cry and laugh. Liv has wider eyes and has a deeper cry. She sounds like she is yelling at you. She’s also more willing to smile at everyone. Evie smiles plenty but she is easily distracted by shiny objects and clocks.

About a week after my last post, we turned the corner and it just.. got easier. Don’t get me wrong, some days it still feels like I am running a marathon in quicksand, but some days are okay, some days are good. Some days I end up covered in poop and I forget to brush my teeth and I don’t eat breakfast. Other days the girls are in great moods and just want to play and see the world. We go to the park and Starbucks and have a damn good time.

Sleep is about what you would expect. Most nights they want to be fed every three hours on the dot. When does that stop? Please stop. Just sleep girls. Sleep. My parents still do the first feed of the morning, without which Rob and I might actually be dead. I am hoping that when we start adding food into their diet they will start sleeping for longer stretches. Pray for me. There is much debate in Momland about when to add in food. Some pediatricians say 4 months is fine but I don’t think they are ready yet. We sit them at the dinner table with us and they watch us eat like we are weirdos. I think I am going to hold off until they show interest or are 6 months… That may change when we have their next checkup at the end of the month. Stay tuned.

Everyone tells you motherhood fundamentally changes you. So far, not the case. Yes, I love Evie and Liv fiercely and they are mine. I miss them when I am not around them and their smiles make me melt. But, I am still me. I still listen to my music too loud and swear too much. I still like pictures of cats and I still like surfing the internet for hours on end, I just have less time to do it.

Rob is still Rob. He still likes video games and going to Target with me. Seeing an engineer be a parent is a truly amazing and hilarious thing. Their brains just work differently. I will never have to worry about building a bicycle or a Barbie Dream House. Amen.

We are still us. Except now we have two tiny humans that complete our family.

And now, what you have all been waiting for…

IMG_3973Bath time is a huge hit in our house. They still take baths with me most of the time. I get peed on regularly. Whatever. (Liv | Evie)

IMG_3898Liv is very sleepy. Look at those cheeks.

IMG_3918Evie rolls and gets stuck here.

IMG_3327_2Evie is out..

IMG_3893Happy Liv.

IMG_3673Smiley Evie.

IMG_3984Working on tummy time. Look at those blue eyes. I assumed that the girls would have brown eyes because I have brown eyes, but they are still blue as blue.

IMG_3707Look at that head lift! Go Evie go!

IMG_3912(Liv | Evie)

IMG_3925See, we read to them. Making them smart. (Evie | Liv)

IMG_4013Dressed and ready for church. I rarely put clothes on them, pajamas are the way to go. I buy cute ones. That makes it okay. (Evie | Liv)

IMG_6248Out at the park with Grandma and Grandpa. (Liv | Evie)

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetSnuggles from Aunt Jilli. (Evie | Liv)

IMG_3935(Evie | Liv)

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?

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