Monday, August 13, 2012

So make the most of everything you dream of: Grace & Zoe At 4 Weeks

So, while I knew it would be difficult to keep up this blog, even I'm surprised at how long it has been for me between posts. I'm not even sure I've taken the computer out in nearly a week. Thank goodness for smartphones, huh?

That being said, I cannot believe that Grace and Zoe are four weeks old today! Where has time gone? They are truly becoming bigger and starting to take on that true "baby" look, versus tiny newborns. Gracie is really filling out, but Zoe isn't that far behind!

Other things we've noticed that they are doing:
-The girls are "talking" more -- chattering, grunting, barking, etc.
-They seem to be more aware of each other now. While one can still cry and not wake up the other, their crying or chatter often causes the other to stir, or to chatter back in response
-They are looking at things more -- for instance, they are focusing on the animals over the play-yard in their pack-n-play, or on the mobiles in their cribs
-They are holding up their heads more and getting stronger, especially when we hold them over our shoulders
-They love walks around the house, looking at picture frames, or bright lights
-They seem responsive to music and have been going to sleep at night with their lullabies playing
-We have had a couple of baths in the tub now and while there is still some crying involved, they seem to enjoy them -- especially the warm washcloth on their stomachs and getting their hair washed

We've had a busier couple of weeks, too -- we're finally getting out of the house some, which is exciting and often daunting and time-consuming. In the past few weeks, we've made trips to Kohl's and Sam's Club. We spent several hours at my company picnic this past Friday, with the girls sacked out in their car seats, as their admirers circled past them. It was very nice to get out to see many of my colleagues and also to show off the babes. We also went to Brightwood on Saturday so the girls could meet their great grandfather for the first time. He was so excited to hold them, and it was a moment to treasure for me, for sure.

The girls seem to be doing well sticking to their day schedule -- nights are taking more work. It seems that if one is sleepy, the other is awake. Or, someone will take so long to fall back to sleep that it's practically the next feeding and the other is awake. We are managing, though, and are always pleasantly surprised when we get 2 or 2.5 hours of sleep in a row-- rare as this event may be.

It's been so much fun to watch both girls grow these past couple of weeks. They are each developing their own personality, for sure. I look forward to seeing how many of these traits remain core personality features as they grow. They are such fun girls, with overall good natures, and we just love spending time with them. Kate has been reading to them from Harry Potter nearly every day, which is so cute to watch. Zoe watched several old Bulls game with me, along with most of the Olympics men's basketball gold medal game... she's already got her Michael Jordan tongue going on, and I couldn't be more proud. Grace is definitely our cuddler, but Zoe zonked out on me yesterday for quite some time -- all warm and snoring away.

I am very curious to see what the next four weeks bring...

Grace and Zoe turning 3 weeks old and enjoying their Nap Nannies from Melissa

Grace & Zoe: 3 weeks old

Lovely Grace

Grace: 3 weeks old





Zoe - Our 70's girl

Zoe: 3 weeks old

Stylish Zoe


Reading with Mom
Reading Harry Potter

Pack & Play Time
Pack & Play Time

At Mama's Company Picnic
At Mama's company picnic

Meeting Great Grampa
Meeting Great Grampa

You can find more two to four week photos here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Other Side of the Curtain

(This is slightly overdue - seeing as the girls are already over three weeks old! But better late than never, right?)

One of Kris' co-workers gave me some pre-csection advice: stay on my side of the curtain. He urged me to just keep focused on Kris and keep my eyes away from the nitty gritty (aka bloody) parts on the other side of the sheet. I kept thinking about that as I sat in the little chair outside the OR, waiting for a nurse to come bring me in. Kris was getting her spinal put in and I was told to sit in a strange office chair that was positioned awkwardly outside the mechanical doors that led to the surgical suite. Up until that point I had been with Kris every step of the way, so it felt really odd to be left out there, swiveling back and forth with anxious energy.

My version of the rest of the day really doesn't vary too much from the story that has already been posted. Once I was led into the OR, they were just about ready to start. It felt like only minutes went by before they were showing us Grace over the curtain and laughing about how she really did come into this world pooping. I popped out of my seat and followed the nurses over to the warmer where they started checking her out. Before I knew it, Zoe was squirming around in the warmer just next to her. I didn't know what to do, so I just kept going back and forth, snapping photos and trying to soak it all in. Everything went by in such a blur - one minute Kris and I were a family of two, and the next we were a beautiful family of four. 

Once the babies were checked and cleaned by the doctor in the OR, I was able to follow them back to the nursery where they were weighed, wrapped and tagged (literally!). They were wiggly and crying and nearly every picture I took was blurry, but I am still glad I captured as much as I could. I really wanted Kris to have something to look at so she wouldn't miss a thing. As the nurses worked to get the girls ready, I couldn't help but be anxious about Kris. I needed to know she was okay. I needed to be sure that my new family was still intact. Knowing that she had made it to the recovery room was music to my ears. Now we could start going through this journey together. Up until that point the burden (for lack of a better word) was on Kris. It was her body that was being put through so much to get these babies here safe and sound. Now that they had arrived, she and I could share the responsibility. It felt good to know that I could do more - for Kris, and for the girls.

Kris pretty much summed up excitement of the afternoon - her blood loss, the chaos of a room filled with so many medical personnel, the doctor throwing around the words "surgery" and "hysterectomy" as though they were things that we should just accept. It was scary. Watching my wife turn so pale just made my heart sink. I was sitting there holding my daughter and I couldn't do anything to help Kris. I had to put my trust in the doctor and nurses and just tell myself that they will help her get through this. And they did. It took time, but she made it through to the other side of that crazy day. 

And now we have two daughters.  Two perfect, tiny humans to call our own.  I am one very lucky lady, because not only do I have these two amazing kids, I also have an incredible wife to share them with.