Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fast Food, Good Food: Mmmm…Millet!

Well I did it. I finally performed my housewifely duties and prepared dinner before my husband got home from work! I generally like to keep expectations low on that sort of thing, but I was able to throw this baby together while taking care of infant twins, so trust me, this is an easy one!

Millet, Lentils and Carrot salad.

Millet, Lentils and Carrot salad.

Millet is cooked exactly the same way as Quinoa or rice (which you could use instead if you are not feeling adventurous!). Rinse the grain, then fry it in the pot before you add the water; this releases a nutty flavour. Once it starts to brown a bit, add the water, and bring to a boil before reducing heat and simmering for about 20 minutes. While that simmers, rinse the lentils and bring to a boil using the same ratio (1 cup to 2 cups of water). Once things are boiling I reduced the heat to medium and started adding flavour. I added a chopped tomato (the vitamin C in the tomato helps absorb the iron in the lentils! Isn’t food smart?), dried basil, a tablespoon on Dijon mustard, a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil and a good glug of cider vinegar. I usually add garlic, but I’m finding it’s making my babies a bit gassy, so I omitted it this time.

While that was all simmering away I got out my trusty food processor with the grater blade in. You could also just shred away on the cheese grater, but that might be a bit more labour intensive. I shredded up 3 large heirloom carrots, transferred them to a bowl and added olive oil, vinegar and cranberries to taste.

Once the millet was fluffy, I added salt and pepper and fluffed with a fork. I let most of the water boil off the lentils and voila! Dinner!

My husband’s comments: This looks healthy.

But he still ate it.

And now for gratuitous cuteness:

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Post Script

On re-reading my birth story, I am struck by how matter of fact I was. Everything I wrote was true. That is how it happened. But there is a lot missing from that story, from my pregnancy in general.

How I felt.

I am a writer. I have journaled since I was probably 10 years old, and I wrote stories even before I could write (I used to dictate to my mother – she had better penmanship than me). I am used to dissecting and analyzing my feelings. Going over and over an event until I beat it to death with my “thoughts” and “emotions”.

But this…having two people pulled out from inside of you. Two people who didn’t exist before. This is almost beyond emotion.

How does a mother describe the love she has for her children? How do I analyze the enormity of my pregnant belly? How do I explain the complete exhaustion that has been my life for the last 5 months?

I don’t think I can, without it sounding trite or the same thing you might hear in a Pampers ad.

I am in awe, I am in love, I am frustrated with lack of sleep, I am confused by my new body, I am scared for all the mistakes I am bound to make, I am grateful for my friends and family and strangers who have reached out to help my little family.

Children offer a rebirth. I am taking my first breath, rolling over for the first time, I am looking at the dog wondering, “what IS that furry thing and why does it live in our house?!”

As I’ve said before, my expectations for this pregnancy/birth went out the window when we saw two little hearts beating on the ultrasound. I know that these little ones are here to challenge me, to force me to face my fears and to go past my presumptions and preconceived ideas.

About 10 years ago, when I was working on a farm in BC, I was struggling to carry two buckets of grain from the barn to the hen-house. My friend Veronika was passing me as I struggled, on her way to muck out the cow barn. “You’re stronger than you think you are!” She called to me. At the time, I sucked it up and carried the buckets the rest of the way, my shoulders screaming. I’ll never forget it though. I am stronger than I think I am. Well, we are all. There is untapped reserves deep down within ourselves, and only in very special circumstances do we witness our true strength. No matter our situation, twins, singletons, our partners, our parents: the challenge to love and be loved will always test our strength, and I like to believe we will always meet it head on. And isn’t that what makes life worth living?

Morning Mommy!

Morning Mommy!


Twin Pregnancy: The Birth Story

After hauling the munchkins around for 36 weeks, an ultrasound showed twin A was breech and I was scheduled for a cesarean section on August 8th. We went home to wait the two days for the operation. I wasn’t nervous. I couldn’t imagine being pregnant for another minute, so as scared as I was of a c-section, I was also glad it was going to be over! I had an outpouring of support from friends, many of whom had had c-sections and offered advice and kind words. All the research I had done on natural birth, breath work, visualizing, all went out the window as we lined up help for the first two weeks in case I couldn’t move for that long. We packed our bags and went to sleep on the 7th, ready or not to meet our children.

August 7th, 2012 - ready to meet the littles!

August 7th, 2012 – ready to meet the littles!

We arrived at the hospital, along with about 20 of our friends and family, fully prepared to get cut up!

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August 8th – let’s get the show on the road!

I was prepped, had the IV in, consult with the anesthesiologist, one more internal from my OB (ouch!) and then they decided to do one more ultrasound….

…and discovered twin A was head down, ready to come out naturally! The nurses and midwife all assured me that they would get them out that day anyway, maybe try to induce me. Once nurse promised, “you’re not leaving here without those babies!”

Well, my OB reviewed the ultrasound and sent me packing with explicit directions to let them cook a bit longer!

Out came the IV, bags back in the car, family and friends sent home and I had a good cry trying to imagine one more night of sleeping with those babies crushing my ribs, pelvis, lungs.

We were scheduled for another ultrasound in 2 weeks, hoping labour would start naturally.

2 WEEKS!

At 38 weeks my OB did a stretch and sweep (OUCHY) but nothing happened. The babies were moving around like crazy, no need to watch the clock and count movements as my doctor suggested. Each day felt like an eternity and every night I wondered how I was going to make it until the morning. I started feeling a lot of Braxton hicks contractions, but nothing that stuck.

Finally, at 39 weeks minus one day, we went back for another ultrasound and…Little Miss A was breech again! The ultrasound technician couldn’t believe it. Babies rarely move this late in the game, let alone twins! As we waited to see the OB, we could hear him making the appointment for the c-section. It was scheduled for the next day.

This time we knew the drill. In a way, it was nice that we had the trial run to work out the kinks. We knew where to park and which elevators to take. There was no question that we would meet our babies today!

August 24, 2012 - Here they come!

August 24, 2012 – Here they come!

I was led into the operating room and they sat me on the table. I was pretty nervous, but I sort of went into a dream state. Things become very surreal. The anesthesiologist was really nice and all the nurses were excited to be delivering twins. The worst part was putting in the spinal, I think she missed the first couple of times! Then I lay down and they strung up the curtain. The operating room was a bit of a circus, there seemed like 100 people in there, doctors, nurses, students. Finally my husband was ushered in, looking pale and more nervous than me. Looking back I realize how high I must’ve been, because I remember worrying if he was okay, not thinking about how I was being cut open at that moment.

In fact, all I was thinking about was waiting for the cries. Finally, my OB announced baby A is out, and I heard a few short wails. Two minutes later, baby B was born, screaming his head off. My husband was allowed to cut the cords away from the placentas, and they were weighed and checked over by the doctors. Baby A, our little girl was 7lbs 12oz, and my screaming little boy was 6 lbs 6 oz. They finally swaddled them and brought them over for me to see for the first time.

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And there they were. Our little girl was given the name we had picked out weeks ago – Thea Rose. And our boy’s name was only decided on after we saw him – Jude Joseph. Steph was allowed to go with the babies out into the waiting room were our family was, and I was stitched back up and whisked off to the recovery room.

My blood pressure was acting funny, and they kept changing the machines because it was so wonky. Finally I asked to hold my babies, and my blood pressure stabilized. Mama needed her babies!

My recovery was great, three days in the hospital and then we were all sent home. I was popping Tylenol and Advil around the clock, and my movements were very slow, but for all my fear of the surgery, it wasn’t so bad. Sitting up from lying down was difficult, and frankly I didn’t move much for the first week.

And then there was the breastfeeding, but I’ll leave that for another post!

And there you have it in a nutshell. One minute you’re pregnant, and the next you have two kids. For all the books I read on birth, I sort of wish I’d picked up one on parenting!

Because that’s the real adventure.

Me, Thea and Jude, together at last!

Me, Thea and Jude, together at last!

Thea and Jude

Thea and Jude


Eating for three

When trying to eat this:

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Leads to this:

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I didn’t get to eat until about 3 hours after making it, but luckily pasta salad is great cold too!

1/2 package brown rice pasta
1/2 can black beans
5 large cherry tomatoes
1 handful baby spinach

Dressing:
Olive oil
Cider vinegar
Dijon mustard
Tahini

Topping:
Walnuts
Pumpkin seeds
Hemp seeds

This doesn’t happen everyday (it was peanut butter and honey for lunch yesterday) but hopefully I’ll get better as the babes get bigger.

I’m working on the birth story for next week for you!


Twin pregnancy update: The third trimester

Well here’s the photo proof:

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That was July 4th!

Here’s August 8th, check out my swollen feet!

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Here I am with Hubby at 38 weeks at our good friends Keith and Kelly’s wedding:

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And finally at 39 weeks pregnant:

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Yes, I was huge. I was swollen all over, it was the hottest summer on record. Everything hurt. My back my front my sides. Getting in and out of bed to pee every 2 hours was so painful. I had a doctor’s appointment and a midwife appointment every week. Not that I tried, but I don’t think I would’ve fit behind the wheel of my car by the end! I was pretty sure I would go at any second…but I didn’t. Those babes just wanted to stay inside. They were kicking and wiggling around like crazy. In hindsight I should’ve taken video. It really freaked out the hubby, sometimes people across the room could see it!

I ate whatever I wanted. A lot more ice cream than I’ve had in a while that’s for sure. I lived on homemade apple juice popsicles. And ice cubes! I crunched on about 3 trays of ice a day. A lot of people have asked me if I had any meat cravings, but no I didn’t. I also haven’t eaten meat in over 16 years, so I didn’t really think about it. I did eat a lot more dairy than I should’ve, but I was craving calories like crazy and I was so exhausted that a lot of the times it came down to what was easiest. I mean look at me. I was huge!

The nursery was ready, the newborn diapers were bought. I watched A LOT of A Baby Story on TLC…

So we waited and waited…

 

Birth story coming up next!


Let’s try again

So I’m writing this post on my phone, with one little munchkin breastfeeding and one little munchkin finally sleeping. I know I have a lot to catch up on, the rest of my pregnancy, the birth, my life now, and of course how I’ve been eating!

I’m working on it.

I read a lot of blogs by mothers with twins, and frankly I don’t know how they do it. If I get a moment to myself I either take a bath or zone out in front of the television or go to sleep! My babies are 4 1/2 months old now and it has been a loooong 4 1/2 months.

All that to say, I miss blogging. There are so many times that I’ve written posts in my head. So much I want to say about breastfeeding and twins and midwives and doctors and vegetarianism and raising kids…

So if you don’t mind a few less pictures and a few more posts from my phone, I will try to get back on track. I need to get these thoughts down because, as everyone keeps telling me, it goes by so fast!

More to come…

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