Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feel the Burn

Spencer and Gordon have been home two and a half weeks. They are six weeks old today (their projected "birthday" is next Friday). We're making it. One day at a time.

This morning around 8AM I scooped up the boys and cradled one in each arm to feed them. I positioned them on the glorious kitty pillow, tucked in the necessary blankets to support their heads and noticed how curved my posture is becoming. All this feeding and pumping. I tried to sit up a little taller and look out the window. I squinted at the sunlight filtering through the maple trees then clamped my eyes shut in effort to push one seriously pulsing sleep-deprivation headache out of my noggin. No success.

I hauled my eyelids open again and watched the world stir outside. In the course of 10-15 minutes, I watched biker after runner after walker cruise along the thoroughfare known as Morning Star Drive. Our street is a busy place for the exercise-minded.

"Feel the Burn" I told them silently with encouragement and a pang of jealousy. I looked at them longingly, albeit sharply aware of my zero energy and inability to crawl out of bed pre-dawn for a morning run. Then it occurred to me. Hey! I'm feeling the burn too! Sort of.

My eyeballs feel like they've been gouged out, thrown on the grill for several minutes, then shoved back in place. I can see. My contacts are in. But they are on fire! The rest of me is feeling a bit of burn too. Real down-to-the-bone fatigue. But I'm not "burned" out. Not yet.

And here's what I have to show for my pseudo-adenosine-triphosphate burn. Two handsome, healthy and chunky boys. Don't you love those double chins? Spencer blew the pediatric office away with his "14 ounces in one week" weight gain. (Thanks Dave and Shir for the darling Swiss onesies mailed from Geneva!)

We're washing hands and bottles like crazy. Our dish-drying rack typically looks like this. The number of bottles has lessened slightly as I am now breast feeding during the day, bottle feeding through the night. Thanks to my Mother-in-law Renae, my Mom, (and Doug on weekends), we are getting through the nights. My two mothers have been taking turns sleeping in our guest bedroom and getting up with me for nighttime feeds. Bless them! They earned sainthood last round with Ali and Sami. Now, I think they ought to be translated!

The lack of sleep, however, is showing itself in odd ways. This is Renae, wearing a hat she concocted out of - yes - your eyes do not deceive you - diapers! Ali and Sami's Size 4 Cruisers to be precise.

Fashionable. Creative. The blue curly bow in celebration of the boys arrival. And don't you love the bonnet-like gathering in the back with adjustable velcro tabs?

Actually, Renae made this before our midnight rendezvous in the living room. She made it while the boys were in the NICU and wore it into the NICU (to Doug's chagrin) after winning first prize at the ladies "wear an original hat" night for Relief Society.

Of course she won first prize! Hands down! Wouldn't she have had your vote? Very clever. (Pictures posted with her permission. Love you Renae!)

Spencer is still on oxygen. Just a scant flow. We're going to try a room air trial this weekend to see how he does. I'm ready to ditch that big lug of an oximeter. It's tail is too short (although we do have a 50' extension for the oxygen tubing). And I've pulled that darn box off the table two times now! Or walked away forgetting to bring it with me, yanking poor Spencer's little foot where the sensor is attached. "Oxi" (oximeter) goes everywhere with us. I'm looking forward to sending him home. Soon.

Here is Ali. Encircled by the infamous kitty pillow. She's been paying close attention to how I nurse the babies. One afternoon I found her on our bed, kitty pillow in place with the "seatbelt" hooked in back. She had two baby dolls resting on the pillow. "You feed the babies like this Mommy?" she asked. I chortled. "Yep! Just like that." Then I said, "Don't move while I get the camera!" She stayed put and was more than happy to pose for pictures.

Take a good look. What do you think of that kitty pillow? Is it as bad as I made it out to be? Worse? Or tolerable? The girls think it has kitties and "candy" on it (bright colored circles that look like life-savers). What's not to love?

Spencer and Gordon after a feeding. Darling boys.

A few mornings ago Doug's alarm clock went off at 5AM. I had just returned to bed.
"Why is your alarm going off?" I whispered loudly.
"I'm going to get up and exercise."
"You are?" I asked.
No response. So I went back to sleep. I'm pretty sure Doug didn't get out of bed until it was time for a shower. He must have been "feeling the burn" too.

"To have children is a double living, the earthly fountain of youth, a continual fresh delight, and also a weariness beyond description."
- Josephine W. Johnson


  1. I am feeling the burn, but the worst kind - heartburn. I am now 3 days late and MISERABLE. But I long for the moment when I hold our new little one and think about exercising again. Until then, I count down the minutes and live vicariously through you!

  2. Is the Kitty Pillow a "My Breast Friend" pillow?

  3. Erin - It's the EZ-2 Nursing Pillow. A must have for nursing twin Moms. It's the only thing I've found that works.

    And Michelle! The heartburn is the worst! So sorry! Gaviscon was my good friend the last few weeks. Hang in there! And let us know when baby comes!!!

  4. Cath, Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful boys! I thought of you on Saturday morning. I felt the burn as I "ran" the same route that you, Deb and I ran together last year in Central Park. I am in awe of your muscle and endurance in every facet of your life. Your example gives me courage and hope. Love you!!

  5. Cath, those sweet darling boys are looking so robust. I'm almost thinking it's time for me to come meet them, since now they seem so much less breakable.

    You are amazing, girlfriend.

  6. Mindy - that makes me homesick for New York. If only I could beam us there for a little run with a stop at Alice's teacup. Let's plan another trip when I get these babies a bit older. You're the wonder woman. I love you!

  7. Brod - Come any time. You know where to find us and I'd love a visit!

  8. Look at those cute little sets of cheeks:) They are looking so healthy. I am very happy for you all. I remember hauling around oxygen and a monitor with Zachary. You certainly will not miss that. We had a short return of the pulse oximiter this past week and was glad to see it go!! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  9. That first pic of the boys is adorable. They are getting so big! I think of you often and miss you. Ali's hair is so light in her pic. Wow they change.

    And yeah, that is the worst nursing pillow I have EVER seen!

  10. I just love your blog! I'm updating mine so I looked at yours. I can't believe how cute the boys are. I sure wish I were there to help again. The picture of Ali with the babies is darling. I can't believe how big she is and how long her hair is. I miss you all!!

  11. Catherine,
    I just found your blog through Brodi's. You are amazing! I am in awe! I am hoping you and your family are all doing great! Just wanted to know I think you are terrific! Hang in there. My baby is 4 1/2 months old and I look and her and wonder where my brand new baby went. They grow too fast but it never feels like it when you are in the trenches! Take care!

  12. Monae! So glad to hear from you! It is a good reminder to think in a few months we'll be past all these exhausting hazy days. I know they grow too quickly don't they? Congrats on YOUR new baby! That's wonderful!

  13. Love your post, love the pictures, love you!

  14. Dead Brain Moments...and I have had a few! 1)I forgot my son Michael, then 3 mos. old, in the car when taking my two other daughters into an audition. I was introducing my kids to another mother and when I got to Michael I realized he wasn't there, and said, "Where is Michael anyway?" Panic-stricken, I realized I had left him in the CAR! Thankfully (and I do really mean thankfully) it was a cool afternoon and he was perfectly fine sitting in his carseat playing with his hands! Not funny really, but I can totally understand how these accidents happen. 2) Forgot to pick up my daughter and friends from a rehearsal one evening, even after looking at my calendar multiple times during the day. Another mom rescued them, very embarassing! 3) In Australia where we used to live, you can grocery shop then leave your bags in a cold room to pick up when finished with other shopping. They give you a ticket and you come back when you are ready. Very nice service as the grocery stores are usually located within a shopping mall. Numerous times I had to load my two young toddlers back into the car,after arriving home with no groceries, and drive back to pick them up.


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