Archive for August, 2010

The very brief birth story of Animal and Mineral

Note: They are 7.5yo now, so many many of the details are hazy, but here’s what I recall. I wrote this for someone on mothering.com who asked about hospital vaginal birth of twins. Parentheses go into a little more detail for those who aren’t birthy people. I really wish I’d written their birth story just after I had them!

Monozygotic (“identical;” from one egg that split) twins with TTTS (they shared a placenta, with two sacs, and had a discordance in the shared blood vessels which is fairly rare).

I was induced at 34w due to IUGR  (intra-uterine growth restriction; not uncommon in TTTS donor twins) for several weeks (as seen in ultrasound) in baby A (Mineral). I had a lot of ultrasounds and non-stress tests and bio-physical profiles during the pregnancy due to TTTS. I was on bedrest from the day I found out I was having twins — with TTTS — at 18w til the day I gave birth.

I was induced with cervidil; I never had any cytotec or pitocin, thank goodness. I was supposed to get pitocin after 12h on cervidil, but I didn’t need it. They were born about 8h after it was inserted. I’m so grateful that the labor was fairly short.

I labored in my own clothes in a room on the “high-risk” floor — basically it just meant I was hooked up with continuous external fetal monitoring and there was no birth tub or anything cool like that. I had a fantastic doula who helped hold the monitors in place so that I could stand upright — I stood up for most of the labor. I am very grateful to her. I’m not sure I could have had a vaginal birth in the hospital without her.  (You can see her hand holding one of the monitors in my pic.)

I got off the monitors as frequently as possible to pee. I remember that being hooked up to two fetal monitors and one contraction monitor was REALLY annoying. It was hard to keep them in place. Luckily the nurses left me alone for the most part.

I had an epidural (by choice; I wasn’t into natural birth back then!) and felt the urge to push when Mineral”s water broke (spontaneously, fairly soon after the epidural). At that point I was rushed into an OR and could only have one person with me. I chose my mom (I was a single mom of twins, so it was just between my mom and my doula).

There were at least 10 people in the room. Obstetrician, maternal-fetal medicine doctor, nurses, neonatal doc, two NICU nurses — and for all I know there was a freakin’ orderly cleaning up in there, or a student, or a person reading time off the clock. I didn’t really care, except that they were all giving me different orders of what to do/not do. That was kind of scary, plus the urge to push was INTENSE. I felt overwhelmed.

(My mom always interjects the story of how I practically stood up on the bed and yelled, “Everyone calm down!” and one of the nurses gave me a look and said, “No; YOU calm down!” SNORT. I was 23 years old, I was single, I was not supposed to be in labor yet, and everyone was YELLING AT ME. Bitch.)

Mineral shot out without crowning. He was the donor twin, only 3lbs 11oz. Animal”s water broke about five minutes later and his foot slid out. He was a foot-first breech. At that point, everyone really started to yell at me to push. I did, and out he came. He was 5lbs 10oz.

Mineral

Animal

I’d been told that because there was a size discrepancy (which is a TTTS thing), and because Animal was bigger, it might be hours between them, but it was only about 10 minutes, if that. As soon as they were out, I thought, “I can totally do this again!” and I did, twice more, at a birth center and at home. And planning another homebirth with this one.

They were in the NICU for a week, a pediatric room for a few days after that, and then we all went home. They were kind of small compared to other kids for the first year or so, but they caught up fast.

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August 15, 2010 at 12:20 am 2 comments

The Wrist-Hair of Doom

I feel like I’m becoming Mrs. Duggar, or a moms on “Kids By the Dozen” — of which RenRedux’s cousin is one! — with all these weird pregnancy-related symptoms. At least I can comfort myself with the fact that this is only kid #5, so it’s not like this is normal for me. Here goes the freakshow list:

1. The Long Wrist-Hair of Doom (no picture)

I can’t take a picture because it’s just this one tiny hair but it grows like three times as long as my other arm hair — but only when I’m pregnant. It’s so weird. One hair. Only when I’m pregnant. If it were dark, I’d pluck it, but it’s actually very light. And long. It blows in the breeze.

2. The Cavernous  Diastasis Recti of the Mountains

My friend Heather first noticed it several months ago. I was laying down on my couch so that she could palpate my uterus — she has two sets of identical twins, and I wanted to know if she thought my uterus felt huge and freakish like hers had — and as I started to sit up she said, “Nice diastasis.” I was like, “What the what?” And then I looked it up. Somewhere between the twin pregnancy, the two singletons that followed, the weight gain, the incredibly invasive weight-loss surgery, the subsequent weight loss, and this pregnancy and weight gain (20lbs so far, and enjoying every meal), my abdominal muscles separated. And the space between is cavernous. And it moves.

Tonight I went out with Wii and we got pedicures and as I settled in my chair, it moved and the pedicurist (?) got all excited that the baby was kicking me. I said, “Nope, that’s just me,” and I flexed my stomach muscles (SNORT!) for her to make it move more. She was very impressed. (Incidentally, the baby is the size of a speck, and the kicks I feel are very low.)

It is begging for a name. “The Cavernous Diastasis Recti of the Mountains” is too long. Please advise.

3. My feet are growing.

This is a normal pregnancy one, but I find it particularly offensive. Shoes are expensive. Especially considering that last year I made a commitment not to buy cheap shoes — only high-quality footwear for me. Like my Keens, which actually probably still fit because I bought them a little big. But my Vibram Five Fingers are too small. UGH. UGH UGH UGH! They’re so comfy — unless they’re too small and squishing your right big toe. Even my ugly Cr*ocs are tight.

4. Beware the tiny cut

I tend to get infections when I’m pregnant. I hypothesize that my body does such a fantastic job gestating a baby, it forgets all about ME. After all, let’s not forget what this baby has been through so far: an abdominal and pelvic C/T scan with contrast dye; cold medicine — the kind that you’re specifically not supposed to take when you’re pregnant, it says on the box — for a few days; assurgery under general anesthesia followed by a month on hydro*codone (I miss you, hyco!); and the usual lunchmeat/unpasteurized milk that I consume daily. My body freakin’ LOVES being pregnant. When I was pregnant with Animal and Mineral, the high-risk Obstetrician I saw due to their Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome said that I do an awesome job at being pregnant*

*If only I did such a great job at parenting. My Masterpiece just walked into the computer room, completely naked, with a waffle in her hand, which she aimed at me and said, “A gun! A gun! Psssht! Psssht! Psssht!”

August 11, 2010 at 10:17 am 1 comment

The first recipe I’ve written myself

… after playing around with ripping it off from several different other quiche recipes.

Yes, it’s for a quiche. A vegetable/cheese quiche. If you succeed, your quiche may look like this (only maybe not quite so yellow/green. I’m still not great with my new Nikon D3000 camera.)

Ingredients:

Pre-made crust (I use Wholly Wholesome or Trader Joe’s brand)

1/4c butter

1/2 onion, chopped

whatever vegetables you have on hand

1 container Boursin cheese

4 eggs

1c milk

dash of salt (I skip this because I am an “over-taster,” according to My Chemical Romance. And he is a “person who is going to have a heart attack at age 40 from high blood pressure issues due to excessive salt intake,” according to me.)

Preheat oven to 375*F. Melt butter in a saucepan on low/medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook slowly until onions are soft and translucent. (Do not burn! It makes your whole house reek! And then you’ll wonder if you — and therefore your unborn child — are inhaling carcinogenic burned-pan smell and maybe you should start over with an entirely new pan. And then you’ll remember this is your fifth kid, and you probably did much worse with the first four.) Add veggies and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add boursin cheese and cook until melted.

In a small bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour a small amount of eggs/milk into pie crust. Cover with the veggie/cheese mixture. Pour the remainder of eggs/milk on top.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

August 8, 2010 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Or dear. It’s like Cream of Celery!

I’ve noticed lately that I’m getting a lot of hits from things like golden*shower.com and areal*s*xvideo.com and things like that, and I thought, Oh come on! It’s not called a ‘fistula’ because of fisting, people!

My Chemical Romance says it’s because of my name, Cream of Mommy Soup. But, you know, it’s like Cream of Celery or something! Not… ewww.

Should I change it? (again?) Sometimes I lean toward MommyMarinade.com since I love to marinade. Or is it marinate? Whatever. I can actually purchase that domain, mommymarinade, should I choose to.

Please let me know what you think!

In other news, Prop 8 (aka PropH8) was overturned. To which, if you can’t guess, I say HELLSTHEEFFYEAH!

I used to have my minvan covered in bumper stickers of all kinds — including “Don’t blame me. I was raised by wolves.” (Sorry, mom) and “Visualize Whirled Peas.” I had probably 10 stickers on there. Then I decided to get rid of everything except the ones that were really important to me.

So I kept my Cardigan Welsh Corgi Euro-sticker, and

However, when I was looking for that bumper sticker image, I totally wanted to buy this one:

SNORT.

There is something about gay rights that has always been a big thing for me. I can’t explain it. I have no dog in the fight. I don’t even have any close gay friends.

Maybe it’s not even gay rights — I just have empathy for people who are told that they can’t do XYZ because they’re ABC. I’m sure if I’d been around in the 1960s, I would have marched for equality; I definitely would have been all about suffrage. Gay rights seems to be the hot topic for my generation.

I just don’t get wanting to deny the right to marry. Seriously, why not? Marriage is a legal thing, but don’t we all have our own interpretation of it? No two marriages are alike. If two people genuinely want to get married, who am I (or you, or anyone) to say NO? Sorry, you do not have the opportunity to be an idiot like Britney Spears and get married in Vegas for 20 hours. Nor do you have the right to be like Elizabeth Taylor and pledge commitment to someone “til death do you part” — seven different someones.

Apparently we simply hold gays to a higher standard than that.

A really interesting book on the subject of marriage — historical through contemporary — is Elizabeth Gilbert’s follow up to Eat, Pray, Love, which is called Committed (A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage).

August 7, 2010 at 10:00 am 2 comments

The Final Wet Wipe

I have watched nearly every season of The Bachelor/ette. I am not proud of this. So, last night, while I was watching Ali play with her urine-yellow extensions in the same way that she played with poor Chris’ heart, and My Masterpiece — who was upstairs dropping clean laundry over the landing — was shrieking because she’d taken too long of a nap, and wasn’t tired at 10:00pm — I thought about the Bachelor/ette for children.

I don’t want to fake-engagement-then-dramatic-break-up them off; I just wonder, what would life be like if moms and kids were on a reality show in which some children get sent home (to be taken care of by their dads?!?!? SNORT) and one final child gets The Final Wipe in the Most Dramatic Wet Wipe Ceremony Ever:

  • Group dates would take place at a park which has a secure fence and is not in proximity to a major street. Only because I once my took my then-only-two-children-as-opposed-to-my-current-four children to a park and they both ran straight for oncoming traffic. (I have no idea why California has fence-less parks so close to major roads.) In a fit of what can only be described as genius, I tripped one, and grabbed the other. I was 9 months pregnant with The Informant. My water broke that afternoon.

  • Two-on-one dates would be canceled. Really, what is less fun for a mom than trying to give her undivided attention to two children at once? And the part where she asks for alone time with one — I can only imagine what the other child would get into. On-camera, of course.
  • One-on-one dates would consist of trips to the grocery store or Target, or other errand-like activities. The losing children after these dates would be sent home with leashes.

  • Romantic overnight dates would be changed to nap dates.
  • Moms would never choose the key for the shared “fantasy” suite. Seriously, it’s not a fantasy when you’re sharing a bed with a two-year-old who likes to sleep perpendicular to you while scratching you with her claw-like little toenails all night, My Masterpiece.

At the end, the moms would take the children for the final evaluation: by their families/babysitters/friends. Then she would talk for forty-five minutes about this (endless) journey and the (umbilical cord) connection she has to each child and make her pick.

After the Final Wet Wipe would take place in a therapist’s office, with Chris Harrison acting as mediator.

August 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm 2 comments

Friday Night Jugs

Every Friday night, My Chemical Romance goes to Nerd Night; Animal, Mineral, The Informant, and My Masterpiece watch a movie, and I have my girl friends over for Friday Night Jugs.

I have no idea how FNJ officially started. I love playing cards — my parents are actually professional card players, so games are part of my vernacular — but I refuse to play with My Chemical Romance because he is smarter than me and usually wins, and I’m a sore loser. Wii, on the other hand, is more my intellectual equal — at least when it comes to cards. Wii’s husband works very late most nights, so we were probably hanging out on a Friday night with our kids and they were bogarting the TV, so we decided to play cards like intelligent adults (SNORT).

Then we invited Nice-Nice, because she lives very close to me now, and she brought her baby, E, who still refuses to eat anything that doesn’t have Nice-Nice’s nipple attached to it.

I think next we invited Renaissance Redux — there! You officially have a nickname, RenRedux! I’ll explain it later — and Das Goofendorfer, both of whom have nursing babies.

In fact, everyone but Wii is either pregnant or nursing. I do not think she feels left out, though. She did nurse for four straight years.

Finally, Wii brought in The Mathlete, because we needed someone smart. She has the youngest baby, less than three months.

Occasionally we have She’s Super Sweet, and once we were graced with Six Degrees of Lora. She’s a photographer and everyone in the crunchy community “knows” her.

There are a few rules:

1. It’s always at my house and I make the best food. It’s at my house because four kids — and a half — trumps two (the next closest), and those two are Wii’s kids, who can hang with my kids if her husband isn’t home. Everyone else has not-quite-mobile babies. Also, Nice-Nice, RenRedux and She’s Super Sweet live very close. So it’s easy to get together for a game of four.

I make the best food because… I just do. Last night I cooked baked potato skins (sans bacon), mashed potatoes (made from the insides of the baked potato skins for Nice-Nice, whose baby doesn’t tolerate cheese), and black forest chocolate cake with overly-sweet vanilla frosting that I’d made for Nice-Nice the day before, when she watched my kids. Prior to that, I spent a few weeks experimenting with various deviled egg recipes.

I love cooking for FNJ because they appreciate my food!

2. When we have food, it stays in the kitchen.

This rule was instituted after a game-less game week in which we brought the food into my dining room and rather than play cards or games, we all stuffed our faces and yacked like girlfriends do all night. Wii said it was because the food took up the table, so we didn’t have any room for games.

3. Nice-Nice finds something offensive.

Nice-Nice herself isn’t actually offended; she merely points out that a certain phrase, gesture, word, look, food, child, joke, story, name, picture, internet site, magazine, book, movie, article, or Face*book game could be considered offensive. And how.

4. We offer three invitations to Friday Night Jugs; if you are invited and turn us down three times — without good reason — you are crossed off The List.

Honestly, I can’t see why anyone WOULDN’T want to come back after they attend once. The Mathlete drives over 25 miles one way for FNJ. Because it’s that awesome 🙂

I love Friday Night Jugs. It’s very refreshing after a long week, to hang out with my girlfriends. I look forward to Daylight Savings ending, when I can put my kids to bed even earlier and get more girl time!

August 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm 4 comments


About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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