Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

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The Last Ultrasound


Curriculum of the Day:  Science and technology


We recently went to what will probably be our last ultrasound with our maternal fetal medicine doctor. He has been our cohort in cervix-watching these past two months and has enlightened us on how to see our girls on this magic machine in his office.   


Lyra applauding the ultrasound machine.

Marty and I are both getting very good at seeing their full bladders which we did NOT know empty just like a baby outside the womb. What was a little disconcerting to learn is the urine becomes part of the amniotic fluid, which they re-drink to practice being little breathers and drinkers. (A fascinating cycle I’m glad ends upon birth). What has been miraculous is to see them grow from little heartbeats barely visible, to two babies that no longer can be fully viewed on the screen. From their measurements, the doctor can actually figure out their weight! Go figure! Today, we even saw little heads of hair (I hope they have their father’s curly locks). I once wrote a show for Elmo where he learns what sinks and what floats. He was constantly astonished by these simple facts of science. Astonishment is not reserved for 3-year-olds.  


This really does look like our daughter Ripley Patricia Evans Robinson!


Hospital


Word of the day:  Preeclampsia

This morning my legs were as large as tree trunks. We had an ultrasound scheduled at 2PM with our maternal fetal medicine doctor, so I figured we might as well pop-in at our OB office to check my blood pressure.    Swelling is normal in all pregnancies, but it’s also a sign of preeclampsia, a condition dangerous to both Mom and babes. Sure enough, my pressure was up at 154/90. Suddenly, Marty and I were being marched off to Labor and Delivery. Dr. Ruben, my OB, told us I wouldn’t leave the hospital again until my babies were born. Maybe even tonight!   

OHMYGOD! We can’t go to the hospital now! We can’t have the babies now! Our dog Nell is in the car!

I am just short of 36 weeks and we know the babies are both already over 5 pounds (according to other ultrasounds), but reality suddenly is upon us.  

WE HAVEN’T EVEN UNPACKED THE CAR SEATS!

Marty rushed the dog back home and I was further assessed. It was decided that I wasn’t that deep into the preeclampsia yet. So, I’m going to stay in the hospital to be monitored until the doctors induce me, allowing the girls to go all the way to 36 weeks.     

Bye-bye freedom. Hello hospital bedrest.  

Labor


Word of the Day:  Irony

Labor day was finally here.

We were scheduled to start Pitocin at 8 a.m. but were delayed until 2 p.m. because some other baby just did not want to greet the recession yet. Poor Marty had returned from shooting at 10:30 p.m. to get to the hospital by 8 a.m. so he stretched out on the couch for a snooze. A room eventually opened up and my tree-stump legs and I were wheeled down the hallway. We were greeted by the doctor on call, two nurses and my doula, Tara. I was hooked up to an IV and two bags were hung up on the medicine stand—one the Pitocin, the other this horrible concoction called Magnesium Sulfate to keep me from getting seizures from the preeclampsia. And then, the waiting game began. My cervix was barely dilated yet, but hopefully the Pitocin would do the trick. We chatted. Nurses came and went, checking my vitals and cocktails, asking us questions about Sesame Street.  

“When did Mr. Snuffleupagus finally become visible?” (A classic for anyone over 40.)

I definitely had some intense contractions, but after 4 hours my cervix was exactly the same. And the Magnesium Sulfate was making me feel like I had a horrendous flu. But this was labor; it was supposed to be tough, right? So, we continued watching the clock, listening to insipidly calming music matched with calendar art on the TV. Both Marty and I actually slept a little. Hour seven, the nurses were wondering if I wanted my epidural. But it didn’t seem intense enough yet. Didn’t all my friends say the Pitocin was like a kick in the head? I seemed to be stalled in medium-contraction land. My urine was being measured so I would make my way back and forth to the bathroom dragging my IV stand behind me. The magnesium was really making me feel ill. We tried to watch some 70s movie but I couldn’t focus anymore. Hour 12 arrived and my cervix was still THE SAME! The doctor suggested we try putting a strip of inducing chemical directly next to my cervix. Hopefully, it would be absorbed and jump start this event. We did the strip inducer for a short time, but it was becoming clear I was not responding. Here I spent 2 months in bed keeping my cervix from giving out, and now it was a band of steel??? Had I done TOO good a job??? Hour 14, my cervix was unchanged, and my blood pressure and exhaustion levels were skyrocketing. At this point, it was felt that even if I did start to dilate, it could be another day before push time. If the magnesium was making me unable to barely function now, imagine another 12 plus hours. I was stamped “Failure to Dilate,” moved onto a gurney and wheeled to the operating room.  

It was time for a C-section. 


Checking those baby heart beats. It was always a journey trying to find both girls. Often they would keep finding the same beat over and over. The nurse would glide the monitor all over my tummy, making me very gooey and her very frustrated. The missing baby would always eventually be found hiding behind my liver or something.

Postpartum Depression


Curriculum of the day:   Sad

The doctor told me I have postpartum depression. Tell me something I don’t know. I’ve watched depression in my mother and grandmother. He wants me to get off the blood pressure meds because he doesn’t think I need them anymore. I don’t know, but I hate the fact that I’m taking them, so I’ll begin a long weaning-off process tomorrow—after I clear it with the doctor from the hospital who originally prescribed them. I wish they would all work together! Hopefully, this diagnosis will help me. And we’ve hired a nanny named Eliane from Buenos Aires. Marty is being SO patient with me. I feel terrible that I’ve saddled him with two kids and a depressed wife. Everyone says I’ll climb out of it when my body settles. I have my doubts. And when will this post-delivery bleeding stop?


Dark times


Some much needed recovery time.

Turning Over


Curriculum of the Day: Front/Back

We have turn over!

Lyra turned over several times in the past few days. It’s amazing to watch her little body twist as she arches her back and lifts her arm so she can flop over to her tummy. She’s very proud of herself. She’ll even lift her head up as much as she can to look us straight in the eye and smile. Ripley hasn’t yet shown us this new skill, but she’s attempting the back arch. She looks over at Lyra playing on her stomach with what appears to be envy, but it could also be gas. These small milestones are amazing.   

There’s always a catch though—now Lyra turns over to sleep on her stomach, which immediately sends up my SIDS red flag.

The pediatrician said not to worry. I don’t have to stay awake all night turning her back over onto her tummy. If she’s that active, she can move her head to keep her breathing clear. Still, I check her on my nighttime bathroom runs and have taken all blankets and toys out of the crib. Worrywart.

Mostly, I am able to bask in my girls’ baby steps forward. Everyone says it all goes by so fast. Before I blink, we’ll be breaking out the mitts for our first game of catch.


No more babies hanging out on the jungle matt on the kitchen table.   Rolling babies go on the floor or into the playpen.


I’ve noticed we have a lot of pictures of us snoozing. I guess it’s because we’re not moving for a change, so one of us can actually take a moment to snap a photo. Otherwise, we’re up and going, going, going.

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Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

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