no please don’t cry… again…

I’m tired. No. I’m exhausted. I’m so exhausted that I’m tired. I don’t even remember what a full night’s sleep is, let alone half a night’s sleep.

Maddie has always been the better sleeper, niggling once at about 2am or so, but then settling very quickly after I give her her bottle. Alex has always been my little terrorist; on a good night he wakes 3-4 times, a bad night sees him not sleeping at all. But for the past 3 nights, Maddie has been even worse than him.

Alex has this terrible habit of shrieking at 2am; I’m talking straight-through-your-eardrum kinda shriek. Most mornings I can get to him before he starts shrieking, so that I can take him through to the lounge, where I fight with him to settle for anywhere up to an hour, and then he usually either lies quietly on my chest, or passes out. But he really battles to settle down, and most of the time I put him into the cot that we’ve got in the lounge, and I curl up on the couch. Somehow Maddie has cottoned onto this, and whilst she doesn’t shriek like Alex, she has woken up 4 times each night for the past 3 nights. So where I usually just have 1 baby to try and settle, there’s me in the lounge with both of them, rocking and bouncing, trying to stop them from pushing themselves out of my arms, and also trying not to lose it completely.

This morning was no different; I ended up in the lounge with Alex at about 3am, after finally getting Maddie settled for the 2nd time. I sat with Alex for about 30mins, but he had no intention of falling asleep in my arms. At about 4am, I put him into the cot in the lounge with a juice bottle, and he lay down drinking it. I then curled up on the couch and waited. At about 5am I woke up, almost in a panic. Maddie was niggling in the bedroom. Now I do generally know which niggle I can ignore, and which I need to tend to ASAP; this niggle however had me a bit lost. I lay on the couch and waited… and waited… and waited. After about 5mins or so she stopped, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then I almost smacked myself for almost waking Alex up, as he had fallen asleep in the cot by the couch. And all I could think of when I was listening to Maddie niggle?

Please don’t cry again. Please don’t wake up. Please please please. I don’t actually know if I can deal with it.

At 5am this morning I was fighting back tears; big, fat, wet tears, at the thought of having to raise my exhausted body off of the couch, to go and see to Maddie. Maddie has slept through once in almost 13 months; Alex never has. In the last 7 years my sleeping pattern has deteriorated to the point where I wake at anything, but the past 2 years have been pretty awful; basically my pregnancy with the twins and the subsequent months. What sounds like bliss to me? A night alone; just me and a huge comfy bed. Will that ever happen? Not in the foreseeable future!

Now some will see me as ungrateful, a bad mom, whatever. Think what you want. I love my children (not that I have anything to justify to anyone but anyway…) with all that I am, and even though I don’t know if I could have handled getting up to see to Maddie this morning if she needed me to, I know that I would have. Because I’m her mommy. And we do what seems like the impossible sometimes, because it’s ingrained in our souls, in our beings as mommy’s.

My life - Alex, Morgan-Lee & Maddie (picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography)

My life – Alex, Morgan-Lee & Maddie (picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography)

No, parenting isn’t all unicorn parties and sparkles. It’s an exhausting, frustrating, depressing, anger inducing journey, that has sob-fest tendencies, with a sideline of wine by the bucket load. But parenting is also getting to that point where you feel that you just cannot do it anymore, and something so simple as a hug, or a kiss on your forehead reminds you why you haven’t thrown the towel in just yet. A stick figure drawing (the 10th for the month) of the family, all smiling and holding hands. Sticky fingers asking you to share a biscuit. Learning how to clap hands, stand up and give a kiss.

An unexpected “I love you mommy”.

Listening to your son say “oh dear” when he throws his bottle out of the cot, because that’s what you do. (say oh dear, not throw his bottle out of the cot!)

Playing “ta” with your youngest, because she thinks it’s the best thing ever, and feeling so proud, because she ACTUALLY understands the concept.

Knowing that these 3 little people are from me, are a part of me.

Always.

G

Alex & Maddie - picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography

Alex & Maddie – picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography

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on being a mom of 3, whilst holding onto the last tendrils of my sanity

I’ve been a mom to 3 kidlets for almost 13 months now. THIRTEEN MONTHS. 2 of those kidlets are the same age. Yeah, it’s been fun.

I’ve learnt quite a bit in the past few months, and I’d like to share those ‘learnings’ with you…

  1. Cars do indeed go on fumes. They don’t go for long, but they do go.
  2. If a poop has the slightest chance of escaping the nappy, it will. All over you.
  3. Dog food doesn’t hurt. It’s actually a great laxative. See point 2.
  4. Running into the shops for bread and milk wearing your old gym pants, a t-shirt covered in puke (I think that’s what it was) with greasy hair means that every cool person from high school will be there. At the same shop. At the same time.
  5. Sleeping in until 05h30 feels like a vacation.
  6. There is no chance of peeing in solitude. Even the 6 year old will find you.
  7. Showers consist of the 6 year old sitting on the toilet watching you whilst singing, all whilst you stick your head out every few minutes because you’re convinced that the 1 twin is killing the other twin and you’re listening out for the blood curdling screams.
  8. You regularly talk to yourself, so that you can have at least 1 adult conversation a day.
  9. You discover that, whilst you are indeed a sleep-deprived mombie, you are somehow able to (semi)function on 2 hours sleep. For 3 days in a row.
  10. Your love life consists of a kiss (which is more of a clashing of lips) before dissolving into your bed. See point 11.
  11. You very quickly learn that babies have an insanely accurate telepathic ability, which alerts them to when you do indeed plan on dissolving into your bed.
  12. You discover that certain antibiotics do indeed taste terrible. Especially when you’re spitting out the vomited version.
  13. The 6 year old WILL decide to tell you about their day (even though you did ask in the car on the way home) right at the very moment that both babies decide to quieten down, and you decide to attempt to watch MasterChef Australia. See point 11.
  14. You become very grateful for PVR. See point 13.
  15. Your sanity becomes highly questionable, and you’re the one doing the questioning.
  16. Gratefulness for those wee early hours is a new thing, because that is sometimes the only alone time there is. For about 3.8 seconds. Then it’s playtime. At 5am.
  17. Toasted sarmies become a very regular, VERY delicious meal. Mostly for supper.
  18. Date night is a dream come true, for the sole purpose of being able to sleep for 1.5 hours at the cinema, uninterrupted.
  19. Bath time becomes a firm favourite, as with all 3 kids in the bath splashing up a storm (sigh), you can finally catch up on the day. Until one kidlet screams blue murder. Which normally occurs within the first 3mins.
  20. As you reflect back on the crazy, exhausting, emotionally draining, financially draining, exhilarating, frustrating, tearful, laughter inducing time, you very quickly realise that you wouldn’t trade a single second.
  21. Well maybe that second 2 nights ago, when I got kicked in the boob during a nappy change. Again. I think I’d change that.

G

Picture courtesy of my mommy

Picture courtesy of my mommy

where did 2015 go?

Just hang on a second, I’m trying to figure out where the last 8 months have disappeared to. The twins are 6 months old, SIX MONTHS OLD. Not that I’m complaining, as the older they get, the more ‘adult’ food they eat, so the less (expensive) formula they drink!

Maddie & Alex - 6 months old!

Maddie & Alex – 6 months old!

But it feels like the year has just whizzed past me, and apart from the fact that I feel like the walking dead due to the lack of sleep I’m currently experiencing, I honestly don’t know where it’s all gone to. I can barely remember the first few weeks of the twins’ lives; it feel like it didn’t even happen. What I do know, is that it is possible for a human being to function on about 3 hours of sleep a night, if they’re lucky. And not to say how well things are going, because true’s nuts, it won’t.

Case in point.

Maddie has been sleeping through quite well for the past week or so. If she goes down at about 7pm, she’ll generally sleep through until about 5am. Yay! But I then went and gushed to some friends on Saturday about how happy I am that she’s been sleeping through, and BAM! Saturday and Sunday night she woke up about 2-3 times during the night. And then there’s of course her brother Alex, who is yet to sleep through even 1 night. If I’m lucky, he’ll wake up once, but a really bad night (like last night) will have him awake pretty much from midnight through to 6am. Yay me.

Alex also decided to pop both his bottom teeth at 5.5 months old. That then explained the gawd awful week that was experienced, in that he restlessly slept, cried, moaned and wanted no one but me. The worst night was the Thursday, in that he woke at 10pm, and didn’t stop moaning and being miserable until 6am. When he promptly fell fast asleep. Just as I needed to get up for work. Yeah, I don’t remember much about that Friday. I do however remember going to change his nappy on the Saturday morning, and as I bent down to get a nappy from underneath the change station and I placed my other hand on his chest, he pulled my hand up to mouth to munch on my fingers and I thought to myself HELLO! That doesn’t feel quite right?! And there they were, 2 little pearly whites, poking up out of his gums. Well I think Maddie thought I was an idiot, and Morgan-Lee (my eldest) thought I had finally lost my mind, as I scooped Alex up into my arms and proceeded to dance across our bedroom, singing at the top of my lungs at how proud I was of my boy with his ‘toofies’. At least there was a reason for me looking like the back end of a bus had rammed me face first for that week.

There are some days when I wake up out of my hazy doze, and it hits me that I’m a mom to twins. That I have 3 children. That my eldest, my beautiful, enigmatic, energetic, amazing, wondrous, humongous ball of energy daughter, is going to be 6 in 2.5 months time. I remember when she was coming close to her 1st birthday, thinking to myself “where on earth has the time gotten to”, and here I am again, almost 5 years later thinking the same thing.

i wish you enoughI saw a post a few days back, which basically stated that the day a woman becomes a mother, is the first day of the rest of her life, that her heart beats outside of her chest. I couldn’t agree more. Whilst I want my children to experience life first hand, I also want to protect them, cocoon them, cushion them. I want only the best for them, only happiness for them, only love for them. But, if they have only the best, only happiness and only love, life will be untrue for them, and to them. There’s a speech out there in the universe, and I can’t remember who wrote it, but it’s very similar to the poem written by Bob Perks called I Wish You Enough.

So, in another 6 months time you’ll read about me frantically planning the twins’ 1st birthday party (yes I’m already thinking about it!) and how I can’t believe that this has happened, and that that has happened. But that’s life for you; throwing you curve balls and taking your breath away. Making you stop and question, giving you room to breathe, and also showing you several wtf moments, all throughout your day!

2015 has been crazy and tumultuous; new babies, new jobs and new schools.

I can’t WAIT to see what 2016 brings us 🙂

G

i really did want to push

I read a blog post yesterday that got me to thinking about my 2 pregnancies and subsequent births. Both were planned c-sections, but that was never the original plan.

When I fell pregnant with M-L in February 2009, the plan was a natural birth. I wasn’t on a medical aid, and natural birth is far cheaper than a c-section, plus the recovery time is quicker as well. Then we found out that my OBGYN had moved 200km away which kinda freaked me out, as no one wants to go into labour, pile into the car and then have to drive for a good 1.5hrs to get to the hospital. But, hey, it was doable and being a first pregnancy labour should last a while, right? Anyway, fast forward 5 months, and something was wrong. DOWN THERE. Now I’m not one for doctor’s, but when I’m pregnant I get paranoid. So off I went to the GP, who upon examining me, kicked my mom out of the room (that’s never a good sign) and gently asked how many sexual partners I’d been with recently.

I’m sorry, what?!

I had contracted an STD, genital herpes to be exact. I have never felt dirtier or more disgusted with myself, ever. Through a mixture of snot and tears, I told the GP that I’d only been with my husband (for the past 6 years anyway) and how did this happen?! Apparently this does happen in pregnancies, and it’s more common than a lot of women will admit to. Being pregnant, I couldn’t go on the antibiotics that are normally prescribed, so I was sent home for a week’s bed rest (if you’ve ever had this condition, you’ll know why – ow 😦 ) and life continued on as normal. At my next check-up with the OBGYN I told him what had happened, and that’s when he told me that a natural birth was pretty much out of the window. Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to describe it.

If a woman gives birth naturally whilst experiencing an ‘outbreak’, it is very dangerous for her baby, as if any of the blood is ingested by the baby, this can result in blindness as well as the baby now having the herpes simplex, and if you still opt for a natural birth, then your baby has to have a nasty injection once born, to combat any of the herpes nasties that will be harmful to him/her. I couldn’t do that to M-L; why should she have to suffer unnecessarily as well as have the risk of blindness, when there was another alternative? So, the husband and I decided, along with the OBGYN that a planned c-section was the safest way to go.

Before we found out that I was pregnant with twins last year, we discussed a natural birth with my OBGYN. I told him of my ‘condition’, and he said that there shouldn’t be any issues, and that many women have natural births after c-sections and that we’ll just monitor my ‘condition’. I was excited; this way my opportunity to experience labour, and to ‘push’. I firmly believe that a lot of my postpartum depression that I experienced with M-L, was attributed to the fact that I didn’t experience labour. I believe that labour is the body’s way of both mentally and physically preparing a woman not only for birth, but for becoming a mother. I walked into hospital, heavily pregnant, and walked out the next day in pain, with a baby. The bond wasn’t there. The connect wasn’t there. I was excited; I imagined me waking up the husband in the middle of the night, excitedly exclaiming that my water had broken and that we had to go to the hospital, you know, all movie-drama like. But alas, that wasn’t to be, as a few minutes after that discussion, we discovered that there was an extra invader in my belly. As much as a woman can birth twins naturally, my OBGYN didn’t want to take any chances, and said that he wanted to deliver them via c-section. Pop went that bubble.

I don’t feel any less of a woman because I’ve birthed my 3 children via c-section, but I do feel judged by some of my friends (and even random strangers) who have had natural births, like I have taken the easy way out. But I can assure you, there is nothing easy about a c-section. It’s scary, it’s painful and it’s not something that I’ve jumped into. It’s major surgery, and the time that could have been spent cuddling my newborn/s, washing bottles, folding baby clothes etc, was spent trying to get out of bed faster than a tortoise walking a meter without crying out in pain. And the postpartum bleeding after a c-section is no less than if you had a natural birth; I was shocked after my first c-section that I was bleeding, and so much, and for so long! So many woman think that you don’t after a c-section; believe me, you DO! After a c-section you aren’t allowed to drive for 6 weeks; a natural birth allows a woman to drive pretty much the same day, depending on what went on DOWN THERE. With a natural birth, things tend to shrink down to their ‘normal’ size relatively quickly (there is no normal size after pregnancy, I know) whereas with a c-section it takes so. much. longer. Being wheeled into the theater, drip in your wrist, catheter up your who-ha, having to schooch your big, heavy pregnant body over onto the operating table, having to somehow bend your body in half (impossible with a big ass tummy in the way) and then having to try and breathe through the needle being inserted into your lower back for the epidural, are all wonderfully soothing things that a woman looks forward to, right before bringing her child/children into this world. Right before her stomach is sliced open, her insides mooshed around, air filling every nook and cranny (air that she’ll know about for weeks after the birth) and a pressure unlike she’s every experienced before, all before welcoming her child into the world. Also with a c-section, the time spent with your newborn right after birth is not like the time spent after a natural birth. Because you now have to lie in theater for another 30-45mins (sometimes even longer) whilst your doctor stitches you back together, your baby is whisked away to the nursery, where the first bath is given, the first feed and you’re lying in theater, missing it all.

I wanted to push. I wanted to do that, be a ‘real woman’, whatever that is. But I couldn’t, and I’m ok with that. I have 3 beautiful, healthy children who are no worse off because their mommy didn’t give birth to them ‘like a real woman should have’. My mom had all 3 of us naturally, and I applaud her for that. Just like I applaud every other woman who has had a natural birth. Just like I applaud every other woman who has had a c-section. I applaud every woman that gives birth, whichever way she does so. I wish women would stop ‘comparing’ births; what matters is that your child is here, healthy and perfect, whether born naturally or via c-section.

Yes I wanted to push.

But I didn’t, and that’s ok.

G

all the tireds this morning

When you have babies, lack of sleep is a given. I forgot just how much of a given it is *yawn* I have had several nights of pretty awful sleep, but these last 2 nights have really had it in for me *yawn*.

Wednesday night – the twins went down around 6-6:30pm, their normal time. They BOTH then woke up at 11:30pm (wtf?!) *yawn*, then again at 2am *yawn* and then again at 4am *double yawn*. It was at this stage that I thought my eyeballs were going to roll backwards through my head. 6am arrived *yawn* and I had to get up. The twins hadn’t slept since 4am. As I left for work, they fell asleep. Mmmm. *yawn*

Thursday night aka last night aka I-NEED-SLEEP – the twins went down at about 7pm, a bit later than usual but it’s happened before and didn’t have much impact. Well, M woke up at 00:30am *yawn* and when I finally put her down in her cot just before 1:30am *yawn* and crawled back into my nice warm, comfy bed, A decided that it was his turn. Cue me squinting my eyes whilst stumbling back to the cot *yawn*. I managed to get him settled, after I’d changed and fed him, and as I put him back into the cot *yawn* M decided that it was her turn again. I think it was about 3am *yawn*. I managed to get M settled quite quickly, but I shit you not, A woke up. Again. I ended up snuggling in my bed with him, bottle in tow *yawn* and he fed until he dozed off. Yay I thought; I can sleep with A, snuggling him. I should be so lucky. As A was really settling into his sleep, M moaned. And moaned. And moaned. *yawn* And so I got up. Again. It was now about 4am. A was lying quietly next to me in bed, and I could not get M settled. I tried bouncing her, feeding her, cuddling her; she wasn’t interested. Anyway, 5am came and went *yawn* and she quietened down. She didn’t fall asleep, but just sat in my lap (I was lying back against my pillows with my knees up and had her sitting on my tummy with her back up against my knees) playing with her hands. And then she started again. *yawn*. 6am arrived, and up I got.

I am on cup 3 of coffee, and apart from a mean caffeine headache I could put my head down on my desk right now and sleep the day away!

I just have to remember that this stage doesn’t last forever.

But right now, it feels like it has!

*yawn*

G