Monday, September 29, 2008

It's What's Inside that Counts

Never say never.

Any good mom will do whatever it takes to make life easier and more comfortable for her kids, even if it means driving a minivan!

You know...several years ago I leased my favorite car, a VW Beetle. I did it, knowing that I wanted to have a baby before the lease ended, and thinking it would be perfectly suitable for transporting an infant carseat for a few months. We all know what happened next.

Next, we made the move to the Ford Freestyle, and I thought it was a good compromise. Nice and roomy, seats 7 passengers when necessary, and lots of space in the back for equipment. It has almost as much space, but it's NOT a minivan. It worked for us at the time, and I actually learned to love that car. I was clinging to the last shreds of my coolness. just isn't convenient for transporting the power wheelchair.

I finally accepted the fact that to really get good use out of Eden's power chair, and to make life so much more convenient for all of us, it was time to take the leap and go for the gusto.

So now, I am a minivan mama and I am trying hard to embrace it.

After all...isn't it what's on the INSIDE that counts???

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Question of More

Ok, so I did bring it up. I brought it up because it's on my mind. A lot.

I thought I might delve a little deeper into the subject because I am sure I/we are not alone. John and I have a very difficult time talking rationally on the subject of having more kids. I am hesitant to post about it, because I don't want to put words in his mouth, or paint an inaccurate picture regarding his feelings on the issue.

I think what it boils down to, is that while I desperately want to have another baby, he is very, very afraid.

John is an "in the moment" kind of guy. He doesn't even think about what he wants to do tomorrow, let alone how he wants his life to look 20 years from now. He tends to put much more thought into the potentially bad things that might happen than I ever have, and sometimes the fear that he has of the unknown is immobilizing.

Pretty much every major step forward that we have made in our lives since high school has been a direct result of my planning. I planned where we would go to college. I planned when we would get married, where we would live, every major vacation, when we would buy a house, and when we would have kids. I have dragged him along, for better or worse, kicking and screaming every step of the way (not literally), and in the end he usually thanks me for it.

The plus to being the planner, is that when things go well you get to take all the credit. The downside is that when things do not turn out the way you plan, you end up taking the heat. Like, for example, when you get pregnant with twins born 16 weeks early. Now, John would never come right out and tell me that he blames me for how our lives have changed since having our kids. He may not even think it. He doesn't have to, because I do a fine job of it all on my own.

The thing is this... I have come to a place where I am feeling a little more at peace. I don't feel sad and guilty all the time anymore. I look at my children, and I see two perfectly delightful little girls, who seem to be relatively well-adjusted and happy. I look at our family and I see that we are functioning fairly well. We have bad days where everyone is grumpy and short-tempered and generally difficult to get along with, and we have great days where we are well-connected, lovable, and having tons of fun together. And, like everyone else, we have many, many just kinda in-between normal days.

John would say, "why would you screw it up just when it's getting good." I would say, "now that it's so good, I want MORE."

The truth of the matter is that I am used to getting what I want. John has said to me many times, "You're going to do what you want anyway, so why even ask me." I admit it. But this is just something that I don't feel like I can do anyway. I don't want to do it by myself. If we are going to do it, I want him to support me 100%. Being pregnant again would be terrifying for me as well, and I would need someone to help me carry that fear. If things went badly, I would need someone to share the pain with me. I can't do it on my own.

Ultimately I do not know what caused my premature labor with Holland and Eden. I do know that it was NOT related to blood pressure, diabetes, or incompetent cervix (things that tend to recur in subsequent pregnancies). Though I did NOT have an infection when I was admitted to the hospital, I did have a UTI earlier in the month that I believe may have triggered something. I also know that, being pregnant with twin, my uterus was growing quite rapidly, which may also have been a contributing factor. In addition, I was going to the gym and working out regularly, which is fine in most normal pregnancies, but if I were already in labor without knowing it, certainly couldn't have been the best thing for me to be doing.

I've had four long years to ponder these factors, to think about and research what I might do differently the next time around. There are a lot of options, and while I certainly know that there are NO guarantees, I think the chances are pretty good that we could manage the next pregnancy differently, and have a much less stressful outcome for all involved.

Yes, I know that having another baby would be a lot of work, that it would change our family dynamic in unpredictable ways, and that there would be days I would wonder "what the hell was I thinking." But in the long run, I think there's a good chance it would be worth the worry and the stress and the risk.

Some things in life are just worth fighting for.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Rain on our Parade

In the midst of all the preschool excitement Holland is still battling a yucky sickness that she can't seem to shake. It started last week, maybe Monday or Tuesday, as a stuffy nose at night that cleared up during the day. About 5 days ago it evolved into a cough, still mostly at night. She had to miss the parent/child day at preschool last Thursday, and had rough nights Friday and Saturday, needing breathing treatments every 2-4 hours through the night. Part of Friday and Saturday she had a low grade fever. Sunday was a better day, and the first night she slept all night, so I felt okay taking her to preschool on Monday for her first day.

The day went great until she woke up from a late nap with a fever of 102, then ended up coughing so much at dinner that she threw up. Sigh.

We were up a lot on Monday night, and finally at around 6am I conceded that she was going to have to miss her second day of school, so I called in to work and we headed off to the ER, and subsequently to the pediatrician's office.

I carefully read the policy on sending your kids to preschool when they are sick. Apparently they are good to go if their snot is clear and they don't have a fever. Pure craziness to me, but yesterday she went to school, and had another good day. The coughing started again after she got home, just before her nap, and she woke herself up before she was ready to be awake. That means the rest of our evening was filled with whining and tears and pure crabiness.

I took her to the doctor again today, and she has acquired a minor ear infection on top of everything else. So now she is 3 days into a round of steroids, and started on an antibiotic today. I really hope that she is feeling better soon, and that this is not a preview of what the winter/being around sick kids every day, has in store for us.

Other than this (pretty major) glitch, the first week of preschool went well, and the girls even happily said "good-bye mom" when I dropped them of today.

Let me just say that the 3 hours, twice a week, that I have off work, without kids is absolutely heavenly. I should have started this preschool thing earlier!

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Day of Preschool!

To many, it was probably the most ordinary first day of preschool ever. They wore their new dresses, posed for pictures in front of the house and outside of the school, proudly rolled their new backpacks along behind them, found their name tags and put them on with a smile, and rushed off to find a toy to play with.

Eden cried a little bit when I left the room to get a few things from the car. When I returned less than 5 minutes later, she was engaged in an activity and didn't even notice I had returned. There were a few more tears when I said my final good-bye, but I could tell that she would be fine. She was already on to something else before I made it out the door.

Holland barely even looked up when I said good-bye to her. They had trains. And blocks that you could use to build a track.

While it may have seemed like an ordinary day to so many me, it was anything but ordinary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome to the World!

Congratulations to my dear friends Lizzie and Eric on the birth of their baby boy!

I know that Holland, Eden, and Ethan will have so much fun together.

Can't you just see it in their much they would love to have a full-term little boy of their very own?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Let's Play!

We've had a few play dates with some really cool kids over the past couple of weeks.

My girls are nothing if not social, and they love to PLAY.

Thanks for coming over today Amy! It was fun to finally meet your baby and see our girls playing together so nicely. We love you!

Thanks for calling Shannon, and inspiring us to get out and get our back-to-school hair cuts, like, RIGHT NOW:) We had a great time hanging out with your awesome kids!

And Pam, thanks for having us over. The girls had a really fun time playing with someone else's toys for a change:) Let's do it again soon! It's always nice to spend time with someone else who really "gets" the micropreemie thing. Plus your girls are so adorable and learning so much, so fast right now! I can't believe how much more Ivy is talking since only a few weeks ago:)