Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AHHHHHHHH I'm Alone with the Girls!!!!

My husband had to leave the country for his job for two weeks. For about a month leading up to it I was so nervous. I really didn't want to depend on my friends to help me because they all have their own lives. I thought of all the worst things that could happen, the exhaustion and the constant crying (from the girls and myself). I was going to stay with my parents for two weeks, but I didn't want Sakura to miss 2 sessions of therapy, so I decided to suck it up and make it happen.

I'm so happy I decided to stay.

Never have I seen people pull together to surround me with help and support. I haven't had a day alone since Juan left. It's truly God at work. I don't know what I would've done without the help of friends and family giving up their time to help me, giving up their familiar surroundings and cozy beds to sleep at my house. That's what I call love! Thank you so much, you know who you are. You have been a blessing to me and my family since the beginning and I'm honored to have you in my life. Never did I think I would have such a wonderful, caring and kind person to share life with. You're the best and I pray I can be a blessing in your life as well.

God works in the craziest ways. You never know how He's going to show up: a quiet whisper or roaring as loud as thunder. Praise God!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Joys of Motherhood!

Wow it's been so long! I've been very busy taking care of my little ones and trying to get into a groove. I feel like it's taken me so long to get into a schedule and for things to settle down. I know that it takes time to adjust, but I was so very lost on what to do and how to make my life easier. Finally, I have peace and time to myself regularly.

So much has happened since my last post! Sakura rung in the new year oxygen tank free!!! I watched her like a hawk because I was scared she would turn blue on me. She is still on her breathing treatments, but she's down from twice a day to once a day, which makes my life better. She is now a full 10 lbs. and finally out of newborn sized clothes. She was evaluated for developmental delays and is now having physical therapy weekly for an hour. Surprisingly, I wasn't devastated by the news. What parent wants their baby in therapy? I don't know if it was my experience working with special needs children or my expecting her to need therapy that gave me peace about it, all I know is that I felt peaceful about it and I was eager to get her started. She is currently not at her adjusted age on a few things like pushing up on her arms and holding her head while she's being pulled up. Her language/speech skills, on the other hand, are above her adjusted age, but under her actual age. She's starting to play with her playmat, which she used to absolutely hate. Her personality is definately flirty and drama queen rolled in one. I wonder who she gets it from :) She loves to smile at everyone who smiles at her. She loves being outside, sometimes it's the only thing that shuts her up. she looks all around at the trees, sky, flowers and water. So curious! Overall, my Thumbellina is growing stronger, getting bigger and learning more everyday

Akira is doing great as well. She is blossoming into a beautiful, attentive, curious baby. I enjoy being with her so much. She's gotten to the point where she is reacting to tickling games and belly-bubbles. She's reaches for my face and "talks" to me. She's so much fun to be with. Sakura is getting there, but she needs more time. Akira is now 11 1/2 pounds and is wearing 3-6 months clothes. They are 7 1/2 months now, so they are smaller than a term-baby, but that just means that I get to have adorable little dolls a little longer. Akira gets so close to rolling over and then doesn't do it. I'm waiting for her to finally get her but over! Akira is still battling her reflux and I've gotten it all down to a science now: meds before nap and bedtime and a bib at all times. At her evaluation nothing showed that she needed therapy, but that doesn't mean she won't need it in the future. She scored pretty close to her actual age, which was such a relief. Her personality is definitely more serious. If she doesn't know you she will stare at you and most likely will not smile. If she's tired or pooping, she doesn't have any desire to please a smiling crowd. Hmmmm, is that me or Juan ;) She also loves to be outside like Sakura, which is awesome because I like a relaxing day at the beach or a hike through the woods once in a while. Overall my Chunka-Monka is doing more than I could ask for and is teaching her sister how to get it done.

Both girls are eating solids now. They eat lots of veggies and fruits. No allergies to any so far, thank God. Both are loving life and taking it by the horns. They are the most beautiful babies ever.

It can get pretty confusing and challenging raising a preemie, but I treat both girls as if they were born full-term. I understand they will be delayed, but not in all areas. I will expect them to "act their age" and if they don't, we can work on it. I'm not going to start them off as if they have already failed. Most of the people I meet (doctors, therapists, other moms) don't agree with some of the things I do or don't do with and for my girls. I just say what my mother-in-law says, "People are different". What works for me may not work for you and that's fine, so stop badgering me about it. My girls are alive, happy and healthy and that's all I could ask for. They are also always telling me "It's ok if they're not doing it now, delays are to be expected." Expected and the norm are two different things. Obviously not all preemies have significant delays, my girls are shining examples. I'm sure they are trying to reassure me that everything will be ok, it's just annoying to me.

Life with twins has been very challenging and time consuming, but I've finally gotten a handle on things. I'm even planning on baby #3 ( I know, shocking, right). Yes, there is life after my horrendous experience and there is still room in my heart for another baby and enough love to go around. God can defiantly change hearts!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I've Learned in 6 Months

A couple of days ago my angels, Sakura and Akira, turned 6 months old. That's half a year already. Granted Sakura spent more than half of that time in the NICU, but it's like it never happened. Those memories, although they are still there, don't haunt me like they use to. I don't think about those terrible, anxiety ridden days anymore. Suppressing memories? No, I think back to those days and I get shivers thinking of how far they have come. Also, my sister-in-law is expecting, so I relive those days every time she asks me for advice, and I'm glad to do it. I once thought I would lose my babies, now they are thriving! Praise God!

I have been though a lot in the last six months and as a result I have learned many things. Here are some:

1. God is real and He performs miracles EVERYDAY
2. Laughter is the best medicine there is
3. I am NOT Super Mom, although I do look good in a cape
4. French Onion flavored Sun Chips are the bomb
5. Allowing others to help is NOT a sign of weakness
6. I am Sakura and Akira's only advocate and I have to stand my ground for what I deem good and healthy for them
7. Family traditions are NOT mandatory for my family
8. Being a mami doesn't equal having no life of my own
9. My husband is not a punching bag. This is all new to him, too
10. Pray, pray, pray

My girls will teach me loads of things before they even know what teaching is. As much as these two drive me nuts, I love them to pieces. Thanks girls! Mama love you!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful

I am so all over the place! Things are nuts, crazy, I'm drowning, etc., etc.. Man I need to vent. I do have a pretty good feeding schedule going with the girls, but that's about it. They are always crying maniacs in the afternoon and well into the evening. A friend said they might be teething, but I don't feel anything in their gums about the push through, but that doesn't mean that teeth aren't trying to push through. Everyone thinks "poor babies", but what about mami? Sometimes these girls make me want to jump out a window and other times I want to run away for a week or two. A friend of mine said that I'm not taking care of myself. I agree with her, but how am I suppose to do that? At this point I need to get out of here for a few days, going for a pedicure isn't going to do it for me. I'll be anxious the whole time about going back home that I won't even enjoy myself. I know it sounds terrible, but everyone that has a job with benefits gets vacation time. and everyone with a job has set hours; you do your time and you go home. I don't get that pleasure. It's 24/7 for me. Being a SAHM is not what I thought it would be. For starters, I always imagined it would be with one baby, not two. It is so much work to be a mom, SAHM or working mom. The last thing I want to hear is "Well, that's the decision you made." Right, it was my decision to have twins and have them 3 months early on top of that. I didn't "take pills" or have IVF, mine were conceived the old fashioned way. I've said it before and I say it again: God gave me twins because He knew one baby would've been way too easy for me. Moms absolutely do not get enough credit for what they do, what they sacrifice, and how much of themselves they give to their children and families. If my mother were alive today, I would kiss her feet every time I saw her. She was a SAHM and now I understand all she did for my sister and I. Thanks, mami, for everything.

I know it's easy to vent and harp on what's wrong and terrible in life, but I want to remember the good times, too. I may struggle with my girls, but they are my life. They are beautiful. They are my miracle babies. I can't imagine my life without them now that I have them. They are a pain in my ass at times, but they are just as important to me as the air I breathe. The tears, frustration, anger, fatigue and feelings of regret all melt away when Akira "talks" to me or Sakura smiles at me and stares into my eyes when I sing to her. Never does a day go by that I remember I could have lost them, they could have died, I could have came home childless. No matter how bad or how hard it gets, I remind myself of the miracles Sakura and Akira are, I wipe my tears and I tell them I love them more than they can imagine.

It's very hard these days to pick myself up and keep going. Everyday it seems to get harder and rougher. I do need to take care of myself more and I'll have to figure that out. Make sure you take care of yourself as well. God willing, I'll be able to get back on track.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

March for Babies-Join the Fight!

When I learned that I was pregnant I knew that I would be part of The Motherhood Club. Never in a million years did I think I would be part of the Mother of Twins Club or the Mother of Micro-preemies Club. Funny where life takes you, right? In response to my experience and on behalf of my beautiful miracle babies, Sakura and Akira, I am participating in the March for Babies Walk on May 14th in Lake Worth, FL. I will be making this a yearly effort in support of the ground breaking research that has saved my daughters lives.

Sakura and Akira have come a long way and have fought for their lives. I am doing what I can to give back to my community and support future babies by providing them with the most up-to-date medical interventions available though funded research. Please visit my webpage for more information and to find out how you can help save the tiniest of lives.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wow A New Year Already!!!

Let me catch you up while the girls are (finally) asleep. It's never a dull moment in this house lol! The holidays are a blur to me, but it was great to see family that I haven't seen in years and for everyone to see the girls. I guess the biggest news would be that Sakura came off her oxygen!!!! She came off in typical Sakura fashion, she ripped her canula off her face, on December 31st and rung in the New Year breathing on her own. Praise God!!! It is awesome being able to walk around with her without being bound to a tank or monitors. I was so nervous that she wouldn't be ok, so I was watching her like a hawk. Her monitor went off a lot, but her lung doctor said that it was normal, not that it made me feel better. She's still doing great! Hopefully, now she will gain some weight, she's only 7 lbs. and that's pushing it. Thankfully, her dependency on oxygen hasn't kept her from hitting her milestones. She is cooing, smiling, laughing, playing with toys, and rolling over,if you can believe it!! Thank you, Lord for keeping my babies healthy!

Akira has been blossoming!!!! Shes is probably 2 lbs. heavier than Sakura. She can do so many things now! She smiles, laughs, plays with toys that are in front of her. And the best yet, she's not colicky anymore lol! She is trying hard to roll over, I know she's going to do it pretty soon. It's amazing to watch her grow and develop. I remember when she was a 4lb. 11oz. blob when we brought her home. I just watch her in amazement sometimes when she's "talking" to her "friends" lol. It's the cutest thing ever! I think it's weird, but I can't imagine them older. I can't imagine them talking or crawling yet. I guess that's what it means to "live int he moment". Who said my girls were going to be delayed?

When we first got home it was crazy. I was having a really hard time assuming my new role as Mother-of-Preemie-Twins. I couldn't makes my girls happy if my life depended on it. I hated asking for help because I wanted to do it by myself. I cried and screamed a lot. I felt like a complete failure. Postpartum depression? Not sure, but I know I wasn't happy. I kept telling myself that I was not cut out for this and I'm not a good mother. I was angry at God for giving me twins. I only wanted one baby, not two. After my temporary moments of insanity, I prayed for God to help me, and He did. He helped me by showing me that I don't have to be Super Mom. I learned it's ok to accept help from others and with time I will get into the groove of things. I used to think of myself as a mom who has two children and I didn't want "special treatment" because I have twins. I'm over that now! Having two babies is definitely hard and I greatly appreciate all the help I can get.

It's been 2 months since the whole family has been together and what an adventure it has been. It feels like we have been home a lot longer then that. With the craziness of last year behind me, I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead. I continuously pray for the health of my daughters and thank God for all the guidance and provision He has blessed my family with.

Happy New Year!!!!