Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Parent/Child Dedication

On Mother's Day, we participated in Parent/Child Dedication at our church. Here's a few pics of us during presentation - please excuse the poor quality iPhone pics, but my mom is as forgetful as I am, and both of us walked out the door without our cameras.

Both kids couldn't keep their hands out of their mouths...

and Sadie-little-lady kept wanting to lift her dress in front of the entire congregation...

Jeffry was just fascinated by the lighting system over the pulpit...

But no screaming fits, no meltdowns, and they looked adorable in their matching Bailey Boys seersuckers.

You'll notice in the pics that Jeffry had a cast on his arm at the time... he was born with polydactyly on his left hand, which means he was born with an extra thumb. He had surgery to have it removed, and the orthopedist casted his arm so he wouldn't put his hand in his mouth and chew on the sutures.

Here's a pic of how it looked before - you can see it on the hand that's right in front of his mouth:

The cast is now gone, and it couldn't have come off soon enough - I was getting so sick and tired of the side-eyes everywhere we went. No, I did not break my child's arm, thankyouverymuch.

It's healed up nicely, with hardly a scar.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

in two weeks, i'm turning 30. :: cries ::

I know 30 is the new 20. Supposedly.

But just looking at the number 30 makes me feel like I should be reviewing my 401K for retirement.

I guess 30 just reinforces that I'm a grown up. When I was in my early 20's, I always said I would be finished having kids by the time I'm 30. I had no clue the struggles we would have, or that by the time I turned 30, I really would be finished having kids.... not by choice, but because I cashed out my 401K to pay for fertility treatments. When these two graduate high school, I will be 46. College, 50. :: sigh ::

My mom was young when she had me - just turned 20 - so I've grown up with having a mom that was trendy, wore clothes that were actually in style, and listened to the same music I did. I guess I just have the mindset that my kiddos are going to think I'm an old fogie and not relate to me as well as I related to my own mom.

Babies, I promise, I will try my best to stay young for you. I will never wear Easy Spirits and mom jeans. Sadie, I will shop right alongside you at American Eagle. I will take you to your first concert, and will know all the words to the songs as you sing them beside me. Well, your second, since your first one was New Kids On The Block with mamma when you were only eight or ten cells old.

And Jeffry, when you get married and dance with me to "Simple Man" at your reception, it will be in a hot little formal number, not a floor length skirt and jacket ensemble that screams MOTHER OF THE GROOM. I will try not to be a m.i.l.f and embarass you in front of your friends, but I will stay hot enough to keep your daddy on his toes.

Hello, 3-0!

we're on twitter!

If you want to get updates on the kiddos, follow us here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Better Late Than Never... My Birth Story

I realized that I've had this typed up for a while now, but haven't published it anywhere except on The Bump. So, for family and friends who are reading now, here it is for you. And for me, since I want to preserve it for all eternity. =)

Background: I was scheduled for a c-section 10/21/09 at 36 weeks forintrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Basically, the babies werestill growing, just not at the same rate they had been up until that point.

We were scheduled to arrive at 10:30am for the c-section, which wasat 12:30. I took a shower and got dressed, my mom met us at our house, and we were on the way to the hospital. I had packed weeks before after my L&D scare / bedrest at 29 weeks, so everything was by the door, we just had to grab it and go.

The whole drive to the hospital was kind of surreal.... I just kept thinking that in two hours, we were going to be parents. I started to get nervous, and my hands wouldn't stop fidgeting, so I pulled out my new iPhone and played word scramble the whole way there. My husband looked over at me and said, "you're about to have two babies, and all you can do is play word games on your phone." He laughed, then held my hand the last few minutes to keep my hands occupied.

We check in at L&D and were brought back to the holding room. It was set up like a recovery room, with curtained off areas and four or five beds, but since we were the only scheduled section until late that afternoon, we had the whole room to ourselves. I changed into a gown and the nurse hooked me up to the contraction monitor. I was contracting every three minutes, which was expected, since I had stopped my Procardia the night before. She listened to both heartbeats and got my IV started. Once I was settled in bed, my family was able to come back and visit while we waited.

At noon, the nurse came back to run everyone out of the room and got me prepped. I got the lovely bikini shave while my husband and mom changed into their scrubs and hats. I was transferred into a wheelchair, and we were off to the delivery room.

My husband and mom had to wait outside while I was prepped. I had been absolutely terrified of getting an epidural, but it really wasn't that bad - the lidocaine numbing up the area was the worst of it. I laid back on the table and started to feel warm all over, which was lovely since the room was freezing cold. I got pinched in a million places to make sure it was effective, then got a foley catheter put in and was propped up with a wedge pillow under my hips, tilting me to one side.

Here's where everything fast-forwarded and gave me the worst scare of my life.

Once I was positioned back on the table, the fetal monitors were put back on. After a few minutes, one of the nurses wanted to move the wedge pillow to the other side, so they repositioned me. After another few quiet minutes, they put me back on the side I was originally on.

At that point, the nurse anesthetist said, "we're going to put a little oxygen on you".... and at the same time I heard one of the nurses murmur "decels in the 50's" to the other nurse. Being a nurse myself, i knew what that meant - the babies' heart rates had dropped.

After another few minutes, I asked the nurse by my head, "did they recover?" (meaning, did the heart rates go back up). She never took her eyes off the monitor as she shook her head. She asked the other nurse, "did you page dr. s already?" The other nurse said yes, and she said"well, page him again." I look over at the nurse anesthetist at my right shoulder and she has this "oh $h!t" look on her face - that's whenI started to silently freak out.

They yank the monitors off, throw the drapes over me, and squirt what seems to be an entire bottle of betadine on my stomach - no little swabbing sponges like you see on TV. My husband and mom were still out in the hallway waiting. At this point, my mom, who is also a nurse, was starting to worry about what was taking so long. According to my mom, as soon as Dr. S. gets to the hallway where they were waiting and he was to scrub in, he was talking to both of them at the same time he is furiously scrubbing his hands and arms. He tells them things are going to move a little quickly, so get ready and keep your eyes open so you don't miss anything. My mom swears he did a five second hand wash, so she knows something is up.

My husband and mom walk in at the same time Dr. S. does, and they are seated at my left shoulder. Dr. S. breezes in and says, "Hey, Amanda, we're going to move a little quickly here" as he gets gloves snapped on and immediately grabs the scalpel. I hear the nurse say, "time of incision?" he says, "12:32." I thought I was going to have the huge drape strung up in front of me like you see on TV, but no - I had this little half-moon shaped bar across my shoulders that only came up to my chin. My mom and husband had a 100% unobstructed view.

I felt the pressure of the scalpel, and then feel two huge tugs (after watching the video, Dr. S. had literally grasped both the top and bottom of the incision and pulled it apart, just like if you were pulling open a duffel bag). I remember thinking over and over, "please, god, just let me hear them cry. just let me hear them cry."

I knew they were going to be small, but if they cried right away, thenI would have some reassurance that they would be okay. Dr. S asked, "i don't know which one this is, but here he or she comes!" I feel what seems like a pop, and I hear the loudest, shrillest cry I've ever heard. Dr. S. says, "here's your boy!" and walks around to the side to show me.

This little peanut was screaming his head off. He looked so tiny in Dr.S's hands, and was curled up in a little ball. But he was crying, and that's all that mattered to me! My mom keeps repeating, "he looks good, baby, he looks so good!" My husband is speechless. Dr. S. says "time of birth, 12:35" and hands him off to the NICU nurse who was stationed in an adjoining resuscitation room.

I couldn't believe what I had just heard - 3 minutes from the time of the first incision, until I heard that beautiful cry. This was my son.

Dr. G, who was assisting Dr. S., was on the side of the other twin, and she was reaching in up to her elbow with one hand and pushing down on my stomach with the other hand. She remarked, "this one is custom fit!" By the time Dr. S. came back from handing off Jeffry, Sadie was far enough down to where he could pull her out. She didn't come out crying, but Dr. E. walked around to show her to me and she was pink and wiggling. Dr. S. says "time of birth, 12:36." She was handed off to the nurse and brought to the resuscitation room. Everything was quiet as I listened to hear that second cry.... and sure enough, within a few seconds, I hear Sadie's cry joining her brother's.

I immediately start bawling.... all the frustrations, the two years of trying to get pregnant, the screaming, the tears, the failed treatments, the pills, the shots, the forty-four empty boxes of pregnancy tests I pulled out of my bathroom cabinet a few weeks before (yup - i counted).... all of that was forgotten in those four minutes.

My husband says to me, with tears in his eyes, "if i didn't have this damned mask on right now, i would kiss you." which makes me cry even more. Dr. S. starts stitching everything up and says, "wow, no stretch marks, and just a tiny incision!". I said, "that's what happens when morning sickness is so bad, you only gain eleven pounds" and he said "well, those babies certainly got everything they needed to look as good as they do now" which reassured me that they were going to be okay.

My mom asks if my husband wants to go in the room with the babies, and he says "no, you go ahead".... I think he was still shell-shocked. =) My mom goes in with her camera while I'm still listening to the music of screaming babies. After a few minutes, she comes back out and my husband goes in. Once I am stitched up and moved to a stretcher, the nurse comes out with Jeffry in an isolette and says they are on their way up to the NICU because of his weight. He weighed four pounds, three ounces, and it is their protocol that if babies are less than 2000 grams, they automatically go to the NICU.

Jeffry was still wailing in the isolette. He didn't have any oxygen on and no tubes coming out from anywhere, which was a huge relief. He was rolled off, and I was wheeled into the resuscitation room to see Sadie. She was bundled up and put into my arms, and it felt like the weight of the world was just handed to me along with her. This was my daughter.

It was so surreal that looking back at pictures, I have this look in my eyes that almost looks like I'm not really there. I can't believe this baby I am holding is actually mine. My husband is wiping tears away as he watches us, and I just snuggle her tight and kiss her tiny cheeks. After a few mintuesI was expecting the nurse to say she was going to the NICU with her brother, but they begin to wheel me out with her still in my arms. I asked, "I get to take her with me?" and they said yes - she weighed 4 pounds, 13 ounces, so after she spent some time in the transition nursery and got cleaned up,she would be going to the floor with me.

We're wheeled down the hall into the family viewing room, where the rest of my family was waiting. A thousand pictures were snapped, and we got about 15 minutes to be with everyone until the transition nurse arrived to take her to the nursery. I was wheeled into recovery, and as I'm waiting for my IV pain meds to kick in, I realize I'm wearing two ID bracelets.

My two children.

The morphine kicks in, and I sleep peacefully for the next hour. Once my pain was rated below a 5, I was allowed to go to the floor. I get settled into my room, where my family is waiting, and within 30 minutes, Sadie is brought into the room in her little crib. The nurse tells me as soon as my epidural is completely worn off and I can move both of my legs up and down in the bed, I can get in a wheelchair and go to the NICU to see Jeffry.

This is where I begin to feel so torn.... I have this beautiful baby girl that I've gotten to hold, snuggle, kiss.... and another baby I have yet to meet. I hated to send her to the nursery to go visit Jeffry, but I couldn't wait any longer - after a few hours, I got in the wheelchair and my husband pushed me towards the NICU.

When we get there, it is a beautiful sight - my tiny boy, with a little feeding tube in his nose, with no oxygen, no CPAP, no respirator. My husband picked him up and handed him to me, and the same rush of feelings that came over me in the resuscitation room with Sadie came flooding back.
I hated to put him down, but my pain meds were wearing off, so we went back to the room after about an hour.

The next three days were a blur....breastfeeding Sadie, pumping what I could for Jeffry, then wheeling down to the NICU with my precious little bottles in hand to feed him. After two days, my milk came in with a vengeance. I felt like I had two sacks of marbles sitting on my chest! The shower was my only source of relief, and even then it wasn't enough. My husband remarked about my "porn star boobs"and I told him to enjoy the sight now, because the next time they would look like this was when he bought my breast lift and implants in five years. =)

After four days, we were discharged home with Sadie, having to leave Jeffry behind in the NICU. He came home on the eighth day, and once we were all under the same roof, it finally felt like my family was complete.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have a hot date tonight....

.... with a bottle brush and twenty two dirty Dr. Brown's.

Yup, it's bottle prep time. I secretly dream of the day my kids happily slurp whole milk from their sippy cups. 'Till then, I spend 45 minutes making sure my kids won't starve for the next two days. We use Dr. Brown's bottles, which have the same nipple Jeffry, the ticky-tail, would only take because it was the same size as the nipples used in the NICU.

The pink and blue bands are their Inchbug labels, which have their names lasered into them. Daycare requires their bottles to be labeled, and Sharpies, although they say permanent on them, certainly are not. After one washing, you're back to scribbling on them again. Which is a pain in the butt when you've written their names so cute with dots on every letter. =(

I invested in tons of bottles because it is so time consuming making bottles every night - now we have enough bottles to get us through about 48 hours before having to wash and remake. When I first started making batches a day in advance, this little pitcher saved my life.

It's made by Dr. Brown's, and it stirs formula with its nifty little butter-churn-like handle. It was great for the first, oh, eight weeks. After that, I pulled out momma's Kool-Aid pitcher. Does double the duty for a lot less $$$.

For you other MoM's out there, I sat down and did the math on how much the kids drink each day, and how much I need to make. I measured out one 12.9oz powder can of formula, and counted 36 scoops to the can. Multiplied by two, each can of powder plus 72oz of water yields 80 ounces of formula. So, I use the Dr. Brown's pitcher to measure out the correct amount of water, dump an entire can of formula into it....

.... and give it a vigorous mix with my kitchen whisk. We make five ounce bottles with rice cereal mixed in for reflux. So after the cereal is measured out and funneled in....

.... I use the "zoot zoot" to mix it all up. The zoot zoot is what we call the travel formula mixer, because of the sound it makes when you turn it on. It also makes an amusing toy for two teenage cousins during the church's Christmas choir presentation (they took turns flicking each other behind the ear with it).

So, after the daycare bottles are put in their cooler bag and the others are on the bottle shelf in the fridge, I can wipe my brow and settle down to my Hostess cupcake and can of Coke.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I splurged last weekend and bought the kiddos a pair of walkers... you know, the death traps our parents used to put us in, right next to the top of the stairs? :: gasp! ::

After getting home from daycare, I took them outside since the weather was so nice, and let them scoot around the driveway in them. Next time, it'll be a two person job! The only way they can move in them is backwards, so it was a chase to keep Sadie from rolling off into the grass and Jeffry from rolling into the truck. We stayed out long enough to grab a few pics, then it was back inside.

* a note on pics - i hate using a huge obnoxious watermark on my stuff, but i do it to avoid photo stealing/copying. *

Sadie, in all her daycare grubbiness:

The one-finger-in-the-mouth Dr. Evil pose:

A rare smile from Jeffry (he was saving some rice cereal on his shirt for a snack later):

Nomming on fingers - his usual pose:

Dipping my toes back into the mommy blog world...

For all you new readers out there....

:: waves ::


I'm Amanda, and I'm carving my own new little space out here on the webworld. My husband Jeff and I are first-time parents to boy-girl twins, Jeffry & Sadie. They are six and a half months old, and we are raising them in South Louisiana - the heart of Cajun Country.

I decided to rejoin the blogging world after documenting our journey to parenthood on my previous blog. It slowly dwindled down after the babies were born - honestly, I barely had time to take care of myself for the first few months. So, instead of trying to resurrect something that was already dead (dearly departed blog... i command you, in the name of Jesus... revive yourself!), I registered my domain and started fresh. I did, however, import my old posts, just so anyone can go back and read if they have oodles of free time.

So, check out the pages to the right and read all about us. It's a crazy ride, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

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