I have to admit that I was nervous to have two boys. I know girls. I had 4 that I lived with before these two new babies entered my life. Dan was beyond thrilled to have two sons. I have to admit I needed some time to get used to the idea. I had girls names picked out already. Finding names for boys posed to be quite a challenge. Dan had final say this time around in the naming process. Ultimately I just wanted healthy babies. It should not matter what gender they are. It just made me nervous. I was entering unfamiliar grounds. I must admit that I had to google changing a boys diaper. I didn’t realize you had to point their equipment down when changing them. I learned this the hard way after they soaked numerous onesies. I almost felt like a first time mom in a sense. I remember when they first entered the world the overwhelming joy I had just looking at their sweet faces. My sons. They were different from my last set of twins. Different from all my other girl babies. They were boys. Birdie and Hazel, my first set of twins were a bit dramatic from the start. I know they loved their momma but they definitely liked to complain quite a bit. It took a lot of effort to calm them down and soothe them. My boys had a calmer disposition right form the start. They got boob and it cured all of their crying and fussing almost instantly. Wow. I didn’t think it would be so easy. I know they are only 6 months old but they have been really great babies. I feel complete. I never knew how much I would have missed if I didn’t have my boys. Yay for baby boys. xoxo
January 26th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
This is a series of pictures of my kids and their Daddy. Dan’s an amazing father that adores his kids. We are lucky to have him in our lives.
Holding Birdie and Hazel in Rhode Island at 6 months old.
With Birdie and Hazel on the day they were born.
Daddy and Luke at 6 months
Dan babywearing little Luke while I was at a birth.
Introducing Birdie to her new brother Rocco right after his birth.
Dan and Bella with Mia on the day of her arrival.
Birdie at 17 months with Daddy
Bird and Dad on the beach in Rhode Island.
Dan with Hazel.
That’s the last one for now. My little tribute to the world’s best daddy.
January 20th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
Second set of twins. Here we go. My last birth story. I was working as a doula once twins Birdie and Hazel were about 6 months old. I was around pregnant women and birth constantly. I thought I was done with babies after I had my twin girls. I adored them but they were hard work. My husband was definitely finished with having more kids. I then caught the baby having bug bad. I asked Dan for just one more baby. I romanticized about the idea of 1 baby. Dan was convinced we would have twins again. I said “Lighting doesn’t strike twice.” Boy was I wrong! After my twin girls anything seemed easy to me. He wouldn’t budge and I would periodically ask him hoping he’d change his mind. He didn’t but the universe was on my side. We used the rhythm method because I don’t do well with hormone based birth control. Obviously it didn’t prove very effective in this instance. I remember my excitement and feelings of guilt when I got a positive pregnancy test. I knew Dan wasn’t going to have the same level of excitement that I had. For his birthday I gave him the positive pregnancy test wrapped in a box. He was shocked and didn’t really talk about it for a week or two. I guess he needed time to let the news sink in. I was set on a homebirth this time around and decided to once again get checked by my OB before finding a homebirth midwife. I started to google twins twice. What where my chances? 1 in 3000 apparently. I lurked in a few expecting multiples forums online. I guess I had this sixth sense that it might be twins again. Dan already was 100% convinced that we were having twins again. He came with me to the appointment. As soon as my OB started the ultrasound Dan knew what he was looking at. TWINS!!!! We laughed, we cried, and then we were silent. What the hell were we going to do? How would we break the news to my step-daughter Bella? I knew she loved her sisters but wasn’t thrilled with the whole baby thing. Especially twins again. This was the biggest shock of my entire life. It’s hard to even describe the feeling. Everyone got used to the idea eventually. Most people didn’t believe me at first. I remember being nervous right before my 18 week anatomy scan thinking that something was wrong with the babies. I over google things like vanishing twin syndrome and it made my anxiety go through the roof. While riding the train to the hospital a set of teenage twin boys sat across from me with the exact same voice. I had this intense sense of relief wash over me. I knew at that moment even before the ultrasound that my babies were going to be okay and that they were boys. I was right and Dan was thrilled. He was finally going to have a son after 4 daughters. 2 of them! I decided to seek dual care for the duration of the pregnancy. I felt like I was cheating on my OB because I never told her my plan of a homebirth. My midwife was only willing to deliver my twins at home if they were born after 36 weeks. I agreed that this was a good goal to reach in order to proceed with a safe delivery. She was also thrilled that they were di/di (dizygotic (“fraternal”) because they develop from two separate eggs that are fertilized by two separate sperm), which decreases the risks associated with a twin delivery. I reached the 36 week goal and then some. I carried my boys to 39 weeks and 3 days. I was walking around dilated to 5cm for weeks! My OB offered many times to break my water and get the show on the road. I was tempted. But I dreaded delivering in the hospital if it wasn’t medically necessary. I cried everyday for the last few weeks. It was hard carrying those boys so long but worth it. I went into labor around 7am on July 2nd. I woke up and started contracting right away. My mother, aunt, and sister all had spent the night. My sister was actually in town to visit the new babies that I hadn’t given birth to yet because no one thought I would carry them to almost 40 weeks! It worked out perfectly that they were all there. They made the kids some breakfast and brought them to the park while Dan called the midwife. My contractions were hard and fast. I knew that this was going to be a quick labor. I hopped in the shower and let the hot water hit my back. The contractions came with lots of pressure. This labor felt different from my two previous labors. I felt in control and relaxed. I could manage the contractions and I wasn’t running from the pain. I was embracing them and actually enjoying it. I got out of the tub rather quickly and it seemed like my midwife just magically appeared. I labored in my room for a bit and my midwife checked me. I was fully dilated. She asked me to stand because my bag of water was bulging. I stood up and with the next contraction my water broke. It was a huge relief. I decided to lay on the bed to rest between the contractions. I felt like trying to push a little. I was laughing and joking in between contractions. I pushed Luke out at 10:05am. Just 3 short hours after labor began. I remember pushing him out and thinking what a huge relief it was. I quickly remembered that I had to push another baby out. My contractions slowed down a bit and it took a little longer to get my boy Rocco out. He was born in the caul 46 minutes later at 10:51am. I remember saying how easy the birth was right after giving birth. I really enjoyed my birth. I was so happy that I was able to give birth to my sons at home and that they were huge and healthy. Luke was 8 pounds and Rocco was 7.9 oz. They nursed like champs. Soon after I gave birth my girls came back from the park and climbed into bed with me to meet their new brothers. It was so sweet it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I had the perfect birth. I deserved at least one orgasmic birth right? Hah. I am so grateful to my amazing midwife who agreed to stand by my side. I really did not have many people supporting my decision to have a homebirth with twins. She will always hold a special place in my heart. I am so glad I was able to experience the beauty of a calm and peaceful birth.
This is my birth story of my first set of fraternal twins Birdie and Hazel. This was a planned pregnancy that turned out to be the biggest shock of my life. Dan and I decided to try for another baby once Mia turned 2. Dan was hoping for a boy. We got married in March of 2008 and were pregnant in July of the same year. I was extremely blessed to get pregnant so easily. I am very grateful. I really wanted to have a homebirth this time around. I decided to go to my regular OB to get an initial scan of the baby before meeting with a midwife. At 10 weeks I went in and got an ultrasound. To my complete and utter shock we found out we are pregnant with twins. Holy crap! We are still shocked. My OB was doing the ultrasound and I said, “There’s only one right??” Totally kidding. She said, “Oh my gosh there’s 2!” I almost fell onto the floor. Shock turned into excitement. I called Dan and he thought I was pulling his chain. I then became confused about our birth plan. We really don’t have one anymore. We found a homebirth midwife that said she would still deliver me at home but I had some apprehension. I really needed to examine all of my options and all the risks associated with twins. WOW! Reluctantly I gave up on the home birth plan and I decided to deliver in a hospital as naturally and drug free as possible. I went on the hunt for a toughy doula who could be a strong voice in the operating room. Standard procedure is to be in the operating room when delivering twins. I was not too fond of that part. I spoke with my OB and she told us that the doula could be in the laboring room but not the operating room. I decided that Dan would be my primary support person. She also strongly suggested an epidural. I wasn’t even considering it. Now it was strongly recommended if I hoped for a vaginal birth. At 35 weeks I went to my OB and she said that all looked good. Both babies were in the vertex position. She said it might be a few days or weeks. Hard to tell with twins. I was in constant pain from the weight of the babies. I put on 40/50 lbs at this point. Little did I know that I would go into labor a day later. Here’s a picture of me a few days before I gave birth.
I woke up with some cramps. I first thought it might have been the burger that I had for dinner. Dan was convinced that this was not labor. It was around 7am and we were just waking up. The contractions became consistent almost immediately. They were 3 minutes apart right form the get go. I knew we needed to head in to the hospital. I was nervous that it would be as quick as my previous birth with Mia. We headed to the hospital. The experience in a hospital was very different from my previous experience in a birthing center within a hospital. I was checked and admitted. I think I was around 6/7 cm. I got the epidural pretty quickly because they insisted on constant fetal monitoring. I couldn’t move from the bed. I also kept knocking off the monitors while I was contracting. My labor slowed down once I got the epidural. I have a feeling that if I didn’t get it I would have delivered very quickly. I was in labor about 8 hours total so it was still pretty quick. At one point during the labor the OB that was on-call and there to deliver my girls offered a c-section because of their size difference. I declined and said I would only get a c-section in an emergency situation. Once I was fully dilated they wheeled me into the operating room. I pushed for 15 minutes and Birdie came out easily at 3:06pm. The OB applied a little fundal pressure and I pushed out Hazel at 3:12pm. She came out sunny side up. I was able to nurse them right away and they had no health issues being born at 35 weeks and 3 days. Hazel weighed 6.7oz and Birdie was my peanut at 5.8oz. I was in daze for the fist few days. Holy shit I just had twins. I love my girls and was so grateful that they were born vaginally and healthy. I must admit that I hated giving birth in a hospital. My anxiety was high and it contributed to intensifying my labor pains. This experience is what inspired me to become a doula. I knew that birthing twins could be done naturally at home. I didn’t know that I would have a chance to give it go again a few short years later with my second set of twins. Story to follow.
This is the story of Mia’s birth. She was my first baby, first pregnancy, and my first birth. I did have a little experience with kids because of my step-daughter Bella, but I met her when she was 8. I adored Bella and was looking forward to giving her a little sister. Bella was a great and easy kid so I really had no idea what I was in for with a baby. When Dan and I first started to get serious we had the baby talk. He was very content with having his daughter Isabella and had no desire to have any more kids. I agreed that I wasn’t ready either but that I needed to be in a relationship where it could be a possibility in the future. I was in my early 20′s and might change my mind. He agreed and said we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Little did I know we would be crossing it very soon. My close friend Shannon had recently told me that she was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I then realized that I didn’t remember when my last period was. Shannon was convinced that I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I celebrated with some wine. I didn’t know about false negative pregnancy tests at the time. I took 2 more tests in the next few weeks and the third one came out positive. I was shocked. I might have been the least likely person I knew to have a baby. Majority of my friends agreed. I walked around in a daze for the first few months just trying to digest the news. I started to get excited. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a unmedicated birth. I had read Ina May’s book Spiritual Midwifery when I was a teenager. Mostly because it had cool pictures of long-haired hippie types and my mother was a Bradley childbirth instructor when we were kids. She always had birthing books lying around our house. Natural curiosity I guess. I found a birthing center and hired a doula. My pregnancy was uncomplicated and easy. I did however gain almost 75 pounds. Damn Shannon and her root beer floats. It was nice to have a pregnancy buddy. Shannon and I spent time discussing every detail of our pregnancies and our birth plans. We used the same midwifery practice and chose the same birthing center. Shannon delivered her daughter Genevieve 4 days before me in the same exact room. Kinda crazy. I was 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I decided to self induce with castor oil. I made this decision very impulsively and regret that I didn’t wait for labor to start on its own. I took way too much. I went to bed thinking it wasn’t going to work. I woke up around 3 am with strong contraction 2-3 minutes apart. I called my doula and midwife and headed to the birthing center. I was throwing up with my head out of the window the entire ride to the hospital. My husband Dan couldn’t find the entrance to the hospital. I was laboring on my hands and knees on the sidewalk. It was pretty funny looking back. I wasn’t laughing then though. When they checked me in triage I was only 4cm. The midwives want you to be closer to a 5/6 to admit you to the birthing center. While in the triage area I dropped to my knees moaning loudly and the nurses agreed to admit me just in case my labor was progressing quickly. Good thing they did. I hopped in the tub and my doula arrived. She was a newer doula that had only attended 5/6 births. It really didn’t matter though because she had a calming presence. I was moaning very loudly through out the entire process. I didn’t want anyone to touch me and I felt very out of control. I never got a break between contractions. I got out of the tub after a short time and got on the bed. I started to get the urge to bear down. They checked me and I was fully dilated. So I went from 4 cm – 10cm in one hour. They were all shocked. I didn’t even really push either. She was like a Mack truck coming out. Fast and furious. I really thought my legs were going to snap off my body. She came out so fast that her cord snapped in half. It turned out that her cord was shorter than a normal cord. I hemorrhaged a bit and they had to check for retained placenta. That was really painful. The birth was very fast and felt out of control. I think the castor oil may have played a part in that. It may have greased the pipes a little too much. I did however get the natural birth I had wanted. It went so quickly that I couldn’t even think to ask for the drugs. It really helped me as well to be in a birthing center that supported my desire for a unmedicated birth. It was one of the most painful and beautiful experiences of my entire life. I’ll never forget seeing Mia’s little face and sweet eyes for the first time. I will be posting the first set of twins birth story in the next day or two. More birthing stories to come.
and arm tattoos. Here I am blonde and tan. When I had the time to bleach my hair and lay out in the sun. I partied too much and slept in every day until at least noon. I had a tongue ring and numerous other stupid piercings. Lame. It’s pretty hard for me to remember my life before kids. I feel like I’ve been a mom forever. My step-daughter turned 16 a week ago and my oldest baby will be 6 in a few months. Holy crap. It just flies by. A lot of my friends have just become parents within the last few years and its been really awesome watching them go through the transition from non parent to mommy. I became less self-absorbed when I became a mom and began to realize what an empty life I led pre-baby. I poured drinks, managed bars, modeled occasionally, and partied. My biggest concern was obtaining the hottest pair of f**k me heels. I dated and had lots of dead-end relationships. I didn’t really like myself all that much. I didn’t realize this until much later in life when I started to love myself again. I’m not saying that having kids is for everyone. I’m not advocating you go out and make a baby to change your life for the better. Some people should never procreate. It’s just what happened to me. Shit I didn’t even like kids. Now I’m a baby loving birth obsessed doula. Go figure. My pre-baby days weren’t all that awful. I could come and go as I please. I didn’t have to make a game plan to run out to the store. I could get away with an occasional guilt free cigarette. I could sleep off a hangover. I went to the movies. I could travel. I also could go braless. My poor boobs after nursing 5 kids. Can you say pancake tits? Hot right? But the thing is I wouldn’t trade being a mom for any of these things. My boobs can be fixed. Thank god. My life is crazy but full and beautiful. Watching my kids grow is such an awesome thing. Becoming a mom gave my life a real purpose. Purpose it needed.
My kids say the craziest things. All the time. My kids had a good run from 2-3 years old saying the best shit. I can’t remember all of the top hits but I’ll do my best. I can’t forget my all time favorites.
- Mia was 2 1/2-3. She’s in the pink heart shirt above with one of her best buds. This age she was filled with great one liners. My husband Dan and I were giving her a bath and I was tired and pregnant sitting on the bath mat next to the tub. She asked him to take a bath with her so he undressed and hopped in the tub. Mia says “Dad, you have an ugly vagina and a fat belly.” Wow. That was Dan’s last bath with the kids. Way to crush his manhood kid!
- My English bulldog Maggie (RIP) was always getting in the way. She made it her job to get under your feet and trip you. Mia tripped over her and yelled “You F**king dog!” At 2 this was a bit shocking. Time to watch your potty mouth Mommy.
- Hazel (2 1/2 year old twin B) is the chatterbox in this house. She also loves to be naked. All my kids went through a pants off phase. Hazel was spread eagle on the couch when I told her to go put pants on. She told me “I’m just getting some extra air in there.” How does one argue with that? She then followed it by saying ” I see all my buttons in there.” I followed this by running upstairs and finding her some pants.
- Hazel loves to tell me, “Mom, you’re my favorite color.” and “You’re my favorite person.” She also likes to rub my back and say “Mom, I’m so proud of you.” Wow okay. Thanks kid I needed that.
- Birdie (2 1/2 year old twin A) doesn’t talk as much as her sisters. She is the female version of Bam Bam. Very physical and not very verbal yet. Lots of “Love you, Mommy” and “Hold ya” No crazy one liners from her yet. Still waiting.
- Mia’s little buddy Gigi is chock full of great one liners and funny shit. She decided one day to critique one my paintings that was laying out. She went up to it with her little hand on her chin and her head cocked and said “Actually it’s very interesting and actually very awful.” Okay thanks buddy. She also used to call me “Heeny” and Mia was “Mina”. Awesome.
- Hazel will often ask for more babies. She wants 2 more. Sure let me work on that. I’m sure it would be quints if I tried again. The factory is closed kiddo. Sorry.
That’s all for now. It’s hard to remember them all. I will follow this post up with more when I can remember them and when they occur. Kids say the darndest things.
I’m spitting mad about what has happened to my friends that just delivered their identical twin girls recently at Lenox Hill in NYC. Beyonce and her security team prevented my friends from seeing their premature twins born at 34 weeks in the NICU. They also kicked out their friends and family from the waiting area to secure the area for Beyonce and Jay Z’s privacy. Really F’ them! I don’t give a rat’s ass who you are. Celebrity or not. To prevent a new mom and dad from visiting their babies in the NICU for even 1 minute is unacceptable. My friend just had a c-section and become a new mother to premature twins. That’s enough of an emotional rollercoaster. She does not need this crap. My friends are NOT looking for fame. They want an apology. They deserve an apology. If you are outraged too please show your support by contacting Lenox Hill at (212) 434-2424 and filing a complaint.
January 6th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
I will apologize in advance if I am a little biased because of the twin thing. After having two sets of twins in a row I have really depended on these must have items. This is only my opinion and I do realize that every baby is different and may have different needs. I also used craigslist and happily accepted hand me downs this time around. It saved us lots of money. So here’s my list of must haves items for new baby and/or babies.
- A swing. Mine were dust collecting coat racks for the first few months of twins Rocco & Luke’s lives. After 3 months it was a freaking life saver. Look how cute they are in this picture. Love how compact these mama roos are. My first set of twins Birdie and Hazel, used the swings more in the first 3 months of life. They napped in them which gave me some hands free time. Essential if you ever want to do the dishes or attempt laundry.
- A nosefrida. It’s a wonderful swedish snot sucker. When baby has a cold and is trying to eat it can be mighty frustrating. Breast or bottle they can have difficulties feeding while congested. Love this damn thing. I buy it as a gift for most of my new mommy friends.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby products. I loved the Angel Baby Bottom Balm for little bums and the post partum one for my lady bits. Their nipple butter is awesome too. Can’t say enough good things about these products. Zero toxins in these products. Super LIKE!
- The ergo or a ring sling. This was handier when I only had one kid and needed to ride the subway. I’ll be damned if I will be riding the subway with all my kids anytime soon. I must admit my jealousy when I see my friends with their singletons snuggled up next to mommy in their carriers. Baby wearing twins is a bit complicated to say the least. But definitely a must have item even if you have twins. Hubby and I go on walks each wearing one of the baby boys while we chase after the other kiddies.
- Nursing pillow. If you plan on nursing it’s a must have for the newborn days. Even if you decide to formula feed, a boppy still comes in handy. I’ll add nursing bra too if you plan on breastfeeding.
- White noise machine. I know some may think that this is a ridiculous purchase but I couldn’t live without mine. All 5 of my kids are crazy light sleepers. I found this out the hard way.
- An awesome stroller. It makes a world of difference especially if you have more than one kid. Shell out the extra $ for this one. A good stroller can last for many many years. I found mine brand spanking new on craigslist for an insanely cheap price. You just need to search a little for the right deal. I’ve had quite a few strollers but one of my favorites has been the Mountain Buggy. Same manufacturers as Phil & Ted. Bugaboos are like the Cadillac of strollers and are equally as great. Just pricy. Can someone steal me the bugaboo donkey? I’ve been lusting over this stroller since it came out. More $ than my first car
- Lots of 100% cotton onesies. Doesn’t matter what brand. Organic cotton is nice. I go through about 6 outfit changes at least a day with my twin boys. My kids are super messy. They play hard what can I say. They spit up sometimes seconds after an outfit change. It’s like they do it to test me.
- Swaddles and sleep sacks. I know I listed two things but they both fall under the sleep category. My twins (both sets) loved to be swaddled for the first 3 months of their lives. Then we transitioned to sleep sacks so I wouldn’t worry about loose blankets suffocating my precious angels.
- Graco Snugride car seat. Lightweight and fits almost all stroller frames with an adapter. Snap and go strollers are very handy when baby is tiny. I purchased a different model for my first-born and regret it. It looked great but weighed a ton. The snugride is much lighter. Also I’m pretty sure they won’t let you leave the hospitals here in NY without a car seat. If you are homebirthing then you don’t have to rush to get the car seat. Still a must have if you plan on being in the car with your little one though.
January 4th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
It’s sort of funny that I have so many tattoos. No one in my family really has any. Siblings, parents, and grandparents are all ink free. A few of my cousins have a few but that’s really about it. My husband is the only other one that’s covered in them. I’m really not sure why I keep getting them. They hurt. I’m not a huge tattoo enthusiast either. Maybe I get them more now so I look less like your typical suburban soccer mom. I might be rebelling against the stereotype of a “MOM” I had tattoos before I had kids but felt inclined to keep getting more once they all arrived. Living in NYC no one really notices them. It’s funny when you travel anywhere out of the city. It ranges from “Yo, nice ink!’, to the once over twice by catty judgemental moms walking through the mall. It’s strange how I forget they are there. I mean I don’t even get my haircut all that often. My appearance is somewhat neglected these days with all the baby having I’ve been doing. My next tattoos are going to be of my new twin boys’ names. I think I’m going to put them under my collar bones on each side. Sorry NJ but I’m not getting my boobies tattooed. Here’s a shout out to my friend Alex. He owns a tattoo shop in Greenpoint Brooklyn Three Kings. He’s an awesome tattoo artist and neighborhood dad. I love supporting other small business owners who are fellow parents. Hazel (2 year old twin B) decided to tattoo Birdie’s (2 year old twin A) eyebrow with a sharpie today. Birdie also likes to cover her body in stickers, pens, and/or stamps to look like Mommy and Daddy. I like when she gives herself neck tattoos. She’s a classy broad. No tattoos kids until your at least 13!!!