Sunday, April 27, 2008

Women's full-contact football

Kudos to the Utah Avalanche! I love football, but I've never even played the poweder-puff version. These women are playing full contact football with all of the cumbersome pads and helmets and etc. To top it off, they aren't half bad! With the closest team in Boise, they don't have many opportunities to play, but at their game yesterday, they kicked butt! My friend, Beck, made a GREAT TD. Her wife, MB, also TD'd, but I was late to the game and missed it. Not kidding, these women didn't priss around. They played like they meant it, and won by a margin of about 30 points. Way to go Avalanche, and I hope that you enjoy this photo of BS's TD run! (And, no, I won't be joining. I am a priss.)

Things to remember

Things that we must remember:
****Meatball’s and Bub’s after dinner ritual – Meatball eats really well. He’ll eat anything. He’ll eat anytime. After a full dinner and plenty of formula, he will crawl at full-speed to Bub’s side just to share her cereal/iced tea/spaghetti/donut/strawberries/banana/asparagus/ice cream/milk/mac & cheese. He loves to do this. He doesn’t do this with me or anyone else. It’s just Meatball and Mom. It’s their special thing.
****Beej’s laugh – It’s reserved for special things. It’s throaty. It’s meant when it happens. He used this laugh tonight because the alphabet drum was talking and singing. Never mind that he has played with that drum a million times, but it was doing it’s thing tonight, and he was cracking up.
****As FREAKING IRRITATING as it is now, the squirming during diaper changes is pretty cute. The boys are sooooooooo excited about everything around them that it’s hard to keep them still during the diaper changes. They squirm and roll and stand on the changing table. They grab the powder and the lotion and the wipes and the toys and the blinds and my hair.
****Bathtime – It used to be that Beej would lay in the baby tub and kick or pop his legs and feet like crazy. He would splash water all over the place. He thought that this was hysterical, and he would do this for what seemed like forever! My legs would be asleep by the time he was done. Today, he luuuuuuuvvvvvs to lay down in the water. He’s a dolphin just like Mama B. We have to watch him carefully because he will lay down (front or back) in the blink of an eye. Then, just as quickly, he will be standing and jumping up and down. Bananny, on the other hand, needs convincing to be a water boy. This has been the case all along. He’s getting really good about laying down in the water IF he’s laying on our legs or very supported by our arm. He loves the praise at the end, but is very stiff and uncomfortable while it’s happening. As a little baby, he would lay calmly in the baby tub. Today, he’s extremely interested in splashing water everywhere with his hands. He is very cautious when it comes to the water, just like Mama K. As for tub toys, we have lots, and the boys react to them very differently. Beej wants everything in the tub and moving around (on the waves or on their own). Bananny is happy with a few toys and love to watch them. He seems to always be trying to figure out what they are doing and how.
****Sleepy time – They both struggle to go to sleep sometimes, but when they finally do, it’s funny to watch them. Meat will make sucking motion with a little bit of his tongue showing. It’s so cute! Peanut has started talking in his sleep. He’ll babble and laugh; I just wish that we knew what he was trying to say!
****Bannanny has ticklish gums - mostly on the top. When we brush his teeth, he giggles and scrunches up.
****The doorway jumper - the person who created this thing should be given an award. With two little people needing to be bathed but not enough grown up hands to clean them at the same time, the dooway jumper controls one while the other is splashing water everywhere. It has also now become a swing instead of just an up/down contraption.


--February 22, 2008 When something scary or bad is happening to your child, your whole system seems to stop, to be suspended in time and space. You are aware that the world is functioning all around you. You know that people are going to work and school and out to dinner. But it all seems so silly and unimportant. I would never describe the feeling like being in a haze or in a cloud because everything is very clear. Hospital intercoms are still crackly and loud; fluorescent lights still flicker and buzz; snow still falls and the flakes are still cold when they land upon your face. But, it’s all rather other-worldly and removed.

Right now, Peanut is having an MRI to make sure that there are no lesions or tumors on his third cranial nerve. His pupils are different sizes, and there isn’t a logical explanation (like a concussion).

It all started with a huge difference in pupil size that Nana noticed. We went to the pediatrician where the doc checked him out and then sent us to the ER for a CT. After all, she spent six years in the ER and knows what abuse looks like. WTF??!?!?! I know that it's her job, but we are good parents. We don't drop/shake/hit our kids. I'm glad that she does this with OTHER people's kids because OTHER people suck sometimes. We don't. Anyway, after the CT scan determined that nobody needed to call social services, the ER doc recommended us to a pediatric ophthamologist the very next day. We spent much of the day at Primary's with a GREAT doc. (Turns out that we also caught RSV at one of the two offices, so both boys were sick for two weeks.) A week later, the MRI. The diagnosis? Nothing. He probably got some chemical on his hand and then rubbed his eye so the pupil nerves were sort of paralyzed for a few days. What kind of chemical? Where could it come from? Fish food, plants, floor cleaner, tracked in from the street - friggin anywhere.

"Oh, by the way, unrelated to the dilated pupil, your son's left eye muscles are lazy. He needs glasses. Here's the prescription. When you come back for a check up, we'll check the other son because it's hereditary and he might need glasses too. Have a nice day."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Final Result

final result: The bill never left committee. We rallied; we lobbied; we wrote articles. If nothing else, we started a good dialog in the legislature as well as the straight community.

BUT, there is GOOD NEWS! There was enough noise both inside and outside of the legislature that this bill has been designated as one to be "studied" during the legislative break. This should give us a LOT of leverage next January when it is re-introduced.

The same congresswoman who sponsored it this year has pledged to sponsor it again next year - and every year thereafter until it passes.

Speeches from Feb 13 rally

speeches from the 2/13 rally:'s%20Speech.pdf

Be sure to listen to 8-year-old YG's speech on the video in this blog (1/2 down the page) - sadly, bad lighting
Some other good pictures, too.

(As an aside, a bit further down the page is a horrible picture of a horrible man who is consumed by his horrible hatred of the GLBT community and everyone in it. It's referring to another law on the hill, not the adoption law. I'll say one thing for sure: the GLBT community of Utah is NOT silent, and we are damn tired of sitting around while small-minded lawmakers do their best to oppress us. A sh!t storm is brewing....)

Mother Bear

I’ve become a mother bear. I am ready to fight for my guys to the death. I will protect them with all my might. Momma B and I - not our state’s inane legislators - will make the right choices for them. We will not stop until our boys have the rights and privileges that all other kids in this state have.

We’ve been pushing HB318 during this legislative session. It will remove the co-habitation clause from our existing adoption laws. (Essentially, if you live with someone – romantic relationship or not – you are unable to adopt or foster a child in this state. If you are single and living alone – gay or not - you can adopt. Ridiculous.)

The bill is currently at a standstill. It hasn’t made its way out of the rules committee because they will not release it. And, by “they” I mean two or three ultra-conservative representatives. There was enough support from the rest of the rules committee to release the bill; boy, were we excited only to have our hopes dashed when we found that the rules of “the game” had changed this year. Having a majority of the vote doesn’t count. The leader of the committee must give it his/her blessing. Obviously, the leader is one of “them.”

A very effective rally was held on February 13 during a hideous snowstorm. There were a lot of people there considering the weather. There were a lot of kids, and some media coverage. The speakers were very passionate, and I whole-heartedly commend Rep. Chavez-Houck for sponsoring this bill. She is not a lesbian, but is committed to equal rights for everyone.

The opposition has, of course, claimed that this is about the “gay agenda.” Allowing us to adopt children (usually our OWN children that we chose to bring into this world with our spouses and that we’re already raising) is some way of trying to validate gay marriage. We’re using our kids to get gay marriage approved.

It’s about none of these things. It’s about the welfare of the children in this strange state. It’s about giving kids access to BOTH parents’ social security benefits. It’s about allowing both/either parent to insure their own children. It’s about giving children the security of having either parent admit them to the hospital in an emergency. It’s about allowing both/either parent sit at a child’s hospital bedside.

I am not using my kids to somehow get gay marriage passed in this often backwards state, but I’ll tell you what I DO use them for:
I use them as a motivation to eat a healthier diet.
I use them as an excuse to play on the floor.
I use them as a reason to make up rhymes and sing silly songs.
I use them as a justification to buy funny toys with flashing lights, clicks, rattles, squeakers, bells, whistles and obnoxious and tinny-sounding songs.
I guess that you can say that I do use them, but not for my own political gain.

Legislators be damned. We WILL win this adoption battle. If it doesn’t happen really soon, we’ll move to a state where it’s a non-issue. Then, we’ll move back, and I will parade up and down the capitol steps with our legal and binding paperwork proving that we’re both parents in the eyes of the law. I can hardly wait for that day.

We're in the paper

OK - well, it's the local GAY paper, but we're mini-celebs, nonetheless.

Near death experience (or why we need to win the adoption battle)

So, here's my super-scary experience:

We had a HORRIBLE snow storm this morning. After white-knuckling it for an hour, I did a 360 in the middle of the freeway (all the way from the far right lane over to the far left lane) with cars swerving all around me. I was face to face with a big utility truck (the kind with the big boom/lift bucket) at some point during the excitement. Then, my truck stalled = more swerving by other people. It's a wonder that I wasn't hit. I was shocked.

So, I got off of the freeway. Instead of stopping at a red light on North Temple, my truck just slid right into the curb where I sat forEVER because the slush was so deep that I couldn't get enough traction to go forward. While STOPPED on the side of the road, I got side-swiped, and then the jerk drove away before I could get the license plate.

Yes - I escape death (or at least a minor injury) in the middle of the freeway only to be hit while at a standstill.

The whole time, all I could think of was my beautiful family and the fact that we don't have all of our legal stuff finished yet. We're close, but not totally done. If something had happened to me this morning, what would Bub have done? Would anybody challenge her for the boys? Would anybody step up and support her? Would the boys be OK without me? Headlight to headlight with the utility truck wasn't nearly as frightening as worrying about what would happen to my family.

(OK - I did have one additional thought at the sight of the utility truck trying to swerve in time. I thought: "This is going to hurt.")

HOWEVER - EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS FINE! Minimal damage from the side-swiper, and my nerves are finally calmed. I hugged the boys even more tonight.

Media links for Adoption battle

Support from the most conservative paper in the state:
Opinion pieces:,5143,695246606,00.html,5143,695247068,00.html§ionID=1,5143,695248670,00.html

Political battles FOR our boys

Equality Utah introduced legislation in 2008 that would allow same-sex couples and other co-habitating couples to adopt. The issue is CO-HABITATION since single gay people can adopt provided that they pass the evaluation. Even though kids do better when raised in a home with two parents, the legislators of our great state decided back in 2000 that those two prople MUST be married. Then, they proceeded to introduce laws that specifically prohibit g/l marriage. Since then, the rate of foster placement has decreased 33% and adoption of kids who are difficult to place has dropped something like 45%. Well, we're sick of this kind of crap. We intend to fight until we can adopt our own frickin' kids.


Yeah - sleep. Whatever.

I get very irritated with people who are astounded that the boys don't sleep through the night yet. Many of them preface it with a comment like "Well, I didn't have twins, but my kids were X (1, 2, 3) years apart, so it was just like having twins." Uh - no - it wasn't - never will be.

Other parents of multiples seem to echo my thoughts, so I don't think I'm totally crazy.

I still don't really care if they ever sleep through the night. I love that time - even though now it doesn't involve as much cuddling and snuggling and humming and caressing. Now, it's mostly a bottle while in the bed or a back rub or something like that. Regardless, I wouldn't trade the chance to look at these angelic little faces for ten extra minutes of sleep! (I must clarify this and say that it really IS ten minutes. I'm blessed with the ability to fall immediately back to sleep on most nights.)

Occasionally we co-sleep with one. Sometimes we co-sleep with both. (Co-sleeping usually happens when somebody isn't feeling well.) Most of the time, however, they go right into their cribs at 7:30 or 8pm.

Everyday is amazing

I'm amazed at just about everything, every single day. I can't believe how much I took for granted in the past. I'm having a blast seeing our little people experience the world! Who knew that our dog was so funny? We didn't until Peanut started laughing at him. Who knew that a stretch could be so satisfying? We had forgotten until we watched the pleasure on Meatball's face every morning.

I love my life. I love my wife.

Today on the way home, Bubba shocked me to the point that I almost swallowed my own tongue!

She suggested that since we're really having THE BEST time with the boys, and since we're obviously fantastic mothers, she might consider having more!

While my heart was doing a little happy dance, I informed her that we're not getting younger, so she needs to make a decision pretty quickly. (Incidentally, she's gotten the "Are you the grandmother" question three times now.) I also offered the adoption option since there are soooooooooooo many kids that need homes. Sadly, this would be quite a struggle in Utah.

Can we get the same sperm? Yes.
Can we afford more kids? Nope. Do I care? Nope.
Am I ready to call for sperm? Yes.

Astounding. Absolutely unbelievable. This from a woman who practically created the bar scene in Utah. This from a woman who really never wanted to be responsible to or for anyone, ever. This from the woman that needed ten years of convincing before we finally tried to get pregnant.

This woman wants nothing to do but come home and cuddle and tickle and snuggle and laugh and love two amazingly adorable boys.

I love my life. I love my wife.


Both boys have two teeth now. They are both tall. Ben continues to be very skinny, although Sam definitely isn't overweight. There is still a two pound difference.

Sam will be crawling very soon. Just last night, he discovered how to use his feet to lift his bum in the air. We all wonder if Ben will just skip crawling altogether. Hop - hop - hop!

Sadly, we will miss the Jensen family Christmas party this year (for the first time in my entire life!). The risk of the boys catching RSV is just too great. We have spent enough time in the hospital this year; we don't want another visit.

We're looking forward to a visit from Santa, but even if he skipped our house, we're pretty sure that the boys would be sufficiently spoiled!

Happy Christmahannukawanzaa!

6-month checkup

We just had our six-month appointment. The shots were handled well with only about 15 seconds of crying for each boy.

Peanut continues to be a skinny guy. At 14lb 3oz, he is in the 6th %ile (great because it is UP from the 5th %ile) for weight and the 75th %ile for height.

The term that the doc used to describe Meatball was "thick" - at least when compared to his brother! At 16lb 13oz, he is in the 45th %ile for weight (way up from last appointment) and 92nd %ile for height.

My dad went to the appointment with me because Bub had to work. He got a bit teary-eyed during the shots. Awww...

Amazed every day.

4-month checkup

We had our four month appointment yesterday where I found out that my insurance SUCKS for well-baby care. A maximum of $500/child/year? That was used up in the first two appointments! We're fully paying for yesterday, and one more to go before the end of the year. I made sure to tell the insurance company that I thought the whole thing was asinine.

The boys handled their shots very well. They calmed down very quickly.

Meatball is now 24 3/4" long (55th %ile) and 13 lbs 13 oz (35th %ile).
Peanut is 24" long (30th %ile) and 11 lbs 13 oz (5th %ile). Apparently, he is putting all of his energy into getting taller - not chunkier. We are using a calorie/formula supplement in every feeding.

We're getting closer to sleeping through the night. They wake up at midnight and sometimes 4am-ish. They go back to sleep after eating.

They're on formula only now because I dried up like the Sahara. It was quite disappointing.

Getting back to running

My training sucks. Taking the past year off really kicked my ass. I struggle to run three miles right now. I like to offer up my excuses in hopes of getting sympathy:
1) I'm pushing a jog stroller with two people in it.
2) I'm trying to control our seemingly brainless Moose.
The obvious problems with my excuses:
1) The two people weigh less than 20 lbs together and soaking wet.
2) With some more training and a neuter job, Moose would actually be fairly well behaved.
Oh well.

Lately, I've become very aware of the super flab that has taken up residence between the bottom of my rib cage and my knees. I'm "gettin' jiggy," but not in a good way! My tummy, my butt, and my inner AND outer thighs could win the Christmas bowl-full-of-jelly look alike contest (if said contest actually existed).

YES - sometimes, I AM that girl - the one that obsesses over body image and actually briefly (extremely briefly) thinks that bulemia can't be all that bad..... I hate it when I'm that girl, but it happens. Best to embrace her, eat the ice cream, keep it down, and lace up the jogging shoes the next morning. I am her today. I must run tomorrow.
Oh - I'm also getting the relief society wave on my arms. Barf! (Side note - Bub's family calls this the "Venetian Blind Syndrome." They were obviously not mormon and wouldn't get "the wave" reference.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What I'm afraid of

In my new-mommy, hormone affected, NICU tempered euphoria, I find myself weepy and emotional and generally weird.

I want to be the BEST mom in the whole world! I hope that our boys love us as much as I loved my mom. There can't be a better feeling than that, can there?

But, I'm so afraid that I'll make mistakes or forget to do something important or embarrass them or etc. etc. etc.

I look at these little beings everyday, and I'm amazed that they are so beautiful and perfect. I'm reminded that they are miracles. (Of course, they are only three weeks old and can't talk back yet.)

So, one thing that I'm afraid of is this: In two years or 14 years or 37 years they will do things or say things that will bug the crap out of me or really piss me off. I'm afraid that during those times, I won't remember how I feel today. I'm afraid that I will forget that they are perfect and wonderful and have made me happier than I ever imagined. I'm afraid that the absolute beauty that I feel will fade or disappear - especially in times of frustration or anger.

See - I told you that I'm emotional and weird.

TOGETHER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

After an additional 10-day stay in the hospital (caused by an infection at the site of the deep IV inserted to fight the original infection), Meatball is HOME! The boys are together again. Moms couldn't be happier and can't stop crying/laughing/crying/staring/crying/sighing/etc.

The gas companies are probably crying, too, but that's because we won't be driving into SLC 2x/day anymore! Boo-hoo for them....

Thanks to everyone for your support in the past month. It is genuinely appreciated.


"Half-way House" in two ways: 1) a dwelling that houses craziness and chaos, and 2) a place where half of our boys now sleep!

At exactly 3-weeks of age, and after his first parent-administered bath, Peanut was discharged from the hospital on 6/21!!! He was about 4 1/2 pounds and looked particularly dashing in his preemie duds (courtesy of Aunt Ruth and cousins Heather and Jamie). His first car ride was immediately to grandma and grandpa's house since the hospital was anxious to have the extra bed, a meal was due in less than 30 minutes, and it couldn't be prepared on the freeway. His first non-hospital doc appointment is tomorrow, and he's been advised to avoid crowds for two months (sorry friends from work!).

Unfortunately, Meatball has yet to experience the same joy, but he probably doesn't really care since he's just interested in food - GLORIOUS FOOD! Yes - the docs have allowed him to eat again (after a most unpleasant enema x-ray yesterday that showed no intestinal blockages, kinks, or twists). Now, he just needs to get to a minimum feeding amount which will take a bit of time since he's only allowed one additional mL per meal. Then, he needs to be sure to eat everything via mouth and not nose tube (no problems here so far!) and he needs to gain weight for two days in a row (again, probably not a big deal since he is the biggest baby in the NICU - by far! Yes, he's already too big to wear the preemie clothes!)

Moms are stressing about how to juggle time between home and the hospital, but they will surely manage. The worst part is splitting the two handsome devils up for a few days. After all, they've spent the last nine months together from womb to side-by-side ICU cribs. Momma Goober is particularly teary - must be the hormones....

For anyone in the state of Utah that plans to visit Peanut (and Meatball when he's released), there are some rules that the over-protective moms must insist that you follow:

1) Don't come if you or your kids are sick. End of discussion....
2) Please call before you come. You never know - a breast feeding session may be in progress, and while Momma K isn't exceptionally modest, there are just some things that she doesn't want to share.
3) Plan to wash your hands several times before being allowed to cuddle and hug any small person. The moms will probably forego this requirement if you with to cuddle and hug them, but then again, that would just be weird.
4) If you're a smoker, shower well and do not smoke before visiting. If you can't wait that long to light up, then plan to wear something (likely a luau or tie-dye print) that belongs to Goob or Bub. Apparently, smoke particulates cling to your clothes and hair long after you extinguish, and they're really not good for preemie lungs. (And, NO - this isn't something that Goob is making up to get you all to stop smoking!)

The rules will likely be relaxed over time, but for now will be enforced. After seeing these adorable little faces, everyone will forget all about how they've been inconvenienced!

We'll let everyone know when Meatball is discharged and the whole family is happily home and harvesting cherries, berries and tomatoes. (The garden waits for no one! Gotta' get the cherries canned or put into several pies or something! They are beautiful and super tasty right now!)


On Saturday, Meatball was finally allowed to eat again. He snarfed down the teensy and meager 4mL that were made available to him. Then, he made some absolutely adorable sighing noises and a great big burp. His feeding amounts increased by 1mL every three hours.

On that same day, Peanut was moved from an incubator into an open crib. He has proven that he can maintain his body temperature and is now a candidate for heading home! He passed his hearing test today and will take his car-seat test tomorrow. If he continues to gain weight each day, he will be headed home on Thursday.

Meatball was really fussy yesterday and didn't have any interest in eating. Since he spent so much time being off of food, the doc ordered an x-ray to make sure that his system is correctly handling the re-introduction of food. The x-ray was questionable with a big area of bowel that looks like it's not moving stuff along well. So, he's on a 12-18 hour fast (again) with 6-hour x-rays to monitor everything. It's probably nothing, but it's best to be cautious. He was also retaining a lot of fluid in his feet and legs, but that's pretty much cleared itself up today.

So, Peanut will beat Meatball home, but they should only be apart for a few (4-6) days. This will cause mommies some stress and some scheduling challenges since Peanut cannot re-enter the NICU. (No kids under 1 year.... risk of communicable infections is too great)

Regardless of the challenges we've experienced, we are so happy with our decision to become moms. Maybe it's the "baby-moon" period, maybe it's the fact that we have 24-hour help in the NICU staff, but honestly - we can't even remember our life before our guys came into it. Perhaps someday we'll look wistfully back on the parties, the dinners out, the movies, the bars, the dancing, and the sex-any-time-any-where - but today, none of that stuff matters.

We're also so very appreciative that our little men are as healthy as they are and that they waited until 34 weeks to arrive. There are so many kids in the NICU who are 1/4 the size of our Peanut and 1/7 the size of our Meatball (current sizes - not birth weight).

These three weeks in the NICU have opened our eyes and our hearts.

The boys post

Just a quick update since we have been in the world for two weeks:

"I have gained just over 1/2 pound. I should pass the 4-pound mark today! I'm learning how to eat pretty well. I'm having some spitting-up problems, but the doc thinks that it's the calorie supplement that they are adding to my milk to help me 'bulk up.' I don't really mind, though. If they keep adding the calories, I'll be super-strong very soon." --Peanut

"I have gained an entire pound in two weeks EVEN THOUGH I haven't been able to eat for the past seven days! According to x-rays, a spinal tap, and blood tests, my infection is gone. I just have to wait three more days before I can eat anything. We're going to have a family picnic in the NICU on Sunday to celebrate my return to food." --Meatball

Our moms are doing well. They are learning all of the NICU lingo, and the nurses are getting used to having them around ALL OF THE TIME. (They are probably driving the nurses crazy, but all of the nurses are too nice to say anything!) Our doctors say that being home by the end of June is NOT unrealistic! Yippee!

Meatball and Peanut

Life in the NICU

Since we've never had kids before, life in the NICU is normal for us. It's hard to believe that other parents don't have teams of people watching over their babies night and day.

While the docs and nurses (especially the nurses) are fan-freakin-tastic, the days are long and going home actually hurts. Going to get lunch in the cafeteria hurts. Going into the pumping room hurts.

Not being by the bedside all of the time is one of the hardest things in the world. I cried for the entire drive on yThe first night that we actually went home for the night. Next to the death of my mom, it was the worst night of my life. Driving around with two empty car seats makes me insane. Walking through the nursery with two empty cribs makes me want to lose my lunch.

In the past week, both of the boys have steadily gained weight. Neither of them experienced the initial weight loss that most babies have.

Peanut (the little guy) has been effectively weaned off of everything except some tube feedings. Now, the only cords attached to him are monitors. No more IVs, no oxygen, etc. He's still in an isolette because he just isn't big enough to maintain his own body temperature. He is quickly learning to breastfeed, and the nurses try giving him a bottle at night before resorting to the tube.

Meatball (the not-quite-as-little guy) was doing fantastic until two days ago when he developed some kind of infection (NEC, He was suddenly back on IV fluids and very aggressive antibiotics, and he cannot eat anything for at least ten days. He's mildly sedated all of the time because he needs to be relaxed and not agitated.

Moms are doing OK except that I get no sleep. Like I said earlier, it just HURTS to be away from here. I arrive at the NICU at 8am and leave at 10pm. I spend an hour with Meatball and then an hour with Peanut. Then, I have an hour to pump milk, potty, and make phone calls. The commute is 45 minutes each way at best, so I'm not spending much time at home. Bubba has been taking care of everything there, but my dog has declared a hunger strike and won't eat when I don't come home.

Bubba is also faced with extra stress in that her job asked her to choose between going in to work or being with me for the birth. Well, as you can imagine, there wasn't a choice to be made. She's now looking for a new job. Our philosophy: screw 'em.

Immediately post partum

Looking back, the hour between giving birth and seeing the boys was great, stressful, exciting, anxious, and difficult all at the same time. I was so happy that everyone was finally here and healthy (although small). I was very disappointed that I wasn't allowed to immediately visit the boys. I guess I expected to just jump up off of the operating room bed and saunter right into the NICU! Of course, there was a lot of stuff to take care of with my body. I wonder if there was something more going on that anyone told me, because it seemed to take forever. BUT, then again, people whose kids do not go to the NICU generally hold their babies during the "clean up" portion of the day, don't they? Anyway, after being wheeled back to my room, I got the "chills." I wasn't actually cold, but my entire body was shaking in the same way that it would if I were very cold and shivering from head to toe. It was so strange, but apparently, rather common. Thank goodness for Anisa, our nurse. She was fantastic. Of course, with the intense emotion of the morning and the lack of sleep for the last 30-some hours, I was incredibly emotional. I was happy that our folks were there, but at the same time, I missed my mom so badly. For the first time since her death, my chest actually hurt with the pain in that empty part of my heart. Yes, I was elated; I just gave birth to twins! But, not being able to share their lives with her, has always been bittersweet. People were in and out and so very happy. However, I could do nothing but cry for about 15 minutes. It was all so overwhelming, and all I could think was "I hope that I can be as good of a mom as she was." Anisa thought that I was getting sick of everyone coming in and out. I believe that she and Bub actually stopped the visitors for a few minutes to let me find myself. And, finally, after much of a lifetime of not understanding each other or accepting each other or communicating with each other, my dad knew exactly what I needed to hear. No matter what he thought about how Bub and I got here, or how much he wanted to brag about how much the boys looked like him or Grandpa Ray, or how he couldn't wait to teach them how to hammer and saw and spit and scratch and ride and rope, he instead made a perfect connection with me that I will never forget when he he came to my bedside and whispered "They have your mom's ears."