Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagmotherhood .


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.

Mother’s Day, 12:00PM

Word of the Day:   Mother

My first Mother’s Day, and Marty is away doing a lecture on puppetry.

The girls, dogs and I had a wonderful morning on the bed, just hanging out doing nothing but singing “Officer Krupke” and other West Side Story classics. Nell gets a little anxious when I try to hit the high notes in “Tonight.”   

9:00 p.m.

Marty’s home and has shown me the secret project he was working on before he left. It’s a video Mother’s Day card by Lyra and Ripley. He’s done our classic puppetry of the baby so Ripley is “narrating” through a whole slide show of pictures from birth up until now. It’s full of classic Martin humor and his baby voice is just a killer. I wept.    

I’m a happy mother. 

My typical serenading position.

Home Sweet Home!

Curriculum of the Day

I didn’t cry when I first saw my girls after 9 days. I laughed. They were in such good moods. They were cooing, shouting, doing raspberries. When I picked them up, they smiled like I’d only just walked out the door this morning.    Is it because they just smile at everyone when they’re happy? Was I just another interesting face to make them laugh? Hard to know at 5 ½ months. (And let us not forget it’s 4 ½ gestational, like to give my girls a developmental break!) They did seem to recognize Mommy, as did the dogs who jumped into the car service automobile, slobbering up the leather seat. Marty had the video camera going so we’ll see how that turns out with my 2 day airplane hair and clothes. Still, overjoyed to be back safe and sound.

Now, I have three days to prepare for our vacation. Please jetlag gods, pass me by.

A year ago . . .

Curriculum of the Day: Remembering

About one year ago, I rose up from my doctor-ordered bedrest and went downstairs in jubilation. I had made it to 34 weeks with my twins still inside me. Getting to 34 weeks is one of the many twin benchmarks you really strive to hit. After 34 weeks, most twins are past the “danger zone” of coming too early and requiring long stays in the NICU (Neonatal Unit).  My maternal fetal medicine doctor basically told me to get up and walk around and signed off on me. Go forth and be a mother. (Little did I know it would be less than two weeks later!)

It’s so strange to read back on my old posts from around this time. It sounds cliché to say it’s like another lifetime ago, but it truly feels that way. I refer to the girls kicking me and seeing their pictures on the ultrasound, but back then, they were just a concept; an idea of children, with no understanding of what it actually means to have them in your life, everyday. Now, they are Lyra and Ripley, who giggle when you tickle them, and cry when they fall down, and pound their feet when they get frustrated. It is almost like two separate realities. It’s fascinating to look back and remember, but I’m very glad those times are over and our girls are here, sleeping downstairs as I type this post.


Lyra and Ripley at the table.
My precious biting daughters.

Word of the Day: Mortification

My daughters bite. At first, it was only Lyra. She started biting at about one year old, in response to her sister pushing her. Ripley never bit her back and would only cry. Now suddenly, Ripley is biting, too. Twice, she has bitten a younger child in a class situation. Both times, the parents were very understanding, but I have never felt such mortification. It is always a younger child, or a new person that she bites. I’ve been reading up on the biting child—she’s in the exact age range when it happens: 18 months – 2 1/2 years. We’re doing what you are supposed to do when your child bites—give the hard, clear “no,” and remove her from the situation immediately so she knows it’s “bad.” Still, it’s very hard and worrisome. They’re still so young, and I know it’s a form of communication since she hasn’t enough words to say what is the problem. Lyra has yet to do it to anyone but her sister, and I pray it stays that way. A good friend of ours had a daughter who was a biter until she was almost three years old. She eventually learned not to, but it wasn’t easy for them. My heart aches for Ripley and what it will be for all of us to get through this phase if she keeps it up. Marty has a better attitude about it—there will be discipline issues of all kinds; get used to it. I guess I was always the “good girl” and expect mine to be the same. Duh. Welcome to parenthood.
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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?


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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?


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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.


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