Sunday, June 2, 2013

Help and support

It's been a while since I have posted on this blog. It has been a very eventful few months I must say. With being pregnant with twins and raising an almost 3 year old I hardly find time for myself. I went into preterm labor on April 29th, I was 30 weeks pregnant with twins. I dilated all the way to 6 cm and the doctors were able to stop labor, thankfully. I have been in the hospital ever since, which is going on 5 weeks this coming Monday. I posted this blog last week on my personal blog and thought I would share. Maybe some may be able to relate. Hoping to have more interesting posts once I get the ball rolling with raising 3 kids 3 y/o and under! I forgot what it is like to have a newborn and something tells me my babies will not be easy on me :)

Lets talk about support. I have been in the hospital now for 4 weeks straight! In those 4 weeks I have never received more offers of help in my life! Between my military family, most of which I barely know very well, offering to care for my daughter and come to the hospital to keep me company to my parents and Joe's parents dropping everything to come to my house and help clean and maintain it and care for Adrianna (and feed my husband). I am so very lucky to have such a great support system. Some of my friends have even come to the hospital just to chat for a few hours, how nice to have regular girl talk :)

Anyway, as my time being pregnant comes close to ending I have started to think about what life will be like with 3 kids 3 and under....two of which will be newborns. I am never one that likes to ask for help. I actually really hate asking for help unless I really need to, emergency situations and such. I am pretty sure that is why I ended up on hospital bed rest, I didn't ask for help nor did I listen to my body when it would tell me to slow down. I would go food shopping and think "it should be fine to carry all of these bags in myself, it is only a few steps away." You guys, I even carried cases of water 2 weeks before going into preterm labor! That did happen, and I should have never done that. We wont talk about other things I did throughout my pregnancy because, OB has a facebook and I am afraid she will read this ;). Point is, I should have asked for or accepted help when offered. As moms, I feel like we grade ourselves on that kind of shit, "I raised 4 kids and I never needed help and I home-schooled, home birthed and my kids never watch TV and I still nurse my toddler who latched on from the moment they were born." Just because I don't do these things doesn't mean I am less of a mother. I am perfectly perfect for my kids and my husband.  I have learned the hard way that help is nothing to be ashamed of. I am making it a point to accept help once the twinkies (I'm back to calling them twinkies, I am not mad at them anymore for misbehaving lol) arrive. My mom has been with Adrianna for about 4 weeks while I have been in the hospital and my MIL is here for about 1 week to give my mom a break. Once the twinkies are here, my mom will be back for maybe a week or so then it is just Joe and I until June 26th....then my 16 y/o cousin is coming in from out of town to be the relief. She will be helping me with everything, mainly keeping Adrianna company while we are tending to the twinkies and prepping our house for the move to VA in the middle of July. I am so glad to have all of this help. I am sure if we need my MIL or mother at any point they will gladly drop what they are doing and come our way. I don't anticipate needing meals made or anything like my wonderful military community likes to do, but I will not be turning away any form of help. I am done feeling bad for looking "weak" because I can't be supermom and handle it all on my own. This includes my feelings after birth.

With Adrianna, I had more than just the baby blues. I was down right depressed for a period of time. I did a great job faking it, but I had never felt more alone than I did during her first 6 months or so. I would cry throughout the day, had no motivation to do anything (I would force myself to tidy up the house but I never really went anywhere for 3-4 months), I couldn't sleep at night because I thought for sure Adrianna would stop breathing if I wasn't alert and attentive to her. It was miserable. Once she hit about 5-6 months I did some research and found a mommy and me gym class called Little Gym and it was seriously my saving grace! For the first time as a new mom I interacted with other new moms going through the same hardships of raising a newborn, it was fantastic. I will never forget the first time I brought Adrianna to a restaurant for lunch by myself. She was about 6.5 months old and it was after a little gym class, we went to Panera together and I juggled pushing the stroller around people and tables and getting my food/finding a table. It was hard and exhausting but felt so good once I settled in. Since that day, I began taking Adrianna out to run errands with me. They weren't always smooth, she once threw up EVERYWHERE at a Starbucks, pooped all up her back and on a shopping cart at a Target, I mean it was hard! But it felt good when I was able to accomplish what I need to during the day all while juggling a baby. Now, I am faced with twins. Will I have the same feelings again? Am I going to cry all day long, be stuck at home or stay up all night obsessing over their breathing? Chances are, that may happen again. I don't want it to but it probably will. I have had so much anxiety throughout this whole pregnancy. Now during my hospital stay I have the worst thoughts run through my mind...scary morbid thoughts. What if I die during labor, how will Adrianna handle not having me around forever? What if one of the babies die, will Adrianna keep asking for the other baby because she is so used to there being two babies in my belly? Will one be sick? Will one have Downs? Are the nurses sure they are getting two different babies when they check the heartbeats every night? Why do I think this way??? It is so frustrating because I feel out of control when these thoughts enter my mind, I feel like I can't breath or I just cry myself to sleep. It isn't healthy. So I suspect I will be just as anxious when the twinkies are home with me. Difference is, I will NOT be afraid to ask for help. I will tell the pediatrician the truth when she asks me how I am feeling (she would ask me multiple times whenever I brought Adrianna in to see her and I would lie every time). I will be honest with my OB when asked how I am handling things. I will talk to my husband more about these feelings and not try to hide them, there is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope I can resolve these feelings without medication. I hope that once the babies I will be so over the moon happy there will be no room for these crazy irrational thoughts and feelings. I will be paying more attention to caring for myself as well as them though, healthy me equals better mommy for them, all 3 of my babies :)

BTW, eviction date for the twinkies....JUNE 5TH!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Flying Across the Pond...

It must be summer! We are up and traveling again. Two days ago, we landed in the UK for a two week adventure and our first foray into international travel with the little guy.

No matter how many times I fly with the little man, it is different every time! We booked a late afternoon flight into Detroit and connected to Heathrow from there. 

We spent the morning before our flight at the children's museum in Denver letting off steam. This got us all nice and tired. 

When traveling internationally, if your little one is traveling as an infant in arms, you will need to pay taxes on the trip when you arrive at the airport. This took about 30 min. and the cost is around $300 (you can estimate it as roughly 10% of the ticket cost.) I'm not sure why it takes so much time, but arrive early to account for this. The airline will then issue tickets your your infant in arms child.

In Denver we sought refuge in the USO. (Located in Terminal A near the airline clubs.) They are so wonderful there! We all got a bite to eat and settled into their dark room for H to take a nap. He slept for about 45 min while we charged up all our gadgets. 

H played happily on the flight to Detroit. We had lots of food for him, but he loved the collection of snacks from the flight attendants. He played with the peanuts and pretzels and ate the Biscoff cookies. Our only incident came when my husband attempted to remove the cookie remnants from my sons hands, at which point he totally freaked out. Even with all the toys we brought, little peach preferred the window shade, armrest and buttons on the chair to everything we brought. Since we were in the bulkhead, he was able to stand at our feet and play around. 

We arrived in Detroit with a close connection (due to storms moving across the plains) and got off one plane and right on to the next. While everyone else was boarding, we changed the little guy into his PJ's, read a story, said prayer and he was asleep before we started to taxi. Amazingly, he slept for much of the flight. He woke up several times to reposition and we had to get creative a few times to help him get comfortable. We put a blanket down at the floor and let him sleep at our feet for a bit and I even sat on the floor so that he could sleep in one of the seats! 

When they turned on the lights for breakfast, the little guy woke up and enjoyed three of the breakfast muffins. (We had a very nice flight attendant!) We got him dressed before we landed and let him watch some of the kids TV options as we landed. 

Going through customs was a breeze. A customs officer jumped those of us with little ones to the head of the line, saving everyone some headache. Although the little ones slept, they only got about three hours. Immigration was a breeze, although our car seat came out on a different carousel. 

We chose to bring our own car seat to the UK after much Internet searching and a phone conversation with Britax. We have a Britax Marathon. UK law requires you to have a UK car seat. That being said, everyone I talked to assured me that our carseat was a better option then renting one through the car hire. (The UK law does have an exception for US Military, but only of they are using their US car here.) New cars in the UK have LATCH, although it is called something else and not as well marked as in US vehicles. Britax assured me my rental car would be new enough to have this same system, and sure enough we were able to use the LATCH fasteners and secure the seat. Now lets just hope that my husband remembers what side of the road to drive on.

So so far, so good...right? Well here is the bad news: The first night was terrible. We all passed out around 7:30pm and slept without trouble till about midnight, when Little Peach woke up and thought it was time to get up. It took almost two hours to get him back to sleep -
It eventually took turning on all the lights, having a snack and then going back to bed co-sleeping style. The good news is he woke up smiling and ready to take on the day and we are all now fully acclimated! 

I'm sure I'll have more tips and tricks as we make our way around the island. In the meantime, you can follow us on twitter @ejdn or read about our travel at Out of Edwards.