Number of the Day: 2
We have been released from the hospital. Me and the two new members of our family. We were once two adults, two dogs, two cats, a turtle and an evil rooster. Now, we’re a family of four—with many pets. Plus Marty’s three step kids! I’m not sure if Marty saw himself a father of five, but he is now!
The girls are asleep right now in their little cribettes on either side of our bed. We’re hoping this works. Each of us is assigned a baby for the night to take care of regardless of how many feedings they need. We plan to switch every other night so that we never get attached to just one baby. I feel like I’m about to be shot out of a cannon.
Another way of double-feeding, this time with bottles. I’m starting to do formula now because I’m still on blood pressure medicine and I don’t want to pass it onto the babies through the breast milk.
Curriculum of the day: Problem Solving
Marty still has a few more days of intense shooting for the show and desperately needs his sleep. So last night and tonight he’s sleeping downstairs on the pullout sofa. This leaves me flying solo from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. They’re getting up every two hours for their 2 ounces of formula. I feel like a robot. We have little bottles already made up and in a cooler in the bathroom. So, I just have to put them in the bottle heater, and then pop them into an open mouth without ever having to go down to the kitchen. Tara is putting in big, long days to help me out when Marty is gone. I could not be doing this without her. I’m still pretty much clueless on how to take care of them. I read the books, didn’t I? Still, I’m relying on her for everything—how to bathe them, wipe their little rears, put on diaper rash ointment. I keep saying to the girls that Daddy is downstairs sleeping, so they should sleep, too. Hopefully, I’ll get some sleep as soon as Tara arrives.
Yes, Ripley did hold that bottle all by herself. She hasn’t done it since. But what a champ.
Curriculum of the day: Trust
I thought the nanny stole my children. She took them out to the park today. I could have sworn that we agreed she’d be back by 3PM. Our friend Pam showed up for a drop-in visit and I assumed they’d be home shortly for her to cuddle. But 3 p.m. went by and no Eliane. I tried to call her phone, and a message said it was TEMPORARILY DISCONNECTED.
My heart started to pound in my throat! Where could she be? Why wasn’t her phone working? My temples started to pulse. I could feel my blood pressure rising in my veins. Want to learn how much you love your kids? Think that they’ve been sold into slavery for a few hours. Marty and Pam tried to chat about puppets and Sesame Street, but I couldn’t participate. I could only sit there and panic. No joke worked, no gossip. I was a palpitating mass of flesh.
Finally at 5 p.m. she came in the door hauling two car seats and looking innocent. I tried to calmly say, “Where were you; why is your phone disconnected?” I don’t believe it came out as a screech. Very quickly the misunderstanding became clear. She had thought she was working until 5 p.m. She had told Marty’s brother Siri to tell us she had to disconnect her phone since it was stolen, but he forgot to give us the message. After a few hugs and wiped-away tears, all was well—except the few lost years of my life.
Queen Ripley I
Marty the goony Dad.
Curriculum of the day: Bodily functions
Did I mention that Lyra and Ripley are girls with gas? After every feeding, their little faces cramp up and their little bodies tense as they strain with the pain. Their tiny intestines must be killing them from the looks on their faces. Sometimes, they appear so pinched I just wish I could give them something, anything. Our pediatrician said we can use infant medicines, but they only help a little. It seems that this is just a rite of passage for a newborn. Your intestines are not always your friend. A lesson we humans have the pleasure to learn from the very start.
The main solution as all newbie parents know is the burp. So, after every two ounces of formula, the hunt begins. We sit them up, hold their heads and pound those little backsides. We put them over our shoulder, over our knee, bang, bang, bang—bring on the burp. At times it’s right there, just dying to see the light of day. Other times, it’s like waiting for Godot. You can pound, twist, lean them forward, lean them back, upside-down, and that burp remains elusive. When you finally put them down in exhaustion, they immediately wail because that burp is still in there. It’s just hiding and causing massive distress to my child. If they’re lying down, they can end up snarfing up half the bottle out their mouth and nose. So, after a feeding you must hold out for another chunk of time while the burp takes its sweet time showing up. This is okay during the day when you want to hang out with your child and keep them awake. But at that 2 a.m. feeding, you just want to put them back in the crib as soon as that bottle is empty and crawl back into bed. However, it always spells disaster if you don’t allow for the burp. Half an hour later, you’re up changing clothes because they’ve finally released the bubble along with a gusher of milk. The elusive burp has also upped our laundry detergent bill.
There’s been many a 2 a.m. with Marty and I in rockers patting a backside with the dogs at our feet. A lovely family portrait I won’t mourn when burping disappears with age.