Callie’s Follow Up

Today Callie had her 2 week postnatal check up. Our OB ( the sweetest and pretty much sexiest OB ever) was so excited to see us. She spent a good 20 minutes cooing and cuddling and giving the boys head massages. It was super cute! She checked Callie’s weight (down to 143 from 166!), pulled the tape from her incision (which looks AMAZING!) and did some pushing and kneading of her uterus which she said will be back to normal in no time. Back to a bikini (yum!) this summer. Speaking of summer, Callie and I made the decision to sell our boat. I am truly devastated! It’s just an extra expense that we can’t really afford anymore. What with dockage fees, gas, and not being able to take the boys on it ( it’s a small 15ft fishing boat), it just makes more sense to let it go. An extra $4-5,000/year can go to college funds. In a few years, we’ll upgrade and get ourselves something with a little cabin and a bathroom. For the past 5 years it’s been awesome to just be able to get up and go… When I was feeling low or needed a break from life, I would get in and get out. We spent so much time on Dash. Now we’ll just go on Cal’s dads boat which is beyond awesome and lots of fun, but it’s not ours. It’s not our baby where we fell in love, made love, caught dinner and took friends out swimming. It’s were we taught Mary to swim, celebrated birthdays, danced to old school reggae on the bow, and watched some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. You’ll be sorely missed Dash…

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Anyways, so the appointment went very well. Callie’s mom works at the same shopping center as our Dr. We went to go visit her after our appointment and she was beside herself. She grabbed those two babies and went around the whole LegoLand showing them off. It was adorable to see her so excited. On the way back to the car, we stopped in Pandora and I bought Callie her official “push present”, or in our case a “section souvenir”. It’s a small charm with a handprint and a blue stone on the front, and “it’s a boy!” on the back. 2 more charms and the first 5 years of our life together can be told on an 8 inch chain. Best part of the day? Holding hands with my love, pushing our 2 boys down the street and about 15 people saying either “congratulations” ” what a beautiful family” or “you have beautiful babies”.

Tomorrow we have a pediatrics appointment and some last minute stuff to pick up for Mary’s birthday party on Saturday. In 2 days we’ll have a freaking 7 year old!!!! I know right?!? We’re getting her a bicycle, setting it up in her room while she sleeps and filling the whole room with balloons so when she wakes up she will be in heaven! I’ll fill you in on all of the changes in her case tomorrow afternoon after our meeting with her caseworker.

And finally, all this cuteness!

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Date Night

Having been cooped up in the house for two weeks was making us a little stir crazy! Today, we decided, we needed time for us. I went on Groupon and they had a deal at one of our favorite places, Bonzai Hibachi Grill! I called Wita and Wito who were THRILLED to be able to babysit their little grandbabies. We bundled up Mary and the boys, grabbed our wallets and were in the car 40 minutes after our phone call. My parents, my sister Raquel and her fiancé Sebastian, were waiting for us when we arrived. They were so excited to be able to spend time with the kids. We still almost cried when it was time to leave them, but we kissed them a million times and finally, FINALLY, made our way out the door and onto the road a few blocks from my parents for some delicious food.

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My mom actually posted this photo on her Instagram about 15 minutes after we left.

Dinner was fantastic! It was really nice to just hold hands with Callie, talk to her about a ton of random stuff, and just look at her, somehow still glowing even tho she isn’t pregnant anymore. We talked about our favorite things about being new moms and what we dislike the most. What has superseded our expectations and what we think the others strongest parenting skill is. We talked about what melts our heart about each kid and what we look forward to. And we looked at pictures! Lots and lots of pictures of our adorable little family. I mean, the whole night! We showed off our babies to the perfect stranger who were sitting next to us. I swear, if the waitress had come by one more time we would have shown her too. On the drive to pick the kids up, we talked about how ridiculous 90’s fashion was, where we had a big poofy bang but wet hair in the back. How we would wear baggy jeans with boxers showing with a huge t-shirt tucked in the front and out in the back! I mean, truly ridiculous stuff. We had a good laugh, an even better make-out session (boom chicka wow wow!), and to end the night we got to pick up our 3 beautiful children. Life couldn’t be better…and the break for 3 hours was well deserved….

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Second Week Down

These boys seem to be growing at the speed of light! 2 weeks old and they already feel heavier in my arms and it pains my heart. We are really starting to get the hang of this “being moms” thing. We have a set routine and the kids are all doing well. We have been parents to our little Mary for almost a year now, but somehow it’s still different. With Mary, we picked up where someone else left off, trying to put together some broken pieces, and doing our best not to harm her any more than she’s already been hurt. But with the boys, we start from scratch, square one. We have to do our best not to screw this up royally. So far though, it seems like we’re doing well! They aren’t starving, no diaper rash, and sleeping soundly through the night (for the most part, with the exception of waking them up every 3 hours for feedings). As of our pediatrics appointment last Wednesday (another one this Wednesday unless the 3 feet of snow in our forecast prevents it) the boys are an ounce away from their original birth weights, they are both still the same length (as expected), and everyone who has looked at their little penises say their circumcisions look “Beautifffuuulll!!!” Which of course we loved to hear! So far friends, so good.

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2 Whole Weeks

There are little things that we started to notice about them that make us forget that I didn’t personally birth them or inseminate Callie. Noah whimpers in his sleep and has the most gorgeous dimples. He has the most perfectly plum lips with gorgeous definition to them that makes him look like he’s wearing lip liner. His ears are attached (this has fascinated me since biology) and when his hair is wet it has a little curl to it. Levi only needs about 4 hours of sleep to function and is fully awake for the rest of the day. He is super active, always flailing his arms and kicking his legs, and he acts like a real tough guy. He’s going to be my future NY Giants quarterback. He loves music and boobs! These traits make these boys total Mendez babies! Callie and I agree that she was just the vessel. With the exception of their coloring, the blue and hazel eyes, and that ginger hair that Levi rocks!

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These were the photos taken at the hospital that we ordered and are waiting for them to be delivered but I couldn’t wait to share them!

We’ve had tons of company, which is great because a) I’m ridiculously social and love having people around b) we get to show off our fantastically gorgeous babies c) when it’s our families and closest friends we get to sleep. For 3 hours. And cuddle. And not change diapers. And not wash bottles (the Bottle Washing Struggle is REAL my good people!!!). We haven’t cooked a single meal in 2 weeks because everyone brings us food every day with tons of left overs for lunch (when we have time remember to eat). I threw on a pair of summer shorts that used to be a little snug and had to wear a belt because they were falling off of my waist! People have been so kind and generous and it reminds me how blessed we are to have such incredible people in our lives. I’ve been an emotional wreck, crying for all types of reasons, but knowing that we have so many amazing people in our lives really brings the tears right out. Even this blog community has shown us so much love. We have received some pretty awesome gifts from you all. Vans sneakers and socks, gift cards, toys…it’s been awesome! Much love to you all. Seriously! It’s incredible.

On the nursing front: Can you freaking believe that I still have no DAMNED milk!!!! I’m like almost over it, but then I put them at Breast and my heart melt, and I smell them and they look at me with those beautiful eyes and recognize that I’m their Mama and I realize that the closeness and the bond and connection is what I crave. I say, “Eff it! I’ll rinse this little tube out and use it again later.” I get to nurse them about 3 times during the day while Mary is at school (boundry issues with foster care. I don’t want her going around telling people she saw my breasts!) and once at night for their 11pm feeding before bed. That’s my favorite feeding, when I sing them songs and ABC’s (in Spanish which is the only language I speak to them in) and I watch their little hands clutch my skin and rub their eyes and sleep wash over them like waves on the shore. I love being a mom to these beautiful
boys. Im the luckiest Mama alive…

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Nursing Noah

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The boys first bath which they loved!

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Brothers?! YUP!

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They love this swaddler!

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We woke up like this! Flawless!

One Week

First, I wanted to say thank you to all my blog friends for sending such warm thoughts, offering kind words, and being so loving and encouraging…So thank you all, with every ounce of love we can muster (and at this point in our lives, love is in abundance!). I’ve been slowly catching up on blogs. I feel so outta the loop! I’ll get there…things are just busy right now, but you guys mean a lot to us and we’ll be reading time permitting.

So the boys are officially a week old! Can you believe it!?!?’ A whole freaking week! Sheesh!!! It’s been a whirlwind! The hospital was amazing and we had visitors every day. Was it exhausting? Yes! Was it overwhelming?! Absolutely! Was there love?! Like you have no idea!!! Life has been amazing this past week.

The boys are doing well, feel like they have gained some weight (Noah lost 6oz at the hospital but had gained an ounce before we left and Levi lost 3oz but hadn’t lost anymore at discharge), Callie is recuperating wonderfully (still in a bit of pain but a lot more mobile) and I am the happiest Mamá in the world! I’m nursing (yay 2 drops of milk!), Callie is nursing and pumping on average 10-15cc per pump which is spectacular (and surprisingly she LOVES nursing the boys, and they love it too), and we are also supplementing with bottles which gives them the nutrients they need. I use a supplemental feeling tube so most of the time they drink about half an ounce like that before they get tired and start fussing (I hate when they cry) and bottle feed them the rest. They are still learning the “breathe, suck, swallow” concept, but everyday they stay on the boob a little longer.

This week is full of appointments. Follow up at the hospital tomorrow, Lactation Consultant on Tuesday, Peds on Wednesday, Doula follow up on Thursday and Callie is trying to get her 2 week postpartum visit with her OB for Friday so we can knock out all of our appointments and just get them out of the way. We expect some more visitors this weekend so we’ve been keeping our weekends free with the exception of Mary’s birthday Ice Skating party on 1/31. She’s gonna be 7, and with us for a year! I can’t believe it! She’s been an excellent big sister so far and has been very helpful taking care of her brothers. The hospital gave her a “big sister” bracelet that she refuses to take off, and we gave her an “I Am A Big Sister” t-shirt that she wore so proudly to school last week. Her teacher even emailed us that Mary was on her best behavior that day and so proud. It melted our hearts.

But all in all, the Mendez clan is happy. We are enjoying every moment together, sleeping when we can, and loving harder than ever!

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One week old! Craziness!

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Noah has the best baby Mohawk!

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My parents and their 4 grandkids (Unfortunately Mary can’t have pictures posted, but they count her too)

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Ahoy mate!

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Mommy loves skin to skin

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The boys love it when I sing to them while they lay on my chest

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Looking as classy as ever in their take home outfits

The Macho Man and Bubba: A Birth Story

Life with twins! Ahhhhh! I’m still in shock and in awe of everything that has occurred in the past 36hours. I really wanted Callie to update about her own birth story because somehow I feel like it’s not my story to tell, but a)she’s passed out because b)she’s in quite a bit of pain c) Oxy is a hell of a drug and d) she was sort of outta sorts and it’s all a blur! But I’ll take you back in time to 8:35pm on Saturday night, 1/10/15.

Scene: Disastrous looking living room; my mom vacuuming; me sorting through a 3 drawer Tupperware bin as we rearrange our living room; Callie on the couch; Mary spinning in circles; cat on the window sill.

As I’m going through this bin which housed all of the old bird food for the birds that we gave away, Callie comes over to see if there is anything that I was throwing away that she might still need. She squatted down to look, and her back started to hurt. Mami encouraged her to sit down. As Callie got up, she made a face similar to this —>😳😳😳. I asked, in all of my hopeful excitement, “Did your water break?!?!?” She said, “I’m not sure, but I hope I didn’t pee myself!” and waddled off to the bathroom yelling, “It’s running down my legs!!!!”

As I looked at my mom with a similar expression to the one Callie had given me just a moment before, my mom dropped the rag she had donned since finishing vacuuming, and followed behind me as we both stood in front of the bathroom door waiting to hear more news.

“It’s just pouring outta me,” she said.
“What color is it?”
“I don’t know. It won’t stop enough for me to look”
“Ugh!! I have to know so I can pack! Let me just pack. I’m gonna pack! Wait! What do I pack? Would I be crazy to pack only shorts? It gest hot in the hospital! Are you ok? Do you need anything? MAMMMIII!!! Eeeekkkk!!!”
“Sammie, calm. Down! I don’t know what broken water is supposed to look like…”, Callie reminds me, as neither of us really knows d*ck shit about having babies!
“I’ll call my sister and find out!”

After talking to my sister, she confirmed that what was happening now, a consistent trickle of odorless, clear, cloudy fluid was more than likely and probably amniotic fluid. I packed (still have no clue what’s in the bag as I’ve been wearing the same thing for 2 days), called our doula (who was at the hospital before we were!-that’s dedication!), called all of our closest friends (Marco, Nikki, Tee, and Jenny) who were all out the door and on the road before we were too, our siblings and our parents, and got all of Mary’s bags together near the front door, all while watching my mom frantically clean the mess that was in our living room (“My gran-Baybee no comeen to dis casa wis all de dirty ova here!”). Callie, of course, had to shower, shave, blow dry and flat iron her hair, and dictate what she wanted me to pack for her as well. All the while, fluid was trickling out of her body in enormous amounts at an alarming rate (2 pads full in 30 minutes and through the pants alarming!). We called our doctor and head over to the hospital about an hour and a half after initial rupture. Luckily for us (we go to a medical group), the OB we have been seeing was there to deliver our babies and we absolutely ADORE her. We arrived at the hospital, checked in and were placed in our labor and delivery room. The nurses checked Callie’s vitals and then our dr showed up to make sure that her water had actually broken (although there was really no doubt), and to do an ultrasound to confirm the babies positioning and figure out if we would be able to deliver vaginally or if we would have to do a c-section. When it was known that Levi hadn’t turned from his transverse position, it was simple. C-section. Callie was disappointed but had already surrendered long ago to the possibility of it being a cesarean. She just wants what’s safest for both her and the babies, and I can’t disagree with that.

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“What’s the time frame?” I ask.
“Ummmm, an hour!”
“Oh shiiitttt!!!”
I was not prepared for that response. I walked out into the waiting room to the party that was awaiting, and informed everyone that in under two hours, Levi and Noah would be in the world and the newest members of our huge kick ass family. I walked back in, put my scrubs on, gave Callie a good foot massage while the doula rubbed her shoulders and we did our best to relax her, and then she was wheeled off to the OR to get her anesthesia, and I was in the recovery room, shaking, saying my prayers, and trying to remember the lyrics to “Little Things” to sing to them when they were born.

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The nurse came back to get me, and I walked into the OR, with it’s bright lights, a high five from our doctor, and confirmation that, “It’s a beautiful day to bring miracles into this world!”

After just a few minutes of talking to Callie, playing with her hair, kissing her, and telling her we were gonna be moms, we heard our Dr say, “Let’s have some babies!” Within seconds she says, “Oh hellllloooooo Noah”, a little suction and the most amazing sound I had ever heard in my life. My son, my gorgeously plump, pink, screaming boy was letting us know that he was here! That he was ready for his moms to love him and to hold him, teach him, and play with him. I never thought I would cry. I’m just not a crier, but I’ll admit I cried like I’ve never cried before. It was the kind of cry that takes over your whole body, that fills you with a kind of love that you have never felt before. An overwhelming cry for my son. I was in love, instantly. They brought him over to us and we got a good look. Then we hear, “And there you are Levi!” And more suction and another tiny cry, more overwhelming tears as my little man flashing muscles and a quivering lip. We get a quick look, and then they were in incubators getting cleaned and weighed and printed. It all happened so fast! I got to cut Levi’s cord, and cuddle my boys. I brought them over to Callie for a kiss and a hug before they were taken to the NICU for monitoring because of their premie status.

I stayed with Callie while they sutured her up, and told her about the cleft in Noah’s chin and his dimples, and how Levi was so tiny and skinny but has really big balls! We laughed and cried and prayed, and relished in the fact that after all this time, we have our boys and they are safe and sound and we’d be able to see them soon.

We wheeled Callie over to recovery where we stayed for about an hour for monitoring and then she was wheeled over to the NICU for her first real look at the boys. We’ve been in love ever since! The care and the nurses at this hospital have been incredible. We’re lucky that our babies are in NICU mostly because they didn’t make the 37 week cut off, but aside from Levi’s low glucose and rapid heart beat in the first few hours, they are feeding well (Levi is taking 30-35cc of formula and Noah is taking 40-45cc), and are having their 2 hour car seat test as we speak! They’ll be outta the NICU in just over 36hrs, but they quickly became the favorites! We have some serious lookers!

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Levi the Macho man always flashing his guns. He loves all the space he has now and sleeps like an upside down frog

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Noah, my little chubby Bubba who loves being sung to but refuses to open his eye because he has better things to do, like sleep!

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Levi

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All the Aunties and Uncle Marco

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Noah

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The first time our boys were together since the womb and our first family picture

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Noah (L) Levi (R)

WEEKS 34 & 35

Still no babies!!!  Believe me, we are as surprised as you are!  We definitely expected to have some babies by this point, but NOPE! Not the case!  These past 2 weeks have been very difficult for us.  With the holidays, Mary being home for 2 straight weeks while Callie was technically still on bed rest ( you can imagine the craziness!), and me having a pretty terrible upper respiratory infection, it has not been easy.  Our apartment looks like it has been flipped upside-down! I’m a neat freak, and I like things clean and organized, but this week all I wanted was sleep, and lots of it!

I guess I should really start by acknowledging the amazing year that was 2014 (Happy New Year everyone!).  2014 for us was filled with lots of love, support, friendship, and hope. In 2014 we got engaged, became foster parents to some of the greatest kids, got approved for IVF, found out we were pregnant…with TWINS, welcomed a new niece into the family, got a promotion at work, celebrated my sisters engagement to a great man, started a blog where I found a great network of friends and like-minded individuals, attended some beautiful and amazing weddings, and got MARRIED!  By far, hands down, 2014 has been the best year of my life!!!  I’m excited to see what 2015 brings, but something tells me it’ll probably be just as amazing…Cheers to 2015!

So week 34…my two little Spaghetti Squash are just wiggling and growing in there like you have no idea.  The boys hearing is apparently fully developed.  That’s great, because they are going to be musicians (duh!) so it has to be on point.  According to some of the apps we read, amniotic fluid peaks this week, they are measuring approximately 18 inches crown to heel, and should weigh just about 5 pounds.  During the week, we noticed more or less what their sleeping patterns are and when they are wide awake (thanks to the karate chops and roundhouse kicks happening in Callie’s belly).  For Callie’s birthday (12/26) we went out with some friends for Hibachi, and the boys absolutely LOVED IT, and spicy crab salad.  They are gonna love spicy things, it’s kind of inevitable. Her belly has started dropping some, and it is definitely getting quite heavy.  She is a trooper, and I am completely and totally in awe of the way that she is handling this pregnancy.  She amazes me every day…

WINNING AT 34 WEEKS

WINNING AT 34 WEEKS

Week 35 you ask?  It hasn’t gotten any easier on Callie, I’ll tell you that.  She is feeling the most uncomfortable she has felt through this whole pregnancy.  I’m pretty sure that at some point this week, if they don’t come on their own, she is going to reach in and pull them out!  I am gently encouraging her to start walking some and try moving things along.  After 12 looooonnngggg weeks of bed rest, the OB said she is officially off!  Not that it matters much, because Callie is so uncomfortable that all she wants to do is lay down.  A few days ago, we had a bit of nice, sunny weather, and we decided to take Mary outside to try out her new skates that she got for Christmas.  I figured I could bribe Callie with some food from the local pizza shop about a block over.  My poor honey damn near cried as we made our way around our building and to the corner.  The pressure on her “lower parts” is excruciating, and the weight of the babies on her tiny frame are giving her some serious back pains.  DAMN YOU GRAVITY for making my lady (and her lady parts) hurt so bad!!! We made it though, and the Sicilian slice she ordered was a nice reward for a pretty tough walk.  Our OB appointment went rather well.  They did a full scan of the boys tiny bodies again, and they are breathing on their own!  It was so cool to see their little chests going up and down, up and down.  We basically have 2 fully developed tiny humans as of right now.  Both boys are weighing in at over 5 pounds.  Noah is weighing 5lbs3oz and Levi is at 5lbs5oz.  Poor Callie is carrying almost 11lbs of baby on her 5’3″ 120lb frame.  She has only gained 33lbs during her pregnancy, but it’s fair to say that it’s all baby!  Her belly is measuring 44cm, which our Dr. couldn’t even believe.  Usually, it measures about a cm/week, so at 44 cm, she is already way past the full term size of a singleton pregnancy! And we thought that cervix was a problem! Unfortunately, Levi has decided to switch positions, and he is now transverse across Callie’s belly, so it’s looking more like a c-section if he doesn’t turn in the next week or so.

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GET IN POSITION LJ!

GET IN POSITION,  LJ!

We finally got scheduled (in ink and not just penciled in) for January 27th at 11:30am.  So in just over 3 weeks (at the latest) we will officially be MOMS!!! EEEEKKKK!!!  This week with Levi’s positioning, Callie’s ribs have really taken a beating!  Levi keeps head butting her in the ribs, and Noah keeps head butting her in the cervix.  For Callie’s sake, I hope they come soon, so she can find some relief.  I will mention, that her contractions are still pretty frequent, but for the most part, as of yesterday, they seem to be about 20 minutes apart and lasting a good 2 minutes or so.  I haven’t seen her writhe and wriggle in discomfort like that at all (with the exception of the 2 finger cervix check), so with that being said, send all your “Babies, get the HELL out” (in a  nice way) energy this way!  I will officially be posting their eviction notice this evening.