Friday, January 30, 2009

A Break From Winter

I was just thinking how I can't wait until spring...... After all the snow and ice we have been having in the Northeast no wonder thoughts of spring keep entering my mind.
I feel so lucky that in just one week I will be going to California for a few days.  Today while out shopping for my upcoming mini vacation (actually a business trip -tagging along with my hubby)
I realized that when you feel like and are dressed like winter you actually start looking like winter.
I was dressed in jeans and a double layer frumpy sweater and print socks and my hair was showing lots of gray ( don't want to spring it up too early appt. next week)  so it was difficult looking at bathing suits ( oops better start shaving the legs this week every day). 
The stores were showing all the great spring clothes but, looking outside at all the dirty snow and naked trees it was hard to concentrate on finding  California looking clothes. 
Of course the added holiday and winter weight wasn't helping them fit too well either.
Luckily, I was able to find some colorful new tops and a great pair of light weight pants.
Now all I have to find is some sandals.... I better add a pedicure to my list of things to get ready for the warm weather too.
I'm just imagining what it will be like when we get off the plane in CA> seeing the bright sunshine and the flowers in full bloom and the green trees.
I feel like it will just take this heavy gloom off and make me feel like spring will finally come back to New England.
I do know that after seeing a glimpse of spring it will be hard to land back in reality to the dirty snow and naked trees.  
But, how lucky I feel that I will have a break from it all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Reason A Season A Lifetime

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago that was really upset about losing her mother and losing her mom's caretaker. She became very close to her mom's caretaker and thought of her as family.
she was with them for 5 years.. But right before her mom died the caretaker Irene left and returned to her home in the Philippines.  My friend felt abandoned.

It reminded me of a poem  I once read.  I couldn't remember all the words, but today I googled it and found it.  I thought I would share it.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is , you will know exactly what to do

When someone comes in your life for a Reason........It is usually to meet a need you have expressed.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They seem like a Godsend and they are!
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at and inconvenient time, this person will do something to to bring the relationship to and end.
Sometimes they act up or force you to take a stand.
Sometimes they die, sometimes they walk away.
What we must realize is that our need or desire is fulfilled, their work is done.
your need has been answered, and now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a Season..... It is because your turn has come to share, grow, learn.
They bring you an experience of Peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.
they usually give you and unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it!  It is real.  But, only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

Birth Day

Actually, it was birth night.   After what felt like hours of waiting we (the 4 grandparents) were allowed into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
Greeted by the new dad he looked so proud and happy, and at the same time scared.  Finally, our babies were here.   Ahead of schedule but, that's OK they are safe.

As we approached closed off unit we were stopped and instructed that we would have to scrub up to enter.
So there we were scrubbing in silence (I'm usually the silent type) learning how to wash our hands.
I felt like a surgeon.
We had to scrub up to our elbows with a special solution and a hard plastic scrub brush, while we were timed for 3 full minutes.  Next came the yellow gowns that would cover our clothes.
As we were led into the unit I felt a sense of terror.  This should be the happiest moment of my life and I was scared to death not knowing what our boys would look like.
First we went to Vincenzo (100% Italian American babies had to have 100% Italian names)
He weighed about 3 pounds.  His hair must have been at least 1/2 pound.  He had a head full of black hair.  He was so tiny laying in the incubator just with a diaper on.  I just wanted to pick him up and wrap him up in a blanket.   We just stood there staring at him and he was staring back.
  Tears were streaming down my face part from happiness from finally seeing him and part from worry.
We just all took turns talking to him and reassuring him (and ourselves that he was going to be just fine).
Next we were going to meet Luccio (baby B with the growth on the back of his head). The 2 PaPa's and Grandma went right over to see him.  I stood back and stayed with Vincezo, part for fear of what I was going to see and part because I didn't want to leave him alone.
I took me a few extra minutes to go and see Luccio.  
Finally, I walked over and there he was all hooked up to all kind of things.  He was on a ventilator to help him breathe.
But, he looked perfect weighing in over 4 pounds and looked chubby compared to his brother, his hair was much lighter like a light brown.
They looked nothing alike.  You always picture twins looking alike, at least something alike.
But not our boys our beautiful baby boys.   Our boys who caused so much worry for so long.
They were finally here and we were actually looking at them.  it was a great feeling to have them here safe and sound.
I actually forgot for a second that Luccio had some problem on his head.  But, of course it only lasted of a split second.   I made the nurse turn him so we could all see what the big fuss was.
I thought well he looks fine how bad could it be.
The small growth was actually the size of a golf ball if it was split in half.  It was all closed which they assured us was a great sign.  They had his little head on  a ring to not put any pressure on the growth.
Because of the late hour and their tiny size we were only allowed to stay for 5 minutes.
It was so sad walking out of there leaving our babies in the hands of strangers.
They were both so beautiful they just had to be OK.
Now it was time to see Ree.   We just all hugged and cried happiness and worry all mixed up.
Ree was just so upset that the babies were whisked away and she barely go to see them and didn't get to hold them
The Doctors were still worried about her. Her blood pressure was dangerously high and she wouldn't be able to go see the babies.. maybe tomorrow they said.
Luckily a kind nurse snuck Vincenzo in for a quick peek.
We were all sent off to let them all rest.
It was a long night for all of us at home no sleep was to be had that night.
Not knowing what would happen to Ree or the two boys was just too much too handle.
We had to wait till morning to find out what they would need to do for Luccio.
I did feel relief in knowing that they arrived.  Now the real waiting would begin.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Waiting for the twins

I was just thinking back to the months before my twin grandsons were born.
Like most most mom's I was so excited when I found out that my daughter  pregnant.
I knew that she wanted a baby since she was 3. (she begged for  a sibling)
 When I was pregnant with her brother she was so happy.  As I started getting my big baby belly she thought it was great. She started walking around with her favorite doll Cindy Lou under her shirt.  
When her brother was born she kinda took over the mother role with him and continued it for most of his growing years even doling out his punishments if he didn't obey her rules.
He had to play barbies and school and she would be the teacher.
I remember one day when I told him it was OK to do something and he said "I can't Ree told me I can't do that.'"
As she grew she started babysitting for the neighbors and was a great babysitter giving lessons to the new mothers.
When she was in college she thought it would be great to have a foster baby and signed up with adoption agency to foster a baby until it could be placed with an adoptive family.
I will never forget when she got a call from them a year later that they had a baby for her to foster.
  (It was after she graduated from school and was doing a year of volunteer service)
So off we all went to pick a strangers 4 pound newborn from the hospital.  She even got to name her Maya ( after Maya Angelou). The cutest little dark skinned dark haired baby.
We had no info just here you go "she is so tiny could there be a problem?''
So now we had this tiny baby and how bad could it be it was only going to be for 2 weeks they assured us.
Well 2 weeks turned to 3 months.  It was a sad day for all of us when her little baby had to leave.  Good news though she got to go with her biological dad.  We knew the mom didn't want to give her away so we were happy that she at least got to go with her real dad.
We did try and keep her.
I always knew that Ree would be a great mom and wanted lots of kids and she proved her mothering skills taking care of this precious little baby with giant size lungs!!!
Maya wasn't the easiest baby to care for she was quite the screamer. But, Ree did an awesome job with her and Papa just sang and it quieted her. 

So when she got married we thought a baby would come right away but, it didn't happen as planned.
After trying for awhile she worried that it would never happen.
Her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and it was the a very sad time for all of us.

When she found out she was pregnant again it was such a happy time but, not without worry.
Things were going pretty well but, with some small problems along the way.
Finding out it was twins was unbelievable I can't even express how excited we all were.
Although I was so worried and prayed that all would go smooth.
That was not going to happen. Early contractions starting in the 5Th month  lead to a very long hospital stay.  The babies were due  the 24Th of October but, when problems started in June Ree was put on strict bed rest.   We all thought a few weeks of bed rest and all would be great.
Not going to happen = so she was put in the hospital and was considered a high risk pregnancy.
I won't even try to describe the terror I felt.  Now there were 3 lives to worry about.
What we thought was going to be a short stay turned into months.  They told her she would have to stay in until she delivered the babies.
So I packed my bags and visited daily and spent many many over nights with her.
It was a very scary time for us and very busy besides making my trips to the hospital that was over 30 minutes from my house I was also making trips to my sons cafe.  The Cafe was over an hour away in the opposite direction.
Needless to say I didn't get to the beach that summer.
My pregnancy with Ree  had some complications and I was on bed rest for most of the last trimester.  So I thought I knew some of what she was feeling.   But, being at home on bed rest is a lot different than being in a hospital.
Her room was very big and bright and had a pull out cot that her husband and I took turns using.
The staff was wonderful and spoiled all of us, but there is no place like home.
The day to day worry of not knowing if she was going to make it to a safe point to deliver was unbearable.
Every day she got through to get to the magic week of 28 where the babies would have a better chance of surviving was a grateful day.
We prayed a lot and had so many prayers from people that we knew and even people we never met.
It wasn't all bad it was kinda fun trying to think of ways not to get bored or to give into the fear of the whole situation.
Food helped out  so I had to think of surprises to bring to her. Of coursed most of them were not low calorie and technically I wasn't the one having  twins so I started to gain some weight (I'm still trying to lose it and the boys are over 2 now). 
I will never forget when she had a breakdown because she wanted pasta salad and I had to make an emergency call to my sister to make some and I would be there in 45 minutes to pick it up!
Week 28 came and we took a short sigh of relief.... at least they would have a better chance now if they decided to come out.  But, I prayed that she would just get to 34 weeks and have a much higher chance.
All was going well until one day when they did and ultrasound and found out that there was a problem with one of the boys  (yes, 2 boys we were convinced that one was a girl so had lots of pink and purple things).
Hearing that there was a problem with baby B was something none of us was prepared for.
 We thought the problem was trying to get to week 28.  This was not supposed to happen how could it be she was doing everything possible to have 2 healthy babies.
How would I be able to cope with this. How would I be able to help her through this.
Luckily, I have a great husband and some really wonderful friends that talked me back to reality when I thought I was going to go over the edge.  
So now we just waited not knowing if baby B would survive and if he did what would happen to him.
They told us he had a growth on his head and that they weren't sure what it was.
They also found a problem with Baby A's kidney.

No one can ever be prepared to hear that there is a problem with the baby you waited you whole life for.  No one can prepare a mother to help her daughter face that kind of problem.
But, we survived! 
I thought it would be fun for Ree to have a baby shower she wanted one so bad and it would be a good time now to have just a few family and friends come to the hospital and celebrated our boys no matter what was happening.
So in came the food balloons and presents and we celebrated!!  (kae cera cera) "What will be will be."
The next few weeks were very scary and a few more complications set in, gestational diabetes  fluid retention and elevated blood pressure.  I never knew what I was going to walk into.
Every day those babies stayed in was one less week they would have to stay in the NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit) that will be another whole blog.
At one point she had to go on a special medication that made her so sick it was awful that night 
her husband and I both stayed over.'  It did stop labor for now.
She made it to 32 weeks 5 days and started having signs of a dangerous blood pressure issue that was putting them all in danger.
So her team of doctors agreed it was time to take the babies out.  
It was about 8:30 in the evening of September 1st that the decision was made.
An urgent call to the other grandparents to come to the hospital was made.
We all had to have brave faces on as she was whisked away to the operating room for an emergency C_Section.
We all sat in silence waiting for news of the birth(well the grandmothers sat in silence and the pops were nervously talking)
  Not knowing what condition the babies were going to be in was just something none of us would talk about.
I think Mary herself came down from the heavens to be at our side. She must have grown tired of hearing my prayers to help keep our babies safe.