Archive for 2011
Every time I type out a post about Sadie and her petite size I promise it’s the last time I’ll talk about it. Not because I think I’m boring (come on, no one can insert “twat waffle” in a post about toddlers like I can) but because I feel lucky that Sadie has overcome so many challenges already so why focus on something so non-tragic – something quite possibly inconsequential to her overall well being?
Sadie just crossed the 27 pound mark and she’s four-years-old as of last month. She wears a size 2T and even some of those pants are a little long. She is still far below the height/weight chart. She’s doesn’t have a percent yet. I know it doesn’t matter what other people think but it’s still jarring for me when people exclaim, “Oh my God they’re twins? How can that be? She’s so little!” Or when people straight out ask me what’s wrong with her. Her preschool teacher told me that she forgets how tiny Sadie is until once in awhile she looks at her tiny starfish hand and realizes it’s no bigger than a baby’s.
Matilda continues to grow at a normal rate. She’s forty pounds and is literally heads and shoulders above her sis. So Sadie’s size still nags at me. How could it not? I’m her momma and if there’s something wrong I want to leave no stone unturned to make it right. I want to go all Lorenzo’s Oil on this thing. But I can’t. Because there’s really nothing I can do. Sadie eats completely typical for a four year old, she’s long since graduated the feeding tube.
After all my research, after speaking to tons of other parents of SGA (Small for Gestational Age) and IUGR (Intra Uterine Growth Restriction) kids, after all the intervention she’s had (PT, OT, speech, development, feeding, nutrition) I know that the only treatment is HGH (growth hormone). We just aren’t prepared to go there because there are too many unknowns and zero long term studies of the side effects of synthetic hormone -especially in the amount she would need (larger amounts because she isn’t hormone deficient -long story). Sweet Sadie has caught up in every other way besides height and weight. She’s feisty, hilarious, did I mention feisty?, and able to do most things Matilda can do. But not all.
She needs help getting up on most toilet seats (which may not seem like a big deal but if you’re four you may not always want someone helping you get up there), she’s not as strong as she should be because she doesn’t have the muscle mass of a typical child her age, She can’t wash her hands on her own in most sinks (at home we have a big step stool but how many other places have that?), but most disturbing, she’s treated by strangers like a baby. They assume she’s only about 18-months or 2 and talk down to her. Of course this isn’t a big deal now because I actually like to see their face when my four-year-old ball of attitude gets in their grill and gives them an “I’m a big girl. I’m four! I’m not a baby, asshole! (the asshole is implied)” But how will this be for her when she’s 12, 13, 14 or 40? Will she be treated differently? And if so, are we wrong for not giving her growth hormones? I don’t know. Probably not because I’m rarely wrong when I go with my gut. But what if I am?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 28, 2011 6:33 pm
Yesterday Elby said, “Santa Claus isn’t real is he? It’s just the parents who do everything.” I froze in my tracks. The twins are four and Elby is seven now. I seriously can’t believe it. Sure I’ve aged twenty years since they were born but still, it feels like I started having children yesterday. I’m sure a lot of you bitches are way ahead of me on this whole “when they stop believing” thing but NO SPOILERS PLEASE.
So I looked at Jon and he looked at me. Finally he just said, “Do you believe in Santa Claus, Elbs?” and she quickly answered, “Yes.” I slowly let out my breath and Jon whispered to me, “She better not screw it up for the twins.” But later I asked him if he thought she really believes it or if she was just going along with it to not screw up her chances of getting everything on her list. Which is long.
Jon thinks this is around the time they stop believing which makes sense since they have to have a sneaking suspicion that a fat guy climbing down the chimney not to mention being everywhere in the world at once doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but it also kind of bums me out. They only start really understanding the concept around the age of four so if they stop believing at seven we only have a couple of good years to carry on the Santa myth. I didn’t know it would be over so quickly! I feel like I have to really make the most out of the next two Christmases because I have a bad feeling that once Elby is truly onto us, we’re dead -discretion isn’t her strong suit.
There’s also the issue that a lot of her friends don’t even celebrate Christmas because they’re heathens…I mean, Jews. Okay, I’m Jewish too but not Jewish enough to keep me from celebrating Christmas. That’s really a whole ‘nother story for another post. The point is, how does one explain to a kid why Santa doesn’t come to the houses of the kids who celebrate Hanukkah? Do we just tell them the truth that all Jews are on the naughty list? But then what about Kwanzaa (if that’s even a real holiday)? Are we to believe that Santa is a racist? It seems like a very complicated issue.
I’m going to try not to over think it and just enjoy the season. I’m going to cram their brains full of Rudolph, Frost, Christmas lights and Christmas carols and let them bake cookies and believe. Just for today.
By the way, if you want to read the What Not To Get the Kids For Christmas list I’ve compiled, it’s here. If you like it, share it.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 15, 2011 12:34 am
Sadie and Mattie turned 4-years-old on the 26th and Jon and I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s not that we’re out of the woods, far from it. But we are beginning to see some light through the trees. Could the light be an oncoming train? Sure. I’m not dumb. But I’m willing to believe that at some point soon Matilda won’t melt down because I had the audacity to fasten the Velcro on her shoe when “I WAS GOING TO DO IT! MAYBE NOT TODAY AND MAYBE NOT TOMORROW BUT I WANTED TO DO IT MYSELF” or that Sadie won’t declare jihad against me for not starting her Dora “FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. AT WHILE WE’RE AT IT THIS ISN’T THE ONE I WANTED.”
Every night when I go to sleep I am whole body tired from fighting a battle of wills with my two smallest children. I close my eyes and just try to appreciate that, hey, at least they sleep through the night (you know I just knocked on wood right?).
But here are a few things they do now that I never thought they’d do: get their own apples out of the fridge, rinse and eat them (and then leave the savaged core under the couch somewhere), get themselves dressed, apologize to each other without being yelled at first, umm, that’s all I can think of.
They are cute as hell a lot of the time and starting to entertain each other (and me if I’m not too tired). They appreciate a good dance party, are expert snugglers…oh but those meltdowns…part of the reason they have so many crying jags is they don’t nap…or they still have colic. But I’m thinking that somewhere in the next 6-7 months they should outgrow the need for sleep during the day anyway and then we’ve got it made right?
Losing the nap is one of those milestones that we are sad to see happen as opposed to the milestones we are so excited about we could just scream it out the window to random people we drive by at the bus stop, “my kid pooped in the potty! Sweet Jesus, he finally did it!” And then there are those milestones we just don’t like to talk about. I took the time to write them down on Baby On Bored: Electric Boogaloo. Go read it and then please write down some of yours.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 29, 2011 3:08 am
Four years ago today, November 10th, 2007, my friends Heather and Mike Spohr had a baby girl named Madeline. Maddie was born 11 weeks early and had to stay in the hospital for two and a half months. I didn’t know Heather at that time but on November 26th of that same year, my twins, Sadie and Matilda, were born about six weeks premature.
While Heather and Mike were in the hospital NICU sitting vigil over Maddie’s isolette, I was in a different NICU with my twins, watching while they learned to breathe, eat and regulate their body temperature on their own. The hospital days are like a blur to me in some ways, in most ways really. The stress is what stands out the most in my mind. The stress became an almost physical being in the room with us. And we were lucky. There were no surgeries to be performed on either of our girls, only Matilda needed assistance breathing because Sadie at only two pounds breathed room air from the start. But it didn’t matter how well they were breathing; I could never catch my breath.
Everyday I struggled to find balance. The babies needed colostrum but my breasts wouldn’t cooperate. I cried as I pumped at home. I cried as I pumped in the NICU, shielded only by a little white curtain. I couldn’t hold Sadie for awhile because she was too small.
It may have been three days, it may have been over a week, like I said, it was a blur, but when I was finally able to lift her out of her isolette and put her against my bare chest, heart to heart, it felt like holding a tiny guinea pig and it was hard to believe she could be this small and yet be okay.
Some days I’d get the hospital after dropping Elby off at preschool and the girls would be asleep. The staff didn’t want us to wake the babies -they needed every bit of sleep to grow and develop – so I’d spend my visiting time just sitting near them reading US Weekly, eating candy compulsively and worrying, mostly worrying. I felt isolated and terrified and numb. It was wrong to leave every day without my children, to go home and sleep in my bed and have to call a night nurse to see how they were doing. Or worse, wonder if they’d call me because something was wrong.
In some ways I coped with the stress by shutting down. I never felt that I stayed long enough at my visits, I never felt that I did enough while I was there, there was a lot of guilt and no one to really tell me what to expect, what was normal.
By Christmas, both girls were home with us and if you’ve followed my life at all, almost four years later, we’re all doing fine. Along the way, Heather Spohr and I met through blogging and came to find out that our girls, Maddie and Sadie, were in the same weight class. Two teeny tiny loveable as sin babies almost the exact same age. We knew we had to meet and see for ourselves. And so we did. We met, held each others’ babes, laughed at the ridiculousness of infants who wouldn’t eat and then we began to keep each other company online and face to face when we could.
And then in April of 09, when she was only 17 months old, Maddie passed away completely unexpectedly. She would’ve been four-years-old today. Unthinkable. Wrong. All kinds of Fucked Up. Where do you start right?
Heather and Mike got an outpouring of love from the Internet who’d come to love their daughter through her pictures and videos. Mike and Heather donated $100,000 of that money to the March of Dimes and with the rest they started a charity in Madeline’s name called “Friends of Maddie.” The charity helps families who have children in the NICU.
I for one could’ve used a friend of Maddie while my babies were in the NICU.
In honor of Maddie’s birthday, Mike and Heather put a song that they wrote and performed called “You Are The One” on iTunes and are giving the proceeds to their charity. All you have to do to donate is download the song for .99 and then spread the word. I can’t link to iTunes but just go open your iTunes, search for Mike and Heather Spohr or “You Are The One” and buy it.
Please help me honor Maddie, sweet Maddie Moo.
You can find Heather’s blog, The Spohr’s are Multiplying here.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 12, 2011 6:07 am
This past weekend was pretty tough. Have I mentioned recently that my children are crazy? They’re getting better. I mean, it’s not like it was when they were two but it’s certainly not easy yet. Sometimes I feel bad when I see other moms of young twins -younger than mine. They will give me this pleading look and say, “It gets easier right?” And then I look them straight in the eye and say, “Oh yes, if you can just hold on until they’re two, you’ve got it made” which is an outright lie. But I am doing them a favor. Everyone needs hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, a reason to get through another day. And truthfully it does get somewhat easier but my twins are almost four and it’s still pretty constant.
They do entertain each other now though. I love to watch them have their private jokes with each other. They whisper and giggle and plan and scheme and are generally pretty darned cute -so see? I don’t bitch all the time! Sadie is also willful and demanding and insists on being carried everywhere and Matilda is emotional and sensitive and very very specific in her likes and dislikes -okay so a little bitching.
The thing that’s the hardest about having three kids honestly is keeping them entertained and coming up with family friendly things to do. I wrote a Babble post about the things I DON’T LIKE TO DO and I will follow it up with some things I do like to do but I need suggestions. Why not check out the things I’m not into first though so you know just what kind of freak you’re dealing with.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 24, 2011 5:43 pm