Tuesday, July 25, 2006

new blog, new identity

The time has come to blog once more. I have decided to leave well enough alone with Bore You With It, which mostly concentrated on pregnancy and newborn things. Please visit the new BlogPicchiPacchi to see how things are going for me these days.

Also, I am changing my i.d. from JB to laGiulia, which is a name some of my dearest friends call me. Chuh-chuh-changes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's not you, it's me.

Truly. Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I love reading all of your blogs. But I have decided to take a break from this blog, for various reasons.

Among my reasons: I have taken on some new projects that need attention ('cause I get paid for them you see); I want to spend more time working on music and less time on other little things that take up time, since music is the main thing that keeps me feeling like who I am; and I do not think that blogging fits me very well, especially at this postpartum, post-NICU, crazy-twins-mom point in my life. I think I need more in-person interactions. Yes, you can have both in-person and blog relationships, but with little time on my hands I have to be aware of where I'm finding my support and social outlets right now.

So anyway, this is kind of a lame post. I'd imagined a much more eloquent, dramatic farewell. I am, however, quite sincere in thanking you for your support and readership. I will still be active, but as a commenter rather than an author.
See you around the bloggerhood!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Four Months of Babies, in Four Parts

Part One: Thanks
Part One is long overdue.
I want to thank everyone who offers support as well as wise and funny comments on my very humble blog. I especially thank those of you who offered to talk to me or put me in touch with friends or relatives who could offer special support in light of my NICU and premie woes. If I haven't taken you up on it, it's not because I didn't appreciate it; it's more because either I am too scatter-brained right now to follow through or I'm not ready to talk. But I think it is exceedingly kind of you to offer, and just knowing that there are all kinds of support out there makes it easier for me to get through.

Part Two: Laughter
What a crazy past four months this has been. I have been blessed and honored to give birth to two amazing human beings. What joy they have brought to my life. Taking care of them, watching them change, feeding them every day, knowing that they are beginning to discover one another... it's awesom. There are really no words to adequately explain it. All I can do is tell you what I see. (I will tell you more about their health after next week's doctor appointment.)

M - When M giggles, he raises his shoulders and turns his head down so it looks like he's just a little shy. He is very strong and can support his own weight with his legs for many seconds on end. He also pushes himself up when he's on his belly, and he's been rolling from belly to back since December. If he's in a good mood, he likes his gym and his mobile. He and his brother lie side by side looking up at the mobile and kicking their legs, laughing, and babbling. M likes to look around a lot. One of his favorite things to focus on is the light fixture on the ceiling about our bed. He laughs and talks to it for long periods of time. Hey, it's cheap entertainment! But seriously, there is something really profound in watching a baby get joy out of looking at a simple thing. M gets cranky in the evening, and the remedies that work best for him, for the time being, are nursing, walking with him in the pouch, and putting him on your lap belly-down on a pillow. He sleeps well, waking up only once or not at all during the night. He loves to eat too! M likes to be held a lot, though he also pushes off the holder's chest so he can look around. His smile lights up his eyes, like his daddy. He is very sweet indeed.

J- J has a face-consuming smile and is quick to laugh, especially on the changing table. He also loves to converse with people, and if you say something to him or ask him a question, he will get a really concentrated look on his face and then open his mouth really big. Sometimes sounds come out, like "ooh" or "ah" or something that sounds like "hi." When he hears himself "speak," he gets this huge grin on his face and laughs with delight. I think he is going to be a talker! He still has a few feeding issues, but I would indeed count eating as one of his favorite pass times. He also likes to watch the mobile, squealing with absolute delight. Though not a big fan of tummy time, he does enjoy his gym sometimes. J loves being nude. (Who doesn't?) Neither boy minds a bath, though I can't say that they love it either. J is always up by the time SP is out the door, around 7AM, usually with a huge smile on his face the moment you notice he's awake. He has been through many medical appointments and tests, and he is still a very happy, jovial baby. He is quite amazing.

Part Three: Tears

The downs certainly took their toll. I still have moments in which I am at least a little panicked that they might be sick. I also feel regret. It still hurts that they came so quickly. Their birth day blindsided me. I knew it was possible I might go into labor right after I went off the drugs, but I honestly did not think that would be the day. Yet there I was, 4 tiny hours after going to the hospital just as a precaution, on an operating table experiencing the life that was just a moment ago inside of me now outside. And then gone, in a place where doctors and nurses were doing their best to help my babies thrive, where I could do nothing. Horrible. And I'm still very sensitive when people talk about how natural births are best and nonmedicated pregnancies are best. Because I would have liked both of those things. Maybe someone else would have made a decision to just try bedrest instead of bedrest and the anticontraction medicine, even though the former was not recommended. But for me and for my husband and for most people who have been told the odds are not in their favor, that was too much risk. I had to make the best decision I could, even though it was a decision I SO didn't want to make for me or for them. Same with the C-section. I wanted so badly to push those guys out, and I'm so sad I'll never get that experience (unless I have another who happens to cooperate). And yet I couldn't face the possibility of M being in distress. I went with doctors whom I knew had taken risks with other women, I got several opinions, ... what more was there to do? Why, when I know they all told me I should have a section that birthing day, that day of fast and strong contractions and babies not waiting, and knowing even more now about their health problems and potential complications, why do I still feel regret or guilt? And when will it go away?

Part Four: The Love

Dude. Totally worth it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

You say you exclusively breastfeed your twins? How on earth...

My thoughts my experience breastfeeding twins, prompted by questions I am asked most often:
Yes, I exclusively breastfeed twins. And yes, my body produces enough milk. Yes, you can breastfeed two at once but I rarely do because it's never been easy for me, and my boys eat so quickly that feeding them one at a time isn't that time-consuming anyway.
It actually hasn't been that difficult for me, I haven't really struggled too hard with it. Yes, I am truly blessed and lucky on that front. While it is a huge imposition sometimes to have to feed two babies from my own body, it's the choice I made, and I know I need to deal with it even when I get weary.
No, I'm not a La Leche League leader or a spokesperson on feeding twins or feeding NICU babies or a breastfeeding activist.
Is breast really best? I don't know. I was a formula fed baby, and frankly, not having been very sickly as a child, I don't think formula is evil at all. I breastfeed because I love to do it and because it's cheap.
No, not all hospitals are discourage breastfeeding. Mine encouraged it. There were always lactation consultants buzzing around, both on the main floor and down in the NICU. And the nurses in the NICU were always trying to get new moms to choose breastfeeding over formula. If I had wanted to formula feed, I probably would have been pissed off by the pressure put on me to breastfeed.
Yes, I have had a lactation consultant visit me, mostly for advice on latching at 3 months (they began to favor the tip of the nipple- ouch!) and better nutrition (I was feeling dizzy off and on during the day). Things really got even better after following the consultant's advice. I found that my supply boosted after I started eating a big breakfast that included protein.
Yes, I do use a pump and give about one bottle a day, mostly so that they don't have to take their iron supplement straight. Yucky!
All in all, breastfeeding has been the thing that I have felt I can do WELL, after not conceiving well and not doing pregnancy well and my kids not being well. So it is less an, "I'm so proud of myself for breastfeeding twins," and more a "Thank GOD something has finally worked" type of thing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Ever since the first night in the NICU that I nursed both babies (well, the first night it really worked!), I have been desperately thirsty and hungry almost all the time. I know nursing twins can be demanding, especially when you're not supplementing. But DAMN! Every time a baby begins to nurse, there's like this reflex that is triggered, and I become thirstier than it seems I've ever been. The hunger is also almost unbearable. And it's just gotten worse as they have increased their intake and frequency. This is not the kind of hunger that an apple or carrot sticks will satisfy. This is a big hearty sandwich, banana-and-peanut butter, english muffin or bagel, three bowls of cereal, four pieces of pizza, salmon and baked potato, cheesy enchiladas, tofu and rice pilaf, ravioli, tuna melt and fries, chocolate layer cake, creamy rice pudding, a half dozen doughnuts if I really lost it, kind of hunger. I was rarely hungry during my pregnancy due to sickness, so I am telling you that when I got my appetite back and it was 10 times what it was prepregnancy, I almost went insane trying to figure out what and how to eat. Part of the problem is that I get so hungry and then I don't have the time or energy to prepare something substantial, so I either eat crap or starve.

I gained 50 pounds when pregnant, and I've lost all but 8. The only thing I've done to lost the weight, in truth, is resist eating everything in sight. I'm really getting kind of nervous now, because I don't feel I am losing weight any more, but I do feel hungrier than ever. What to do? I already have that big, pouchy "mom" stomach that would look just great right below a fanny pack, especially were I to visit Disney World and wear a fuschia nylon exercise suit. Yeesh. I don't want to add any more junk to my trunk, kwim?

Oh, I know it was and is all worth it, and I wouldn't change a thing. I would do it all over again and then some, just to see those little chubby cheeks and tiny feet one more time. But please oh please, if you have any food ideas, do pass them on. I'm absolutely STARVING!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

double the dumb

People - including me - can ask dumb questions sometimes without realizing it. I'm not talking about the offensive questions, like the ones you hear when you're infertile: Have you tried relaxing? Did you get one of those ovulation kits? What about adoption??? No, nothing like that. I'm talking about questions that, if you stopped to think about what you were asking, you'd realize that the question really has no good answer.

An example: So, what's it like to have twins? At first listen, this seems like a legitimate question. However, when you consider that you're asking someone who has never been a parent before, you have to realize that they don't know anything different. What if I asked a parent of a singleton, "So, what's it like to have one baby instead of twins?" The question would seem very odd indeed.

In truth, I guess the easiest way to go about answering the twins question is to say that there is double everything. Double the diapers, double the laundry, double the baths, double the feedings, double the poop, double the screaming and crying, double the worries; double the smiles, double the laughs, double the cuteness, double the Kodak moments, double the milestones, double the pride, double the love. But since the lady pushing her cart down the dairy aisle doesn't really want all that information, here is a list of short and efficient responses I've come up with. (Yes, this is how I entertain myself these days. Yes, that is a mite pathetic. And no, I would not really say these things IRL.)

Answers to "So, what's it like to have twins?"
  • Lotsa shitty diapers.
  • Well, they bring home twice the income of a single working baby.
  • All that crying fuckin' sucks.
  • I don't know, our nanny is raising them.
  • It's double the work, but it's also double the effort.
  • Money's tight, but they're gonna start working the shows at Coney Island this summer.
  • Have you seen those Double Mint gum commercials?
  • Better, since we sent our third child off to teenage boot camp.
  • You know how they cloned that sheep, Dolly? It's kinda like that.
  • Oh no, they're not twins. They have two different daddies.

Touched out.

Sometimes you can feel your blood pressure rising. Your heart beats unevenly, and your limbs start to ache; your stomach starts to hurt, but in a dull way that's hard to describe. It's alarming enough when this happens pre-child, but with children it seems even worse because you know they're depending on you to take care of them, both short- and long-term, and you know that feeling this way cannot be a sign of good health.

So it happened tonight. Waffling from lying down in bed to lying down on the couch in the other room to sitting here at the computer, and back again. Interrupted by a feeding. Interrupted by a husband who hands off a baby, calling you not-so-nice-name upon leaving the room, after you pissed him off one too many times. And what are you supposed to do? This is the life, partner, self you now have. The life that spills out over the edges and bursts at the seams, with love, yes, but also with chaos and the heightened stress that come with two new babies.

My husband went out last night. He'd never been out since the babies were born. I encouraged him to go. The only problem is that what he thought was going to be two hours out turned into four. The babies were fussy yesterday. They never slept for more than a half hour at a time, and usually that was not at the same time. I took care of them alone from 7AM to 8:45PM. It really wore me down. Not only was it physically demanding, but it was mentally draining to spend that many hours figuring out what might appease each baby and trying it, failing, and trying something else. It's like a constant experiment. I admit I was bitchy when he arrived home. He, of course, was in a good mood. I did not want to be hugged, less because I was actually mad and more because I'd been "touched out," as they say, often to describe nursing women. I nurse two. How touched out do you imagine I am? He just doesn't know what that's like, and so it's not a reality to him even if I say it is to me. I think he just assumed I was refusing his affection to hold a grudge. I do admit I felt pissed, although it was mostly because I was worn out from a whole 13+ hours with two fussy infants, less because he was gone. But unfortunately the two cannot be separated in consideration of the problem at hand.

When we said goodnight, I just gave him a really quick peck and told him I loved him. This is less than our usual, more caring good-night. It is no wonder that he was irritated and resentful that I would act this way upon him returning from his first night out. When we had to get up with the babies he was colder than usual. When I told him he was being a jerk to me, he said it was because it was the middle of the night, what did I expect? I said I knew him better than that, so there. He called me a name and handed off a baby to me to be nursed. It seemed mean and ugly. It seemed like two people who shouldn't be us.

It is not easy taking care of two. Some days it's twice the joy, laughs and thrills, but others it's twice the crying, worrying, and physical demands on the parents. Though I resent people saying to me, "Wow, I could never do that!" (wtf? you would do it if you conceived twins because you'd have to!), I do admit that sometimes the very good job we do is at the cost of other things in our life. I always had one of the strongest relationships I knew of, as far as I could tell, and I never thought that we would become distant like I'd seen others do after having a baby.

All I can say is that we have had other rough patches and have come out stronger and more loving, and I trust that this will be no exception. We will find some way to work on it. It's just the lack of energy that is so challenging. We're gonna need a lot of coffee to get this one solved.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

the easy way out

I'm sorry I haven't been writing. First our internet connection was down for almost a week. Then we had weekend family visitors. And then I just had too much baby poop on me to touch the computer. So now, after all that, I have taken the easy road and done my first meme. I feel like a cheap floozy of a blogger. But then again, maybe you will get to know me a little better, and maybe I will have a little extra time to go wash my poop-encrusted self so I can write a bigger, better entry.

Four non-teaching jobs I've had:
  • nanny
  • travel agent
  • concert manager
  • volunteer development
Four Authors, Books, or Series I read over and over:
  • Roald Dahl
  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Virginia Woolf
  • parts of the Bible that interest me
Four movies I can watch over and over:
  • Next Stop Wonderland
  • Rocky I
  • Ciao Professore
  • Meet the Parents
Four TV shows I love(d):
  • I Love Lucy
  • All in the Family
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Globe Trekker
Four places I've lived:
  • Greater Philadelphia
  • Florence, Italy
  • Boston
  • New York
Four places to vacation:
  • Philadelphia (we fell in love there, so...)
  • Maine
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Italy
Four sites I visit/use daily:
  • Hotmail
  • Google
  • Weather
  • Unwellness
Four people I'd like to meet in person, based on their blogs:
(sorry - too lazy to link. see my list on the left.)
  • Jen of Addition Problems
  • Lisa of A Letter to My Children
  • Em of Eggs Akimbo
  • Reesh of 2 Pink Lines
  • (many others too!)
Four foods I yearn for:
  • clementines
  • a bialy with butter
  • salmon sashimi
  • coffee (milk, 1 sugar)
Four inventions I'm grateful for:
  • musical instruments
  • hot showers
  • refrigerators
  • electric breast pumps!
Four musical choices for my personal soundtrack:
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Jill Scott
  • Astrud Gilberto
  • Abbey Lincoln
Four nouns that describe me:
  • singer
  • dreamer
  • skeptic
  • individual