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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 →

Jan 31 2013

How Facebook Helped Me Cope with My “Mommy Fail”

By at 12:24 pm

little girl crying“Tonight I failed my baby daughter.”

This was my status update on the night of November 7, 2012. I was sitting on my couch, feeling like the Worst Parent in the World. My 1-year-old twins were sleeping peacefully in the nursery. My husband had gone to bed, too, but I was wide awake, replaying the incident over and over in my head, trying to figure out how I had allowed myself to commit this lapse of good judgment. I normally reserved Facebook updates for cute pictures of my son and daughter, or of the Food Network recipes I was so proud of myself for successfully replicating, but tonight was different. It was a plea: Let me know I’m not the only one. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 18 2013

All My Little Girl Dreams Are Coming True

By at 9:47 am

pink baby booties for twinsThis past week I celebrated my third wedding anniversary. Since I was sick and confined to bed, I had time to think about these last few years, how I got to where I am today, and how unlikely a journey it has been…

Remember when you were little and you dreamed your life would be a fairy tale? I forgot about those dreams until a few years ago. It was Memorial Day weekend in 2009 and after a dry spell with dating, I was on a roll. Great date on Friday night! Great date on Saturday night! Little did I know that Sunday night would change my life forever. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 20 2012

And You Thought Getting Pregnant Was the Surprise

By at 10:01 am

ultrasound pregnant womanLast week, Cara shared with us that due to sheer will and obsessive fertility tracking, she was able to get pregnant. This week she shares the rest of her triumphant story.

I felt cautiously optimistic when those faint pink lines appeared.

I continued to POAS (pee on a stick) several times a day. I knew from my past experiences that a faint pink line could fade away after two or three days so I watched and waited tentatively to see if the lines would fade or get darker. My excitement grew with each slightly darker line, but I needed to see a doctor ASAP. I am considered high risk because of my miscarriage, chemical pregnancies, and age. My blood ought to be drawn every few days and my hormone levels checked to detect irregularities and nip any problem in the bud.  Read the rest of this entry →

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