Friday, November 23, 2007

We made it!

Yes, we ALL made it through the delivery of the twins. Truman and Amelia arrived on Wednesday (Nov. 21), and I'm happy to say that they and I all made it through the whole wonderful yet excruciating event alive and well. James has done a nice job of keeping everyone up-to-date and served as the family photojournalist during this time. I'm glad he did because I was in no condition to do it.

It has now been 2 weeks since the delivery (actually 3 now that I am actually posting), and I am just starting to move around with little or no pain. The first week postpartum was fairyly painful, but I am happy we were able to avoid a c-section. The "baby blues" hit me hard the first week after delivery. I know after Jameson was born I had a couple of short-lived breakdowns, but I think I got it a bit worse this time. Everything seemed to set me off. I am slowly regaining my sanity and wondering if I will ever regain some semblance of my former self. I am sure anyone who's ever had a baby can understand where I'm coming from, but I will paint a mental picture for those of you who have not.

Imagine feeling one day a complete sense of fullness in your abdomen where even trivial tasks seem impossible (putting on your socks & shoes, sitting up in bed, finding your lap). Then imagine waking up the next day feeling as if you have been hollowed out from the inside out. When you get up, you're afraid that your organs might just flop right out of your body. You have to get out of bed slowly because it takes a moment for your stretched abdominals muscles and ligaments to re-engage. Your once full, tight abdomen feels like a soft, squishy, unfamiliar pouch.

My beautiful babies are more than worth the temporary discomforts of labor and the drastic physical and hormonal changes my body has undergone. Yet any mother will tell you that it's a lot to go through at once, so it's no wonder new moms get the "baby blues".

Having waited so long to finish this post, it has now been more than 3 weeks since the twins were born, and I am beginning to feel more like myself. The "baby blues" are gone, and the exhaustion of this first 12 weeks has set in. Thank God for my mother. She has been so helpful with relieving some of the pressure of childcare by coming over and helping just about everyday.

My aunt Josefina from Mexico also came into town to help for a couple of weeks. She too was a godsend. Between her and my mom, they caught up all our laundry and helped clean up the house. I definitely felt less stressed than I remember feeling shortly after JJ was born.

I think we are settling into some type of a schedule, so hopefully we can get at least two 4 hour blocks of sleep in each night. It's funny how sleep becomes a major priority shortly after you have a baby. It' s WAY harder when you already have another little one because you can't "sleep when the babies sleep" as everyone will tell you. I know this period will end before I know it, and then I will wonder what happened to my little babies.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Belly Fell Off Today

Well, not really, but it sure looks like it could. My belly is hanging so far out from my body and so far down that it really looks like it could just fall off. Every time I get up now I need to take a couple of minutes because it's painful to stand up and let my body adjust to carrying around the weight of my belly.

We had another ultrasound yesterday (no pictures this time), and the babies are both almost 5 lbs. I am sensing that these babies may be born some time in the next week. I woke up feeling a bit crampy, but I've been through that before. We'll see how the day progresses.

I cannot imagine the relief I will feel once these babies are born. Thinking back to my pregnancy with Jameson, I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable toward the end, but this time I am somewhat in disbelief. I know have to pick up my belly with my hands every time I roll over in bed because it feels like my skin might tear if I don't help support the weight.

Just a quick note this time since I think this may be my last blog before the babies are born. It seems I might have Thanksgiving babies after all. If I can't, James will keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Boss's Rant

I'm going to do it today. . . write about work. I have tried to avoid doing it, but every now and then I need an outlet to vent about work frustrations that I am sure most people can relate to in one way or another.

I run an accounting department, and we are in the middle of closing our fiscal year. I have really bad timing with pregnancies because I have been out of the office for 2 of our last 3 fiscal year ends. When you are in charge of all of the work that is produced at this important time of year, it's a lot harder to be out of the office. In addition to having a lot of "accounting" work at this time of year, we (like most companies) have lot of year-end issues to deal with that produces a lot of work for me since I am involved in a lot of the decision-making.

It should go without saying then that over the last 8 years of working in an office and the last 5 years of running a department and helping to run a company, I have seen and dealt with a lot of different employees and learned a lot about people's work habits. Below is my list of office pet peeves about workers and working conditions from a boss's perspective. If you have ever worked in an office, you will at least be able to relate to most of these . . . and maybe even learn something about your boss.

Whether or not you work on a computer, your body language and your work output normally tell your boss when you are off-task. My favorite employee tactic is the last second attempt to cover up the non-work papers on your desk by quickly sliding other papers on top of them to cover them up. Don't do this. It's obvious you're not on-task. I also enjoy the quick click off the website where you're looking up news, sports scores, or other non-work related information. What most workers don't think about or realize is that your productivity is directly related to the profitability of your company. When you waste time, you're wasting your own money.

I can think of countless examples when employees really thought that not sharing work information such as passwords or job task procedures with other co-workers would improve their job security. In my opinion, this tactic just makes workers look incompetent and insecure. I value most my employees that can teach ME and their co-workers something new rather than those that try to guard information.

How incompetent workers ever become managers is beyond me, but I am certain this is the case somewhere in just about every company. What's worse is that incompetent managers breed incompetent workers. I work at an engineering company, so many of the managers were mostly engineers or designers before becoming managers. Many have no other business background, and many times it shows in their management style. I don't have an extensive business background, but I have a good understanding of business operations. When I don't know enough about a certain aspect of management, I seek out references to learn more about it. I think this is part of trying to be a good manager. Unfortunately, too many managers are complacent about their management skills and make no effort to improve them.

It always strikes me as interesting how naive people can be about what it take to run a company. Employees always have opinions about how a company should be run or about how they would run their company differently, but most don't really know all of the issues you have to deal with when you are a business owner. Usually, you find it's your worst employees that have the most opinions but never really do anything about the problem. The best employees do their best to do something about it rather than just continually complaining about the problem.

Employees that adopt the attitude that doing what they do everyday without ever making an effort to expand their horizons or improve their methods are, in my opinion, equivalent to lazy workers. So many employees are so scared of change that they never venture outside their small comfort zone. Resisting change is a disease of the American workforce. If we embraced change and chose to tackle problems head on, we would all work for better companies.

I can't tell you exactly what separates workers that "get it" from workers that don't (experience, intelligence, effort, skills, ability to learn quickly, probably a little bit of everything), but every boss wants the worker that "gets it". There's nothing more frustrating than teaching an employee how to do something, having them tell you they understand, and coming back later to realize they don't "get it". What's worse? Sometimes they don't even realize they don't get it.

I could go on, but I don't want to bore anyone that might be reading this anymore than necessary. I know how I must sound. . . typical boss . . . thinks she knows everything. . . undervalues her employees. Truth is, I think I have pretty good employees. They have their faults but so does every worker, including me. Remember, I work in an office, so I see the behaviors of a lot of workers, not just those that work for me. Being home on bed rest is an especially frustrating way to manage anything is you're a hands-on manager, so I just needed a moment to vent my frustrations. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I am always trying to learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of those around me.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bedrest Continues

Sunday will be 34 weeks . . . getting closer but 36 weeks cannot come soon enough. I'll work on having James post a picture on one of our blogs some time this week. My belly is about to start dragging on the ground. It looks almost fake. I'm a bit frightened about how it's going to look once these babies are out.

I can't wait to feel more like myself instead of being bed-ridden. I think JJ will be happy to have his mom back. He enjoys hanging out in bed with me and going to to see Dora, Diego, Max & Ruby, and all the other cartoon characters he likes to watch. I miss just picking him up and playing with him like I used to. James keeps reminding me that I am so close, but the days just seem to drag on.

It's hard to believe we are 2 to 3 weeks away from suddenly becoming a family of 5. I am 1 of 3, so I will soon have as many children as my mother. I know my mom is expecting the twins to be my last, but we will see. If pregnancy were an easy thing, I could see myself having 6 or more kids. I know adoption is always an option, but after reading about Chandra's journey, that doesn't sound so simple either. For now, I'm going to focus on raising my first 3 and re-evaluate how sane we are once the twins are a year old or so.

Whatever may be in the cards, I feel blessed to have the 1 we have and be expecting the next two. Ultimately, I would be thrilled to have happy, healthy children that James and I live to watch grow up.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


They discharged me from the hospital today, and I am ecstatic to be home. I cannot imagine what some of those women that are in there for months go through. It's hard to see your family and have to stay behind. I think if I would have had to stay there for another week, I would gone into a depression. It's strange the effect that the isolation has on your mental state.

I'm at 33 weeks and 2 days, and they would like me to get to 34 weeks at least. I think I will probably make it to 35 or 36, but I would be surprised to make it much further than that. My birthdate prediction is November 30th. Time will tell, but their arrival is fast approaching.

As of our last ultrasound, both babies were vertex (or head down), so my hopes of avoiding a c-section look reasonably good. Both babies have been doing great on their non-stress tests, so I am confident that they are healthy. I think my uterus is just being stretched to capacity, which is likely why I am having contractions.

JJ seems happy to have me home. Today he me, "Momma no go back to the hopital". It made me both sad and happy, but mostly happy to know he was glad I was back. I told him that I would go back to the hospital when the babies were ready but that I would send dad back to stay with him. I'm going to be relying on everyone else to help both me and JJ. It's a hard thing for me to do, but I promised I would stay on bed rest.

I guess we're on the homestretch now, so I just have to make it a few more weeks.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

In the Hospital . . . STILL

I finally got some internet access, and I'm working on my 5th night in the hospital. I can't imagine having to stay another 2 weeks, so I am crossing my fingers that they will discharge me tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath, but I am hoping I get to go home and see my boys. Every day I am gone, I feel like I miss out on so much.

Thanks to his dad, JJ seems to be doing just fine. It's times like this that I am really thankful I (and JJ) have James. Keep it up, dad! You're doing great!

The babies move constantly now, and it is TIGHT in there! It is still amazing to me how a woman's body can accommodate a baby (or more). Based on our last ultrasound, the babies are now over 4 lbs. each - good size for 32 weeks. We were told they grow about 4 oz. a week at this point, so they might just be 6 or more pounds by the time they are born. Today marked the end of 33 weeks, and I feel fairly confident that they'll make it to at least 35 weeks. Obviously my doctor is a bit more apprehensive, otherwise I would be in my own bed right now.

At this point, I am just killing some time here. They have me on a uterine monitor, and that's pretty much it at this point. I was originally on an IV & taking some other medication, but they agreed to take me off since I seem to have stabilized. More later. . .