Battle Scars

Lily says “Yum!”

Lily and Avery are 5 months old!  They are so precious and so fun!  In fact, I’m pretty sure they are the best, most brilliant, most beautiful children on the planet.  I’m just saying.  Our super night nanny Bettye, who is no longer in our employment, an effective sleep training plan, and a gracious and merciful God have granted us with babies who sleep 12 to 13 hours a night. (see footnote 1 for info on sleep training)  In fact, I think they are tiny teenagers.  Their favorite pastimes are sleeping, eating, and watching TV.  Yes, they watch TV.  Only the highest caliber of programming of course!  Their favorites are Hoda and Kathy Lee, the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and pro-Basketball.

Spokesbaby for Happy Bellies

They started eating baby food, and it is such a blast! (see Avery’s endorsement to the right)Meal times are 9 AM, 2 PM, and 7:30 PM, so feel free to stop by, if you are free from contagion.  Avery and Lily have never been sick, thank the LORD.  I’ve learned a whole new set of lessons from introducing baby food into our lives.

  • Have something to use as a shield.  When a child with food all over her face sneezes, it is not cute.  It will require a clothing change and possibly a shower.
  • Remove all clothing before feeding, even socks.  The babies’, not mine.  If not, your laundry load will triple.
  • Check behind the neck, and any other odd place, for globs of food.  You wouldn’t think they’d be able to get food on the back of their necks, but they can and will.  They will also get it on their feet, which is why they do not wear socks to the table.
  • Have three burp clothes on hand, one for each child and one for yourself.  It can also be used as your shield when a sneezing attack erupts.
  • Use wipes liberally. I use an empty Cascade box as my wipe container.  That box of  wipes is cheaper than your Old Navy tshirt.  Actually, maybe not. (see footnote 2)
  • Use bibs that most closely resemble ponchos.  Avery and Lily aren’t big enough for those smocks yet, but I’m considering duct-taping a few bibs together to create our own.  Also find bibs that are not so lightweight that the babies can fling them around easily.
  • When feeding both babies simultaneously, use one bowl and one spoon.  If you try to complicate things by using individual utensils, it’ll just be a big mess.  Anyway you’ll just forget whose is whose.
  • Get ambidextrous, and fast.  You may need to bottle feed with your right hand and spoon feed with your left.

Lessons Avery and Lily have learned

  • Our fingers can convey food to our mouths. Don’t worry if Mom is trying to poke a spoon in your mouth, just stick your fingers in at the same time.
  • Don’t be fooled into holding your own bottle.
  • Food can be sucked off the bib.  Just push it up to my mouth, and it’s a feast!
  • When Mommy comes at you with wipes, fight for all your worth.  She’s trying to steal the food you’ve worked so hard to store at the back of your neck.

Ever since childhood, I’ve thought about scars a lot, probably because I got such a large one at such a young age.  My brain surgery scar is quite large, as you’d imagine, although it blends well into my hair line.  Even so, I can always see it, in every picture, every time I glance in the mirror.  As a child it bothered me a great deal.  I hated when it showed.  When I’d go swimming and my hair got wet, it was visible, and some kid would always ask about it.  Almost every time I see a new hair stylist I get questioned about it.  It’s actually kind of hilarious.  I’ve been asked everything from “Were you in a car wreck?” to “Did you know you have a big scar on your head?”  I truly have been asked that more than once.  As much as I’d like to say “I had no idea!”  I try to cut them some slack. My current stylist never asked me about my scar. (see footnote 3 for the scoop on Kharissa)  As an adult, I don’t mind my scar nearly as much.  Actually, I don’t mind it at all.  I see it in the mirror.  I see it in my wedding pictures.  I think to myself, that’s a part of my life and part of who I am.

Bringing Avery and Lily into the world gave me a whole new set of scars.  As soon as I knew I was having twins, I purchased the most expensive stretch mark crème I could find.  I dutifully slathered it on my belly twice a day until it gave me a rash.  I tried just about every other product on the market until I finally came to terms with the fact that I was going to get stretch marks no matter what lotion I applied to my skin.  I even asked my doctors for recommendations!  They thought it was fairly hilarious.  Here I was, the most precarious pregnancy they will ever see in their entire medical career, and I’m asking about stretch mark prevention products.

I also got some scars during my trials with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Above my right hip bone, I got a scar about the size of a nickel from the drain tube that was inserted into my abdomen.  That tube was there, stitched in place, for almost a month.  It was a rough time in my pregnancy to say the least.  I also have a scar just below my right collar bone, about the size of a pencil eraser.  When my body was struggling with OHSS, an anesthesiologist put a central line in my chest.  It was one of the only places on my body where they could get a line in.  I see that scar every time I look in the mirror, even though it’s one of my smallest.  And, like so many other women, I have the C-section scar.  Mine is about a ten inch curve.  I’m not planning on wearing any tiny bikinis, so that scar doesn’t concern me terribly.

As odd as this may sound, these scars don’t bother me.  In fact, they empower me.  I wouldn’t say I’m going to show them off, but they serve as a reminder to me.  I went through a major battle to bring Avery and Lily into this world.  My body had to fight the battle of a lifetime to keep all three of us going.  I see myself and can say I made it through, just by the grace of God, we all made it through.  I can look at my beautiful daughters and say, “You are so worth it.”  They are worth every mark on my body.  Then I think of my savior.  I think of His scars.  I am thankful beyond words that He looks at His scars and says, “They are so worth it.”

Footnotes

1. We used the program outlined in the book Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano.  It works, and Avery and Lily are the proof.  At 3 and a half months old they started sleeping 12 hours a night and still take two naps a day, two hours each.  I truly thank God for the gift of sleep every night!

2. Box of 3 packages of 184 Huggies One & Done baby wipes is $26.97.  My favorite Old Navy tshirt is on sale for $6.99, regular price $19.94.  Must look into using Old Navy tshirts instead of wipes.

3. Kharissa Stevens is a fantastic stylist.  If you live in the Houston area, you need to go see her.  She helped me so much when my hair was falling out from the OHSS, giving me a new style that helped cover the bald spots.  As my hair grew back in, it came in super curly!!  I had straight hair my whole life, and now I have an afro.  She has guided me into taming my new curls into manageable locks!  She listed the products I’ll need and can buy at the drugstore, rather than trying to sell me expensive salon brands.  Also, her prices are so 1994.  I can’t even believe it.  Her number is 281-235-6783.

2 thoughts on “Battle Scars

  1. You are quite the writer……… I so enjoy reading your posts and seeing your sweet babies. God is so good and I am so happy for you. Love you, Aunt Karen Roberts Vastine

  2. These babies are so precious. You are so blessed. And they are blessed to be born into this family. God is good.

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