Saturday, April 26, 2014
Where Have I Been: Part 3- Holy $#%& I Have Preemie Infant Twins and a Three Year Old
We started to adapt to our new life. My daughter fell in love with her "baby tinies" and we tried to settle in to our new normal.
The twins are seven months old now and those first days at home seem like many years ago- I remember them through a strange haze- even at the time I felt foggy and fuzzy, almost like I was underwater. Sleep deprivation will do funny things to you! I did not breast feed them, I pumped exclusively for three months, which was an enormous struggle for me, and was elated to return the pump, vowing NEVER to look at one again. Why didn't I breast feed? I say this 100% without guilt- because I didn't really feel like it. Yup. I just didn't want to. I had nursed my older for six months and it sucked ballz. I did not enjoy it. I pumped at work which was torture, it hurt, I had issues with production, I never felt like my daughter was getting enough, and I basically hated it and stressed about it constantly. I nursed the littles sometimes, when I thought it would be more convenient or better for them or whatever, but it was just too much. I still had issues with production despite trying EVERYTHING and I mean everything, finally resorting to ordering Domperidone from freaking New Zealand. It did nothing to boost my supply and I was thrilled to start weaning in November. Between pumping (which I had to do no matter where I was, every three hours) feeding, changing, and dealing with my toddler, it was just a lot. My husband was back at work, my daughter was in school half a day three days a week, I still had a freelance gig despite being on maternity leave from my real job... and I was trying to get my head and body back after having been through a traumatic experience. I was recovering from a lot.
Friends and family helped, knowing I was going back to a job I loved helped too. We spent Thanksgiving in Chicago with my family and made plans to take a belated trip to Quebec over Christmas break. These things gave me strength and perspective, and slowly we made it through the newborn phase, relatively unscathed. I struggled through many trying, desperate times. I cried a few times in frustration and isolation. But the babies thrived, my daughter was elated beyond words to be a big sister, and my husband and I were eternally grateful for our good fortune. It's easy to type these words now, the twins have just started sleeping through the night and after over six months of only a few hours of sleep here and there, we are getting back to a more normal nighttime routine. Well, whatever you can call normal with three kids under four anyways.
It has not been easy. We are frustrated and have incredibly short fuses. My three year old tests my patience and challenges me constantly to remain calm and stay in control. My younger daughter has been a terrible eater from day one and will not take a bottle from anyone but me or the nanny (thank goodness) and eats only a teeny little bit- so she is only about 12 lbs give or take at 7 months! But she's a darling little sweetie pie and smart as a whip and an absolute joy. My son, my big boy, my little daredevil, is always making noise, either giggling or cooing or screaming for attention. A big wet kiss from him is melt-worthy.
Okeedoke. So that's that. That is my life in a nutshell. I giddily went back to work in December and thank the lord I was able to do so. God knows I am certainly not working for the money- since I pretty much give my whole salary to the nanny or to preschool! But it's worth it, and it works for me and my family. I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom- but I am home two days a week which to me is plenty.
So finally- yes, this is a FOOD blog, I know. Talk about food how 'bout then!?!?! Geez.
I am now 100% paleo. I do not eat dairy (however I use organic heavy cream in my coffee and Kerrygold butter) and to top it off I have new allergies and intolerances since giving birth. I can no longer eat most nuts and that has been a challenge. So baking has not really been at the top of my list- but when I occasionally do it is with coconut flour or using sunbutter. Meal-wise- I keep it SUPER simple. Gone are the days of elaborate meals with lengthy ingredient lists and preparation. Most nights, if I'm not throwing a kitchen sink salad together, it's roasted protein of some kind and roasted veggies. I set the oven at 425- put in a tray of meat, a tray of veggies, and dinner is ready about 25 minutes later.
I also have become a pretty big believer in intermittent fasting. I have done it loosely for a long time, just because I don't like breakfast, so I am just a bit firmer now. I have a six hour eating window, so about 1pm to 7pm, and I fast about two days a week. I don't plan on doing this forever. But I do believe that for now, it is working. I believe that when you are fasting, your body can spend energy and resources on healing and detoxifying rather than digesting. Fasting lowers blood sugar and your body learns to use fat for energy instead of glucose. My blood sugars have been stellar and I am able, as a type 1 diabetic, to live without ANY diabetes drugs of any kind. Will I always be able to live without insulin? I don't know. Maybe. But every year I go not dependent on insulin is a win in my book.
I gained 26 lbs with this pregnancy. That doesn't sound like much, and indeed I wish it had been more so those babies could have fattened up a bit more before they arrived, but you have to remember that I lost a TON of muscle. Bouncing back, while not half as bad as many women have it I fully admit, has still not been as easy as I thought it would be. After my first I was less than my pre-pregnancy weight at my 6-week post-partum appointment. The weight fell off and then some from breastfeeding and I assumed it would be the same this time around! Nope.
I have a very full schedule and I do not have the luxury of hiring a sitter everytime I want to take a fitness class. Luckily I have a treadmill and now that the weather is improving I can plan on a 40 to 60 minute walk everyday, provided I get up at 5am to do it! But for me, exercise is both therapy and medicine, and I can tell my mood is shit on the days I don't get myself moving. I am happier and more energetic if I exercise every day.
I am working on cutting myself some slack in the body image department. It's been tough. I had become used to seeing myself a certain way. I have to remind myself, multiple times a day, that I have the rest of my life to sculpt and define my body just so, but only a very short time to enjoy these delicious little babies who are completely and 100% dependent on me for every single thing. Soon they'll be entertaining themselves and running around wreaking havoc on the place and not waking up at 5am for a bottle and I can head back to my nutty high-intensity workout classes with all the other sado-masochist moms out there. I remind myself, multiple times a day, that I am 31 years old (today!) and I am soooo fortunate that I don't have years of child-bearing ahead of me and can instead just focus on my health! Does that help when I still can't fit into my skinny jeans or have to think about getting into a swimsuit? Maybe not. But damnit! I'm going to do my best to not give a shit.
So here I am! I survived the absolute worst, saddest, loneliest, summer of my life, followed by the worst, hardest, loneliest and most overwhelmed winter of my life- stuck in the house with babies who I couldn't risk exposing to RSV or other illnesses, and am now in spring with a fabulous and exciting summer to look forward to, full of pool days, a trip to Wisconsin, a lighter summer workload, and lots and lots of fun family time.
So finally, what do I want for this blog? I have really missed writing it, and want it to resume being an outlet for me. Is it going to be mostly recipes like before? Probably not. Roasted broccoli and fish, not the most exciting to readers I am going to guess. I don't have a lot of sexy cake/muffin/cookie recipes up my sleeve because if I can't eat them I'm not going to make them. And I realized I am just not into alternative sweeteners. They don't taste good, and besides stevia they are just junk junk junk, with a capital J. I just use maple syrup most times since it's not for me anyways, and a bit here and there won't hurt me. For a sweet treat I usually make a coconut cream fudge with chocolate stevia drops or just eat a few squares of 77% or higher dark chocolate. My weaknesses are salty things anyways. What I want for this blog is to talk about my life as a (paleo) grainfree, type 1 diabetic mom of three little ones who wants to feed my family high-quality food, that is 100% gluten free, grain-free when possible for them and always grain-free for me, organic as much as possible, and as easy to prepare as can be. I want to talk about my life and my lifestyle. Things that interest me, like makeup, restaurants, and travel, and snippets from my daily life. I know there are other moms out there JUST LIKE ME. I know there are other women out there who struggled, or are struggling, to get pregnant, and need hope. I know there are families and people out there who have diabetes, or other autoimmune issues, and want reassurance that you can feel good, thrive even, without tons of meds and medical interventions. I know it! That is what this blog is for. For anyone that needs reassurance. You can stay off meds. You can lose weight after baby without counting calories. You can still cook healthy and yummy food if you have three kids clawing at you. Yes, something's gotta give and I'll explore that too and everything that means.
But GFG is back and I hope to stay awhile. Missedyoulotsloveyoulotsmmmmkay?