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Sep 24 2013

Yes, There is a Such Thing as a Non-Painful Birth

By at 3:45 pm

lilbabies copy

I stood in the hallway of the hearing clinic, waiting in line for my son’s appointment. I overheard another mother telling her birth story to a 19-year-old girl.

The young girl was slim and trim; her belly skin was so tight that her navel practically kissed her back. The girl responded with something between a scrinch and a smile–it was clear she was trying not to appear grossed out by the gory details, though the contour of her lips said it all. The mom continued to talk animatedly about her painful experience of pushing for 12 hours. She spared no details, explaining how her insides felt as if they had popped out of her like a jack-in-the-box on speed. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 7 2013

Nursing Twin Preemies is Not Easy But So Worth It

By at 2:03 pm

cara nursing twinsIn honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I am inspired to publicly declare that I breastfeed and support other mothers who nurse their children.

My twin girls were born just over 12 weeks ago. They arrived five weeks early and were so small and fragile that I had to learn how to hold a baby all over again. As preemies, they were automatically placed in the NICU and carried no body fat that would have regulated their temperature., Therefore, until my milk started to flow, I agreed to supplement my colostrum with formula. Thankfully, by the time my milk arrived two and half days later, they were latching and suckling easily. The girls lost some weight those first few days in the hospital and when they came home, Elora weighed 3 lbs, 15 oz and Pepper clocked in at 4 lbs, 9 oz.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 18 2013

How Adina Kay-Gross, Writer, Teacher, and Mother of Twins, Does It

By at 3:17 pm

maya wakes up

Ever wonder how other parents handle (or try to handle) the day-to-day grind of raising young kids? We were, which is why we started this series to shed light on how real women do it–from wake-up to bedtime and everything in between.

So how does Adina Kay-Gross, mother of twin 2-year-old girls, writer, contributing editor at Kveller.com, and adjunct faculty at Stern College and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion do it? Here’s a day in her life:

6 a.m.: Maya bursts into song from her crib. It’s generally a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, though some mornings she mixes it up and goes with Twinkle Twinkle or the ABCs, which, as we know, is the same song. Avi, her twin sister, yells some form of Stop it Maya or Maya noooooo. 

6:15 a.m.: Maya stops singing. Everything goes quiet. I try not breathe, praying they’ve gone back to sleep. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2013

I Was a Breastfeeding Snob… Until I Had Twins

By at 2:00 pm

twins with bottlesI was just shy of 23 years old when my first son was born. That meant that the sole people I viewed as role models were my mother, who had my sister when I was 13, and a handful of friends, who had children practically right after high school.

When it came to the issue of breastfeeding, they are the ones I turned to as examples. My birth class teacher was somewhat of a hippy, who informed all of us new mothers-to-be that a year of nursing is the absolute minimum. I had stared at her in shock as I heard these words, certain that I would only last six months or so as the mothers I knew had done. It was only when I held my little boy in my arms for the first time and tried to get him to latch on that I truly began to discover what breastfeeding was all about and what it entailed.  Read the rest of this entry →

May 30 2013

Maybe Thank You Cards Aren’t So Bad After All

By at 2:10 pm

cara paiuk twinsAlmost two years ago, I wrote about my disdain for writing thank you cards, and I still have an issue with the premise that thank you cards should be required or expected. Are we not supposed to give a gift, do a favor, or extend a kindness without an expectation of receiving something in return? Do we need the thank you card construct to make us feel good? Rewarded? Acknowledged?

To this day I resent my family for forcing me to write engagement, wedding, and baby shower thank you cards. I especially resent the pressure to churn out thank you cards 24 hours after receiving gifts from people I hardly knew when I was a new mother who couldn’t find time to shower or eat. It just made me regret receiving the gifts in the first place! Read the rest of this entry →

May 2 2013

I Did the Unthinkable–I Put My Twins on a Leash

By at 11:44 am

baby on a leashIt was one of those things I swore I’d never do as a parent–walk my child on a leash.

My child is not a dog! He will not walk on a leash any more than he will howl at passing helicopters or sniff other children’s butts. I will simply teach my child to walk alongside me, holding my hand and smiling up at me like a ray of sunshine.

Uh-huh. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2013

Carrying Twins: The Final Stretch

By at 12:01 pm

pregnant carrying twinsWell, here I am, in the home stretch of what seems like a two-year journey. The twins will be arriving soon.

I’m so large and awkward I feel like a freak of nature. My lungs are being crushed and several times a day I cannot catch my breath. If my husband or son gets too close I feel claustrophobic and can’t breathe. I have so little space left inside of me that I need to compensate by making more space around me.

I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, massaging my leg cramps (if I can actually find a way to reach them), and trying to find a comfortable position with tears of frustration and insomnia running down my face. Carrying two babies is frightfully hard and during those moments alone in the dark, I feel scared of everything. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 24 2013

Reflections on My Twins’ Second Birthday

By at 10:10 am

adina kay-gross twins second birthdayAh, birthdays. They don’t have to mean anything (you’re as young as you feel! I am 100 years old) but to kids, and to parents, they do. My kids turned 2 last weekend, and I am consequentially forced back into reflection mode. No longer on a therapists’ couch but just as plagued by constant analysis, I wonder: where was I one year ago today, when my girls celebrated their first birthday? How have things changed? Do I have this mothering thing down, now? Am I any “better” at it?

Let’s see. For one thing, one year ago today I wasn’t acutely aware of how fast it all goes. Sure, I heard older, wiser people tell me to enjoy every minute and I grumbled because that was (and still is and always will be) impossible. But I hadn’t yet experienced the wistful feelings. I hadn’t yet gazed at their round bellies, acutely aware of how they’re flattening out, how they are less soft and more arms and legs and elbows and less willing to let me cradle them and then fidgety when I manage to.  Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 7 2013

Returning to the Mikveh After Giving Birth

By at 11:55 am

mikveh jewish ritual bathOnce a month when I was kid, I would watch my mother remove her nail polish, gather her small bag, and head out from home in our station wagon after dinner. We always knew where she was going.

Even though the ritual immersion (mikveh) traditional Jewish women do monthly is done at night and is considered a private affair, my brothers and I were pretty nosy, we lived in a small house, and my parents were very open. That and coming home from an appointment with wet hair at 9 or 10 p.m. was certain to elicit questions from little children. She always spoke about this time in the ritual bath so beautifully–the warm waters, the time alone, the space to think and feel whatever she did without the voice of my dad, her co-workers, or her children in her head. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 28 2013

Twins Are Coming & I Am Freaking Out

By at 9:49 am

two bottles of formulaI am really starting to freak out. The logistics of having twins, a toddler, a house too small for all of us, and a home business to run is consuming me.

You see, we have no family around to help. The community here is wonderful, but they cannot possibly be here eight hours a day for several weeks as I heal from a probable C-section, attempt to nurse two newborns, and take care of my son who will be 2 1/2 years old. I won’t be able to lift much for six to eight weeks and I plan to strictly adhere to that. The possibility of popping stitches and hemorrhaging scares the shit out of me. It would be disastrous. My husband left to care for me (assuming I survive), two newborns, a toddler, and a business all to himself? He is indeed my Superman, but I don’t think even a superhero could juggle all of that! Read the rest of this entry →

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