Friday, 25 April 2008

All safe on the homefront

On Monday, at last, The Boys were released from hospital after an exhausting week trying to split my time between home, the hospital and the office. Guess what came last? As result I had to work late on Wednesday to make a deadline and my planned leave for next week will not become a reality. We have a crazy week ahead of us in South Africa, with a public holiday on Sunday (Freedom day - commemorating our first democratic election) which means that Monday is a public holiday. Then on Thursday (1 May- labour day), we have another public holiday and the Friday have been declared one as well due to the co-incidence of two public holidays ( Good Friday and Human rights day) falling on the same day on the 21st of March. The whole of RSA thus have a 2 day work week and H.and I both obtained leave for the 2 days to do some decluttering at home. I've been looking forward to this for weeks, and now, well, I guess I will have to deal with the idea and get my butt going next week to try and catch up. Just part of being a mom and I guess I must be grateful that I was able to spend the week with The Boys at the hospital where a lot of other working moms might not be able to.

The whole hospital experience has been quite a shock. It was absolutely heartbreaking seeing them with tubes and stuff around them and so tired and sick. During my pregnancy with The Boys my biggest fear was dealing with tiny prem babies after a 3,5 kg first born and all the stress involved. I therefore made it my utmost target to get as far as possible with the pregnancy - I was paranoid in following doctor's orders to the T. I think all moms of multiples will know the feeling as you count every week towards a new target. My stunning gynea gave us a list of target dates following from 26 weeks onwards with expected weights and time in NICU. To our huge relieve we were blessed and The Boys were delivered at 37 weeks weighing a whopping 3,02 and 2,92kg respectively. This may not sound big for the parents of singletons, but for twins this is quite and accomplishment, and my joy was doubled when they came home with me after 4 days in hospital, standard time for a C-section delivery in South Africa. Therefore no NICU, no tubes, healthy big babies! And then last week. I almost felt cheated out of my perfectly healthy kids - you can tell we have been very lucky with The Little Miss' health - only been on antibiotics twice in her life.

The nursing staff has been extra special and helpful - we will certainly deliver flowers to them when we go for a check-up next week. I am just completely exhausted by the whole experience. By Friday last week, the boys were out of danger for the first time and they were placed next to each other in one crib. The absolute joy as little L kept touching C's face was something I will remember my whole life. It must be very special to have a best friend that came with you from day one of your life and before in the womb.

BTW - have you seen the National Geographics DVD "In the womb - multiples"? It is so special to see the interaction of multiples before birth. Unfortunately The Boys have completely lost their routine in the hospital and are refusing to sleep at night and are taking non-existent wee little naps in the day. We are working extra hard to get them into routine again and I am using homeopathic medicine to help them to calm down and sleep. The Paediatrician has also subscribed medicine to help with sleep as he is worried that they will not recover sufficiently if they don't sleep properly. Funny how I now don't worry as much about them sleeping through as I did before they got sick! Priorities change from being irritated about my own sleep to worrying about their health.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Curve ball

I was fully prepared to spend Monday at the hospital . My mom had a knee replacement scheduled and to be honest, we couldn't wait for it to go ahead. She has been walking with great difficulty for the last couple of months and this will be a huge improvement on her quality of life. When her surgery was cancelled on Sunday night due to a bout of bronchiolitus, I prepared myself for a day at work and only breaking to take her home sometime during the course of the day. What I was not prepared for was spending the day at the hospital with The Boys.

Sunday night's sleep was interrupted with constant coughs and wheezes from The Boys. I managed to get an appointment at the paediatrician at two the afternoon, and the boys were immediately admitted to hospital with bronchiolitus and are being treated with oxygen and antibiotics to prevent secondary infections. I blame myself and H for not taking them to the doctor on Saturday when they started coughing, but was assured by the doctor that it would not have made a difference as the disease develops literally over night from the RS virus.

So, I have been spending my days at the hospital, trying to fit some work in between, and not managing much. I go home to sleep - an issue that I do feel guilty about, but was ordered to do by the doctors in order to assure that my milk production does not stop due to being over tired. The hospital is unfortunately quite far from home and located in a rather unpleasant part of town, but houses a stunning paediatric unit. Every child has a stunning mural in their little cubicle with a lazy boy for the parents to rest in. They have prepared a private room for The Boys to enable them to see each other as in the normal cubicle setup they will not be able to.

I am very relieved to report that they are at last showing some improvement today but we have been warned by the doctor to be patient as the disease must run it's course. Please hope and pray for a speedy recovery.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Sweet sleep and dropping the balls

Amazing what a difference two nights of solid sleep makes! Although it might all be cancelled out by the worst late afternoon ever in our household. Late afternoon is The Boys' niggling time, and if The Little Miss didn't have a nap, hers as well. So, I got home yesterday afternoon to a quiet and peaceful scene with two happy smiling babies and The Little Miss having a halfhearted nap on the couch. The Hubby was working late so I knew I was in this on my own for bath and sleep time. Just after the nanny left all hell broke loose!

The Little Miss started the wailing session by demanding a sweet (and this I am very strict about- no sweeties before dinner and preferably none in the week).-thanks gran for giving her a whole string of marshmallow fish when you picked her up after school! I can not understand why my own mom keeps undermining all my rules! (more about that at another time). 5 minutes later she had little L going along at the top of his voice, tears streaming down his face. Luckily little C was having fun in the baby gym, but by 6 pm all 3 were going full steam ahead with The Little Miss leading the chorus. Fellow twin moms will remember that bouncing two 7 kg (15 ,5 pound) plus babies is no easy task. And if a 3 year old persistently tries to climb on your nap, you're really short of about 2 laps and 6 arms.

I decided to take the brood for a bath and earlier bed time which all happened through constant screaming and tantrums from The Little Miss and constant crying by The Boys. I just had to block it all out and continue as if I am not hearing the other two while attending to one. I really still find it difficult to even express this in writing. Suffice to say, I got through it, eventually all fell asleep, The Boys relatively calmly with The Little Miss wailing in her room, and she, a bit calmer, after H(the dear hubby) arrived at 8 pm and manged to shove some food down. After a nice, long bath I just crashed in front of CSI, only to be interrupted by The Boys demanding a late night feed. Never saw the conclusion - oh, I hate that! Have found someone at work to tell me the conclusion.

The guilt still haunts me - not being able to console one of the 3 and wondering if I am doing any psychological harm to my kids by not attending to their need to be consoled. But sometimes, one can do no more than you can. That's when you start dropping the balls of the juggling act - what I call an 8 ball situation. (3 balls is normal - one can handle it, 5 balls is very very hard and 8 balls is impossible - you have to drop a couple along the way)

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Sleep's a sweet surprise - or drugging mama

Jip, I have to admit to it. I have drugged the boys for the past two nights. And yes, they've slept straight through. Hallelujahhhh!!! Just a pity the little miss did not.

On advice of the clinic sister, I have given the boys pain meds the last two nights. She explained that as they have consistently been sleeping through the night, they might just have fallen out of routine due to the teething and us sharing the room with them the last two weeks while the in-laws were visiting. They therefore need some help to re-establish the routine and that I should give them the meds with their late evening feed for about 5 nights and see thereafter if they have fallen back into routine. I have also upped their solids to twice a day and have added avocado pear. Additionally I have added iron supplement to their diet as breast babies often experience a period of iron deficiency at about 6 months especially if mommy has a deficiency. (Gosh, I didn't know that! - did you know that?) Jip, that's me. Add to that consistent low blood pressure and you have a recipe for exhaustion.

Back to the little miss. She still has a terrible cold and woke up at about 2 last night from the rumble of distant thunder. She refused to have dad with her and I had to get into bed with her to try to get her back to sleep. Tossing and turning continued for hours and hours (or it felt like that). At last crept back to bed at 3:30. Today the old body is aching and burning from sharing a toddler bed with a 3 year old.

At work, pressure is rising and my star staff member resigned! Because she hates our CAD programme! Teary eyed she explained she has to move on and can not stand to work on the programme - oh how I hate teary eyed staff members. She wants to work on Revit - the new "hot" programme. At half a million rands to convert our office we simply can not afford to do it at present. In any event, I thought she was a friend as well - maybe once she has moved on we will be able to get a decent friendship going. Our daughters differ only a day in age. The playdate possibilities are endless.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Sleep required!

HELLLP! My kids have stopped sleeping. No, serious! I don't think that we've had a span of more than 35 minutes through the night where we actually all slept. The twins took turns keeping us awake with a tenacity second to none. And sister had her turn somewhere between 2 and 3. They all have a case of the runny nose goblin visiting, but this was ridiculous. Actually, we are a bit spoiled. The madam started sleeping through at 12 weeks and little L at 10 weeks with C following at 11 weeks. Until 3 weeks ago! At first I thought it was a growth spurt, then teething (which it probably is) or the unfamiliar circumstances of us parents sharing their room with them while the in-laws are visiting. Regardless, it is exhausting. I am sitting here at work, trying my best to get the job done, but finding that the concentration lacks completely. I know this will pass, but gosh, may that be sooner rather than later.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

This is me

I have to admit that I am reading blogs while expressing breast milk at the office. It helps me relax, and take my mind off the task at hand - hence fuller bottles and less guilt about having to supplement the decreasing breast milk supply with formula. And I read mommy's blogs from all over the world, especially those with multiples.

I've been keeping a blog for the family for about a year but find that I need some kind of platform to express myself as I seem to be rapidly loosing all resemblance to the person that I used to be - the me that I still hope I vaguely am, somewhere hidden in the fog of motherhood and career. So this is for my own expression and for my friends in the computer, not those in real life, because here I want to say exactly what I feel without having to worry what my mom in law thinks of my latest mind frame.