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Long time, no blog!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's been forever since I blogged. The unexpected early arrival of the babies (I was shooting for making it to 37 weeks but the babies came at 34 1/2 instead) turned my life upside down, of course. They were born at 4 lbs 2.3 oz and 4 lbs 0.5 oz, so they were very tiny and obviously premature, but they were "late premature" and so they were in pretty good shape for preemies. No oxygen needed, no feeding tube, they just stayed a week in the hospital (turns out that was somewhat dictated by our insurance company, however; they didn't want to cover more, I learned later on, but I assume the doctors wouldn't have let the babies leave if they were very concerned about it) and spent most of that time in isolettes to keep them warm and protected. Near the end of the week the nurses started weaning them off the heat of the isolettes to see if they could maintain their own body heat, and they could, so they spent the last night in a hospital room with me. I had had a C-section because one baby was transverse and the doctors thought it would be too risky to try for a vaginal delivery, so I was in the hospital an extra day than I would have been otherwise, but I was discharged days before the babies were - yet we were still allowed to stay in a hospital room, free of charge and still getting meal service, while the babies were there. They needed me around for milk, after all. :) So basically I lived at the hospital for a week and didn't set foot off that campus and only got outside the building itself a couple times for a quick walk to try and ease the swelling I ended up with in my legs after surgery.

The babies have done well since then, though one was rather slow to wake up and learn to eat well. We had some trials getting him to eat all the milk he was supposed to. Then when he was 3 weeks old, he developed an inguinal hernia (common in preemies, apparently) and had to have surgery to repair it. Poor little guy, and poor us - the pediatrician told us we needed surgery Thursday, we had a consult with a pediatric urologist Friday, they scheduled surgery for Tuesday, and meanwhile I was having a heart attack every time the baby moaned with discomfort or cried or pooped or anything that might make his hernia worse. It did, in fact, get worse over those days, but not dangerously so. More intestines moved through the hole, but they didn't get strangulated or anything. I just was never quite sure whether he was okay or whether we needed to take him to the ER - our instructions were to watch him over the weekend, and if he fussed more than usual or just "seemed off" we were supposed to take him to the ER. One doctor did say to make sure his skin never turned dark where the hernia was, but otherwise the rest of it was so vague, it completely freaked me out.

Anyways, he's fine now. Though I felt bad after the surgery, because the doctor didn't want his little immature system on pain meds because it wouldn't handle them well, so his discharge instructions for pain were literally to "hug and cuddle" him when he was in pain.

But like I said, everyone is all good now. They have gained lots of weight and though we haven't weighed them officially at the doctor's recently (they go back on the 27th), our unofficial estimates with the bathroom scale at home indicate they're both well over 8 pounds now. Both eat like their mommy and daddy, which is to say they eat a lot, and both are learning to hold their heads up and all that sort of thing. One baby (the hernia baby) may have a leg issue - his femora are disproportionately short and at least one is rather bowed, but that may get better with time. Or we may need to see an orthopedic physician. Either way, it's not life-threatening which is all I care about.

I'm doing well, though I have lost zero baby weight. In fact, I think I gained some weight after I lost the water weight of post-surgery swelling. Too much snacking to try to stay awake during the night feedings or during the day when I'm exhausted, too much indulgence, no time to track calories. Oh well. There's plenty of time when things settle down a bit to make a more concerted effort to lose the weight. I know how to do it now, and really, the only thing Iím missing is the calorie aspect. Iím back to regular exercising. I may still run a bit more slowly than I used to, but whenever I have a day off from work I make sure to go running and I go at least 5 miles. I donít have time to do anything higher-intensity activity like cycling or jogging or zumba on work days any more (babies!) but I do make sure to walk before work and during my lunch break, so I generally fast-walk at least an hour every day if nothing else. Thereís a lot more sitting around all day and being sedentary when youíre holding babies, feeding babies, and pumping milk for babies every 3 hours (and it takes me like 45 minutes to pump myself dry, itís ridiculous) but I am trying to at least get some exercise every day. I lost tons of muscle mass and strength, it seems, since I couldnít lift for 6 weeksÖbut Iím working on reversing that now that I can lift weights again.

So all in all, Iím doing okay and the babies are good. The one problems is that Iím back at work, and itís an hourlong commute one way, and that means I donít see my babies as much as I could, and once they start coming with me to daycare in the city where I work, their father wonít hardly get to see them. Plus I hate the idea of them spending 2 hours in carseats every day. Plus, and this is the big thing Ė I canít stay awake in the car for that long any more. I barely sleep, and every morning and every evening itís a huuuuge struggle to stay awake. I have to call my husband or mother, or eat grapes, or chew gum, or crank up the music, or actually slap myself in the face, and it still doesnít really work. I still drive in something of an exhausted haze bordering on sleep eventually, and itís scary. I am hoping that when itís time for the babies to come with me (they start daycare next Monday) this will change just by having other people in the car, particularly people that I would do anything to protect and keep safe. Hopefully that will energize me enough.

Anyways, theyíre the cutest, sweetest little babies. Sometimes fussy, sure, and one of them pretty much never smiles and always looks SO serious and SO disappointed in youÖbut thatís okay. : ) I love them so much, as does my husband, and we are a very happy, if completely exhausted, new family these days. :)

I hope youíve all been doing well!! Sorry I havenít been able to keep up with anyone elseís lives at the moment, but I am cheering for you all nonetheless!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESCHLETZ 12/1/2013 12:23PM

    So happy to see this update. Glad things are going as well as can be expected at the moment, and that both babies are doing good again.
Keep looking after yourself along with everyone else and before you know it the feeling of exhaustion will go away. Very scary to be driving while feeling that tired. I hope you find something that helps keep you alert.

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LYDDIECAT 11/13/2013 7:04PM

    Yay! I was hoping to hear some baby news soon! I'm glad to hear all is well and that you and your boys are thriving. emoticon emoticon

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STRONGMOMMA2014 11/13/2013 3:24PM

    I am so happy to hear from you and totally understand the crazy, beautiful new life is taking a lot of your time! So thankful to hear that everyone is well, even with the bumps in the road! Sleep is something I have valued above all other things since I had children. It will get better, and better, and better, I promise! I am so happy for you! Congratulations Momma!


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CHEETARA79 11/13/2013 12:33PM

    Great to hear from you! Glad your babies are ok despite the few bumps in the road.

Don't push yourself too hard, mama. You have to take care of you so you can take care of the babies.

I'm 27 weeks today and (finally) in the 3rd trimester.

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SQUIRRELLYONE 11/13/2013 11:52AM


Take your time with the baby weight. Most of my friends found that with a little walking (especially if you have a double stroller!) and breastfeeding, a lot of it peeled off. Eat as healthily as you can to keep your strength up, and just enjoy the moment!

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SISSY_24 11/13/2013 11:27AM


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GK1963 11/13/2013 11:26AM

    Work and babies? Don't know how you do it. Congrats on the twins and remember to take some "you" time

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SSTEPH85 11/13/2013 11:17AM


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Happy to be truly alive

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

As most of you are probably already aware, today is the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As soon as I realized that, I was immediately grateful to still be blessed with the gift of life. On September 11, 2001, I was a freshman in college, with no idea what I wanted to do with my life, no prospects for finding a life partner, I was most definitely overweight and probably obese by then and only going to see that weight climb in the next several years.

In the twelve years since that day, when all of us hugged our families a little closer and then set our shoulders a little more squarely in the face of violent hatred, I have experienced a fair bit of LIFE. I began my first and only long-term relationship, traveled to Europe, graduated college, determined my career path, went to graduate school, ate my way to severe obesity and high blood pressure, earned my masters, got married to my college sweetheart who is my perfect partner in every way, got my first few real job, lost weight, became unhealthily skinny rather than unhealthily fat, bought a house, went through a year of emotionally painful infertility, sought and received treatment, traveled to Europe again, and now I'm 34 weeks pregnant with twin boys. That's some good life. Not all of it was perfectly enjoyable, but it was LIVING and each step paved the way for something wonderful to come.

It is tragic that so many people were denied this gift of life twelve years ago. It is tragic that so many people have this gift taken from them every single day, for various terrible reasons. But I tell you what, it makes me inexpressibly grateful for the time I've had and the time I have yet to come, however much that may be and whatever I end up doing with it. I have grown into adulthood since September 11, 2001, and now that I am healthy, fit, mature, have established some work experience, and am about to become a mother, I can't wait to keep on truly LIVING.

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EG8383 9/12/2013 11:19AM

  Amazing to read this and great things that you point out. I heard on the radio yesterday on my way into work that we should pray for another normal day instead of a perfect day. When we think our day is crappy there is some out there who is having a crappier one and ours isn't so bad after all. We're lucky to still be here surround by all the ups and downs life has to give us. We could be gone. I'm thankful for each day. Its great to think back to 12 years ago and where we are today. Those that lost their lives 12 years ago are heros in my eyes. Congrats on your pregnancy with twin boys!!! May these last few weeks be amazing for you!!

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BRANDYLDUGGAN 9/11/2013 1:27PM

    Amen! Girl, you are such an inspiration. If you can lose this weight and stay healthy then I know I can too. Thank you.

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To clarify, I'm not completely against junk food or think it's evil, I swear!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

So I feel kind of bad...I *did* come off rather cranky in my last blog about National Bacon Day. And now I'm going to ramble about it some more! So fair warning to you - this is going to be another long and boring sort of blog.

So I'm not particularly against the concept of bacon or junk food or treat food or whatever. I eat some kind of dessert every day, and it ain't always whole-wheat-oatmeal-organic-dark-chocolate
of-butter. :) I guess my problem with "National ____ Day" is that A) I don't like making a holiday purely to boost sales that benefit an industry's profits; holidays should be for the celebration of something REAL, like Father's Day or the Fourth of July or Veterans Day! and B) I don't like that these industry-driven holidays are prioritizing their profits over people's health. It's like making a "National Cigarette Day" or something to me (although perhaps a bit less gross than that would be) - people can smoke if they want to, but let's not make a party out of it. With National Bacon Day or National Donut Day or whatever these things always are, I guess my issue is that I am very uncomfortable with being actively encouraged to think of something that isn't actually good for me as some kind of thing to celebrate purely for its own self, its own existence, just to boost business profits. I totally eat donuts. I would eat bacon more often, if it didn't kind of gross me out to know the general fat-to-meat ratio. I just reserve things like that for treats, and I don't like some industry telling me I ought to eat them just because that industry designated a particular day to celebrate its own product. I think it's less that I'm anti-treats and more that I just don't like being told what to do. :) Especially when what I'm being told to do is eat junk food; I will indulge, sure, but on my own schedule! And then I feel uncomfortable with all the other people out there who haven't started on a healthy lifestyle trajectory themselves getting this kind of pressure. I used to be susceptible to this kind of thing and take any excuse to eat something unhealthy. But it just isn't good for anyone but the high-ranking people running these industries, so it seems really selfish to me - push people to eat more of something they might not otherwise have thought to eat any time soon, and sacrifice their health (because over time, all these Days add up!) just to boost profits. I am all in favor of people eating anything in moderation; I've had people talk to me about my dietary choices and assume I don't eat anything fun and I tell them that oh no, I eat treats all the time, in a way - I just watch the portions. (Though the whole pregnancy thing is making that a bit tougher these days...but I try, and I do okay on the whole!) But a lot of people don't understand portion control and moderation. Given the obesity stats, most Americans seem to fall into this category. If we were all a nation of people who were easily capable of "everything in moderation" then I don't think I'd mind this sort of thing so much.

I guess I am totally being an individual version of "the nanny state." LOL I don't want industries telling me what to do, but I sure want to tell THEM what to do! So I have thought and thought about this kind of thing, and I still just don't like the idea of encouraging a behavior that in some people would be totally harmless but in most of my fellow Americans is a poorly or uncontrolled vice that they need some support in overcoming, not encouragement to indulge in.

And now that this topic, which is really not THAT big a deal, has been given way more time and opposition than it really deserves...I'm off to finish my salad and PBJ, take a walk after work, eat my vegetable barley soup dinner...and then totally eat leftover cake and candy from my baby shower. But because I choose to, not because someone gave me the excuse that it's Black Bottom Cupcake and Fun Size Heath Bar Day! :)

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CALIPIDGIOUS 9/4/2013 7:55AM


I find that everything boils down to some corporate hack making huge profits off of human suffering in all ways, in all things.

So, if it's a matter of Smithfield making some extra money because more people eat BLT's or breakfast for dinner because it's bacon day, while its not great for anyone, it's better than the slow grinding grinding march through the industrial war complex we are all being forced to pay for.

I understand your view.

Mine is simply that there is very little joy in life for millions of people, especially right now, bacon day or cupcake day or any day is better than 'we are declaring war' day or we are 'cutting all funding for preschool" day, etc. Small potatoes in the big picture of what is wrong with this country. :-(

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"National Bacon Day," really??

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I really, really dislike how so many things have a designated "day" (frequently so designated by the industry that produces them) - Ice Cream Day, Donut Day, Bacon Day...there's got to be an "official" day for any number of unhealthy foods that are okay to eat on rare occasions but don't really need to be celebrated. At least not to me. Just because it's Donut Day does NOT mean I plan to include a donut in my eating that day. I'll have a donut when I decide it might be worth my while to eat one (which is almost never, unless I'm baking them myself) and I get kind of irritated by the shameless self-promotion behind things like "Eat lots of bacon today because it's National Bacon Day!" Says who? I'll eat it if I choose to, thanks. No need to try and pressure me into it, no matter how "fun" and celebratory the day is supposed to be. It's still pressure to eat something that isn't good for me! Sure, bacon tastes delicious. How could it not? It's basically fried fat. I get really grossed out looking at raw bacon, when you can see a narrow strip or two of actual meat, surrounded by the inevitable white mass of pork fat. I try not to eat bacon now and I don't really miss it.

But anyways, that's not the point. The point is that maybe I'm just having a cranky morning, but I still struggle with portion control and desire for foods that aren't always nutritious, and I want to raise healthy kids, and I want other people to be able to resist their temptations and cravings and eat more healthfully, and I just don't like pulling up CNN in the morning and reading that it's "National Bacon Day" like that's some kind of official, important news. People are free to eat what they want and obviously industries are going to try to boost their sales as they can, but I guess I just don't like when there is this level of encouragement to eat something unhealthy when as a whole, this country's health is really suffering.

I shall now step off the soapbox and go for a walk before it gets too hot out. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANIHAKA 9/2/2013 5:19PM

    Well we all have choices in life and one of those is to buy into hype or not. On my present regime a little of everything is ok for me as I'm sure it is for others. It seems like these food days are designed to motivate the public to support the various food industries such as bacon or icecream etc. If that particular industry is flagging fair enough - buy bacon, doughnuts or whatever but don't gorge on these items freeze them & use them when you need to.

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CALIPIDGIOUS 9/1/2013 9:02AM

    I think you are having a cranky morning. This seems to be an issue for you quite often. You get upset about other people eating poorly or that there are foods that aren't great for you that other people celebrate. I think perhaps stepping back and realizing that bacon, donuts, etc. along with all things, when eaten in moderation don't have to be 'bad' things. Just because we all can't eat in moderation most of the time and if we can, we transfer our obsessions to something else, doesn't mean the rest of the world is incapable.

I agree its not news but I also don't think its the evil that you seem to feel it is. I save that distinction for news about the Kardashians or anyone involved with that family.

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BRANDYLDUGGAN 8/31/2013 12:12PM

    GO YOU! It is kind of ridiculous. But I think that I didn't realize how ridiculous it was until I started to try and change my eating. Good point!

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Yay, schools!

Monday, August 26, 2013

This health news article I read today makes me happy! Although I'm also a little confused. I thought schools were increasingly ditching their PE programs in order to have more time to focus on learning whatever kids need to know for standardized testing.

But anyways, it sounds very encouraging anyway! Of course, I wish the numbers were even better than they've gotten, but still. I'm going to be optimistic and think it can only keep getting better!

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BRANDYLDUGGAN 8/27/2013 1:31PM

    Agreed. It has to get better with the obesity problems we have here. I feel like if i had been taught at a younger age the importance of exercise along with some nutritional guidelines I may have saved myself a few pounds lol.

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CAROL494 8/26/2013 10:14PM


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