Thursday, December 29


Charlie was not been sleeping much the last few days. And I'm not just talking about at night. I mean, in general. He just kind of likes to stay awake. He's not always crying, though...most of the time he just lays on/next to/with me and looks around, but it's difficult to get things done when he's like this because he doesn't like to be left alone. I read somewhere that you just can't spoil a newborn because they are developing their bond with you during the first few months, so I stick with that theory and comfort him whenever he gets upset. Afterall, what could really make a newborn cry? All they want is food in their tummy, clean bums, dry clothes and no gas bubbles. The last of that list seems to be what keeps him awake the most. If he's not burping like a 40 year old sports fan watching the big game, he's tooting like someone who eats nothing but beans and brocolli everyday.

Anyway, I decided to take advantage of a few hours of this awakeness and we did a mini photoshoot in the nursery. Although I took over 100 pictures, I only got a choice few that weren't ruined by my less-than-stellar camera. I have some editing to do on a few of them, but I wanted to share my favorites. He was happy doing this for over an hour. I was even trying to get him to sleep so I could get some sleepy baby pictures, but alas - he still would not sleep.

I took a picture of Charlie's belly button because I noticed it is
shaped just like a heart! It's still deciding if it's going to be an
innie or an outie.

Tro lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo loooo, tro lo lo lo loooo

Don't let the droopy eyes fool you. He's not tired.

Yeah. This is more his style.

Baby toes! 10 perfect digits.

Now, slooooowly pull your fist up under your chin...

This is one of the hats Kevin's cousin made for the boys. There
is this brown one (Toad) and there is also a green one (frog) which
is the theme of the nursery. So thoughtful, cute and awesome!

Ah, those CHEEKS! He is starting to get his baby chub.

Totally my fav. Kevin edited this one and spruced it up. It looks
much better and is the desktop background on both of our computers.

So much awe in a new babies eyes.

Based on the wetness indicator on his diaper, he
needed a change. Yet he's still so happy!

I love to nibble on his toes, especially after bath nights.

Add caption

A super happy baby smile. No, it's not gas - it's totally legit!

This is a yawn, not a cry. Again, don't be fooled.
Sidenote - he is actually sleeping right now which is what is giving me time to write this post. I know, I should be sleeping, but I wouldn't have time to write anything otherwise!

Sunday, December 25

Happy Christmas

Meeting grandma for the first time
I take it back. Now I feel like many things have changed. For one thing, I haven't slept in my own bed since we brought Charlie home (but lets be honest: I haven't slept much anywhere). Thankfully, we have a comfortable reclining couch, but I miss my bed. And my husband.
Riley is so happy to finally have a brother. He should be after
6 sisters!

I have been able to wake up a little earlier as Charlie usually only wakes up two or three times a night to eat now so I don't miss quite as much sleep. However, I find my days disappear before they begin. The routine consists of waking up around 9, feeding on boob 1, changing the diaper, feeding on boob 2, burping, getting caught up on work emails, trying to find something for breakfast, feeding on boob 1 again, pumping, checking on work emails again, change diaper, doing some laundry or dishes, realizing how late in the afternoon it is, trying to take a nap, not being able to nap, feeding on boob 2, work, burping, realizing Kevin will be home in less than half an hour and not having any idea what we're having for dinner, change diaper, feed on boob 1, or was it boob 2?, heating up a frozen burrito for dinner, staying up for the 10 o'clock feeding in hopes I can get Charlie full enough to sleep until 1, feeding, diaper, oh, now I can take a break to pee...  
Mom and Charlie taking a nap the day we came home from
the hospital

And then all over again the next day. Where is there time for anything else? I have all these projects I want to work on. I thought I'd have oodles of time to do said projects now that I'm home...and especially with a newborn who sleeps all the time. Nope! So far, all I've managed to do is organize one cupboard which is where all the baby stuff is. My house is in complete disarray. I don't even remember the last time I dusted. Good thing Kevin hasn't noticed - or at least hasn't said anything yet.

Charlie is starting to enjoy his bath time more and more. I've learned to make sure he's awake for a few minutes before plopping him in his tub. As long as it's a slow transition, he likes to sit back, relax and let mom and dad pamper him. It's still tough keeping his fingernails short enough to where he doesn't destroy his face. He wears a lot of jams with mittens which helps a lot. Unfortunately, he pees on himself because his diapers are still big on his little body so we do a lot of laundry to keep the mitten jams available. 
First bath - how many hands does it take to clean a baby?

So all in all, everything is going well. Charlie got spoiled this Christmas and although most of his presents were utilitarian, they will be very handy and practical. One of his presents was a video monitor by Levana. It's pretty cool...the monitor is color, has two way speaker/talking, night vision, music, night light and lots of other cool features that make it awesome. It had pretty good reviews online so I'm looking forward to using it.

The monitor won't be very handy until he is able and willing to sleep in his crib, though. He hasn't slept in his cradle, I don't remember the last time. I find he sleeps almost twice as long if he sleeps with me on the couch and I cherish my sleepy time. I'm now starting to regret this spoilage though because he rarely sleeps without being held, cuddled or touched. Even during the day. Curses! 
Clean and snuggly after the bath

My mom is coming to stay with me for a while after the first of the year. I know she's going to be a big help and will enjoy getting to spend some time with little baby. He is, very probably, the last grandchild on my side. Therefore, I'm sure serious spoilage is going to ensue. I can't say I'm terribly opposed to it, though. He's just too cute not to spoil!
This set of jammies is size 0-3 months. It appears Charlie
is being swallowed by yards of fabric.
Hanging out at nap time.

Poppin' his collar and lookin' fly for the ladies.

Emilee, Charlie and I hanging around the house

Bright eyed and bushy tailed!

One of my favorites. Emilee fell asleep holding Charlie
before our family Christmas party. I didn't want to wake
them up they looked so sweet.

Charlie has many unique positions he prefers to sleep. This is
one of them.

First Christmas jams! These actually fit.

Thursday, December 8

I've Survived...

...the first week.

Charlie has been home with us for almost 2 full weeks now. Perhaps it's because I was expecting having twins at home, but I haven't felt that huge "change" everyone has told me to expect. Don't get me wrong, the late night feedings are tiresome and instead of getting up before 8 I'm lucky to roll out of bed before 10, but much still seems the same.

Kevin went back to work this week leaving Charlie and I to get accustomed to TCOB (taking care of business) on our own. One thing that was nice having Kevin for was the morning feeding, around 8. Then I could make up the hours I missed while he could spend some time with the bubs. But with Kevin out of the house by 7:30, that leaves me to get him fed and changed. I feel like such a bum sleeping until 10 or 11. My days seem to disappear since there's less of them to have. But, so far I've been able to take care of my work responsibilities, keep up with the laundry, feed and change the baby and even do some light cooking and a load of dishes here and there. Not bad considering I'm only awake for a few hours a day!

Charlie has the worst case of hiccups I've ever seen. The funny thing is, for the past 3 weeks while I was pregnant with him, he would ALWAYS get the hiccups. At least twice a day, sometimes more. This has passed on to external babyville, too. Kevin told me his mom used to have a trick for getting rid of them when he was little. She would give the kids a cap full of lemon juice and the hiccups would magically disappear. We thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that you were just focusing on the hiccups (kind of like the spoonful of sugar thing), but whatever the reason, it really does work! We just dip his binkie into some juice and have him suck on it, and voila: No more hiccups.

He is full of character. I love just watching him make all of his faces when he's awake. One minute he looks like he's about to burst into tears and the next, he's making a Blue Steel face (see photo on left for those that are unfamiliar with Zoolander).

He has started crying more the last couple of days, but I think much of that has to do with his increasingly sore bum. His poor cheeks just keep getting more and more red. I use the bum cream every time I change him, but it just seems to be inevitable. His diapers barely fit onto his tiny little body right now making leaks harder to control. Sometimes I'll go to change him only to discover he's got a big ol' pee spot on the back of his jammies.

Kevin is in charge of baths and he gets them every other day. I got a tip from one of the NICU nurses to throw their towel and PJ's into the dryer so they'll be nice and toasty warm after the bath. Charlie seems to appreciate this so far.

He's getting more baby acne on his forehead but I'm not worried about it. I'm sure it'll calm down in the next few weeks and he doesn't seem to mind it. Keeping his nails trimmed is difficult. I try to trim them while he's sleeping to he isn't flailing his arms everywhere while I'm using sharp clippies. If he's wearing something that doesn't cover his hands, he seems determined to scratch the living crap out of his face. The hand mittens, although a great concept, never stay on his hands for more than a few minutes at a time and are more trouble to put on his hands than it's worth. I wonder how many more of those "baby inventions" I have yet to discover that seem like a good idea but are really more of a nuisance.

My sister in law posted on her blog about the amazing baby shower she put together for me. I want to talk more about this later, but if you want to see pictures and see how awesome she is before I have a chance to write about it, visit her blog here.

Friday, December 2

Good News, Bad News

Most of my readers are already aware of what's happened in the last 2 weeks, but for any of my readers that aren't, here is the Cliff's Notes version.

We went in for the surgery early Friday morning. The nurses couldn't seem to find a heartbeat for Baby B. This wasn't terribly alarming because I knew they had a hard time finding it at the NST scan a few weeks earlier. They didn't seem too concerned, either because it's more difficult to find unique heartbeats with multiples.

They continued to prep me for surgery and wheeled me into the room right on schedule. At this point, I was trying to concentrate on every little detail. I wanted to remember everything. I paid attention to the songs playing on the radio. I made a note of Kevin's facial expressions. I even focused on the smells in the room.

After the first 10 minutes, I heard a faint wailing followed by Kevin squeezing my hand and telling me that our first baby was here. Tears came to my eyes as I listened to his screams intensify. I had a very calm sensation come over me as I realized I was - holy crap - a mom! I patiently laid there while I waited to hear a second cry fill the room. I waited. And waited. But nothing came. I knew the baby was out, but I thought maybe he was just taking a little longer to get his lungs going. I kept waiting. Then Kevin asked the anesthesiologist to check on what was happening, because there were so many people surrounding his bed he couldn't see what was going on. When he came back, he whispered something to Kevin that I couldn't hear, but two words struck me and immediately made my mouth go dry: No Heartbeat. Kevin squeezed my hand again and told me they were working on him, but he had a lot of gunk in his lungs and they were still working on him to get him to breath on his own.

I listened to the song on the radio as I tried to convince myself everything was ok, they were going to bring him back. Don't panic. But after what felt like an hour, they told us they had done everything they could and they just couldn't bring him back. They worked on him for a full 45 minutes.

After a whirlwind day of nurses, doctors, chaplains, and visitors, Kevin and I were left to deal with the realization that one of our babies didn't make it. The hospital staff was never really sure what happened. Baby B was 2 full pounds smaller than his big brother. He also showed signs of distress at the time of birth which made them think something had happened between our last ultrasound and the delivery. We'll never know for sure.

We buried our precious baby Oliver Wilson on Wednesday morning while his brother, Charlie Martin, waited for us in the NICU back at the hospital. We were so blessed to have so many loving people reach out to us and comfort us during what was the best and worst moment of my life. People we don't even know were offering condolences and helping us through our grief. We had neighbors making us dinners, volunteers bringing us teddy bears and hospital staff stopping by just to listen. It was overwhelming to see how many people cared and wanted to be there for us.

Charlie was admitted to the NICU mostly as a precaution due to the circumstances with Ollie. He was immediately treated with a round of antibiotics, then another round shortly after. He spent some time under the UV lights but was otherwise a completely healthy little baby. He was born at 5 pounds 15 ounces and was 17 1/2" - not bad for a twin baby!

He started breastfeeding immediately and caught on super quick. It seemed he knew what he was doing - I was the one learning what to do. My milk came in after 3 days and has been a waterfall ever since.

After spending a week in the NICU, he was finally able to come home. I haven't been able to let go of him since. I constantly want to hold, kiss, touch or otherwise interact with him (even if it's changing a poopy diaper!). Sometimes I share him with Kevin and let him hold him for a few minutes, but I still stare at him out of the corner of my eye, in awe that this is my child. I couldn't sleep very well for the first couple of nights, waiting to hear his breath, watching his blankets to make sure his chest was rising, touching his cheek to make sure it was warm. I'm sure this is common for most first time parents as it is, but especially after our tragedy, I am even more paranoid and cautious.

We took him to his first appointment on Tuesday. He is gaining weight and is doing great. He is such a brave boy! He rarely cries, even when his mom is dressing him up in his cute outfits and blinding him with camera flashes non stop. His body is so tiny and I'm afraid I'm going to break him. Holding him when he's naked is so strange - it's like holding a warm bag of hot dogs. His arms and legs are still so skinny but he has a big ol' pot belly. The black belly button thing fell off a couple days ago, so he's easier to bathe now. He eats about every 3 hours or so, sometimes longer. The nighttime feedings, although not something I LOVE, aren't that bad. It's kind of nice to spend some quiet time together, just listening to him breathe, rocking back and forth, letting his tiny hand wrap around my finger. Sometimes I'm too tired to put him back in his cradle so I'll just lay there with him and hold him while we sleep.

I miss my baby Oliver more than I can explain, but I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to raise this beautiful baby. Suffering the loss of a child is not a pain I would wish on anyone. I know it's going to take time before I can fully accept and move on from the loss, but I truly believe Charlie was given to me as a way to help me cope with the pain and remind me of life's joys and blessings.