miles away.

This entire experience is making me feel hard and ridged.

Only a few things can really snap me out of it.

The never ending energy ball that is Noah and his unwavering and overwhelming love for me and the fact that he has made sure to let me know how very much he missed me while I was in the hospital.

And getting to see Aiden and Evan.

Everything else I feel like I have put up a shield to.

Even Christmas lights make me mad. If you know me, you know that isn’t me.

I know the only reason I have defaulted to this state is because even as cold and hardend as I feel I am only seconds away from breaking down all the time. It is easier to just put up the, “I’m ok” front instead of showing the world how I really feel. If I did that I would never stop crying.

There is always a crack in my voice or a chin quiver waiting around the corner. Whether it be in giving an update on the boys or finding a strip of their ultrasounds from just a month ago when everything was so perfect.

I don’t want to feel this way and hope it will fade.

It is just hard to imagine feeling happy outside of my boys.

Even when the twins have good days, they are still filled with tubes and not snuggled on my chest being rocked to sleep. Leaving your baby or child in the hospital never feels right. There is no good night of sleep when your little one is there, NICU or not.

Even when I think about taking them home I am filled with such fear that something will happen.

It is hard to think about things like Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years…those were milestones to hit DURING my pregnancy, not their NICU stay.

Kevin and I have both decided this pregnancy will be our last. Three perfect, healthy and happy boys is all we could ever hope and dream for and that is all we want.

Plus the csection was very aggressive and I had to be cut more than once (horizontally and vertically) which just adds more danger if I were to get pregnant again.

I can never go through this again. I can feel myself aging. Like days, sometimes it feels like years are being taken off the end of our lives by just in sitting and staring at their monitors. With every beep or alarm our hearts stop.

So in a way I am mourning that phase of my life. I loved being pregnant. I thought I was doing such a good job at it. I am still in pure shock that I am not pregnant.

When I go to eat a turkey sandwich my brain still tells me, “no deli meat! It’s not good while you’re pregnant!”

I still sleep with my hand on my stomach and sometimes I just cry because there is no kick back, just another painful reminder.

I think if it weren’t for Noah I would completely unravel.

I would move into the NICU. Live in the rocking chair until they could come home and then I would just sit and watch them breathe.

But I can’t do that.

I have to get up. I have to be functional. I have to be a mom still. A good mom. I won’t give myself any other option.

Now I do admit someone might have had a cookie with breakfast and we may have had more fast food in the past two weeks than we have had in a year but I won’t let Noah’s happiness suffer because my heart is suffering.

I can’t let Noah miss out on anything, he is at such an amazing stage, this will be the first Christmas he actually gets and understands I can’t take that away from him or taint it with sadness.

Luckily I married an amazing, amazing man.

The night we came home from the hospital Kevin asked me to stay in the car and ran in the house. I assumed he was just trying to calm the dogs but when I walked in I saw our tree lit up with gifts from people from his work filling under the tree.

He knew how much I loved putting the tree up the day after Halloween and how sad I was I couldn’t this year and he also knew how hard it would be to get me to want to once out of the hospital once the babies were born.

So one day he woke up at 4am and snuck out of the hospital room and went home and took all of our Christmas stuff out and set up the tree and placed the decorations next to it so we could do it with Noah before he went to work for the day.

I don’t know what I would do without my husband.

So even though driving down the Main streets makes my heart ache with all the lights and cheer there will still be light and cheer in our home.

To quote my favorite Christmas song, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the yule-tide gay,
next year all our troubles will be miles away.” That is all I can hope for.

We will still make memories because one day this will to all be a memory and I will have all three of my little boys filling our home with love and cheer.

Feeling is believing.

With a baby the holiday’s have been like a twisted episode of the Amazing Race. I have my goals. I set out to do what seems like a mildly daunting, but doable task of making my way to the mall to pick up gifts. But then I am set back with challenges of crazy poopy diapers half way through shopping with a baby who refuses to be laid on any surface around fluorescent lights thanks to the last vaccination visit at the doctors office. I don’t blame him but it makes changing a loaded sweet potato diaper a level 15 on a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty. Then I do something like leave a bag of gifts in the restroom where I changed my unusually strong baby and have to walk/run with a baby back to the restroom to find the gift is gone. Then run all the way across the mall to the security office in hopes that someone was kind enough to not run off with my gifts. Luckily I catch a break and the gifts are there but now I am tired, Noah is wild and we were supposed to go visit Santa.

As stated in the last paragraph Noah has been a little crazy since his last doctors visit.

Anything resembling the vaccination scenario triggers apparent flashbacks and he goes ca-razy.

Laying him on a table with lights above – no.

People besides Kevin and I. – no.

Separation anxiety was already setting in.

When Kevin leaves for work Noah pulls out a deep, heart retching, guilt triggering pouty face, fully equipped with a quivering chin.

So take a people skeptical baby, one seemed nice nurse and 5 shots and you get a temporary ( I hope) socialphobe baby.

Due to Noah’s visceral reaction to strangers Kevin and I have been strongly debating taking Noah to have his picture taken with jolly old St. Nick.

We went back and forth and ultimately decided against it.

We knew what would happen.

We would dress him up in uncomfortable clothes.

We would take him in the holiday crazy crowds to wait in line.

We would get to Santa.

And the poopy diaper would hit the fan.

There would be tears.

Mommy clinging.

Crying.

Probably some beard pulling.

And one red faced picture of us seemingly torturing our baby in the name of Christmas.

I felt bad. Even though I knew Noah would much prefer to not visit with Santa this year I felt like I was letting Noah down.

I had major mommy guilt.

Then we were at a local mall shopping last week and passed a Santa..

I had Noah wave, Kevin and I smiled and Santa very ginchingly replied, “I am on break.”

Kevin and I both looked at each other and  I said, “He is not sitting on Santa’s lap this year!”

Even though we met the bad Santa and you would think that would have nixed my guilt it still had a grip on me.

Then today I had to run to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute holiday items.

I was waiting in the long line of last minute shoppers holding Noah and playing with him.

Then I heard a gentle deep voice from behind say, “He has everything he wants for Christmas.”

I turned to see a jolly man in a bright red suit with a long white beard waving his white gloved hands at Noah.

I said, “He has more than he needs, I think I could have wrapped wrapping paper and he would have been happy!”

And Santa said, “No, no, no. He has you. He has love. He won’t remember what you got him or even what “I” get him. He will remember how you made him feel. And you can see it in his eyes, he is loved.”

Noah who was clinging to me, cracked a smile at Santa when he jiggled his bell at him.

And with that I was next to check out.

I looked back and said thank you to Santa and he simply nodded.

 

Maybe Noah didn’t sit on a mall Santa’s lap this year but that is ok. He met the real deal at the grocery store on Christmas Eve and no picture could have captured the true magic of Noah’s first visit with Santa. 

The great Christmas tree debate.

Me: I want to put up our tree.

Kevin: Please tell me you are not talking about a Christmas tree.

Me: What other kind of tree would I put up?

Kevin: I don’t know I was being hopeful that maybe you found a ficus tree or something.

Me: How do you even know what a ficus tree is and don’t be a Grinch!

Kevin: It is the first week of November…take it easy. Christmas is two months away.

Me: It is less than 60 days away! That is less than 60 days to ENJOY our tree! For Noah to enjoy his FIRST Christmas tree!

Kevin: Guilting me over Christmas…really?

Me: Christmas guilt is different than regular guilt, it is ok when used to spread cheer.

Kevin: It isn’t even Thankgiving yet.

Me: November is the month of thanks and I am thankful for Christmas! Don’t fight this you know I am going to win.

Kevin: No, in fact I know you won’t win.

Me: Why?

Kevin: Because our Christmas tree is in the basement cellar..you won’t even go in the basement..that tree isn’t going up until I get it. I can wait as long as I want to get the tree.

Me: I will just buy a new tree from Target. And the tree we just bought last year can be our cellar Christmas tree.

Kevin: Fine, I know your love of Target and Christmas combined will conquer me. I will get it this weekend.

Me: VICTORY!

Snow Shower.

Kevin and I don’t get nearly enough time to spend time with our families, especially his. Between our work schedules, their work schedules, his sister away at college getting good quality time is near impossible on a regular basis. It makes us that much more thankful for holiday’s when everyone for a short time has some down time.
Kevin and I got to spend last weekend with his family and it was a night I know not only I but he will treasure forever. Simply put it was amazing family time. Above everything we got to see Amy, his sister and meet Sam and their dog Trevor (which by the end of the night Kevin wanted to steal)…we are big dog people so meeting people’s dogs is a big deal to us.
Kevin and Amy hadn’t seen each other in ages and it was all he talked about the week leading up to seeing her. One of the best gifts for me was seeing them together again and even after so long apart seeing that they are still one and the same. I now know where Kevin gets his urge to pop my knuckles (a big no, no to me) he and Amy do it like second nature to not only their own poor fingers but anyone loved ones close enough to them to crack and pop. And we all laughed when we noticed that it must be in Kevin and Amy’s blood to sit…well more like perch in chairs like gargoyles rather than sit when at dinner they both were perched at their chairs.
Meeting Sam was wonderful, after hearing so much about her and wanting to meet her for so long it was great to finally meet the girl that everyone was head over heals in love with (and now we are too!). Not only is she the perfect fit for Amy but she is over all just plain easy to love. She is one of those people that you can spend an evening with and feel like you have known them forever.
Since it was our Christmas celebration we exchanged gifts of course. What we weren’t prepared for was our first “unofficial” baby shower. His family collected things for little Noah after finding out he was a boy. And collect they did. His mom coined it our “snow shower” since it was sort of like Christmas and a baby shower mixed into one. I am pretty sure it should have been called a “snow avalanche”. From clothes and pajamas for the ever growing mommy to the cutest baby clothes a baby could wear. His mom gathered Kevin’s favorite baby books and made a card from a picture of a Kevin from when he was little reading “So Noah can love books too”. They gathered Kevin’s baby clothes, pictures and videos, and all of his favorite things growing up. The night ended up being more like an episode of “Kevin, this is your life”.
Like that wasn’t enough his family went way above and beyond. Our hot water heater broke a while ago and we have been without hot water doing all of our laundry and yes of course showering at my parents house who live a few streets away. We have set it up to be fixed several times but for one reason or another it fell through. It got to the point where I am pretty sure we were set on living in a house with out hot water, needless to say our broken hot water heater broke us. We are great at small projects but when the water heater broke, our roof started leaking, our electrical freaked out in 3 different outlets and our basement flooded again our spirits sort of broke too. We tried to not let it keep us up at night but it weighed on us constantly and we decided to worry about it after the holiday’s since it was taking such a huge toll on us. Well they took care of it. They gave us the gift of a new water heater.
I can’t explain what it is like to have people in our lives that care that much about us to help us out that much. We wouldn’t be where we are without them, whenever the going has ever gotten too tough they have stepped in and been our guardian angels. I just hope that one day we will be able to do that for Noah and his brothers or sisters. More importantly I hope they know just how humbled and thankful we are for them too.
That night if you took away all of the gifts that night alone was a big enough gift for us. The fact that Noah will have Kevin’s mom, dad and Amy and Sam to love and care for him is a priceless gift. Noah, Kevin and I are all so lucky to be Teall’s and to be a part of such a loving wonderful family.