Thursday, September 07, 2017

He's Dead

The paring knife is the deadliest weapon in the kitchen.  That's something I think of now and then, when I'm using one to cut fruit for my family.  It's stuck in my brain.  Because when someone who's hurt you tells you that, while standing in the kitchen with you, you tend to remember.  It was also the statement that made me walk out of the house with only my purse and call a friend.  It was what maybe saved my life.

After about a year, he moved on, stayed away from what I could tell.  But he'd call or email, using fake accounts because I blocked all the ones I knew of.  The week I was moving to Boston my doorbell rang-I wasn't expecting anyone.  When I opened the door, no one was there.  It was creepy.  The day before he left me a message saying he had the things he stole and wanted to give them back.

I didn't hear from him again until I was engaged to B1.  A simple message, telling me I looked happy and he's happy to see that.  To most it probably sounds like a good message-a sign that he'd really moved on, an apology of sorts.  But no.  I knew.  It was him going through is book of broken women, hoping we were still broken so he'd have an in.  I blocked that profile and and every other person with that name just in case.

Every now and then I search his name.  To keep tabs, to make sure he's not in the area.  I've stopped looking over my shoulder, I feel safe, but still need to know where he lives.  If he's with someone.  Because when he's not, that's when the trouble's about the time I'd usually get a note.

I had a lightbulb moment the other day.  My extreme reaction to my twins hitting habits (typical, developmentally appropriate 2.9 year old stuff-times two) is likely due to some sort of PTSD associated with being a survivor of domestic abuse.  It helps, actually, knowing this is why I'm triggered, and I'm hoping it'll help me move past it.  Mainly for my boys, but also, I'm sick of giving this fucking person space in my brain, in my heart, my life.  I want him OUT and I never want to think of him again.  I Googled him last night.

He died.  In May.

Blinking cursor.  Blinking cursor.  Blinking cursor.

How do I feel?  How am I supposed to feel?  You're not supposed to feel happy when someone dies.  And truthfully, I don't feel happy.  I don't feel a huge sense of relief.  I don't feel sad.  I do suppose I feel a little bit in disbelief.  Part of me worries it's a scam.  A way to get out of yet another arrest or something.  But the obituary is pretty legit.  And there are messages left on the message board.  And his fiance posted a pic saying how much she'll miss him.

I wonder if she feels relief.  I actually do feel sorry for HER.

I guess most of all, right now, I feel curious.  I want to know how he died.  Overdose?  Suicide?  Car accident?  It doesn't seem, from the comments on the obit, that it was an illness.  It seems like it was sudden.  And I'm so curious to know HOW.  I don't know why.

So the man who abused me mentally and physically, who broke me down and took so much away from me, is dead.  Gone.  He can no longer hurt me, ever again.  He can no longer write me an ominous note, he won't show up at my door while I"m with my family or kidnap my kids as leverage.  He. Is. Gone.

Be done, Mags.  Done.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

8 Months

Babies.  You're 8 months old already.  It's scary how time flies when you're having fun.  Or when you're exhausted.  And totally consumed with two cute little boys.

You're both so amazing.  You're silly and sweet, and oh so smart.  Everyone who meets you is amazed at how laid back you are, how good you are.  Your smiles charm everyone. Your giggles are contagious.  It's impossible to look at you without melting.

You both love:

When your Dada plays the guitar
The BINGO song
Applesauce, oatmeal, bananas, pancakes, chicken, Cheerios, salmon, garlic bread and pasta with bolognese sauce.
When Mama sings you songs
Raspberries on your belly

J, you love:
Books.  You visibly get excited whenever Mama takes them out.  Your current favorite is "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and "Mr. Brown Can Moo"
Tags on blankets

B, you love:
Bathtime-you splash and spalsh!

J has 4 teeth, B 3.  I forget that they exist sometimes and forget to brush them for you.  I'll try harder.  Today we brushed twice.

Both of you can crawl and sit up, though B can sit up FROM a crawl on his own.  And B can pull himself up to a standing position.  J is content with staying in the same place for a while.  We can't tell if he's a little lazy, or if he's just smart enough to realize that his crazy little brother will breeze by any minute dragging new toys in his wake...

Neither of you completely grasp the idea of waving "Hi" or clapping when we say "Yay!", but you're on the verge.  I feel like you're on the verge of so many things...and it's exciting.  And a little heartbreaking at the same time.

Motherhood.  Who knew it was going to be so bipolar?  What a wonderful adventure you've brought us these last 8 months.  We love you sweet babies. up, your first plane ride!  Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Life Is Good

We are busy.  :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


We've known all along that the day was coming, that I wouldn't be going back to work after the boys were born.

We knew daycare would be too expensive, and that I'd essentially be going to work to pay for daycare.  Why do that?  Why work only to allow someone else to cuddle with my boys?  It just doesn't make sense.

Tomorrow I'm putting in my two weeks notice.  I've worked at the university for over 5 years.  I've loved some of it, hated some of it.  Mostly I just appreciated that I had a steady, relatively well paying job and that I kept being promoted.  And that I finally had an office.  Oh how I love that little office...

I've known for over a year that I was going to be quitting.  And yet, as I wrote my resignation letter this morning, it feels weird.  And a little sad.

Under no circumstances do I want to leave my boys with anyone else.  Not even with B1...not because I don't trust him with the boys alone, and not because I don't think he'd do a great job-I do.  But this is what I'm meant to do, what I want to do.  I just never thought I'd be a stay at home mom-to twins-and that I wouldn't be going into an office everyday and that I wouldn't be bringing home my own paycheck.

It's weird, that's all.  But in a good way.  Especially when I look at the two reasons why:

(BTW-I'm utterly disgusted at the cost of child care in this country and at the small amount of time women get away from work for raising the next generation.  While we would have made this decision on our own regardless, our hands are essentially tied.  We cannot afford for me to continue to work.  And I made a good living.  Canada has it right.  1 year off to raise children while they get paid maternity leave.  And then they still have a job when they return to work.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

3 Months

My babies are 3 months old... How did that happen already?

As I sit here, tired and beaten down, hoping-no, praying-they fall asleep together just this once I am in awe of how time flies. It really does seem like just yesterday that Brian and I were sitting in the hospital room, waiting for the doctor to wheel me down to surgery. Or when we were in the recovery room for what seemed like days, waiting for the privacy we thought we'd get once we had our own room.

And then I remember that first night. Oh how scared we were. We didn't have to talk about it. It was in our eyes. In our very tired, wide eyes, whenever our babies cried and we couldn't console them. And then I remember the way it felt that very first time we could, and I feel a little better. Because every step of this wild, amazing journey has been just like that. Crazy, I don't know what I'm doing, please make it stop/get better/easier moments that turn into wonderfully triumphant bonding moments with our little family.

And I know that this too, shall pass. Our babies will learn to fall asleep on their own. Eventually. And once they do, I'll feel a sense of accomplishment like never before, because I'll know that I had a hand in helping them find their way to rest, to dreamland...

I'm likely to cry a billion tears during my tenure as their Mama. If a billion are shed while I'm helping them learn and grow, it'll be worth it. I just have to remember that while the tears are falling. Their sweet little faces, even when twisted up in angst, help.

I love you way more than a billion tears my little boys. Way more...

Middle picture: The day they were born.  Top left, 1 week, moving right along the top, weeks 2-12.  So tiny then, and so big now.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weight Watchers

Every mother and mother-to-be knows the pressure put on women to breastfeed.  These days it seems that people just assume new mothers are going to breastfeed their babies.  In my case it happened to be true that I was going to try to exclusively breastfeed both babies.  Insert all of the mutual benefits for mother and child here, in addition to the obvious financial ones too, and you'll know why I wanted to try.   I went into this parenting thing thinking that I'd be totally OK with it if I just wasn't able to, but in the end, the guilt has gotten to me.  Thank you society.  Thank you...

Here's how we got to where we are today, which is me no longer breastfeeding either baby, and only pumping milk when I can during the day to feed it to J:
As soon as I was able, my babies were brought to me for feeding.  J was dropped into my arms and the nurse asked if I knew what I was doing.  
" theory, yes.  Practically?  No."
So she helped, and it magically seemed to work.  And then B came over and the same thing happened.  And all was right with the world.  I was going to be super breastfeeding Mom of twins!  Without much effort!  I ruled.
But over the next few hours, things became more challenging.  Every shift change brought a new nurse who told me to do something different and the lactation consultant had different opinions than them.  The babies didn't seem to latch on all of the time and after feedings they seemed hungry.  I was assured that they didn't need to eat much in the first few days, and to just relax.  A breast pump was brought in and I was instructed to pump after every feeding.  So I started breastfeeding one baby for as long as they would drink and then I'd switch to the other baby.  Then I'd pump for as long as I could stand it.  And by the time I was done, it was time to start over.  It was quite honestly, hell.  Especially during the early morning feedings, and especially because my babies were getting hungrier.  My milk hadn't yet fully come in so even though they didn't need a lot, they did need more than I could give.  This is when the guilt first began.  Not being able to give my children what they needed really made me feel horrible.  Still, I was told not to worry, that we'd still be OK.  The next lactation consultant recommended we begin supplementing with formula just until my milk came in fully, to ensure the babies got enough to eat.
And I believe this was the beginning of the downfall.  I think that if I had more help in the hospital (there was a major baby boom the weekend we were in the hospital, and the lactation consultants and nurses were overbooked.) I could have maybe gotten over the hump and I may have been able to breast feed at least one baby exclusively.  That said, we can't go back and change the past, and the day we were released from the hospital began to change everything anyway.
As you know, we were rushing to get out of the hospital so we could beat the blizzard.  We were rushing around, signing paperwork, packing bags, getting releases and making arrangements for the hotel.  We were also dressing our babies for the first time in clothes that were WAY too big (our babies needed preemie clothes for the first three weeks.  Surprise!) and dealing with massive amounts of spit up coming from B.  Our little guy seemed to all of a sudden go from eating champ (he started out being a better eater than his older, bigger brother) to being a vomit rocket.  After every feeding it seemed that he threw up his entire bottle, and considering he had already lost weight (normal) and that he started out small (5# 4oz), I was worried.  Before we left the hospital I asked the nurse about it and she assured me that it was perfectly normal and that I should just hold him upright for a little longer after feeding.
...and so for two days, that's what we did.  But in my heart, I knew something was wrong.  At his checkup a couple of days later, he'd lost even more weight.  He wasn't looking well either.  He was pale and was starting to look sick.  Still, the doctor asked us to increase his intake (counter intuitive, no?) and to bring him back in a couple of days for another weight check.
Increased intake equals increased output.  Everything we put into our little guy seemed to immediately come back up.  He only seemed to be able to handle 10-15 milliliters without getting sick.  By his next weight check, he'd lost 15% of his body weight and was dangerously underweight.  The doctor on call thankfully was not as optimistic as our pediatrician, and she sent us immediately to the ER in the Boston Children's Hospital.  

Our sweet B in his hospital gown in the ER

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Going Home...Sort Of there we were, a new family of four, packed and ready to go home for the first time...when we received a note from our friend that we might actually not want to come home after all.  In fact, we might not be able to go home because the marina, for the first time in at least two years, might have to be evacuated due to the high winds predicted with the blizzard.  He suggested we book a room in the hotel next door, like many of our friends and neighbors just to be safe.  So we booked a room and made our way there.

The drive home was quite hairy.  The weather had deteriorated rapidly and everyone in the city was trying to get home before it got worse.  Traffic was horrible and our babies were in the back seat crying.  We'd heard that the mirrors you put on the back seat so you can see your babies were dangerous, so we opted not to get them...that caused us major stress.  Not being able to see if the babies were breathing when they were quiet was too much!  Yes, we pulled over on the snowy road to check.  Yes, we know this is because we're first time parents.  After this trip, we decided the risk was worth it, and we purchased the mirrors once the snow cleared!


The ride home

Our bridge.  Almost home sweet boys.
Earlier in the day we received an email from the marina telling us that we couldn't park in the middle of the parking lot because of snow removal.  But by the time we arrived home from the hospital, all of the outer spaces were already taken.  Thankfully our dockmaster is cool and he allowed us to park in the main lot, even though we were in that restricted area.  After what seemed like hours (it actually did take a little over an hour to get usually takes 15 minutes) we finally made it to the hotel.

Maybe it's because they saw the stressed out, new mom, we just drove in the car with two newborns and oh my God we're really parents, look on my face, we were upgraded to a suite. I'm not sure how we would have survived those first two days at "home" without a kitchen and living room to be honest. 

Welcome "home" boys...

Hotel Lobby
In addition to getting a suite, we were lucky enough to get a room that overlooked the marina, so we could periodically check to make sure our boat was OK.  (It was.)

So close to home, yet so far away!

The calm after the storm.  And before the next one.

I have to stop here and say once again how wonderful it is to live in this community.  Not only were our friends looking out for us by telling us about the evacuation, they were waiting for us when we got the hotel.  Within minutes, B1 had help unloading the car which was no small feat considering we ransacked the hospital and had several bags of groceries (thanks to my in-laws!) in addition to our duffel bags, the diaper bag and two babies.  They really helped make a stressful, overwhelming situation a little easier to bear.   

Though the hotel was nice, we really just needed to be home.  Twins require structure and we hadn't yet had a chance to figure out what that structure was.  That first night on our own (without the nursery and nurses to help!) was rough.  Really, really rough.  It was the first time I wondered how the hell I'm going to manage this when B1 goes back to work.  When I woke up on day 2, I knew I needed to organize everything we had to make things run more smoothly when the boys woke up.

I laid out the diapers and the Vaseline packets (for their circumcisions):

I set up the feeding stations (Because we were in a hotel, we covered the surfaces to protect them from spit up):


and laid out the bottles and breast pump parts:

It did make things run more smoothly.  But we were still dumbstruck with how hard it is having twins.  And I wondered how it's legal to let new parents out of the hospital with twinfants without more training!  (And we both have always felt pretty comfortable around infants.)

Here are our first family photos:

...And finally, we were really going home!