This weeks featured blogger is Amy of The Grigsby Family. Amy is the proud MoM of 20 month old identical boys, Eli and Landon. Amy’s blog is fun, uplifting and full of some of the cutest pictures I have ever seen!
You started your blog before you were pregnant, what inspired you to start one?
My husband and I were planning on starting our family in the next year or so and I loved reading about my friends and their families through their blogs, so one day…I just started one.
What went through your head when you found out you were having identical twins?
Complete shock! The pregnancy itself was an unexpected blessing, so to go to our first appointment and find out that we were having twins was just beyond anything we ever expected! It was an extremely overwhelming afternoon. I couldn’t stop crying and Dustin couldn’t think of two words to say. The shock gave way to excitement very quickly though and we couldn’t wait to share our news with friends and family.
How was your pregnancy, did you have any issues along the way?
At about 12 weeks along, I started bleeding and immediately went to my doctor. She did a sonogram and found that the source of the bleeding was not a concern, but after taking measurements, she was quite concerned about the possibility of TTTS developing. Baby B was measuring bigger and had quite a bit more fluid than Baby A. Everything happened so fast and the next day, I was seeing a specialist in Houston. I was monitored very closely for about 12 weeks in Houston and then was allowed to transfer closer to home to doctors in Lubbock. Things would get worse and then better – it was quite a roller coaster ride. Thankfully, our situation never got to the point of needing any kind of intervention, although it did play into the early delivery of Eli and Landon. I was admitted to the hospital at 33 weeks to remain on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. My bloodwork came back abnormal, indicating that I was on the brink of a seizure, so the decision was made to deliver the next day.
What was your NICU experience like?
I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but our NICU stay of 4 weeks was quite honestly the hardest thing I’ve gone through. There is no way to be prepared for the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that is inevitable in the NICU. To this day, I think back to that time and tears come to my eyes. The smells and sounds and memories from that time are so vivid and will be with me forever. I wish I would have taken care of myself a little better, but that would have meant less time with my babies, so even if I had to do it over again…I doubt I would learn from my mistakes. The hardest part was that we live 1.5 hours from the hospital, so my husband could only be there on the weekends. Everything is easier when he’s by my side, so to go through this without him during the week was extremely hard on me.
What tips do you have for other MoM’s who may being going through the same experience?
*Let people help you! It blesses you and it blesses them. Let others take care of you so you can focus on what is most important…getting those babies home!
*Take care of yourself. Eat right, get some rest occasionally, and every now and then….step out of the hospital for a breather. I really struggled with this one. I would be at the hospital before it was light outside and stay until late in the night, only leaving for meals and the obligatory hour of shift change.
*Take an active role in caring for your babies. It’s a helpless feeling to not be able to care for your babies, but there are so many thing you CAN do in the NICU. Ask the nurse to let you change diapers, feed, rock, etc… I also really enjoyed kangaroo care, but had to request it every single time. It’s rare that a nurse looks out for your wants and needs (they are there for the babies after all), so make sure you stand up for yourself.
*Don’t hesitate to call. This took me a week or so to figure out. When you are up every 2-3 hours pumping in the middle of the night, put that NICU on speed dial and call up there and talk to your babies’ nurse. I loved hearing about the little things in the middle of the night….Eli and Landon sucking on each other’s fingers, how much they weighed (they were weighed just after midnight each night), how much they were able to take from a bottle, etc…
What are some of your favorite moments from the past 20 months?
It’s hard to pick out favorite moments…there are just so many. Coming home together was one of the best days ( http://adgrigsby.blogspot.com/2008/11/homebound.html )! In the early months, Eli and Landon would just lay on our bed and look out the window…so content and peaceful. I love the quiet moments, the loud moments, the milestones, their first birthday party ( http://adgrigsby.blogspot.com/2009/10/birthday-party.html ), each new step towards independence. I love it all. I even love looking back on the moments that make me crazy ( http://adgrigsby.blogspot.com/2010/03/meltdown.html ).
What activities do you like to do as a family?
We are very involved in the church here and we spend a lot of our time as a family doing activities with the church or attending worship services. We also travel a lot to see family since none of our family live in the same town as us. We like to go to the park and go swimming. Our evenings are usually full with dinner, baths, reading, and bedtime…there isn’t time for much else.
Do you get any “me” time? What do you do during that time?
I have an incredibly helpful and supportive husband. I am quite spoiled! He does the bedtime routine most nights while I clean up from dinner. Even washing dishes seems like “me” time when I don’t have two toddlers hanging on my legs! I enjoy the peacefulness of the evenings, while I do mindless tasks like dishes and laundry. I also love to cook and bake, read, blog, sew (I’m still learning), and talk to friends on the phone.
Dustin has also been so kind as to let me have a few weekends to get away and visit my best friend. I highly recommend this to any mom out there. I come back missing my babies like crazy and refreshed. It makes me a better mommy!
What question do you have for the other families in the community?
For those of you with more children, how did you know you were ready to add another little one into the mix and what are the pros/cons of waiting a few years vs. just going for it and adding to the chaos?
Be sure to leave your answer to Amy’s question in the comment section and then head over to The Grigsby Family to leave some bloggy love!