Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leading a double life

Back at work - Where on earth did a full year go? - and thinking to myself that this whole experience is rather surreal.  You wake, madly change diapers, struggle to get babies into clothes, feed them (no small feat with two), pack up, get them into shoes and jackets and get out the door. You dump them at daycare (no, not literally) and then BOOM.  All of a sudden you are watching the clock, thinking about bus schedules, your lipstick, and the project you are working on at work. 

You arrive at your destination, saunter into a coffee shop perhaps, and then launch brilliantly into adult-speak, discussing the politics of the day, strategies, meetings, clients, projects etc. etc. etc. You continue throughout the day, relaxed while reading, thinking, discussing and in between casually deciding what to eat for lunch (with the luxury of time and a myriad of options), and whether to meet up with a former coworker to laugh and reconnect. 

Then, as the end of the workday approaches, there you are...thoughts of giggly babies seeping into your subconscious; a level of anxiousness to see your girls, laugh with them, wiggle their toes and point at birds in the sky all of a sudden more pressing than anything you are currently typing on the computer.  You are lost to the workforce once again until, tired but looking forward to another work day, you awake, complete your morning routine and send your babies off to daycare.

Don't get me wrong - it feels quite wonderful, and it will be nice to have a balance of experiences to enrich my life again, but boy - what a study in contrasts!

I'm curious how other moms did when they went back to work? I'm not super emotional about it, but I miss my girls so much as the afternoon approaches...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Brilliance of NIKE

Home for the first time since 5:54 on Friday morning. Husband is back at CHEO spending a couple more hours at my little Hailey's bedside before heading back here to sleep in our own bed tonight, and Alex is up in the nursery sleeping alone for the first time in well over 6 months. It's been quite a 48-hour stretch.

I don't know how we (as in all people who go through ridiculously tough situations in life) all make it through, but we do.  We JUST DO IT. I don't know who it was that came up with NIKE's slogan, but it is simply a universal rule in life's challenging times, isn't it?

My little Hailey underwent yet another surgery on Friday morning, this time to repair a NEW kind of hernia, a Paraesophageal Hernia, and it took well over 3 hours.  We were the last of the 'early morning' parents left in the waiting room, and the 'afternoon' parents had been there an hour already when our surgeon (a sweet, youngish, vertically challenged but highly skilled Italian man - who has been Hailey's surgeon from the get go) came to give us the run-down on what he had had to do to repair our baby's issues.  It was fairly complicated and involved, he said, but ultimately he was very pleased and he was confident it was a great success.  PHEW. 

Unlike the first repair, he was unable to use the existing diaphragmatic tissue to sew up the hole, so the only hiccup was needing to introduce a prosthetic mesh to patch the area around the esophagus. This, I am to understand, can cause the body to react negatively to the foreign substance (which doesn't seem to be happening in this case), but it can also mean that there could be issues in the future with re-herniation, and so I THINK this means Hailey will have more future follow-up and be monitored more closely in the event that another hernia develops.  Boo.

It's amazing, I find, how resilient we all are, both physically and mentally.  I mean, yes, in a WAY, being back at CHEO is calling back to mind that living hell I went through for the 30 days after the twins were born; not knowing if Hailey was going to live, not sleeping, not farting (head back in time on my blog to read about that one), not being able to conjur up breastmilk to feed my babies, and carting a newborn baby back and forth to the hospital day in and day out in order to reunite with ANOTHER newborn baby, equally needy, who went without Mommy all night long.  Brutal.

But I can barely remember that month.  I mean, I REMEMBER it, but I don't remember how it truly felt. It's all a distant nightmarish dream.

Now, it's hard, yes, but we're old hands at this.  Once I see that she is okay, I am just settling into the temporary but new routine of juggling time with Alex at home with Hailey at the hospital. It's fun for Grandma and Grandpa to babysit and have fun time with my strong, healthy girl, while Mommy is tending to my spirited and sweet Hailey, and it seems natural for me to be home now with Alex while Daddy is with Hailey at the hospital. Ho Hum.

As I said, we just do it. 

(oh, and as for Hailey's immediate future, we were successful at introducing first water and then milk to her diet today and so we hope tomorrow will be solids and Monday will bring her release back to us.  And then?  Hopefully NO MORE SURGERY. Ever.  Please.  But if we have to do this again, we know we can, and so can she.)