Summer and second-hand FOMO

I have long been looking forward to summer, as it would be the time of Getting Out More. However, we have yet to achieve this Getting Out More.

One of the things I’ve been planning on doing for awhile is taking the babies to baby story time at the library. I even mentioned it to a friend who was also looking for something to take their baby to. We went for the first time last week and…it was an experience. I think the babies had a fine time, but for me the whole experience was stressful. Neither of the babies is sitting up on their own, so I couldn’t really have them seated without being supported against me, which is tricky to do when you’re trying to make them clap and do hand motions to keep up with the songs being sung. Nor could I really engage them in other active parts of the songs or stories, given that one of the babies wanted to be held almost the whole time. Nor could I lay them both down because the space was too new to them and they were not having it.

The experience highlighted a fear or anxiety I have around there being two of them and only one of me. I imagine parents of more than one kid, in general, feel similarly. But I have not yet gotten accustomed to doing outside activities that require me to engage them equally at the same time, such as story time. I hate feeling like I’m leaving one of them out, even if I am going back and forth between the two of them. I also feel like I can’t do things that require one-on-one attention. For example, taking them to the pool. Activities like that require two dedicated adults, each to safely handle a child (at least until they learn how to swim).

I just feel like they are missing out, and will continue to miss out on certain things because there is only one of me.

As it is, I don’t take them out as much as I would like. I’m used to being out a lot during the summer, and this summer feels shockingly similar to this past winter and early spring when we couldn’t leave the house much. For awhile I was feeling like I was just failing at things because I couldn’t get us out more, such as parent groups, to the park, or even just out for walks like we used to. I kept wondering why, given that the weather wasn’t shutting us in. I would see other parents and see or hear about how they were out doing all sorts of things with their kids, and I couldn’t manage to get us outside regularly for a walk. I came to realize that I’m just tired and there is little reprieve. It seems like such a weak excuse, but I think it’s just the truth of the matter. After taking care of and playing with them all day, there is no real energy left to try to go somewhere. (Living in a three-story walk up doesn’t help. I try to only make that trip up and down the stairs once a day, since I carry them in their car seats simultaneously, and then it’s a walk to the parking lot.) And ultimately, the difference between me and those that seem to be getting out more, is that there is no one to pass the babies off to in the evenings. No one to help clean out their high chairs for the 3rd time today. No one to help clean the kitchen after I make all of our food. No one to help clean the apartment, do laundry, bathe the babies, etc. The more I talk to or read about folks, that seemed to be the missing piece.

It’s ridiculous that I didn’t realize this immediately. That I got to the point of just feeling bad and frustrated with myself, wondering why I couldn’t achieve what seemed like such a doable thing. I am single. Obviously I’m going to be spending more of my time doing things that keep us afloat and will, ultimately, have less energy to get us out and about for fun. Granted, knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it feel any better – I still miss being out and about, and wish I could get us out. But the goal is to try to get out more; summer is my favorite season and I love being out in it, and I want the babies to get lots of summer outdoor time. I just need to give myself some slack, remembering that there’s a lot on my plate, so it’s ok if I can’t take us out everyday. If I manage a few times a week, or even just once a week when things get tough, then that’s still something.

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Still here

I’m still alive! Just completely wrapped up and consumed with the day to day, taking care of these babies. I’m hoping to get back to writing soon.

Quick things:

  • the babies are 9.5 months old, 6.5 months corrected
  • personalities are really on display: mini me is my opinionated, assertive one; feisty is very smiley and happy-go-lucky…usually
  • sleep is still elusive, but it is better
  • the days are long, but I’m getting the hang of it

Going with the (milk) flow

I wrote the last entry about two weeks before I actually posted it. I haven’t quite figured out how to take care of babies and write at the same time. My, what a difference two weeks makes.

I was really stressed out at the time and was still very much in survival mode. I’m still in survival mode to some degree, but things are a bit calmer now. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m usually able to get one more hour of sleep than I’d been getting or what, but things feel slightly smoother now (knocks on wood).

One of the things contributing to my stress was my milk supply. In December I started to notice that my milk supply was not increasing with the babies need, or that it felt that way. I also wasn’t getting as much when I pumped. Part of this was because I was nursing them every two hours instead of when I pumped every three hours when they were in the NICU. But even when I took that into account, it still seemed lower than it should be. Also, my period came back and my supply took a dip. I think this somewhat overlapped with a growth spurt, so the babies were nursing even more. But my supply never really increased even though the babies seemed to be getting hungrier. It was as if I’d plateaued.

I’d been working with a lactation consultant early on when it became clear that Mini Me’s weight gain was quite low. I reached back out to her, and after another meeting and discussion, she thought that maybe I’d reached the max my body could produce. She came to this conclusion because I’d been trying everything in my power to improve my supply: drinking more water, eating more, eating oatmeal, drinking oat water, taking fenugreek/herbs, drinking teas, eating lactation bars, trying to get more rest, etc. I’d maxed out the galactagogues. All of those things only gave me a tiny boost. If I only had one baby my milk supply would be more than sufficient. But with two babies, all those things hadn’t given me enough of a boost, especially because Mini Me clearly needed more. So, the lactation consultant recommended (along with the doctor and midwife) that I supplement with formula for the time being.

That was tough for me. I, personally, did not want to give my children formula. I don’t care and have no judgements about what other people do, if they use formula or not. I feel that it has a place and should be used when needed, whatever the situation. I just knew that, for me, formula wasn’t the desired option. Part of this was because I was lactating and had the ability. Part of this was science. Part of this was that I’m vegan and lactose intolerant/dairy sensitive and therefore the babies had not been exposed to much animal protein. (They were given human milk fortifier in the NICU that, unbeknownst to me, had dairy protein, which was upsetting because, veganness aside, I have a family history of milk allergies and/or dairy intolerance, so it’s something I felt should have been communicated to me. It explained why the babies were regularly constipated while in the hospital.)

So, being in a situation where, after trying everything I could, I just couldn’t completely fulfill this need of theirs was hard. My thinking was (as misguided as it was) I already wasn’t able to carry them to term, so the least I could do for them is exclusively breastfeed them. So it was tough coming to terms with the formula supplementation.

Interestingly, what made me feel bad also made me feel good. Hearing from the lactation consultant, someone who is all about breastfeeding, that my body may be plateauing at it’s maximum, made me feel better. One of my best friends said it was because, in some ways, it took me off the hook. It was not really my fault, so to speak. And, the amount I have to supplement is actually quite small. I would say that 90% of their nutrition still comes from breast milk, even more for Feisty since he is more efficient at nursing and has good weight gain. Having the formula on hand when I have a dip in supply during my period also makes me feel less stressed; knowing they will be able to eat just fine during that time makes me feel much better.

The only thing possibly throwing a wrench in this is Feisty possibly not being able to tolerate the formula I’m using, which is frustrating because it’s already fairly hypoallergenic…

So, just trying to go with the flow, adjusting as necessary. Trying to keep the stress down, though things are going more smoothly, and I suppose they will continue to get smoother…at least for a little while.

 

 

Adjustments

The babies have now been home for 3 months, and my what a 3 months it has been.

The first few days…having them at home felt so nice and so overwhelming at the same time. And frankly, it was a little scary. Especially because both babies had bad reflux, so I was constantly watching them waiting for the next bad occurrence. But in general, caring for the both of them at the same time was an adjustment. In the NICU, I was only able to take care of them one at a time. I never even got a chance to hold them at the same time, save for one day a few days before they left. So it was a bit surreal to care for both of them simultaneously.

Shortly after they came home I also thought I would be able to keep them, if only for a few days, on the same schedule they were on in the hospital. I thought this because it became clear to me very quickly that the way to maintain sanity raising twins was to have them on the same eating/sleeping/etc. schedule. Now, this was after, upon immediately having them home, I tried to respond to them separately, for example feeding each one whenever they wanted to eat, irrespective of the other, and quickly found that I was getting absolutely no sleep and no non-feeding time. So I quickly tried to get them back on the same schedule, and one that was close to what they had in the hospital. The mistake here was that, while Feisty seemed alright with this, Mini Me had issues, but ones I couldn’t see immediately. It turned out that he was not as an efficient feeder as brother, so his weight (which had begun to fluctuate about 2 weeks before he left the NICU) continued to fluctuate and his weight gain was not good. Both had issues with weight gain initially upon arriving home, as going from almost all bottle feeds with 1-2 nursing sessions a day in the NICU, to all nursing at home was too much, energetically. So we switched to nursing half-time, bottle feeding with expressed breast milk the other half, and that seemed to do the trick. That, and having them eat more often.Eating more often really threw me for a loop, as it felt like I was doing nothing but feeding them. Which I was, given the two of them.

One of the things I’ve been sitting with is that this is hard, very hard sometimes, but I feel like I can’t admit that. I feel that because I chose to have a child on my own (and ended up with two) that I gave up the right to say it was hard. Logically, I know this is silly, but emotionally I can’t shake it. I find myself sugarcoating how things are really going sometimes when friends ask. My closest friends know how it really is, but that’s it.

Advice is a fickle thing. This is always true, especially when folks have kids. A lot of the advice I get from people doesn’t really work given that I have two babies and just one of me. For example, tons of people say “sleep when the babies sleep.” This would work fine if I had one baby – sleeping when they sleep would be easy. But with two, they don’t always sleep at the same time.

I appreciate the advice I get from folks, and I’ve been able to follow some of it, but twin advice for one adult is hard to come by. I wish I knew someone in a similar situation. (For what it’s worth I have been searching for blogs/articles by single people raising twins.)

All in all it’s a lot of adjustment, and, of course, a learning process.

 

Seventy-Five Days

Seventy-five days of growing.
Seventy-five days of monitoring.
Seventy-five days of tests and results.
Seventy-five days of beeping and wires.
Seventy-five days of sitting by plastic bedsides.
Seventy-five+ round-trips to the hospital.
Seventy-five days talking to doctors.
Seventy-five days chatting with nurses.
Seventy-four days wondering when the babies were going to come home…

After 75 days in the NICU the babies were able to come home. After 75 days they graduated from the NICU. Seventy-five days. I’ve never experienced anything like those 75 days.

When I write that number it seems so long, but I know many babies stay in for longer. I was actually surprised they came home when they did, thinking they would be in for another two weeks. As it was, they left on Halloween, which was about 2.5 weeks before their original due date. As I’ve read so many times, the decision to send them home seemed to come out of nowhere. One day one of the babies was still having trouble regulating their temperature while the other one was still requiring occasional oxygen, then the next I know, they were okayed to go home.

You would think after 75 days I would be ready to have them home. But when I found out they would be going home in a matter of days, I was scrambling. The condo was still a mess, only half unpacked and half assembled. Most of the baby things, save their clothes, were still in their packages. Somehow I found the energy to stay up late for a few days unpacking the rest of the essentials and setting things up.

Their “graduation day” was surreal. I ran my last few errands and got to the hospital in the afternoon (I usually got there in the morning). After lots of paperwork, final CPR demonstrations, and gathering of belongings, it was time to go. The nurses were amazing. We had to leave near shift change (because that is when my friends were able to come help me take them home) and so the nurses had plenty of time to say goodbye to the babies. They all wanted to hold them (since they were finally free of wires/sensors) and take pictures with them. Since it was Halloween the nurses also wanted to get a picture of them in their costumes that one of the nurses made (Buzz Lightyear and Woody). It was all very sweet.

And just like that, their stay in the NICU came to an end.

Then things got real.

Preparedness

A few days ago I got to try breastfeeding the babies. I’d been looking forward to this moment, and it came upon me suddenly. Each of the babies was on 3 bottles a day (out of their 8 feedings), and I assumed they would need more bottles per day before the doctors and dietician thought they could handle breastfeeding. But the babies were doing so well at 3 bottles they told me I could start. This decision was made right before one of their feeding times, so I had to mentally shift gears from preparing to give a bottle to trying to breastfeed for the first time.

I got to try with Little Feisty first, and he took right to it. It was somewhat uncomfortable due to the latch, but my overall feeling was overwhelming joy. I’d waited for this moment for so long. I’d worried that they might not take to the breast after getting so many bottles, especially because I have heard that some babies don’t take to it after being in the NICU (not all, but some). The next day I got to try Mini Mellow and he also took to it right away, with a better latch to boot.

I was prepared to feel a little more hungry and thirsty, and a little more tired after breastfeeding. What I wasn’t prepared for was the increased longing and sadness that overcomes me when I leave the hospital each day. Breastfeeding the babies has definitely shifted the bond I have with them. The bond feels more intense, for lack of a better word. The act of feeding them this way, the way I get to hold them, to caress them, to stare into their little faces…the feeling is indescribable. So now leaving them each day is even harder. I walk out of the hospital feeling so heavy. I walk out feeling so singular. When I am in the NICU, we are all together, a unit. When I leave it is just me, alone. I want them leaving with me, even more so than before. I want them home with me, even more. I just want my babies with me.

Something else I also wasn’t prepared for – the fact that they are also bigger and closer to going home makes the wait for their homecoming even harder. Or maybe it’s just harder in a different way. In the beginning it’s hard because the babies have so long to go, so many hurdles to cross, so many milestones to hit. Now, as they near the end of the their time in the NICU, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the finish line that is so close, yet still slightly out of reach, and it is ever so frustrating. The babies are hooked up to fewer and fewer things. There are fewer interventions. At the moment they are off additional oxygen and feeding tubes. They are so much bigger, comparable in size to newborn babies. They look like they are ok. They look like typical babies now. There are just a couple more hurdles to cross, and then they are free.

They are so close.

Waiting for these last few milestones is so frustrating. Frustrating because there’s nothing I (or the doctors) can do to help the babies meet these milestones. At this point, if they are having an issue, it’s usually just something they have to grow out of or adjust to on their own, and there’s no real way to gauge how long it will take them. In saying this I don’t want to negate the progress the babies have made – I do recognize that the babies have gone through so much, and made exceptional progress. I’m not frustrated with them at all in terms of the last few things they need to do, I’m more frustrated with the situation. I’m impatient.

Again, I just want them to come home.

I know they will be coming home soon. I know they will come home when they are ready. Hopefully in just a few more weeks. I just need to figure out how to make it through to the finish line, because right now I’m just melancholic and impatient.

What a difference a month makes

A month is a long time. A month can also pass in the blink of an eye.

Time is so odd right now. When the babies were born, the thought of having to wait until their due date for them to come home seemed unbearably far away. But then I blinked and a month had gone by. And in another blink, two months have passed. Maybe it’s because all of my days are the same: pump every 3 hours, once morning arrives head to the hospital and spend time with the babies, go home, rinse and repeat. Lately I’ve added moving/unpacking to the mix and now there’s never enough time in the day. But, if nothing else, it helps the time pass.

So many things have happened with the babies in the last month. Both babies are big enough to wear clothes, and have been for quite some time. Little Feisty went from being the smaller baby to being the bigger baby, his food intake has increased, he’s out of his isolate (incubator), and he’s almost completely off additional oxygen. The little Mini Mellow has been dealing with reflux, but has been off oxygen for quite awhile. His only issue is that he’s having trouble regulating his temperature, so he’s still in the isolate.

I’ve also spent a lot of time getting more involved in their care. Taking temperatures, cleaning faces, changing diapers, giving bottles, etc. Getting into involved conversations regarding their nutrition. Debating with the doctors, getting exhausted with doing so, and deciding to pick my battles. Talking with the nurses more about caring for babies in general, and things to do once I get them home.

Our days in the NICU feel so different than they did a month ago. Hopefully the next month passes in another blink of an eye.

 

In my feelings

[I started writing this post a month ago but never finished or posted it. I was going to delete it, but reading it again today, I realize it is still relevant; the first two feelings not as strong, just more nuanced with time.]

guilt:
[gilt]
noun

  1. : feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy :self-reproach

Everyone says not to blame yourself for things like this. There was nothing I could have done, they say. There was no way to prevent it, they say. Logically, scientifically, I know this to be true. But it does not remove the feelings of guilt I have around delivering so early. When I look at my tiny babies hooked up to monitors, watching them get poked and prodded regularly, I feel guilty. They are in this situation because of me. If only I could have held them in longer. If only my body had done what it was supposed to do.

envy:

[en-vee]
noun, plural envies

  1. : painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
  2. : a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc

It is amazing to me how the sight of a belly bump can bring such longing. I am simultaneously happy for the person possessing it, and envious that they have one and I do not. While it the desire grows weaker as time passes, it does so slowly. I am envious of strangers. I am envious of friends and acquaintances. Envious because I should still be pregnant. Envious because I miss the movements, the kicks, the turns, that I should still be experiencing. Envy feels very ugly to me. I do not want the feeling. I try to pretend it’s not there when I interact with people who are pregnant. I wish it would go away and leave me be. But it seems content to sit with me for the time being.

love:

[luhv]
noun

  1. : a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
  2. : a feeling of warm personal attachment, or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend

Making daily trips to the hospital, spending hours by their bedsides, looking into their little faces or holding them in my arms. Going home with them on my mind…Clichés hold true when I say I have never felt such love. This love is amazing to me. It is the most precious thing. My love of these two tiny humans…it is what keeps me going when things seem so difficult.

26 weeks, 6 days

After three weeks in the hospital, three close calls of going into preterm labor, three rounds of magnesium sulfate for 12-24 hours each, and one more steroid shot for the babies’ lungs, I went into preterm labor officially at 26 weeks and 6 days. The contractions had come back and I could feel finally feel them, and feel them pretty consistently. My water had broken a couple days prior, so it was only a matter of time.

The whole thing was surreal. I’d had a feeling that the time was coming. That as much as I wanted to make it to 40 weeks, or even 34, something in me knew they were coming before that. But when the moment came I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready. This wasn’t supposed to be the time.

I’d wanted to have a vaginal delivery, but Baby B was breech and, because they were younger than 32 weeks, they would not deliver the baby breech, due to hospital policy. The risk is too great to attempt at that age. Part of me wondered if, after delivering Baby A (who was head down) Baby B would turn around, but the uncertainty was too much for me, especially knowing that if he didn’t turn I’d have to be whisked away for an emergency c-section. After lots of consideration I just opted for a c-section for both of them. That was a hard decision to make, but I felt it was the right decision, and every time I think about it, I’d still make the same decision, given all the variables at the time.

An entire cascade of events happened the morning of the delivery, from me reporting my increased contractions, to finding out I was 7cm dilated, to the actual c-section delivery. It was overwhelming. I was so nervous and anxious I was making myself ill. Luckily I had my midwife, my doula, and one of my friends who had just happened to stay with me that night at the hospital. The three of them helped me come to terms with what was happening, and I found the strength give the go ahead for the c-section.

Given their age, just shy of 27 weeks, we didn’t expect the babies to cry or move much when they were delivered. But when Baby A came out, he came out screaming. Everyone rejoiced and all I could do was cry out of happiness. He sounded so alive. When Baby B was delivered, he screamed as well. Their screaming brought me so much joy and relief. My midwife was crying as well, and reporting to me what was happening with the babies as they were being taken care of and prepped for the NICU. They were moving and kicking and just so full of energy. They were both around 2 lbs (Baby A a little less, Baby B a little more).

They were ok.

In the weeks since, I have thought a lot about 26 weeks and 6 days. Some days I lament the fact that I couldn’t make it farther than 26 weeks and 6 days. That my body wasn’t able to do the one thing I had dreamed about for so long. That I couldn’t carry the babies as long as they needed. Some days I feel like my body failed me and that I failed the babies. Some days I miss being pregnant, especially because I should still be pregnant. I’m supposed to be pregnant right now. My babies should be with me, in utero, not away from me in the NICU…Some days are very hard for these reasons.

Other days I feel like it was a feat that I made it to 26 weeks and 6 days. The fact that after being told at 16 weeks that my cervix was extremely short and that I should be prepared for delivering at any moment…the fact that I made it almost 11 more weeks seems amazing. My body carried those babies almost 11 weeks more than the doctors thought I could. My body carried them to the threshold of viability and beyond. Four doctors, at separate times, told me that what happened was a miracle. That, being honest, they didn’t think I would even make it to viability, which was 24 weeks. That the fact that I was dilated to 4 cm, and stayed that way for almost 2 weeks was completely unexpected. Every time they came to check in on me during rounds they were always so excited and happy that I was still pregnant. They genuinely couldn’t believe it. My midwife, who is honestly one of the most positive people I have ever met, told me that while she hoped I’d make it past when I first entered the hospital at 23 weeks 5 days, she genuinely wasn’t sure how long I would go, that sometimes she was unsure I’d make it much past that. She tells me often that this was my doing – the babies being born at 26 weeks 6 days and not before was all my doing. The babies being born at 26 weeks 6 days and doing well in the NICU was all my doing. Some of the doctors have also told me this. On these days I don’t feel so bad, and actually feel good about things.

So now I am a NICU mom. Transitioning into the role of NICU mom has been challenging, and there is a long road ahead for the babies and me, but I am glad that we made it as far as we did in the pregnancy. For how things could have been, I am glad we made it to 26 weeks 6 days.

One day at a time

As of today I am 25 weeks. As of this past Thursday I was placed on hospital rest.

A little over a week ago I went in for a routine ultrasound. I was 23 weeks 5 days. Apparently my cervix seem to be dialated internally; the external portion was still closed, so effectively I was funneling more than I had previously.

While talking to the doctor, who was quite concerned, I was asked one of the first difficult questions I’ve been presented with along this journey. I was asked if I were to deliver within the next few days would I want to resuscitate the babies. My first thought was what kind of question was that? Of course I would want to resuscitate them! But, thinking about it logically I understood what she was getting at with the question. Given the number of issues a child born at barely 24 weeks could face some folks might be inclined to let the baby pass. Thinking about the mortality of these babies was so hard, given that I have been hoping to make it to 24 weeks, that this was the point where they would definitely have a chance, and realizing just that – that it is a chance, not a certainty.

Upon confirming that I would want them resuscitated, the doctor said I then needed to receive the steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop so they’d have a better chance of surviving if I delivered. So, I got sent to another wing to have the shot administered. I was told that I’d be hooked up to the monitor for 20 minutes to check heartbeats and for contractions after being given the shots, and that this was routine. However, when I got on the monitor everyone’s routine demeanor changed when they saw that I was contracting regularly, five within the span of ten minutes. The interesting thing was that I couldn’t feel anything, no contractions, none of the tightening, which surprised everyone.

The next day was a whirlwind. Everyone thought I was going to deliver. I was given magnesium sulfate for 24 hours to protect the babies’ brains and hopefully slow the contractions. After a miserable 24 hours, because that stuff makes you feel terrible and woozy, things seemed to have settled down. Fewer contractions, and I still couldn’t feel them.

The doctor in charge of the NICU came to talk to me, just to give me an idea of what it would mean to have babies at 24 weeks, and what happens in the NICU for babies younger than 28 weeks. While the conversation was informative, it was also terrifying. I do think it helped me, having that knowledge of what to expect, it was just overwhelming and heavy. So heavy.

When I made it officially to 24 weeks all the doctors were so happy. They were saying it was a legit miracle that I’d made it this far. I found out that the doctors hadn’t thought I’d make it that far after seeing what they saw at 16 weeks.

I thought I was in the clear, as well as some of the doctors, and was ready to go home. But one of the doctors, the one in charge wasn’t comfortable letting me go home, and was going to have me stay in the hospital a few more days, just to make absolutely sure.

And it’s good that she made that decision.

This past Tuesday, after describing some odd pain and pressure near my bowels I had a cervix check and it turns out I was 100% effaced and 4cm dilated. Also, after being put back on the monitors it was discovered that I was contracting regularly again, but again, I could not feel them. Once again, everyone thought I was going to deliver. The NICU was called, I was moved back to labor and delivery (as I’d been moved to the less urgent ante-partum wing). I went back on the magnesium, their thinking that this might get me at least another 12 hours before I delivered. I called my support people, thinking I was going to deliver soon. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more nervous and scared. The docs asked questions about how I wanted to deliver and what their recommendations were (c-section, but vertical given the early stage of the of the pregnancy, meaning the likelihood of ever delivering vaginally in the future would pretty much be impossible, or heavily discouraged).

Amazingly, the magnesium, which they decided to keep me on for almost 24 hours instead of 12, worked. Contractions slowed to a stop, and no more weird sensations in the lower abdomen.

After this event, the doctors all agreed that I could not go home, that at this point, I would need to stay in the hospital until I delivered the babies. The next goal was to make it to 25 weeks.

Today, at 25 weeks exactly, I am a mix of emotions. I made it another week. I am happy but anxious. Every day I stay pregnant is a victory. But everyday I wake up wondering if this is it, if this is the day. I’m focusing on the future, focusing on full term, but it is hard. Every new or random sensation makes me anxious and paranoid. Being in the hospital indefinitely, which I know is the best for all of us, is hard. I’m obviously willing to do whatever it takes for these babies to make it into the world safely, whatever it takes to give these babies a fighting chance. But I also have to acknowledge that this is hard.

I will say that I’m happy I’ve made it to 25 weeks, and I hope for many more weeks. I’m happy the babies consistently seem to be doing well. That they are both a good weight, above average even. I try to focus on these things when I can’t get sleep because of all the monitoring and vitals checks, all the poking, all the food issues (accommodating a vegan is apparently quite challenging). I try to focus on the the babies when things are hard.

Coincidentally, this past week I got random messages from a number of people I haven’t talked to in awhile. Folks just checking in to see how I was doing, or to say they were thinking of me. It’s as if the universe alerted them to the difficult week. I also learned that many folks in my family have been praying for me. They say this is why I have made it this far and will continue to make it. We may differ in our modes of faith, but I was/am so touched by all the support from them, their collective effort. I still can’t quite put it into words, but I was/am grateful.

I have come to accept that the future is unknown, that anything can happen with the start of every new day. I think I’ve made peace with that. Again, this doesn’t make it easy, but accepting this uncertainty does help. At this point I just have to take things one day at a time.

So here’s to another day.