28 Apr 2012

Somewhere, some way...


Somewhere, some way, there will always be one of these beds waiting for a baby born too soon.

Let's help Ronald McDonald House Charities ensure there is a bed waiting in a nearby 
Home Away from Home for Mom & Dad too!

25 Apr 2012

Plan A...No, Plan B...Maybe Plan C?

Recently I was chatting to a couple of co-workers about the challenge some people face with letting go of their "ideals," when something in their life is really telling them, "it's just not going to happen."  Kind of like chasing that dreamboat guy, who is just "not that into you."  It is hard to let a dream die and move on. 

It could be a long held belief or ideal that you will step-by-step become a lawyer or a doctor.  Or you will get married on a beautiful, sunny day.  Instead, you find you cannot afford the schooling it takes to become a lawyer or you don't have the stamina to work 24 hour long shifts in a hospital setting, yet you still hold onto the dream--even if you stop pursuing it for a while, figuring you'll get back to it some day.  Or you wake up on the day of your wedding day, to dark skies and storm clouds moving in fast.  You can either cry about it, or suck it up and listen to those that tell you the myth that rain on a wedding day is good luck.  You can let go of the dream and focus on new options or you can get stuck in a rut and depression, wishing for something that cannot be and in turn losing focus of the most important thing...yourself.

As I was pinning along one evening this week, I came across a quotation, as though someone knew what I had just talked about with my friends.  The quote, "We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to live the life that is waiting for us."  This is what brought on my post tonight.  I love this quote.  I can relate to it in many ways.

The main way this quote really hits home, is when I think about my sadness at the loss of some of my dreams and expectations when my babies, the twins in particular, were born so prematurely.  It seems silly to me now, but at that time because my head was reeling with so many what ifs and fears, I was somewhat upset that my twin boys may never get to play baseball together.  I had always envisioned them running the bases together on a nice sunny day!  When the twins were born, I was suddenly faced with the thought that they may not ever walk...maybe not even live.  At that time I made the quick decision to stop focusing on the coulda beens and focus on them right then and there at that moment and figure out how to help them get through this unexpected--never dreamed of--situation.  If I had not been able to make this decision, I could have fallen into a deep depression, which wouldn't have been good for anyone involved at that very difficult time.  At that time of our lives, my husband and I had made the decision to try to focus on the positives, think positive and the promise of the future.

The life of the NICU is all about one step forward and two steps back and going with the flow.  Make Plan A, Plan B and probably even a Plan C to be prepared.  The thing with this is, there will never be a perfect plan.  I personally believe the best way to get through the NICU is to keep maintaining an open mind, communicate with the specialists working with your babies, let your needs and hopes be known, but at the same time continue to be flexible, as not everything will go "according to plan..."

20 Apr 2012

Twins + A Shopoholic = Scary

Rows and Rows of Clothing!
Tomorrow I will be attending my third POMBA (Parents of Multiple Births Association) seasonal sale.  This sale is ginormous! It's the sale of sales.  In this sale, those selling, will be selling single strollers, twins strollers, triplets strollers, gently used clothing, toys and all kinds of baby gear--high chairs in multiples, bikes, trikes, Exersaucers, Bumbos, you name it...we've got it!

When I first arrived on the scene of POMBA, I was about 6 months pregnant (and what I didn't know then, only about three weeks from my sudden delivery date.)  When I arrived at this sale, I immediately knew, this is where I "belong."  There were rows and rows of tiny baby clothing up to about age 12 or so.  There were baby toys, equipment, nursing pillows stacked high, and anything else "baby" that one can think of.  It was like a kid's first visit to Toys R Us! Where to focus?  What to walk to first, at a very fast pace, without looking like a crazy person?

When many first find out they are having twins, they think, Oh my Looorrd...how are we going to afford this?? Seriously??  You might start thinking of an upgrade from a car to a crossover...or in my case the horrid mommy vehicle of all mommy vehicles...the mini-van!  The father in the scenario might have gone into panic attacks over money issues as soon as he heard the ultrasound technologist say, "It's twins."  Or maybe he thought that after you pulled him up off the exam room's floor.  Either way, having children, let alone twins is not cheap. 

Once I came upon this POMBA sale I realized how great this opportunity would be to make money back off the items I sell and then be able to put that "newly found" money into the next major items we would need.  It's an awesome and perfect cycle.  Out with the old, in with the new.  If this sale didn't exist in my life, I would not have such an understanding hubby, who likes money...in his bank account...not invested in all kinds of kids gizmos and gadgets.  The fact of the matter is that many of the big ticket items for babies and children never actually seem to depreciate in value much.  This is another big perk of this kind of sale.  Sometimes you can buy an item, use it for a short period of time and then potentially turn around and sell it for the exact same price you or very close to the price you bought it for.  Not that I am saying you can buy your kid a soccer ball, kick it around all summer long and then expect it sell it for the same $8.99 you bought it for at Walmart.  It is the big ticket items, like a stroller or a highchair, which you take good care of and use it as any normal parent would, then turn around and sell it when the kid(s) grow out of it.  These are items that I have yet to really suffer any major loss over cost.   

Tomorrow I will be shopping with my lists of needs and wants to prepare for the upcoming Summer months.  A few clothing items, possibly some decent backyard toys, a bike and whatever else pops out.  If you're not afraid of consignment shops or gently used kids clothes and toys stores, then this kind of sale is also for you!

If you follow this link you can find Canadian POMBA (Multiple Births Canada) Chapters and their "clothing sales."  http://www.multiplebirthscanada.org/english/index.php

If you follow this link you will be connected to the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs in the United States, where you can find sale information on clothing sales under, "Member Club Links." http://www.nomotc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=49

These sales are well worth the time and effort to store your items and then sell them each season or each time your Club has a sale. 

2 Apr 2012

One Year Anniversary

I've been blogging for one year now. It has been a great experience and has connected me to people from all over the world...which I do think is much thanks to Twitter and my grasping the concept of hashtags.  This year I've been able to master blogging (well I guess this will always be a learning experience and work in progress,) the Twitterverse...the lovely Pinterest...and now, as of recent, I've managed to parlay these experiences into my actual every day, paid job! Life could not be better!  Well, yes it can...my babies are going to be turning 2 in less than one month!  Yes, I still call them my babies!  They are teeny men, more like the size of 12 month olds, and they will always be my babies at heart.

Some really amazing experiences have come out of my blogging and Tweeting. I was able to meet one very awesome NICU nurse from the States with a Canadian connection, while she was in the area on holidays with her family.  She has an amazing website for NICU families.  I've spoken to people from all around the world through my blog, which led me to Twitter, which led me to more people.  I have had people reading from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, UK, Phillipines, Australia, you name it.  It's amazing!  It seems the biggest number of followers are from the United States! So thank you to them and of course everyone else that stops by.  I've really enjoyed some of the comments that people take the time to make and it can really make a preemie mom feel like she's not alone. 

I know I ruffled some feathers and got many in the neonatal profession chatting with a few postings; particularly my "Lockdown" blog. Twitter lit up quite a bit following that posting and the month I posted it was the month my readership really skyrocketed.  Now to come up with some more seriously thought provoking blogs...

I am grateful for the fun and creativity my blog has to offer me, as well as for all of the awesome men and women I've met along the way.  It is a good feeling to know my information on our particular NICU experiences just might help families in similar situations or maybe even help others not having gone through it to understand the feelings and experiences a bit more.

At this point in time, we are closing in on Birthday # 2 for the twins and Birthday #4 for preemie #1.  The twins now really know how to express their own personalities, one is walking and the other is sick of watching his "older brother" walk, so he's now really thinking about walking.  Their language development is suddenly taking off, and although they are behind in this area for sure, we know that they are understanding and now making every attempt to say a word when asked.  Preemie # 1 would like a Hot Wheels birthday cake AND a Spiderman cake, so we'll just have to see what we can do!  After all these boys have been through, I'll let them have their cake and eat it too!