Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So many raspberries this year! So much yumminess.....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

our first beach day!

Summer is finally here.... No more school for my kindergartener...

On his last day...coincidentally wearing the same shirt he wore on the first day!

...and lots of hot, humid days that keep me in a constant pool of sweat in my un-airconditioned home. Our first "Friday Beach Day" (I meet some friends and their kidlings every Friday for some beachin' fun) of the summer was a welcome reprieve from my daily marathon in my hot home.....

Their first day hangin' at the beach. Nothing like the fresh, salty, warm air for a good long nap!!

What I see while I nurse my boy on the beach.

Talkin' to the seagull.

How lucky am I to live so close to the beach??!! Who knew New Hampshire had such nice beaches??!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the euphoric month

one month old
I am finally getting around to sharing what has truly been a month of pure euphoria. I can not believe that the last time I wrote here, one month ago, it was the very day I went into the hospital. I was actually writing the blog entry when I realized that the excessive amount of fluid coming out of me just may not be pee this time since it just kept coming and coming...but at such a slow "drain" that I didn't think much of it. Until it simply didn't stop coming. I decided to call the doctor. Who told me to come to the hospital.


So...since I had had a couple false alarms already, I didn't take it too seriously. BUT, I had to take it somewhat seriously since it was about "that time" that I should be birthin' some babies. I went upstairs to tell Mr. Incredible and was about to go by myself, assuming I'd be home in a couple hours, but, thankfully, I thought twice about that. I called my neighbor who had offered to take my kidlets if I needed to rush to the hospital. She willingly took them for the evening (or so I thought....) and the hubby and I drove to the hospital.

After a fairly quick test, it was discovered that my water had actually "ruptured" (my water never broke with either of my previous pregnancies). This wasn't no "evening at the hospital". This was the real deal. Maybe making those oreo cookies did the trick??

Jim took this picture before I realized my water broke. Little did I know this would be the very last picture of me (ever!) preggers..... I lost 32 pounds right after giving birth! Yowza!!

Based on my previous labor and deliveries, I knew this was going to be a long night. Unfortunately for the doctor on call, she had to wait all night for me to go into labor, but I never did. I had contractions, but they weren't worthy of pushin' babies out. At about 4am, she gave me some drugs to induce labor and some to numb the pain of labor. We waited. And waited. And waited. I was having lots of contractions, but I didn't feel a thing. I love drugs.

At about 12:30pm, I was finally about ready to deliver. At about 1pm, I was wheeled into the operating room. Every mom of twins has to deliver in the operating room since there is more likely a chance for complications. I pushed for about a half hour and at 1:34pm, my first boy arrived. Not knowing I was supposed to take a break between babies, I kept pushing. My second boy arrived only 8 minutes later at 1:42pm because I was pushin' away -- and it was too late for me to stop by the time the doc had said, "wait! wait! wait! Don't push so fast!"

Two boys. Not the boy and a girl like most people had predicted. Once I got over the initial shock that I had delivered two boys, the strangest thing happened. I knew what their names should be and I knew which one was which. I knew with such certainty that it felt very strange to me. I always thought it was weird when people suggested to "wait until you see what they look like before you name them." Don't all newborn babies look the same?? And, while they don't all look EXACTLY the same, they certainly don't look ANYTHING like what they look like the rest of their lives. So how the heck does anyone know what the name should be once you see them? Well, when this feeling came over me, I had not had much of a chance to see my boys , so this was purely a gut reaction. A very powerful gut reaction that made me not have any doubt in my mind what names to call them and which baby went with which name. Yes, Jim and I had discussed names and had an idea of what we wanted to name the new additions to our family, but since we didn't know the sex of the babies, we had several names picked out for both boys and girls.

SIDE NOTE: Jim has been OBSESSED (to say the least) with family history and has spent every spare second (literally) on his computer learning about our family's ancestry because we both wanted only family names for our children and when I was taking too long to think of names, he took over. To the point where I wouldn't see him for an entire weekend or any night during the week because he would be upstairs at his computer working on ancestry stuff. 8,000(!) family names later, we had a few options for both girls and boys names. We narrowed them down to about 3 girls names and 3 boys names we liked-- we were going back and forth on some of the names, so that's why we had 3 for each.

ANYWAY......Baby 1/Baby A was clearly Anders and Baby 2/Baby B was clearly Niels. There was no question in my mind. Here are their stats:
Anders Osler Kappelman: 6lbs. 12oz. and 20"
Niels Stanley Kappelman: 6lbs. 3oz. and 19"

They were drawn to each other immediately. The nurses put them in their individual beds and they were fussing so they tried putting them together and they instantly calmed down. How sweet is that??

Both were doing fine initially, but then Niels took a turn for the worse and was having a difficult time breathing. It was clear to me something was wrong when I held them both and Niels was wheezing and whining and was a very different color from Anders -- a strange reddish, purple color. I simply thought I was going to have a collicky type of baby (I have never had one before, so I assumed I was due for one!).

While I was meeting with one of the many people I had to talk to after the babies were born, the nurses were noticing Niels wasn't doing too well. After taking him away, and then taking an xray, they discovered he had a lot of gunk in his lungs and fluid all around them, so he was put into an incubator with some oxygen overnight. The next day he wasn't getting better so he was sent by ambulance to another hospital 30 min. away with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (there's no NICU in Exeter Hospital). That night one of his lungs collapsed and he wasn't doing well at all so he had even more tubes put in him -- feeding tube, tubes in his lungs, an IV, etc..... I decided to stay at the hospital with Anders to take care of him since I couldn't do anything for Niels. I didn't see Niels for 3 days after he was born. It was very strange to have had twins, but to only have one in my care after they were born.

As for Anders, he had jaundice, so we stayed another day at the hospital. He was feeding great and mostly doing well, but it made me sad that he wasn't with his brother. When we finally did go visit his bro, it was a sadly surreal experience. I couldn't believe my baby boy was in an incubator with so many tubes in him. It was so bizarre.

So many tubes in such a wee body.

Niels didn't seem to get any better for a few days. Finally, he turned the corner 5 days after he arrived at the NICU. He could finally eat on his own and I could finally hold my boy in my arms and even nurse him. He did great right away. I was soooo relieved.

The first time Niels was able to come out of the incubator and into our arms.

He had to stay a few more days to take his last doses of antibiotics. I stayed with both my boys in the NICU the last night Niels was there to see how he would nurse overnight. He did great. It felt incredibly good to be with both my boys. Finally.

First day home.

After dealing with lots of red tape, way too many incompetent nurses (it was not the greatest experience at this NICU), and a NINETY MINUTE test to see if Niels could handle his car seat (wha??!!), we finally left the hospital. Hopefully never to return!

Since the boys have been home, I have to say that it has been a blissful experience. That is largely due to my mom being here for 3 weeks and there are few people more fun -- or more helpful -- to be around than she is. The other reason is that I honestly feel beyond lucky to have two such healthy babies and two such healthy, helpful, well-behaved toddlers. I feel like I am living in a dream because having 4 children truly is a dream come true for me. I simply can't say it enough -- I love being a mom. I love love love love love it. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a mom of four. Just ten years ago, I was sure this would never happen because it was too good to be true and I was in a world o' hurt at that time. Now I am so thankful for that time because it has made this sleep-deprived but joyful time so much sweeter and it's very difficult to get me down these days.

As Jim keeps saying, "we got ourselves a family!"

Daddy has been pretty darn happy as well these days

Here are some pics from the past month:

2 weeks old

3 weeks

Niels with Big Pa

Anders with rabbit ears from Aunt Wendi

Niels in his first bath

Anders in his first bath

My farm boy decided he wanted to try planting mushrooms. It took him two FULL days to do it. He thought he had 300 to plant. Turns out he had 900. It was QUITE the process.....

There were strawberries to pick as well. I made two batches (10 jars) of jam!

The proud -- and extremely helpful -- brother and sister!

Note that Niels is usually the one crying. Anders is as mellow as can be.....

Anders is usually the one awake just lookin' around while Niels is either sleeping or crying.
Thankfully more sleeping than crying.

There are so many things I love about having newborns in my home, but one of the top on the list is having meals brought to me. I think that is seriously the best gift to give a new mom. It is SO nice to not have to think about what to cook for dinner, then not to have to shop for the meal and then not making the meal...it's amazing how much time it takes to put a meal together! I am so incredibly grateful every time someone brings a meal and I wish I could express my gratitude enough to make each person realize how grateful I am!!

And speaking of...how does anyone thank a mom enough for all that she does? "Thanks for all your help mom!" just doesn't seem to cut it for a mom.... I just hope I am at least half the mom to my kidlings as my mom has been to me. She is not only fun and helpful, but wise, thoughtful, generous, full of joy, lighthearted, whimsical, smart, a lover of life and everything about it. I love her more than words can express and am so very thankful for having someone like her for a mom.

She is going to kill me for posting these pictures because while she was at my home she was treating her skin for skin cancer which made it very blotchy and she was embarrassed to see anyone -- let alone have pictures taken of her. She is always beautiful to me.

I love being a mom as much as mine clearly does, and always has, and I am so very thankful for that. There is no better job in the world. Even as I am writing I have a very tired and wailing girl upstairs (sent to her room for misbehavior), a crying baby waiting to be fed while I finish nursing a hungry baby (the crying baby just woke up) and a HUGE pile of laundry on my bed for me to fold and put away after I have put all four kidlets to bed (Mr. Incredible is out of town this week) -- after a night of the babies not sleeping between the hours of 2am and 4am. And I still love motherhood.