Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ordained to Lose It

In the early months of the twins being home, in the wee hours of the night, I completely lost it.
The grueling schedule of nursing AND formula supplementing two babies—every three hours—plus the diaper changes, burping, and more diaper changes gave me about four separate ONE HOUR increments of sleep. Per day. For months. On end.
(Remember those old Dunkin’ Donut commercials from the eighties? “Time to make the donuts…I made the donuts. Time to make the donuts...” That was me. But instead the catch phrase was, “Time to feed the babies…I fed the babies.”)
There is sound reason why militaries around the world use sleep deprivation techniques to torture captives. Because it is most definitely torture. And their captives typically aren’t even hormonal and lactating.
So at about 2 a.m. on the night in question, I fed, burped and diapered the babies (again), but they wanted nothing to do with sleep. After forever and a day of rocking them, they finally drifted off. However—as if an instinctual alarm would sound in her little brain—as soon as I took off my glasses and pulled the blanket up to my chin, Abby’s eyes burst open, followed by completely uncalled for screaming. This of course, woke her sister, Reagan. This was the umpteenth night of this most unflattering behavior from my precious bundles of joy. At this point in my mothering career, it had been about 10 weeks since I had experienced REM sleep. I L-O-S-T IT.
It started as a slow whimper, and then crescendoed into stucco rumbling wails. My poor husband—who had just become accustomed to sleeping through the nightly ruckus—scrambled into the room as if the smoke detectors were blaring. I think I shed a few years, or at least days, off his life that night. He was relieved that we were not physically hurt, and a tad perturbed with me for not getting him before I had a mini nervous breakdown; as if I planned it...geez.
On that night, as well as a few (okay…several) other instances in the following weeks, I believe that God caused me to LOSE IT, sending out an SOS when I was too proud to ask for help for myself. As the time I blamed it on everything from the hormones to the culture shock of my world turned upside down. Now, I can see God’s hands, rocking me as I rocked my babies. I had absolutely no idea why they were crying, but my Heavenly Father understood why I was; and He sent help.Thank you Jesus—for knowing what I need, at the precise moment I need it.
Thanks for repeatedly saving my sinking little ship.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pink Polyester Lifelines...Oh, The Horror!

If you were one of the fifty people rubber-necking at us on Lackland Road yesterday, then you can tune out; go read something else. If you are wondering why two parents walking with the two toddlers on an early fall day could almost cause car accidents, I guess I’ll have to tell you…

We had the girls on leashes.

Okay…lifelines. Whatever. Sugar coat it with politically correct names, but it won’t change the fact that a harness around the waist of a child, with a polyester strap leading to my hand, is a human leash.

I can already hear the collective gasp; how inhumane!

The only thing that made me gasp was the price of these simple gadgets. Fifteen dollars! Each! If I would’ve opened the box while standing in Babies R’ Us, I surely would have put them back and went next door to the pet aisle at Wal-mart, and purchased the components for homemade baby leashes at a fraction of the cost. I’m sure I could’ve even got them in pink. Once I was home though, it wasn’t worth twenty bucks and the expended energy to go back to BRU, then to Wally world, and then home to create my ‘lifelines’. No thanks. It’s like making your own baby food…saving a little cash isn’t always worth the aggravation.

So, why does a women with two arms need to leash her child? Because I only have two arms…but I have two babies…and they are fast (the babies—not my arms). And rarely are they traveling in the same direction.

They are plum sick of being strapped into a stroller; at 22 months they love to walk, fall down, and overall explore God’s creation. I cannot fight their instinct for independence; but for safety and sanity’s sake, it must be controlled…harnessed if you will.

There are also many places that a double stroller is just too cumbersome. For instance—church. Our church is a frillion years old, in the city, with on street parking. Imagine me getting Abby out of her car seat, and then going around the vehicle to retrieve Reagan…what do I do with the Abby? Evil SUV’s and the boogeyman are lurking out there, and even though they may chew on their leashes like canines, they have not mastered the command to ‘stay’. Tethering her to my waist seems like a better option than watching her try to hail a cab while I fumble with Reagan’s asinine car seat straps.

Reactions have been mixed concerning the ‘leashes’, but honestly, the rubbernecking and whispers don’t bother me. Walk a mile in my shoes. Chasing their size five Buster Brown’s.

Admit it…you’d leash em’ too!

Blissful Torture: Baby Boot Camp

The prevailing wisdom(s) of family planning usually fall within a few predictable camps. There are those who adamantly declare that they will never have children—period. However, in the procreation category, many would advise you to have your children spaced out as far as nature will allow, so that you can nurture each child as an individual, lavishing them with personal attention. That leaves the predominant belief that you should have your kids as closely together as possible, to give them a playmate, as well as to get those sleep-deprived-diaper-changing-days out of the way as quickly as possible.

My husband and I ended up in this last category, but not by choice. It was thrust upon us.

When we realized that we would never have ‘enough’ money to justify having babies, and that years were flying by—stripping us of our youth and fertility—we submitted to the dastardly task of attempting to get pregnant. We quickly had success; even more quickly followed by failure. Two weeks after a devastating miscarriage, we bought our first home. (Don’t congratulate us yet…it was a total dump.) We spent six very long months renovating it ourselves. In March of 06’ we finally moved in. In April I peed on a stick—okay, three of them—and got double solid lines. I was knocked up. On May 24th, my doctor confirmed the pregnancy with an ultrasound. Times two. Two sacs. Two heartbeats. Two parents who needed smelling salts…because we were floored.

After about five minutes of raging heart palpitations, the reality of the situation sunk a bit deeper past the we-are-so screwed-financially stage, and morphed into the we-are-so-blessed-by-God stage. And we are. But I won’t lie; it has been hard. At night as we’d lie in bed, in the long moments of silence before sleep came, one of us would blurt out, “TWO BABIES!” The shell shock would creep up and blindside us at the strangest times. Honestly, the entire pregnancy was hard; mentally and physically.

And then they were born, proving that being pregnant with twins is a big fat cakewalk compared to nursing and caring for them around the clock. Those first few months were blissful torture—I have deemed those days as “baby boot camp”.

And we are still so incredibly, undeniably, overwhelmingly broke.

Despite the difficult terrain along the way, 22 months into parenthood, I am ridiculously happy. Content. Overproportionately blessed.

When I was pregnant, the number one question asked when it was discovered that I was bursting at the seams with twins, was: “How in the world are you going to do it?”
At first, this stressed me out beyond belief. Nothing freaks me out more than being asked questions that I don’t have the answers to. Not too far into the pregnancy, I found the perfect reply:

“God has not yet revealed that to me…but I am sure He will.”

And He has, at every trial. He has held us in His protective, loving hand; revealing Himself and the proper direction at every stumbling block. We know full well that if He were to remove that hand, our lives would implode. I am so thankful that we will never be plucked from it, especially with the days of blissful torture to come next.


How in the world am I going to do it?