Coming up for air! #twinslife

I sit here this morning so scared to type what I am about to type. I am so superstitious…I worry these little moments of celebration are followed by more sheer madness

We are finding a rhythm and slowly finding sync in the twins life. For those that do know my family, we have a huge village of helpers…people that just have jumped in and given of their time, energy, efforts, resources…everything to help us learn how to take care of the twins. Once a week, my mom and nana come to our house, let us go to bed and sleep all night while they take care of the twins. In our world, we look forward to that night…it is like gold to us. Sleep is gold to us.

Last Monday, during the weekly sleep over…my mom and nana went rouge. Yes…they stepped outside of the box and did something we were so scared to do….

PUT THEM IN THEIR CRIBS TO SLEEP

What a novel idea. Yes, those cribs that take up half of the twins room. Those big white cribs that took me most of an afternoon to put together. Those cribs collecting dust while these parents trudged through the crazy shenanigans of letting them sleep at night in their “rock and plays”.

I think my poor nana, who has been helping so much had just had enough. She had it in her mind that she was tired of watching us…continue be so tired. We needed something to get us out of this month and a half purgatory of inconsistent sleeping patterns and fussiness.

Remember, the twins have been separated since birth. After being born over seven weeks pre-mature, they have spent most of their life in this world in separate sleeping areas. While in the NICU, they were separated in their own isolettes for health reasons. When we brought them home, they slept in their “rock and plays” to keep them up-right because of George’s acid reflux. We were in a rut and needed someone to jump start the next stage.

To date, for over a week, they have been sleeping at night in their beds. Actually, both in one crib, side-by-side, The other crib has now moved from collecting more dust to collecting all the excess pillows, blankets, boppies, and other twin things.

Henry is going to be a little extrovert, because this little guy is not only very verbal, but completely outspoken. Bottom line…he likes to fuss A LOT! But what we have learned, he just likes to be held. He likes human contact. He does not like to be alone. We find him in the crib, moving over closer to George just enough so his head is touching George. Henry loves people and he will let you know that he does not want to be alone.

George on the other hand…he is his own individual. He can sleep alone and is constantly fighting new battles each day. His acid reflux and hunger is the only thing that makes him cry. He actually has a little whimper and it is so cute. But from the day he was conceived, he has been Baby A. He is the smaller of the two and was confined to the bottom of Sarah’s tummy while Henry took all the space, resources, and attention. He is a fighter and hunkers down to tackle his little issues. He can sleep alone in the crib just as long as you make sure his tummy is full and acid is not coming up.

Many have used the phrase “wimpy white boys.” Well, we never heard this until the day they were born in the NICU. White males born premature struggle more to develop than any other race and gender combination of children.

As Barbara Abramson writes about her son Oliver for The Good Men Project,

“The doctors described the condition Oliver had as Wimpy White Boy Syndrome, a term often given to premature white males, as they tend to have underdeveloped lungs at birth and often aspirate fluid into their lungs. I felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck. I felt offended that descriptor that sounded like a racial slur would be used to describe a medical condition. And although it is not intended to be a racial insult, according to this article at Families.com, race does matter, as black girls tend to be the strongest at birth.”

Barbara was taken back by this phrase, and so was I…but, this is not about race…it is about the overwhelming statistics that premature boys, like George and Henry, have to work harder to develop and catch-up.

We have been in catch-up mode…retraining our brains to forget the difference in time between their gestational age and actual age…it is time to see them as babies…our baby boys.

But this 43 year old definitely feels like a wimpy white boy. I have been getting my ass kicked and sometimes I seek more than my faith to pray for the water to find it’s balance.

Each day is a new journey to find that new normal, that new balance of work, life, twins, Rosebud, my marriage, my health, and the many areas I serve passionately. Since June 10th when the twins were born…I have had to rethink how I approach my work…the business. Even though I work for a larger agency, it is my responsibility to grow our client footprint in the southeast and maintain our current client base.

Gone are the days when we put Rose to bed allowing me to dive into work for a few hours at night preparing for the next opportunity. I have to work faster, more efficient, and smarter. It has taken my close to three months to figure out how to do this with little sleep, little energy, a demanding home life and a demanding work life.

HOLY SHIT…IT IS SO FUCKING HARD

I am a man of faith … a faith that knows that God accepts me for who I am as long as I am willing to accept my salvation. I pray so hard each night. As my head hits the pillow, for a few hours of sleep, I pray immediately:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for a roof over our head,
Thank you for my ability and knowledge to provide for my family,
Thank you for Sarah,
Thank you for Rosebud,
Thank you for George,
Thank you for Henry,
Thank you for all the people that help us daily: Jennifer, Tom, Nana, Mom, Dad, Christine, Tim, Marlena, Ellen, #235’s, BBC, MOPS, and all those who cook meals for us daily.
Thank you for this family…
Dear lord…teach me patience…teach me grace…and please …. OH PLEASE…
TEACH GEORGE AND HENRY TO SLEEP!
Amen.

I say this prayer each night, for the patience to handle the purple people eaters. I say these prayers when they scream so hard, I have to put them down and walk away. I say these prayers because sometimes, this is the only thing I know to do when the world seems so so so hard. I say these prayers when the hospital and the insurance companies conspire to find a way for me to spend more money on stamps advocating for them to just pay the damn bills. I say these prayers for the patience, hoping that the looming $260,000.00 in bills will be considered in-network. I pray these prayers hoping that I can move back from just keeping my head above water, to breathing fresh air once again.

This morning…I write for the first time in weeks, because….honestly…I have been too damn tired to write anything. All my energy has been tied up in surviving.

But…here I am…coming up for some air. It is Rosebud’s 6th birthday and maybe this birthday will provide a renewed spirit as we continue to find life with twins. It is truly #twinslife for this #rettew5, and no matter how fucking hard it is…I still love Rosebud, George, Henry, and especially the woman I said I do with…Sarah.

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