Wednesday, June 25, 2008

35 weeks and 5 days.

35 weeks and 5 days.
That is how long I carried the girls. They were born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

In the multiples world it is one of the first questions people ask.
Order of quesitons from a parent of multiples:
What do you have? Girl/Girl? Boy/Girl? Boy/Boy?
Are they identical or fraternal?
How many weeks did you carry them?

This question isn't meant to judge the length of time any one woman carries any number of babies - it is simply a way for us to identify with the length of the pregnancy and the level of prematurity (if any). I'm not sure why we ask, now that I think of it... I think I'll stop asking people...

You always need to consider that the "normal" singleton is born somewhere around 40 weeks. Twins CAN make it to 38, but most don't.
Having twins is extremely hard on your body and on the babies growing inside.
Most mothers of twins hit the size of a full-term pregnancy at 30 weeks (as I did). I believe I measured at 53 weeks when I delivered... it wasn't pretty.

I'm lucky to have made it to 35 weeks 5 days. My girls were slightly premature, but did not have any lasting impacts. They were little, mind you... but we're no tower of people either.

This post is for CJ, who hit 35 weeks 5 days with her twins today. She is at home waiting for delivery on the 7th, but every day until then is a bonus for her and her babies inside.
I forgot to thank CJ last night for all of the good memories that she brought back to me. The waiting, the planning, the uncomfortable belly, the STUPID remarks people make, not being able to reach the open car door and the wonderful anticipation of delivery.
I'm writing this post almost in tears. I'm so happy for my sweet new friend who will have the most amazing experience in her life soon... and I'm so sad that I'll never have any more children.

We have our happy family of 4. I'm very lucky.

By the way, here are the order of questions from people who DON'T have multiples:
1) Are they twins?
2) Are they identicle?
3) Are they natural or artificial?

Lady, I'm pretty sure they're real.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keira :: 20 months

Keira is our friendly child. She will share everything with anyone (unlike most toddlers her age). If Ana wants Keira's toy/milk/anything, Keira will hand it right over with a "THAN TO!" (translated "Thank You")

Favorite activities: Watching "Signing Time" and pretending like she is doing sign language, taking a bath or playing with the airplane toys. (Going "bye-bye" is also big)

Favorite clothes: She doesn't care about clothes, but she does love jewelry. She is a big fan of earrings.

Favorite foods: Keira is such a good eater. She will eat almost anything you put in front of her. I would have to say that her favorite foods are fruits. She will beg for more cherries or strawberries. She also loves yogurt.

Favorite drink: Drinkable yogurt.

Least favorite activities: She hates to be put down when you're holding her. She just melts sometimes.

Least favorite clothes: She doesn't really care.

Least favorite foods: I can't think of anything she dislikes...

Least favorite drink: ... again... a blank.

Funny facts about Keira: She loves to suck her thumb and rub her neck when she is tired. She always says, "essyboo" and we have no idea what it means... we'll have to ask when she gets older. She has a funny nervous laugh when she is very tired or about to melt down.

Ana :: 20 months

Ana has developed the "little mommy" personality (which is funny that people say that, since The Hubby is just as loving and attentive as any mommy...)

Favorite activities: She carries her "babies" everywhere. Every moment of her day is spent making sure that she has one stuffed animal or another in her arms. She feeds her babies or wraps them in blankets over and over and over. "Where da baby? Oh, hi baby. Hi baby."
She also loves the pool and hanging from anything. She is our little monkey.

Favorite clothes: She still LOVES the monkey shirt that Auntie Didi bought. She pulls at all other clothes ("Off! OFF!") and asks us to put the monkey shirt on. (We bought another monkey shirt as a backup)

Favorite food: Pasta, bread, sweet potato pancakes

Favorite drink: Milk

Least favorite activity: Brushing her teeth. This is a nightly activity that pains everyone involved.

Least favorite clothes: If it isn't the monkey shirt, you better check yourself.

Least favorite food: Yogurt

Least favorite drink: Drinkable yogurt.

Funny facts about Ana: She will hug us really, really tightly (think Koala) when she doesn't want to do something. She walks with one arm swinging higher than another. She likes to hum and squeel.

National Treasure

The Hubby and I have discussed how much the girls have changed. We are making a desparate effort to remember and document every moment of the girl's lives. Our motivation stems from absolute love of each child and the knowledge that these are our last children. We got one shot at parenthood. No Learning-From-The-First-Child wisdom, No Appreciate-The-Little-Moments of the treasured second child. None of those "Have One Child at a Time" parenting techniques.
My boss has a saying. (My boss has many sayings, but most are not appropriate for this blog)
Anyways, my boss says that those who don't try for a second child after their first are cowards. Today he gave me a "pass" on this rule and explained that we're doing everything "all at once". (When I told him we were having twins, he threw his head back and cackled "Instant Family!". It was only funny until he realized that he was going to have to do my job until I was back from maternity leave...).
Where was I?
Oh, yes. Treasure the moments.
I'm going to try to make sure that I post each child's favorites and least favorite anythings often. Not so much for you, Constant Reader. No. Not so much.
I hope that this record, this journal, will be their treasured babybook.
It is true, it seems. All that I do is for my girls. They are my everything.
And I treasure it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Close, but not the Borg

This morning I asked Ana to say "hi" to Keira.
I asked her to say "hi" to her sister.
"Hi Sister, " she repeated. Keira looked at her with a loving smile and said, "ANA!"
These are the happy moments all moms want... but they are especially meaningful for a parent of multiples who wonders if their kids will be close. Beyond close. Inseparable?

I'm often asked if they have the "twin bond" or share ESP or something crazy.
Actually, for awhile I wondered if they knew each other existed. They were very polite to not fuss if the other one was upset, but they themselves didn't seem particularly bothered if their twin was having a massive meltdown. They eventually noticed each other.

A few months ago we wondered allowed if they knew that they were two separate people. They called each other "Ana" and seemed genuinely confused when I asked them to point to Keira. In fact... they still don't seem to get that...

They became the collective. Not a "1 of 2" kind of thing... more of a 1 year old lack of understanding of other people kind of thing. I think. I am comforted and distracted by the collective of Ana. They spend their days calling each other Ana and asking for things for Ana. It is really all about Ana-the-collective. Who's milk is this? Ana.

I realized how close they were getting the other day when Mark and Kate came to visit. Ana slept late, which is unusual. We brought Keira downstairs to play. When she woke up, Ana was just distraught. She was looking in Keira's crib and crying hysterically. She was scared to death that Keira wasn't there.

Tonight The Hubby and I listened as they babbled in their cribs way past their bedtime. We can recognize each voice. Who is gurgling? Ana. Who is trying to learn to gurgle? Keira. What are they becoming? The collective, I'm sure. Ana.
I hope they always have this bond. And I hope they go to bed soon and stop gurgling.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

They mostly go out at night. Mostly.

Another week has come and gone.
Both girls are getting their back teeth in... so, they've been a little (a LOT) fussy. A lesser mother would say they were a pill. They're a pill.
I laugh because I've been out of sorts this week. So often you can't feel change. I can feel the change this week. Each girl is growing so much. Putting sentences together, getting teeth and seeing "2" in their future.
The Hubby and I went out for our 11 year anniversary and left the girls at home with my sister (who I am so thankful for). It was a milestone for me - not the girls. Last night was the first NIGHT that Hubby and I went away from the house. Silly, but true none-the-less.
I wanted to yell to the world (oh, constant reader) that my girls are growing up and I'm not ready... but mostly... mostly I wanted to share this video.