Monday, October 31, 2011

I swear, this is like rock climbing.

You never get a solid toe-hold or a solid foot-hold. You get a toe-hold that will hold you for just long enough to get you to the next finger-hold, which you can hang on to for a moment while you jam your foot into that crack, which will start sliding out as your hand reaches for that little jutting bit of rock that will let you move your foot up to that tiny ledge...

You can't rest. Everything is in flux. And if you think that everything is finally calm and OK, it's because you forgot to do something.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When do we get ... small?

Years ago, I heard an episode of This American Life, in which they were talking about the world through childrens' eyes. One of the stories I remember was that of an older woman sitting next to a young girl on an airplane. It was obviously the girl's first trip on an airplane. The older woman was talking her through what was happening and trying to ease her nervousness. The little girl did well, and the plane took off and she was all filled with wide-eyed wonder. After several minutes, though, she looked at her seatmate with puzzlement and asked, "When do we get small?"

It's a cute story. But I've been thinking about it a lot lately ... because I don't feel like a *grownup* yet. Sure, I've got a mortgage and a 401(k) and two new sons and a job and a car and utility bills... but I still don't feel like a real... grownup. I still sing along to the radio in the car (sometimes well, usually very poorly). I've never worn a suit to work. I often work from home; "changing into work clothes" means "putting on some pants, and maybe slippers if it's cold".

It's an arbitrary thing, really. I guess I am going to be what a grownup is for my kids.

Maybe I should buy a pair of wingtips. Dad had wingtips.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everything is scary and wonderful.

I'm terrified that I'm going to do something wrong. I have two boys relying on me for EVERYTHING. I feel like if I hold them wrong, if I do something wrong in the slightest, it could wreck their lives. I know the odds aren't great of that happening, but it's still so scary.

Having said that, I look forward to holding them every day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hangin'; with the boys.

Sitting in the hospital while mom pumps. Boys are sleeping quietly. "a" just had lunch. It's almost 2 weeks in, and the medical equipment is starting to disappear... Both physically and metaphorically. The IVs are out and the oxygen canulae (canulas?) are going soon. At the same time.... I'm less aware of all the stuff ... And more aware of just spending time with my amazing kids.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kangaroo Love

Kangaroo Time is wonderful. That's all for now.

...OK, one more thing. So in the process of cleaning up the moldy grossness that was my basement, I decided to go full-on biohazard. I took off my shirt before I went into the basement, and I was wearing jeans that I"d been planning on chucking anyway (they're old and huge and have holes in them). Plus a pair of old running shoes that the cats had peed on[not recently, but there was a faint funk] (another trashcan candidate), a mask, respirator, and gloves, and I was ready to go. So as I hauled nasty bags of crap to the curb, I realized:

I'm shirtless and wearing old jeans, elbow-length rubber gloves, a respirator, and goggles. Holy crap, my neighbors are going to think I'm cooking meth.

well, crap

First the good: Boys are great and are wearing clothes now (they'd been in just diapers before). Somehow, this is a milestone I hadn't thought about, but is very very comforting. Also, they could be home before thanksgiving. Also GREAT news.

Now the tough part: Discovered a leak in my house. First suspect was an overwatered plant. Next suspect was a rotten window. Finally found the culprit: A @#$!# leaky pipe. And not a "serious issue, call a plumber" kinda thing, but a goddamn U bend pipe under the kitchen sink. There's light at the end of the tunnel now, but today's been a really scary day.

Low point: "Worst case is gutting the entire inside, spraying what's left with special mold killer, putting in all new paper-free sheet rock and insulation, paint, and treating the slab and new flooring". Turns out that's for severely flood-damaged homes. I think all I need to worry about is under $500 in parts and labor, then I can go on with my life.

It's been a scary day. Seeing the boys in less than an hour will help immeasurably. I may bawl. I probably will bawl.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Money update

Looks like hospital stay is covered once my deductible is met. Huge HUGE weight off my shoulders. Can't really afford an $800,000 hospital stay right now.

Not joking.

NICU is more expensive than the mack-daddy suite at an exclusive resort in Hawaii. For reals.

One Week

The twins are one week old today. At this point, age is a weird thing. When you're, say, fourteen years old, that's it - you're fourteen. When you're a preemie, though, it's more complicated. The twins were born at 30 weeks, 4 days, but for developmental purposes, they drop the 4 days and use the "gestational age" to track development. So the boys are now "at 31 weeks gestational age"; a full-term mom would be looking at about 2 more months of pregnancy. We could be looking at 2 more months of NICU care.

I am - frankly - terrified of the coming NICU bills. I mean, I'm insured (thank goodness), but -- let's just say -- 2 babies x $7,000/day x 60 days = $840,000. I kinda pulled the monetary estimates out of my butt, but I have no idea. Hoping that my wife's insurance will cover this; it might be worth extending COBRA for her by a month or 2, just for the additional "insurance bandwidth", so to speak.

Of course, the money concern is real, but it still takes a backseat to the joy of babies. Held Baby A last night during Kangaroo Care; he made little fists and pulled at my chest hair.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A new life

Double-meaning on the title... Two new lives have entered this world; at the same time, my life is completely changed. It's weird - the same guy looks back at me from the mirror, and I'm wearing the same clothes, and driving the same car, and eating the same food, but things -- inside and outside -- have changed permanently, profoundly, and in ways that I can't describe.

Getting back to work is really really tough. My mother-in-law is here for a while, and her assistance in all this is beyond amazing. I need to get back to work, but I really want to do the million-and-one things that I need to take care of - from cleaning the house to buying a faucet handle at Lowe's to mowing the lawn. Also I miss my tiny little awesome men. Twins are doing great, and they have their first big test today - their head ultrasound. This will make sure that there's no brain issues (like a bleed) that could affect them. If their brains are OK, we may get to do "kangaroo care" with them -- where they lounge on mom or dad's chest, skin to skin. It's good for them, it's good for us, it helps bonding, and I CAN'T WAIT. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Second diaper change!

Starting to settle into my new life: Working, living, and wearing a path between home and the hospital. BabyboyA and BabyboyB (their names on their hospital tags) are doing great. Their photo treatments are done, so the purple headgear blindfolds are off; we can see their little faces.

Nice long visit today. Really starting to feel the bonding. Spent several minutes with Robert's head cradled in my palm. It was an amazing feeling, watching him breathing and sleeping. Got to hear Michael's tiny furious heartbeat.

Starting out

First post here. Going to try to keep up with this; I'm notoriously bad for starting and forgetting blogs.

It's been a crazy, crazy year. In late 2010, I was working from home, training for a triathlon, and generally felt like all of my pots were simmering nicely, so to speak. I'd lift a lid, give it a stir, and keep going. Then life happened.

In 2011, S. was diagnosed with diabetes. Then I started working on the road again, for the first time in 3 years. I had to navigate the web of air travel, rental cars, expense reports, and being away from home.

Then, after trying for years and lots of struggles (more on that later), S. got pregnant! I was on the road; being away was really really tough. More on that later, too. A few weeks after the "S.'s pregnant" news, we discovered that it's twins.

The summer went by in a flash - training for a half-ironman, then performing in a renaissance festival, then driving (with pregnant wife!) across three states for a class reunion.

In late September, S. was diagnosed with preeclampsia.

On October 4, our twins entered the world. They're early - just 30w4d - but doing great.

This blog is -- I hope -- more of a journal/diary thing; a way to share my personal thoughts/hopes/fears somewhere. More soon, I have a million things to do....