Monday, November 22, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

This year has been abounding in change for me--my life's biggest transition by far. When Brad and I decided to begin trying to conceive two years ago, I had no idea how drastically my life would change. 

I am blessed beyond measure.

There are times when I struggle to see the blessing--I get in the way of myself. When Brynne's nap is only 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes, because she is struggling with teething--I get frustrated. When Hadley won't eat what I've prepared for her for dinner--I'm frustrated.

What are my frustrations really about anyway? The answer is resounding--yup, it's me!

Brynne didn't allow me to that 90 minutes of her naptime to clean, cook, rest, relax. Hadley doesn't appreciate the work that went into preparing that meal for her. How dare those girls inconvenience their mama like that! I wish my brain and my heart would automatically turn to the positive, the blessings, the gift, but it doesn't always go there until later, when I have time to process.

I had a whole hour with Brynne one-on-one. We snuggled and read stories, we did some hand claps, and she got my full attention when we played with toys on the floor. That is precious time when you have twins; I don't often get one-on-one time with my girls.

Hadley cautiously and curiously tastes everything that goes into her mouth before deciding whether she'd like to eat more of it or not. She is developing a sense of taste, and exercising her own unique personality, willful as it might be. Praise God that I am able to watch her become an individual!

All through the past year there have been frustrations. What a blessing to recognize them for the gifts they have become. I want so share a few of them with you. I am humbled when I look back to see the way God watched over us, even when I wasn't asking for it, even when I was complaining.

On December 8th, I went into preterm labor.

I had no idea I was in labor. I was at the hospital for a routine non-stress test; they discovered this because I was hooked up to all the monitors.

Brad was in town. He works about 30 minutes from home, but we were scheduled to close on refinancing our house. The office where we were supposed to sign was literally five minutes from the hospital.

They caught the preterm labor early enough that they were able to successfully stop it, without it causing me to dialate.

Pre-term labor = two months of bedrest.

There were many wonderful friends who came to fellowship with me.

My husband loved me by cooking meals, cleaning the house, and otherwise cared for me.

I was able to rest, and  let my babies grow. While they were born at 35 weeks, Hadley weighed 5 lbs 9 oz and Brynne was a whopping 6 lbs and 13 oz.

Brynne's NICU stay.

We were able to get a diagnosis on her heart murmur (VSD).

I was connected with extra support from the lactation consultants there.

Brynne was able to go home after only an 18 hour stay.

Brynne, and subsequently Hadley too, received services from a home health nurse for two weeks after discharge.

Twinfants are hard work.

Family stayed with us to hold babies, encourage me in the early days of breastfeeding, and to help us keep our house clean.

Church family organized meals for us for over three weeks, and visited to love on our daughters, and to give us breaks.

Friends came to visit with us, meet and hold the girls, and brought us meals.

I was able to work on and succeed at getting the girls to nurse at the same time.

Two ladies from our small group at church loved us by pulling an all-nighter, so that we could sleep. All I had to do was nurse the girls--they took care of the rest. A blessed respite for me and my exhausted husband!

We had such a beautiful spring! I was able to get the girls out for long drives or walks.

Brad's several business trips.

Our church family took shifts bringing me meals and helping out with the girls while he was away.

My mom was able to come stay.

He is able to provide for our family, so that I'm able to stay home to raise our daughters.

Struggle with sleep issues.

We learned a lot about infant sleep, and better understand our daughters' sleep needs.

We were taught how to help our daughters learn to put themselves to sleep.

The girls take two naps a day, and sleep through the night.

We have been able to share information from the sleep nurse with lots of our friends and family.

There are so many small things I am thankful for, and while I'm not always thankful for them at the time--they are worth noting.

When the girls cry, I am thankful they have healthy lungs.

When they cling to me and fuss in unfamiliar situations, I am thankful that they have have formed healthy attachments.

We have recently begun babyproofing our house, I am so thankful they are growing, becoming mobile and learning new skills--I love our monkey girls!


Ellyn said...

You're a beautiful person, Julia. Thanks for sharing these words of inspiration!

ninalaughlin said...

Julia-You are an amazing woman and mother! What a journey!!! You are incredibly blessed. Enjoy these holidays with your beautiful family!

Once Upon A Time said...

This was wonderful to read. Thanks for uplifting my spirits on a deary day!

Once Upon A Time said...

This was wonderful to read. Thanks for uplifting my spirits on a deary day!

ninalaughlin said...

Julia-You are an amazing woman and mother! What a journey!!! You are incredibly blessed. Enjoy these holidays with your beautiful family!