Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm a Work In Progress

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. Wise words from M. Gandhi. Words I am trying to live by and trying to find focus with. I had a huge AH-HA moment as a parent, a mother, a wife and a person on October 13. I arrived home after being at work for way too long, it was after 5pm and my husband, G & R were all in their PJ's. If the dog had PJ's, I am sure he too, would have been wearing them. And did I hug people, say hello and snuggle my babies? No, I yelled at my husband that it was after 5pm, no one was dressed and what the hell was going on. Not me being my best self.

I didn't take into consideration that my husband had been battling a cold for two weeks, that it had rained all day and that it really didn't matter if everyone spent 22 hours in their PJ's. I stepped into the worst version of myself and performed horribly.

My husband was solid in his response, he was right after all and knew it. It took me 5 hours to apologize and a full 24 hours to process it.

A friend recently had a quote on her facebook page "I myself am made entirely of flaws stitched together with good intentions." It hit me in the face- this is me too! And for now, I'll keep moving along, remembering to look in the mirror now and again. I need to love what I see and PJ day was not it. Almost 35 years of me and I am still learning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's Been Going On

Life is full. I've decided to ban the words "busy" and "tired" from my vocabulary; they are always going to be present for many months and years ahead. Insread, I'm looking at life as being full. Some days overflowing.

What the girls are up to
- learning to walk...Georgia started on September 30 and Rori followed a few days later
- exploring and crawling into and under anything and everything...gross motor skills at their finest
- filling their mouths with combined count is now 22/40, we're over half way there
- not sleeping. We're on day 15 of interrupted, horrible night lack of sleeping.

Ahhh the lack of sleep. Part of my reason for being behind on the blog, behind on life. I've realized parenting is a lot of guessing, speculating and trial and error. We never really know what is keeping them up, we guess. Is it teething? Is it learning to walk? Do we let them cry it out, snuggle them in or begin sleep training all over? Any and all of the above do not seem to work.

As if on cue, they are erupting in their cribs. Three hours after they went down. Parenting calls, blog will wait. Snuggles are next on the agenda.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our New Normal ....I'm trying

Life looks and feels different these days. I'm back to work, six days in. I am no longer home with girls full time and have passed that torch to Daddy. It was unbelievably hard walking out the door the first day returning to work. Everything seemed to go wrong- I overslept and the babies woke up and wanted milk right after I had pumped. I arrived at work, later than planned, with butterflies that felt like the first day of school. After a few bouts of tears, a cup of tea from a thoughtful friend, warm hellos and great conversations, the butterflies went to sleep and things worked out good.

I'm trying to keep mindful and present in the day. It is easy to be present when I'm playing peek-a-boo or stacking cups. I'm learning to be present when sitting in 3 or 4 hour meetings. I have to work differently than I ever have. I have to leave at certain times or hubby doesn't get to work on time. I'm putting 8 hours a day in, just doing it differently. I have to pump at certain times in the day or I am uncomfortable and I seem to mess up my milk supply. We are continuing to breastfeed for a bit longer; there is no timeline on it at this point. That is a whole other conversation- the judgments that are in society for breastfeeding toddlers.

The babies are thriving with Daddy and he is doing an awesome job. Everyone is always happy when I return home. Yes, the house might not be as I would have had it and there may be dirty faces but there is happiness.

We are trying to fit in cleaning, groceries, meal preparation, family time, volunteering, exercise and the basics that are part of life. I'm trying not to judge myself and not judge my husband; trying to be less critical. I'm trying to breathe more and be less bitchy.

Weekends are not long enough. Time travels at warp speed and it seems Friday just arrives and it is Monday morning.

The girls are delightful these days; sleeping through the night and very entertaining. I had no idea how exciting a high five could be, how terrifying it is to walk behind a baby (or two babies!) climbing up the stairs and the wonderful hugs that I get, especially when returning home. There really are no words for how amazing and great they are.

Everyone tells me to be gentle with myself, be patient. I'm trying. Our new normal seems to have a lot of "trying" things out in it. We'll get there, each day at a time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Adventures

Change is abound; in the air, with the weather and with our lives. Mommy returns to work tomorrow....big sigh....I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom. I love my career and really didn't understand why people wanted to be home full time with a child (especially when there was only one, haha!) Oh how that has changed! What I wouldn't do for another 12 months with the girls. It's just not possible. And on the eve of my return to work, I keep wishing and hoping I will win the lottery or even have someone sponsor me- all I need is bills paid, and I could be home with my babies. But being a grownup doesn't seem to work that way.

It doesn't seem right going back, we are just getting going. We are just at the fun stage of teaching (our newest tricks are pointing one finger up when you ask the girls how old they are, saying & playing ball and we're working on the word yes). The babies give back so much. Another friend and a twin mom told me that is when the world changed, when the rewards started coming back. It started with that first smile and now they are so close to standing on their own, to walking, to new teeth...and I won't be here for it. Sure, I will get to see it on evenings and weekends. Not the same. I know a zillion and ones moms and dads before me have done this, returned to work, and a zillion more will be doing it. I just didn't imagine that it would hurt this much. I've cried on and off for two days. I've had a headache that doesn't seem to end.

The good news is that they will be with Daddy or Mommy most of the time. They will be in their own house. We don't have to add packing up two babies, getting food ready, and adding all that comes with leaving the house every day. My hope is that Mommy and Daddy are not going to be exhausted from working two full time jobs, keeping up with two growing toddlers, an energetic dog and keeping the house moderately clean. I'm not going to worry about how I can continue to breastfeed and pump. I'm just going to do it and see what happens.

I'm trying to be present. I can be a bitch, a crab and I usually end up taking it out on those I love most. As my husband and my brother can confirm. I'm thinking about learning to mediate (maybe), reading a lot and relating to mindful parenting. To me, it means to learn about staying in the moment, staying present and appreciation. I am still working on patience and balance; there will be lots to test these skills in the weeks ahead.

This quote from Gina at The Twin Coach resonated deeply with me.
"I'm simply working at being able to notice all these little pieces of the day, so I don't let one moment in time, that isn't going as I wish, destroy the million little, beautiful moments that surround it."

On that note, I am off to finish a few things, pump some milk for my girls and head to bed. Probably with a few tears on my pillow tonight.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye August

Goodbye August. You've been a good month. You've had a few moments where the days seemed longer than usual but I will miss you. You are a month of celebrating; of celebrating anniversaries (happy 5 years hubby), of reflecting and celebrating G & R (happy 1st birthday my girls) and of home ownership. You have been a busy month for us- with babies on the move more and more, new teeth, new words, new developments and new experiences. You've been a month where we have battled thrush and viral infections. Where the babies have tried new foods, enjoyed swims in oceans and lakes and lots of summer walks.

In August, even the beer tastes better, especially on a hot summer day.

It was also a month of loss- Goodbye Jack Layton. I'm still processing, still in disbelief and still not sure how to describe the impact of a man I have never met. I've watched the funeral twice, cried many tears and will have to leave it at that for now.

It's a month of preparing to return to work, to a new routine and to getting through the days in a different way.

Brigadoon Children's Camp Society opened this month too; a dream of Dave McKeage that has come to reality. I have goosebumps when I think of it and can't believe that I walked the grounds, into the cabins, onto the lake where Brigadoon has been built. Amazing. Inspiration to believe in your dreams and the power of accomplishment when you follow through.

Goodbye August. I will miss you and look forward to your return next year.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday G & R

Today our girls celebrated turning one. Well, we celebrated, and to them it was just another day. A day where Mommy and Daddy were a bit more silly, Mommy cried and looked a lot of photos, there were a lot of songs and teaching of the number "1". I can remember the day of their birth like it was yesterday, yet I can not believe how fast this year has gone by.

It was a year of ups and downs, of moments where I didn't think I would ever learn to feed my children through breastfeeding, have them go to sleep on their own or sleep through the night ourselves. Now breastfeeding is done with ease (and we are going to continue until the girls or mommy is ready to wean), sleep is a regular, predictable part of our lives and we happily sleep through the night.

The year has taught me a lot about myself; as a mother and a woman. It has taught me a lot about my relationship with my husband. I have realized who my true friends are and who I am fortunate to have in my life. This one was one of the harder lessons; people I would have called friends before the girls arrived are now acquaintances in my life. Which I am ok with, it just took a bit of learning on my part. I've learned to change my expectations of myself and of the world around me.

The biggest ah ha I have had has been how much I love my two little humans. I knew I would love them and I already felt I knew them before they were in my arms. I was not prepared for the immense, numbing at times, love. I still am in disbelief at times that I am a mother, and a mother to two beautiful girls. I feel complete, have a new perspective and a new outlook.

My hope for the girls is that they can continue to grow and make the world a better place that it was simply by being in it and living life to the best of their abilities.

One of our favorite books to read, is On the Day You Were Born, written and illustrated by Debra Frasier. The lyric text welcomes each child to the every day miracles of planet Earth – the sun, moon, North Star, wind, rain, tides and the circle of people awaiting each child. The line that brings tears to my eyes with each read sums up the feelings of every day, but especially as we celebrate their first birthday.

.....And as they held you close they whispered in your open, curving ear," We are so glad you've come!"

Thank you my sweet girls....looking forward to many more celebrations in the years ahead.

Friday, August 12, 2011

3 Weeks, 4 Days and Counting.....

My life these days is about lists and a countdown. A countdown to returning to work full time outside the home. A countdown that makes tears come to my eyes, is filled with guilt and evokes a huge sigh from me. A countdown that I never thought I would dread. I never have seen myself as a stay at home mom. I LOVE work, I LOVE my job, my co-workers and at times over the years, I have likely loved it a bit too much. I don't think I realized how much I would LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom. Work feels like an interruption in our plan but I have to return to work; our lives and our bank account will not survive too long without it. As the days wind down, I find myself selfishly wanting to freeze time, to spend every minute with G & R and to not have the nights turn into a new day where I am closer to leaving them.

And at the same time, I am in need of a break, a change. Not that work will be a break but it will be a different activity where I use different parts of me.

I broke this week. It was the cumulation of everything, of working on the girls baby books and realizing all we went through, reliving some of it all and having sadness that I won't be in the baby stage again. It's mixed emotions of leaving them during the day, for 5 whole days every week and of trying to figure out how am I going to continue to breastfeed, work, pump, make sure everyone has food and clean clothes and all the other tasks that life has for us. I'm slowly realizing that there are some things that are going to have to go on the backburner- my trips to the gym, computer time, and maybe even the odd shower or two :) And what if someone gets sick.....that doesn't fit in my schedule so I don't know how we will cope with that!

It's the realization that we live far from family and far from helping hands. Any hands I get to help, I'll have to find them, interview them, trust them and then leave them alone with my babies. I am sure the first time or two I will worry nonstop that they will take my beautiful girls. Rational me tells me to relax and that everyone does this and it will be fine. The mommy in me has her heart breaking with the thought of this.

So we have a plan. I am going to work full time, my husband is going to work full time. I'll do days at work, he'll do evenings and weekends. That equation leads to pretty near no family time, zero sleep in time and gratitude that the grocery stores are open 24 hours a day so we can shop when life permits. I am happy that the girls are going to be with one of their parents for 99% of the time. And the days when we can't be with them, we are just going to have to learn a new way of doing things. I just wish it didn't hurt my heart so much to think of it!

As for me and the break, not sure how I am going to build that in but we are committed to finding a way. I love love my girlies and I need a small break to be the best mommy I can be. Just a few hours without thinking of who needs to be fed when, of breastfeeding and changing two 11.5 month olds. It has become an olympic workout to breastfeed the two of them at once or attempt to change diapers. There seems to be no element of distraction powerful enough to engage them.

But tonight, we sleep and tomorrow we tackle the list again! Hopefully with crossing off a few accomplishments each day, the anxiety will get less and everything will fall into place.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Mid Summer Night

I didn't sit down to update the blog tonight. I sat down with the intention to work on the never ending list of things that need attention around the house and in our lives. I wanted to work on accomplishing a few things off "the list" but instead I am working on the babies books and looking at old photos. It is so hard to believe the girls are 11.5 months old; time evaporates. I am not sure where August came from so quickly!

In July, we celebrated the babies baptism into the Anglican Church. It was a great day, low key and more meaningful than I thought it would be. I have an up and down relationship with God, the Church and my beliefs shift and change. For some reason that I can't fully put into words, it did feel important for me to have them baptized. We had dresses made out of my wedding dress and my mother's- they turned out beautiful. The babies share two godmothers and a godfather; 3 people who have been great support, friends and who are important in our lives.

July also had the girls an unknown GI bug that has continued into August. This is one of the hardest times to be a twin mommy; when they are both not feeling 100% and sick at the same time. Our dreams of sleeping through the night have not yet returned as the bug is waking them up at night. Hoping they turn and leave it behind soon.

I also left the babies for the first time overnight, for two nights- 42 hours to be exact. Daddy has been away from them on occasion when we have traveled home and he has stayed put for work and school. The girls stayed with my parents, Grammy and Grampy and took Phineas the dog along. I was completely comfortable leaving them, knowing they were in perfect hands. We had asked my parents in February when U2 was announced to come to New Brunswick. Mommy and Daddy went off to the U2 concert. It was an amazing event! I had to pump all weekend to keep my supply up, that was an interesting task at an outdoor concert! The smiles on the faces of the girls when we drove up to pick them up was beyond words; I had goosebumps. They were hanging out on the deck with my parents and their little legs started going with excitement when we got out of the car, it made me want to melt with happiness.

Although there have been days that I have been wishing time away, I now want it to slow down to a crawl or even pause. I return to work in 5 weeks. We're lucky the girls will be with one of us, but my heart jumps a bit when I think of how busy the fall is going to be. It's our world and we will make it work, somehow.

We're almost a year to the day when we first met our beautiful G & R. August is about being present, enjoying the moments and days with the girls, with each other and celebrating how far we have come as a family.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Growing and Changing

The girls are busy these days! It seems that once the crawling started, everything is now coming at rapid speed!

Crawling, clapping hands, waving hello and goodbye- are the big tricks! G has started pulling herself up on everything; toys, the couch, her crib. It seems anything that has a grip is good enough for her to try! Their flexibility is amazing.

The bath is also a new adventure and activity; they no longer will sit in the bath rings. I love bathtime. It is full of splashes, discovery, and just plain ol' fun! R will usually spend most of the time on her belly and ducking her head in and out of the water. We also have to try to keep the dog from jumping into the tub as the bath toys get him very excited.

Days are filled with naps, walks, sometimes jogs or runs with Mommy, trips to the beach and the lake and lots of stories! We're trying to soak up every minute of summer, sunshine and family time.

Our goals right now are to get the babies drinking reliably out of a sippy cup and sleeping through the night.

July holds two big milestones- a baptism for the girls with their two godmommies and godfather and a sleepover without Mommy and Daddy for two nights with Grammy and Grampy! Let's cross our fingers everything goes smooth!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Confessions & Judgments

Before having kids, I had a list in my head of things I would never do if I was a mother. It wasn't that I judged my friends, family and strangers for their choices (ok, maybe just a little from time to time) but I thought I was all knowing and knew better. My list went like this. I would never:
- use a pacifier
- let my children eat in their car seats
- use a bottle before 6 months
- and if I did use a bottle, never prop it up
- let my children sleep with me
- be late (yes, I had that in my head- imagine!)
There are likely others I can't remember but these were some big ones.

Then I learned I was pregnant and having twins. My list grew and I added to the irrational thoughts of before. I would never:
- let the babies cry it out
- have anyone touch them without washing their hands or using sanitizer (I bought two cases before they were born)
- use jarred baby food
- run to them when they were crying for no reason
- rock them to sleep past 6 months of age
- baby proof beyond baby gates
- spit on a tissue (or my finger) and wipe a person's face

Fast forward time ahead 10.5 months. Last week, the babies and I were travelling to my parents for a few days. We had left on cue, just before morning nap, and the babies slept like a dream while I filled the car with gas, grabbed a coffee, did the drive through bank and continued on our journey. We had one long wait in construction and the girls slept through it. The second stop in construction was the breaking point. The babies had been in their car seats for 3 hours, napped the required 3 hours and were awake. And hungry. And mad that I would not let them out. We were 14 km from my parents house and I contemplated pulling the car over to the side of the road, getting the stroller out and walking there. Had it not been 34'C I would have. Instead I fished around in my purse and found the golden ticket- 2 arrowroot cookies. I paused for a minute, realizing I was breaking my rule, and then gave them each an arrowroot which they gobbled up happily. While I listened to the silence, I reflected on all the things I thought I would never do and the wisdom I now have only 10.5 months in.

Every single thing I thought I would never do, I have done at one degree or another. I've used baby jarred prunes (you try pureeing prunes), have half my house baby proofed (apparently I thought I would rationalize with them) and have spent many nights snuggled with one and sometimes two babies in bed. Especially when they were very little. I confess, I love snuggles. My husband and I broke into the pacifiers at age 4 months when we were into our 3rd hour of being unable to calm the babies down. Bottles, well, those just became a necessity at times. Although I am proud that we are still breastfeeding and they did not take a bottle until the breastfeeding was fully established. It worked for us and we syringe fed them along with breastfeeding until they were a bit more developed and alert. Rocking them is such a peaceful, soothing activity for all involved. And we do try to help them learn to self soothe, there are times when a girl just needs her mommy or daddy.

I'm learning that is the theme of parenting; it's about choices and trying to do the best thing 98% of the time. A wise colleague and friend told me that. I no longer stress or fret about what happens 2% of the time. I don't consider it a failure but a learning and sometimes a coping. It's about having happy, healthy baby girls and calm, content parents. We try our best and life doesn't go as planned in one's head. Especially raising two at a time.

For all those family, friends and strangers I might have judged before I had children, my apologies. I've lived and learned. Most importantly, I have learned to keep my lists realistic and practical. And that most of us are doing the best we can do, to be the best parents we can be, each day at a time.

An overgrown garden

Life these days feels like a garden overgrown- there is not enough time for the weeding, for the veggies to grow, to water them, to make sure they get enough sun and dry out. I started the blog committed to keeping it up, being regular with it and not letting it fall off my radar. But it did. Life happens. I'm not going to be a typical Canadian and over apologize for it. I'm acknowledging it and moving on. A true post to follow.

Monday, June 13, 2011

One on the go...

It's happened. One of our babies is crawling. Moving with a quadrupedal gait. I am in awe, a bit weepy and sad and in disbelief that we will have to childproof sooner than expected. I was quite happy with their current mode of activity and had no real rush for the crawl. The creep was fine; they were moving along on their bellies or content to sit and turn around in circles on their bottoms. But now the crawl has happened. We did the thing many parents likely do- move the toy further and further. The determination in her face as she went for the toy was awesome. We even remembered to video it. Go Baby R Go! Her sister, G, is happy to sit, flap her arms excitedly and stretch and reach for everything she wants. Phineas, G and Mommy and Daddy cheered from the sidelines.

Now we have a new game; crawling a bit every day. She no longer needs me or her daddy to put a toy down. She goes where she wants, with intention. With energy and determination. And I watch her go, watching her with happiness that she can do it and sadness that she can do it. The baby stage is so brief. I want to freeze time and hang onto it for a bit longer.

One of my biggest pet peeves since becoming a mom is the comparison that people do. It seems amplified with having twins. Every time one of them reaches a milestone, there is an immediate comparison from some family members. Strangers too. Their dad and I work hard to treat them as they are, individuals. To celebrate their accomplishments. Why does the world want sameness? This house wants individuals. They are two separate people, who will do separate things, and do them on their own timeline.

So for this week, we watch R crawl. And we know that someday soon, her sister will be beside her and our world will change again as we chase two babies who will sometimes go in the same direction and sometimes in two different directions. We have fun times ahead. And I can't wait!

Friday, June 3, 2011

9 Months In....9 Months Out

G & R turned 9 months the other day. They have no officially been "out" longer than they were in utero for. It hit me that they are growing up, changing, becoming less like my little babies and more like little girls. I know; I see them every day and I should realize this. But somedays it just hits me how fast time is going. I look at them every day and still sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not dreaming and that they are mine.

You see, their Daddy and I waited a long time for their arrival. And it was not a wait without speedbumps. We bought a house in 2004, threw out birth control and I thought "viola" we'll be pregnant. You might not know me well yet, but I am a reformed type A personality who likes control, order and to be in charge of both of those things. The weeks turned into months, and then years. No baby. Each month felt like a failure. There were times when I could rationalize it, "we're not ready", "we need to wait until X happens or we save X amount", "I just changed jobs" and there were other times when my heart broke. When it was so hard to go to the grocery store and see a baby, to look at baby photos from family and friends or to have the question asked "When are you starting a family?" "We're trying dammit" is what I wanted to scream but I never did. Those closest to us knew our heartache and our struggles.

Then we got pregnant. It was July. I remember the smell of the ocean and the sunshine that day. We did it. It happened. FINALLY. Then a few weeks in, while at work, I started getting signals. My body was failing me. Words went through my head- loss, miscarriage, no baby. No baby. I rationalized some more. At least we got pregnant, so it would happen again. And it did. Many months later we learned again we were pregnant. This time we made it to 11 weeks. During this time, we were being followed by the Infertility Clinic at the IWK Hospital. We were UEI- unexplained infertility. We had gotten pregnant, now how to figure out how to keep a pregnancy. We tried 4 rounds of fertility meds complete with hot flashes, hormone surges, moodiness and the hope that they would work. They didn't. At our insistence, the clinic agreed to follow us while we thought about things. Finances made it tough to try in vitro and we also were not sure of how we personally felt about it as a choice for us. Adoption came up many times in our conversations. Then the H1N1 flu pandemic hit. As a public health employee, my days were long and work provided an escape from dealing with where we were at. Hubby was in school, starting a new program to learn how to become a Chef. Our days were busy but not fulfilled. I skipped baby showers (7 to be exact) and yet still bought baby items for when we'd have a baby.

As the pandemic wound down, I began searching for a puppy. I needed something else breathing in the house with us. If it couldn't be a baby, it would be a dog. It wasn't the first time I had broached the conversation with hubby- who never had a pet in his life, and wasn't all that fond of dogs. I think I had asked a zillion times. One Sunday, he agreed. It was a day in December and I phoned the lady to meet her to see her puppies. A trip to Costco for a bed, some toys and food and we were off. Two hours later, standing in a parking lot, I couldn't believe it was happening. There were 3 of them and I let hubby pick out what one. A little black and white furball came back to the car with us. On the way down we had made a list of names- 30 names. Now we had to narrow it down and we landed on Phineas. He was and still is an amazing addition. We took him everywhere that Christmas- shopping, visiting friends, family, New Year's Eve party- he was part of our family. We started off 2010 training Phineas and training ourselves to be dog owners. We were busy, we were occupied and we were in love with our furball.

It was a Saturday afternoon and I wanted to have a beer, actually more than one beer. It had been a long week at work, a long week of cleaning up poo in the house and winter weather was in full force. Something made me reach into the box (when you are trying to get pregnant, you buy pregnancy tests in bulk) and take a test. I peed on the stick and took Phineas for a walk. When we returned, I nearly fell over. Eight tests later, eight tests lined up on the bathroom counter, I was in disbelief. Hubby was at work and this was not news to share via a text. I took a photo of one of the tests, threw 7 of them out and saved one (which I still have). I took off Phineas' collar and put a charm on it that said "Baby Gillis" on one side and "September 2010" on the other, returning the collar to Phineas. Hubby arrived home and couldn't figure out why the dog collar was so loud (the charm kept hitting the floor) and then read it. We both were in disbelief. Could it be? Really? Would the third time be a charm? I arrived at the doctor on Monday (without an appointment) to have it confirmed. I needed it confirmed and needed to figure out how to keep things going.

Things moved quickly- an early ultrasound was ordered, I was referred to a specialist for high risk pregnancies and the nausea and vomiting began. Add in fatigue like nothing else and there was no denying it- we were pregnant. The ultrasound confirmed it. We both remember asking the technician to make sure there was only one baby. I could hear my grandmother's voice telling me that I would be having twins someday. Nope- one baby was confirmed.

The days moved along. We celebrated the news with family, friends and colleagues. We began buying and preparing for our baby, which I thought was a boy. I was sick, I was tired but I was pregnant. When laying on the floor after a rough session with my unhappy GI tract or from throwing up 6 times in a one hour period, I would remind myself that this was a good sign. My hormone levels were working and this pregnancy would work. It was an uneventful and happy time.

We opted to have our maternal serum tests completed to rule out the likelihood that we were carrying a baby with Down’s syndrome, trisomy 18, or open neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. MSS measures hormones made by your baby or placenta that can be found in your blood. We received a call on a Monday to come into the 7th floor of the IWK on Wednesday, and oh could we have some more blood work done. My heart sunk - something was wrong. And we had to wait to find out what it was. Somehow we kept moving during those two days. The day of the appt we spent the morning shopping, going out for lunch- all the time pretending that things were normal. The appt began and with it came my tears. I heard "spina bifida" and began renovating our house in my mind, adding ramps, thinking of how we could move things around. We made it through the counselling appt and then onto the ultrasound. To say I was a mess would be an understatement. All I wanted was for the ultrasound to be turned on, finished and let me know what was wrong with my baby so I could plan for him. The test started and the doctor giggled. Yes, giggled. Hubby's hand in mine got tighter and then the words "Two babies!" What? I was having two babies with spina bifida? Oh my! Then it was explained...since we had two babies, the maternal serum tests were invalid. Apparently the previous 3 ultrasounds only saw one baby. And we were having twins. Girls. Baby A and Baby B.

That's how we came to learn we were going to be the parents of twins. It was the best of days- the first day we met G & R.

Here goes...

Ever since I can remember, I've loved stories, writings and reading. I remember as a little girl going to sleep curled up with a flashlight under my pillow to get in just one more chapter. Over the years, I've journalled, written here and there, scrapbooked and documented memories in many different fashions. Blogs always seemed a bit too much of a stretch for me, a step too far. I have been a great lurker but it didn't feel like the right time. But now I am taking a deep breath, and diving into the world of blogging. Why? Because I have two beautiful babies and I want to have as many footprints of our time together as I can. I've learned so much from parenting blogs, websites by mommies and daddies for mommies and daddies and enjoyed reading so many stories. As I've been reading, I thought of all the stories and lessons we are creating, each day with G & R. One of the things I know to be true in the world is that the world is a better place if we all help each other out, even just one person, each day. The power of connections, of networking and sharing is also invaluable to me. So here goes.... I can promise you that no two posts will be the same, there will be highs, and there will be misses. I promise to be authentic and real. Beyond that anything goes. Hope you join me.