The year in review... isn't that what we're supposed to do on New Years Eve? Or is it to drink ourselves silly with strangers in a bar? I have never been into the whole New Years scene, I'd rather just spend it with Scott and the kids. So this afternoon we took Jacob to Funset Boulevard and we had a lot of fun on the bumper cars and playing video games, air hockey and trying to earn those tickets.
However, it is always worth reflecting on the past year or some of the events or people that have come and gone that have made an impact on me.
1) Take one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time
When I was in the hospital "growing my babies", I was on Magnesium Sulfate to stop my contractions. This stuff was given through IV and made me really sick. Nausea and one of the side effects was the burning pain in my chest. It was so intense that it made me sick. So... I always try to look at the brighter side of things and I thought of people who were terminally ill or being treated for cancer and had to take "poison" to make them well. That's really what the Magnesium felt like for me. So I concentrated on the fact that my nausea would only last until my babies were ready to be born and that I really took one minute at a time. I didn't overwhelm myself with the bad stuff - that this would last until the babies were born and that could be weeks!
2) Its O.K. to cry
The babies were in the NICU at Theda Clark from April 3 to April 26th and April 28th. I met some incredible people during that time. The nurses that took care of me, the nurses that took care of my babies, the doctors at the NICU. One of the nurses, Ann, came up to me a few times and told that "its o.k. to cry." She had been in my shoes twenty plus years ago. She had a singleton 18 months older than her twins. She said that at times she would put all three in the stroller and just walk and cry.
I think she new I was putting a brave face on and she also knew what I had yet to realize... taking care of three infants and a then 3 year old is worse than you can imagine. So I think of her advice often and realize that I can't be perfect, my kids are needy, and its o.k. to ask for help.
3) Don't worry, put it in God's hands
During one of my many ultrasounds that I had during my pregnancy, the tech found a soft marker for Trisomy 18, Edwards Syndrome. The doctor came and told us about it after the ultrasound. Baby A, Matthew, had a cyst in part of his brain. About 1% of babies are born with cysts in the brain and of those a marginal percentage have Edwards Syndrome. So, the Doctor Acosta, Scott and I talked about it and we decided to do nothing. We could have more tests done, but that would risk miscarriage. So we decided to take what God had given us. For me, it took a couple days of worrying and stressing out to realize that it doesn't pay to worry. I needed to be calm during the pregnancy and think positively. I realized that worrying is a huge part of my life and some things I can't change or control, so I needed to let God take care of me. So, fast forward four months. Matthew was healthy, the NICU doctors did another ultrasound and said that he had two small cysts in his brain and they called it a variance of normal. Ultrasounds are being so detailed that they pick up so much compared to years ago. And we don't have to worry about it again. Ever.
4) Don't take your blessings for granted
It was March and I was still working and not pregnant with Jacob... so probably 2001 or 2002. A co-worker got a phone call - the kind we never want to get- her daughter had died in her sleep. April was 22 years old. The reason for her passing was unknown. Blood tests and the autopsy showed nothing. April's name was written in The Book of Life that day. What I learned from her mother Sharon was that you never take your time for granted. You love and cherish your children and count your blessings each day. Tell them you love them.
This year a woman who I had met through FVMOM had went for her 38 week appointment at her doctors office. The ultrasound showed that one of her twins had passed. An emergency C-section was done to save the other twin. This family found out that their 13 year old, Karly, had a rare form of ovarian cancer in November and is being treated aggressively with Chemo at CHW.
I think back to when I had to take Magnesium to stop contractions and felt like the film on the inside of the toilet and compare what Karly is feeling and going through. She's fighting for her life. It doesn't compare.
Now, about the monkeys.
I think their hair is growing by leaps and bounds. Brooke just may be ready for a barrette in a couple of months. Matthew has a warmth to his hair. i.e. red on the head He's got the same texture of hair as Jacob did at that age. Its got the same wave to it.
Brooke and John, on the other hand, are stick straight. John's literally stands out from his head and looks like he's been electrocuted. Brooke's hair lays down more. I'm going to have to get the conditioner out soon for the both of them.
I've been hearing more and more words and 2 and 3 word sentences out of them. When reading books, they say, "whats that?" or they name the object, and "theres the duck." However, their favorite means of communicating is still whining, screaming and pointing and saying, "eh, eh!" I think this next year will be a year full of temper tantrums and learning to share. Adults can't even share, so what makes it easy for toddlers to share?
Jacob went ice fishing today with Scott and his friend. Jacob caught a snake... a smaller Northern Pike. He just loves to be outdoors and loves to fish. He's such a good sport. Sunday morning at 9 a.m. I heard some shuffling and some closets being opened and closed. Jacob had put his boots, hat, coat, gloves and MY scarf on and went outside and shoveled. He thinks that the back patio has to be shoveled too. He spent an hour shoveling before coming in. His latest thing is turning off all the lights so we don't waste energy. So, I'll be in a room doing something and he'll turn off the lights on me. I'll tell him to turn them back on and he says that we don't need lights on for one person. I did ask the pediatrician if 4 year olds can be diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive syndrome and she said that they could, but it is more likely that they have some tendencies like OCS. (I'm not making this up, this was an actual conversation)
Another Jacob story... today, when we were driving to Funset, Jacob says to us, "that woman doesn't know how to drive" Scott and I looked at each other and raised our eyebrows. Scott said, "that was a man in the car next to us" and Jacob still mumbled something about women not knowing how to drive. WHERE DOES HE GET THIS STUFF FROM??? I've never heard Scott complaining about gender while driving and I don't either. Sometimes I just sigh and sigh and sigh...