mother’s day (i know, i’m late)

mother’s day was amazing. not amazing like “look at the cool stuff i got” or like “my breakfast was super fancy” but amazing because it existed! my boys existed! i existed! 

it’s probably no shocker that mother’s day has been a pretty emotional holiday for me for the past several years. wanting to be a mother, and exhausting so many resources to become one, and still not being able to have children is heartbreaking. and no matter what other moms do to try to make this day apply to you, you know it doesn’t. or at least you feel like it doesn’t. 


i got to celebrate mother’s day last year too since i was pregnant. and it was nice, but i was still emotional because i felt a little bit like a traitor. having been part of the non-mother’s club for so long, and now a part of the mother’s club, I felt badly for those i’d left behind who hadn’t reached their dreams yet. 

this year was the first year i didn’t feel badly. I didn’t think of anyone but me, my husband, and my babies. (and our moms a tiny bit too.) but i was still suuuuuper emotional! my husband did all the right things. great gift, great breakfast, let me sleep in, etc. but the best gift of all was being here and being with my family. 


(this is the first time i really met the boys)

all day i couldn’t help but think of the miracles that have happened for my family in the past few years. we managed to have babies. sooo incredible! harrison wasn’t breathing at birth, but he came around and has been a strong little fighter ever since. i had heart failure- and this is the big one. this is the one that makes me the most grateful. I could have died. after all of the other miracles of building my family, i could have missed it all. 

I’m SO grateful to be a mom. and i’m even more grateful to be alive to experience it. every beautiful smile, and every crazy tantrum. so far this has been more than I’ve ever dreamed. 


mom club or no mom club- I have everything i need. i’m honored to be aaron and harrison’s mama and to watch them learn and grow. 

growing 

my boys will turn 9 months next week. every month that’s passed has reminded me how quickly children grow up. usually i’m flooded with feelings of anxiety that i’m missing out somehow on something each time they turn a month older. it’s like i’m being robbed of their infancy  

but this time it feels different! this time I’m just excited to see where we go from here and who they become. since turning eight months old they’ve really started developing even more into their own little personalities. and you guys- trust me on this one- they’re the best!!! 
aaron {baby a}

 

  • so sweet 
  • gentle
  • deliberate
  • talks to himself constantly
  • gives mom kisses occasionally
  • learning to clap
  • still doesn’t want to crawl or be rushed
  • 1 out of 5 times is brave when mom leaves the room and doesn’t cry 
  • has 4 teeth
  • loves chicken and rice baby food

harrison {baby b}

  

  • full of spunk
  • loves adventures
  • prefers playing with whatever he isn’t allowed to
  • currently planning a trip outside. Scheduled for whenever mom isn’t watching and he can get out the doggy door. 
  • has 3 teeth, working on 3 more
  • has the most contagious smile
  • analytical 
  • prefers to play/learn alone (as opposed to interacting with his brother) 
  • wild
  • rambunctious 

they’re the best things i’ve ever done, and the best people i know. we’ve made it through hard things together. and we’ve had so much fun together. 

  
I love this dynamic duo with everything I am!! 

hearts

i’ve never really been big on celebrating valentines day. no reason really – it probably stemmed from teenage self pity, and now i’m just indifferent.

but today i’m thinking a lot about love and feeling grateful.

my boys turned 7 months old two days ago, and i can’t believe it! they’re growing up SO FAST! every 1 month we celebrate brings back memories of what we went through to get them here. and today being filled with hearts, and february being heart month, i’m especially sentimental about the month-and-a-half time period after they were born.

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i had very bad preeclampsia when the boys were born and spent about a week and a half in the hospital. i finally convinced them to send me home (ok- my oxygen levels went up a little), and i was so grateful my boys were released from the NICU a day, and two days later. I had been so eager to be a mom my whole life and was really looking forward to long nights and sweet days with my babies.

image(practicing to be a mom. i clearly love that weird doll.)

my mom used to sing me to sleep, and i couldn’t wait to sing my babies to sleep. but when i got home i developed a cough. and it would get worse when i’d talk, and especially when i’d sing. i didn’t think much of it – although it was really painful – because i knew i’d had fluid in my lungs with preeclampsia, and i figured my body was just working it out.

i’d been looking forward to it – but man the nights were long. between pumping (babes were too little to figure out latching yet-they were 5 weeks early and had pretty weak jaws), and babies crying, and that awful cough, i was virtually getting no sleep. the exhaustion was real.

if you’d asked me to put together a grocery list, or sort my mail into piles of whom the letters were addressed to i could not do it. just the thought of it was super overwhelming and made me feel like i needed a nap. there were a lot of times when i literally didn’t understand what people were saying to me. it just sounded like gibberish.

i’d black out a lot too. but i was too exhausted to eat, and i figured i just wasn’t getting enough calories to keep up with pumping for twins. they’d told me i needed 5,000 calories a day and there was no way i was meeting that quota so i was sure that’s why the blacking out would happen.

any time i’d change a diaper at night i’d have to sit down and breathe after walking across the hall from my room to the changing table in the twins room. i had no excuse for this one… i think i realized it wasn’t okay but i didn’t want to be trapped in a hospital away from my babies just waiting for my oxygen to come up again.

one day i felt like i had this terrible knot under my left shoulder blade. again- i didn’t worry about it because i hold my babies with my left arm and for sure that’s what caused the knot. (later i would learn that this is a sign of heart failure)

that same night, when i went to bed, i laid down on my bed to stretch out my back. i put my arms over my head, and then it happened. i couldn’t breathe. i recognized this feeling from a few weeks before and knew i needed oxygen.

my husband called his mom- an ER nurse- and she took me to her hospital where i received celebrity treatment!

i only cried a few times that night. i was trying to be brave and not overreact, but i hated being away from my babies again. i had a lot of tests done, but nothing that wasn’t done in the last hospital, so i was sure they wouldn’t find anything new and i’d be trapped there until i could get my oxygen levels up again which felt impossible. i felt like people thought i had some sort of control over my ability to breathe and i really didn’t.

i was admitted. my mother in law stayed with me until i was settled in my room and comfortable (i made them redo my IV because it was pinching and i was a hospital veteran by then so i didn’t care about being demanding). once i was comfortable my mother in law left so she could watch the babies and my husband could come and spend the night with me.

during that hour after she left and before my husband got there i felt really alone and really discouraged. i cried a lot during that hour. once scott got there i felt a lot better. i just wanted to be home and be a family and hospitals kept preventing that (obviously it wasn’t my health at fault- it was hospitals! haha)

image(after i came home from the hospital-living my dreams)

the next day i had an echocardiogram done and a cardiologist showed up in my room and told me that i had a rare condition called postpartum cardiomyopathy, also known as peripartum cardiomyopathy or PPCM.

when i was released from the hospital, about 5 days later, they sent me home with a life vest- which is a defibrillator in case i did go into cardiac arrest, and oxygen.

i could talk about so many of my experiences with this condition, but this post is already really long so i’ll save it for another time. i’m so grateful that i didn’t ever go into cardiac arrest – especially that i didn’t go into cardiac arrest while holding my babies. i wish that i had known the symptoms earlier on so i could have sought treatment sooner.

symptoms are:

  • difficult breathing when laying flat
  • difficulty breathing on exhurtion
  • unexplained cough
  • edema or swelling
  • exhaustion

basically when your heart is not functioning well, it will steal oxygen from other parts of your body. so when i was feeling exhausted and not understanding people it’s because my brain was literally not receiving as much oxygen as it needed.

image

so this valentines day and this month are all about the heart for me! i think about this experience every day, and i’m so grateful to be nearly 100% recovered.

i love my husband and my boys. i love that i’m here still and i can watch them together, and see my boys grow. i love my heart.

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7 Months!!!

why i live in flats

my name is samantha. i’m a lot of things but the thing i’m most proud of is being a mom.

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my boys keep me pretty busy. although they don’t crawl or scoot much yet, they still have me running between the two of them. they love mama’s attention and generally demand a song and dance when i’m making dinner every night (literally).

i also work full time. technically i sit at a desk most of the day, but i have a lot of responsibilities there, and people depend on me to keep projects moving. i love my job!

i have an amazing husband who helps me with everything i need in life. he’s always been my rock and my support. and while i can rely on him for anything- i strive to be there for him too.

i also try really really hard to keep my house clean. it never is. its never even close! but i run around like a chicken with her head cut off trying and trying. when i’m lucky my counters are wiped. my husband does the dishes so the sink area always looks fantastic. he’s better at doing what he sets out to do than i am (most of the time).

thats just a brief overview of what i do. obviously, as with everything in life, there are far more details that keep us running than are visible on the surface. and that’s why i live in flats! practicality my friends!

anyway hi! i’ll be writing a blog now… it’ll probably be boring- my pictures wont be professional looking (except this one which is professional- thank you Pressing the Plane)- you’ll see how dirty my house is- but come hang out with me if you want! and if you don’t want to then that’s fine because i’ll still be here and be able to remember things that happened with my beautiful baby boys.