Monthly Archives: May 2018

NICU Life: Lessons

7things

It’s been almost 4 weeks and the girls are still in the NICU. I have been trying to stay busy to make the time go by faster and to not be idle. If I become idle, then I will start feeling under the weather. I need to be in a good mood for the other bundles of mayhem. School is finally out for the summer so I can get some relief schedule wise but now I have the demand of entertaining them around the clock and juggling making runs to the NICU to see the girls and drop off milk. These four weeks have taught me a few things and shown me a few things about myself that I never really paid attention to. It has also made me very in tune (more than ever) with my anxiety and I am tired of shaking hands with it. I actually had a panic attack the other day randomly. I haven’t had one of those in a long time, but I was able to handle it and it passed smoothly.

This is a time where I need support more than I ever have. The bond you instantly have with your children during pregnancy and after is indescribable. That bond is threatened when you have to spend time apart. You have to make up for the time lost and do the best you can. Seeing the girls frequently is challenging due to having other children to care for, and the distance of the hospital. Some parents make multiple daily trips to the NICU and some can’t go as often. Some can’t go at all due to different reasons. The hospital has a lot of resources for helping parents cope with the time apart and the guilt. The guilt of not being there. I get daily phone calls, and I can call whenever I want to check in on the girls. There are no visiting hours, but they usually like for you to be cautious about visiting during the times when the shifts change. When we visit, it is full of lots of snuggles and feedings. The girl’s feedings are an hour apart.

The other day when we visited, We saw a man carrying a baby car seat. He had the baby carrier and the base attached. We thought this was odd because most people just take in the carrier when they are getting ready to take their baby home, when the delivery is normal. We got onto different elevators. We joked that he must be a new dad since he had the entire car seat and base toting it around, and maybe he didn’t know that the base is supposed to stay in the car. When we headed back to see the girls, we saw the base dude beaming with excitement and looking nervous at the same time. He was a NICU parent just like us. The baby boy in the first pod, who we passed by on the way to the girl’s twin room each time, was going home. He was always swaddled in the cutest blankets. I heard the male nurse giving them instructions on proper car seat use as they were getting ready to do his car seat test as apart of the discharge process. I teared up a little. I teared up for two reasons: that baby was going home and who knows how long he had been there, and my girls weren’t going home yet.  Seeing and hearing that baby get discharged from the NICU was bittersweet. We will know that feeling one day soon.

Lesson number 1: Appreciating where we are in our NICU journey and how unique it is. Even though it’s not where we thought we would be or want to be, every day spent there serves a purpose.

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When you have a baby in the NICU, certain things are a BIG deal. Such as being in a open crib and finishing a bottle during feeding time. Preemies have to learn how to eat. The girls have feeding tubes until their desire and reflex to naturally suck to either nurse or drink from a bottle using a nipple is developed.

Lesson number 2: Celebrate things other people take for granted. Little milestones are just as important as big ones.

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The device that delivers my breast milk into the girl’s bellies is done via feeding tube using a device they call “the pump”. They basically insert a large syringe that contains my milk into the machine and set a timer. The machine slowly pushes the milk through the baby’s feeding tube to complete the feeding.

Lesson Number 3: Biomedical engineering is such a underappreciated field of engineering. Without it many nurses would be extremely exhausted.

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Speaking of breast-milk, I never thought that I would be able to produce enough for both of my babies. I am a mama who hasn’t always been hip to breast feeding and had a low supply whenever I tried. I exclusively breastfeed my 4th child for 6 months. My 5th, we didn’t have much luck and I had thrown in the towel after repeated latching issues, no desire to pump and a milk supply that dropped so low there was nothing that could be done to bring it back up. Once I was feeling up to it in the hospital, a lactation consultant came to visit with a breast pump and a full on tutorial about exclusively pumping. I had a very good & strong start and I have been doing pretty good so far. Exclusively pumping is very time consuming, frustrating at times, and exhausting. The nurses and my friends have been very supportive and encouraging. This has helped me stay motivated and not throw in the towel.

Lesson number 4: I am more than capable of feeding my babies as long as I continue to trust the process and my body.

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My beau stepped right in when I was not able to bond with the girls after the surgery. He has changed a lot of tiny diapers and even dealt with a big blow out from Remy. Remy’s big blowout during one of our visits was a total life bleachable moment. Breastfed babies tend to projectile poop. He was in the middle of a diaper change when he lifted her up to put the clean diaper on and the shxt (literally) got real. It was EVERYWHERE. the cords, phone on the wall, the crib, her clothes, his hand… you name it!  You would think that out of all the diapers we have changed, we would’ve been quicker. We had to work as a team to tackle the mess.

Lesson number 5: The best way to prepare for tomorrow is doing your very best in the moments of today.

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The million dollar question is when are they coming home? Y’all we truly have no timeline of this. This question actually makes me sad. It is beginning to get a little mundane constantly answering this question. A lot of NICU parents all agree that this is a question a lot of us don’t really like being asked. We aren’t trying to be rude or secretive, we just don’t know. Some people ask in a way that is very insensitive. Actually some people are just insensitive period in a lot of the things they say and ask. Sometimes it is just best to be quiet or say let me know if you need anything. It’s not always what you say but how you say it.

Lesson number 6: Don’t let the way others behave destroy your sense of inner peace.

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We are really hoping that our stay in the NICU is almost done. However, at the same time I would rather them be 100% cleared to come home instead of 80% to rush things along. They are working on their feedings and it is hit or miss…which is expected at this point considering how early they were born. Some days they finish multiple bottles, and some days they don’t finish any at all and are tube fed all day. We are remaining patient because regardless fed is best.

Lesson number 7: Find something positive in each day, even when on some days you have to look a bit harder for it.

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We are so happy and thankful that our girls are progressing very well and have had little to no complications that most 33 weekers experience when they are born prematurely. They are plumping up each day and are super cute! They are well on their way to coming home…when the time is right.

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The “Easy” Way Out

roxyandremybirth

**This is a lengthy post**

So this isn’t going to be your typical super cute and perfect birth story full of professional vibrant dramatic photography and dainty cute details. This birth story will have camera phone pics and plenty to read. I personally find birth stories to be a bit meh and I am not really interested in them. As with the last two pregnancies, birth stories were requested. Since a lot of people have been wanting me to gush about the details of the twins birth, I decided to share (after I said I wasn’t going to share).  So here it goes…

Part 1: Rainbows and Sunshine…well and Rain

So we will fast forward time to the week of April 23rd. I had a visit with my regular Ob and we skipped the usual weekly NST for a 3D/4D session to see the girls and get a few pics. This is something routine that my OBGYN does once you hit week 32 of pregnancy free of charge. It was a rainy day so I figured I would wear my pink Hunter rain boots and just wear pink in general because it is my favorite color.

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I felt great and full of energy! I had been nesting my ass off and everyone basically kept telling me to sit down and rest. But, for some reason I was like no everything is filthy! I need to clean! I need new decorations for the living-room! I need to clean behind the stove! All kinds of nonsense that newborn babies don’t care about after they are born and get to come home.

The appointment went well. My Dr rechecked measurements etc. We had been seeing the specialist frequently because it was said that Remy (Babe B) was measuring significantly smaller than Roxy (Babe A). When you have twins, you see both a regular OBGYN and a specialist. During the final weeks of pregnancy, you see the regular OBGYN on a Monday or Tuesday and the specialist on a Thurs or Friday. So these weekly visits were a pain in the ass because of the commute and the co-pays. I didn’t care as long as my babies were getting the best care possible.

On April 26th, I saw the specialist and I had been having a lot of “Braxton Hicks” contractions. Now, I have a high pain tolerance. So really in reality these lil petty Braxton Hicks contractions were actual labor contractions. Everything checked out good with the girls and they updated their “weight” and measurements and said that Baby A was over 4lbs and Baby B was 4lbs even. They noted my discomfort. The specialist reiterated that my goal was to make it to 34 weeks. If you don’t know much about twin pregnancies, typically twins are born naturally between week 34 and 36 of pregnancy.

The specialist asked if I wanted her to check my cervix for dilation. I declined because to me it wasn’t that bad. That evening, the discomfort got a little worse and I had to start timing the contractions. I followed the guidelines and my beau kept asking if we needed to go to the hospital. The contractions were every 7mins and were consistent for 1-2 hours. They spaced out and I went to sleep. Now let me throw this out there, the rate they were coming it was load and go time per the doctors requests, but I didn’t want it to be a false alarm. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday came and went and finally Monday April 30th was here and it was time to see my regular OBGYN again. Now this day, things were different. My beau had to work and he has only missed TWO of my OBGYN appointments ever in the history of me being pregnant. I am not talking just this pregnancy. He has only missed TWO appointments total for all 6 of our pregnancies. So this made visit number 2 that he was going to miss due to work. So all of Sunday I noticed how low my belly had dropped. Even my best friend said something about it while we were video chatting. I was still having contractions and I kept telling him I had a bad feeling about Monday’s visit.

Part 2: Adding Fuel To The Fire

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So here I am on Monday April 30th. Little did I know this would be my last front porch pregnancy pic and that I had a fire spreading down below. Early that morning before my beau had to leave for work, we had a little sexy time (TMI LOL) because he was scheduled to work a 48 hour shift. My beau asked if I was sure about having sexy time before we bumped pee pees, and I was like “yeah it won’t do any harm”, totally thinking with my vagina and not my brain.  I didn’t take the kids to school because of how early my appointment was. Some days the kids had to be checked out early in order for me to make my appointments, and on some days I had to just keep them home because of schedule conflicts. Both of their teachers were very accommodating of this.

Communication is key. It truly does take a village to raise children and my village is  pretty legit. On this day, my mom was the designated baby sitter. Since I was just going to the regular OB for an NST, I threw something on really quick. While I was applying my moisturizer, I noticed that my nose had spread….ALOT. Now from previous experiences, whenever my nose spread, I knew it was almost time to have a baby. As you can see in the pic, I was at the point in my pregnancy where not even maternity clothes fit properly. My shirt was snug and kept rolling up on one side, my feet were swollen so I lived in flats and flip flops and I felt like I was about to bust out of my leggings. I didn’t look like total crap so all was good to be seen out in public.

I dropped the kids off and headed to the dr. My beau told me to keep him updated and that he would have his phone on him. My beau is a firefighter so he does not always get to keep his phone on him. Due to the situation and the fact everyone knew it was any day now that the twins could be born, they made an exception. The entire drive I was having contractions. I finally reached the dr’s office and parked in the parking garage. As I was walking, I had to take a few breaks because the contractions got kind of spicy. Once inside I checked in and was quickly called to the back. While I did my usual pee in the cup routine, I noticed there was pink spotting after I wiped. Once I got into the NST room, I let the nurse know. She hooked me up and we started talking about make up and shopping. I had a few contractions during the conversation and she noticed. She then said, let me go get DR. Cohen. The doctor came in and she looked at the NST paper and she said, “hmmm, I don’t see any contractions on here but it’s obvious you are having them.” She looked at the little thingies they place on your belly to monitor things and she noted that the medical assistant had them placed in the wrong spot, so ofcourse it wasn’t picking up shxt on the monitor. She then unhooked me and told me she wanted to check my cervix because of the spotting. She stepped out, I took my bottoms off and she came back in. She checked me and all I heard her say was hmmmm. I saw it all over her face. I immediately knew what time it was. She took off her gloves and told the nurse to call over to L&D and tell them I was coming over. She looked at me and said, “You are 4-5 centimeters and baby A is really low. You need to go to L&D like right now.”

Just great. I knew it. I got dressed and waddled out the room and was met by my other OBGYN (who delivered Kendall) and he was smiling. He said, “you aren’t leaving the hospital pregnant and congrats.” I immediately called my beau and he didn’t answer the first time. So I continued on my way to my car. I was having contractions still and had to stop walking a few times. Oddly enough I was very calm. I called him a second time and he didn’t answer. I was at my SUV when he called me back and he immediately knew what I wanted. He informed me he had went ahead and put the bags in the car the night before so don’t worry about needing anything or taking them inside. He wasn’t at the fire station, they were out on a pre-plan. He informed them of what was going on and they immediately returned back to the fire station.

I had to drive around the corner to get to L&D, which felt like a road-trip when you are having back to back contractions. There was like no parking in the parking garage where the women’s center is. I ended up having to park where the physicians park and when I exited the parking deck, I was a little ways away from where L&D is. So I started my trek up the sidewalk, stopping whenever I had a contraction. I was less than half way there when a gardener on a golf cart stopped. He asked if I wanted a ride because I looked like I was in a lot of pain. I hopped on and it was like the bumpiest ride ever on the sidewalk. He got me to the front door of the women’s center but on the wrong level. L&D was on the second level. I walked in and saw the steps on my right and thought great….the old guy at the desk got my attention, and he said, “Okay sweetheart you aren’t taking the steps, go to the left and take the elevator to the 2nd floor”. I got to the second floor and checked in. I hadn’t pre-registered at all like I have in the past because I forgot to be honest. The receptionist told me it was okay and started checking me in. She asked the typical questions and quickly got me checked in. They initially took me to the triage side and the nurse told me they weren’t sure what the plan was because they were waiting on my doctor to call or come over. I sat in triage for about an hour and finally hubby had got there.

I was then moved to regular L&D. Once I was in a room, the nurse informed me that my doctor wanted an IV started and that they were going to give me a round of steroids and some medications to “stop” the labor. My doctor and the specialist came into the room and told me the plan and said we will go from there etc. As time went on my contractions intensified. I kept progressing. The labor did stall here and there but the meds were not totally stopping it. I was not given magnesium, which I was very happy about that because magnesium sucks. Shifts changed and the other OBGYN who would be on call came in. Dr. Bills is the owner of the practice that I go to. He came in and told me basically we weren’t delivering the babies today (April 30th) but we were stalling the labor until tomorrow around 2pm when I would be given the second dose of the steroids to mature their lungs. We went to bed.

The next day, I was still having contractions and moving along. They were painful but I still was managing them. I noticed my brows looked horrible so I asked hubby to grab my cosmetic case, mirror etc so I could do my make up a little. I also did my makeup to kill time and to take my mind off of the contractions

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I was checked and was at 7cm. I was then moved to another room. Now if I was having a single birth, I would have stayed in that room until I had the baby. When you have twins you have to deliver in the operating room in case an emergency arises and a c section is needed or if you are getting a c section in general.  So here we were 33 weeks pregnant and it was D-day!

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They began giving me the instructions for surgery just in case we needed to go that route. At this point the contractions were super spicy and I was not smiling, talking much or in a happy mood anymore. They were hurting pretty bad.

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A little time passed and then the nurse came in with the anesthesiologist and I was given an epidural. You HAVE to get pain medication in case you need a c section.  My birth plan was a vaginal delivery. Up until this point I had labored on my own naturally which I was proud of. I have given birth naturally several times so I knew what to expect pain wise etc. My OBGYN was okay with the vaginal delivery even though Baby B was breech. Because of her size it wouldn’t be complicated and either she would flip, they would flip her, or she would easily be delivered breech.

Part 3: The shxt got real and my birth plan went out the window. Mom Life Is The Best Life Right?

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Although I knew a C-section was a possibility we had a better chance than most of not needing one. However, there were some logistical issues. There were several mothers having multiples at the same time. The OR was being used back to back. The problem for me was the fact that we were shooting for a vaginal birth with twins and my water had broken. When it became time to push, I would need to be moved across the hall to the OR…Because of the number of mommies coming in for c-sections (scheduled and emergency) I wasn’t really a priority room wise because I was laboring on my own, so essentially  if an emergency were to happen where I needed surgery we wouldn’t be in the right room or have access to it right away if another surgery was in progress etc. My OBGYN made the call that a c-section was best to eliminate all of the what ifs and possibilities of getting the short end of the stick. Initially I was disappointed but then I was relieved because I knew it would be over with sooner rather than later and it would get the babies here as safe as possible. My OB was also a bit disappointed but I was very thankful for his professionalism and him being concerned about me and my babies’ safety.

we thought the c-section would happen later on…

 

WRONG! The nurse asked Dr. Bills when were we going to do the c-section he said 5pm as he walked out of the room.  We immediately got dibs on the OR. We looked at the clock and the nurse exclaimed, “That’s 10 mins from now!” My hubby was told to suit up and I had to remove all of my jewelry and piercings.

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Things happened so fast. I was numb, I was crying, I was scared, I was nervous, I was worried, I was excited, I was cold as hell….I was all over the place emotionally. 20 mins later Roxy was born, followed by Remy 1 minute later. Hubby got to see the babies and he took pics. Dr. Bills asked me about my prior consent for a tubal and I told him to go ahead and take the whole transmission if he wanted to. If you missed what I just said, I got my tubes tied. Yes my beau got a vasectomy and it was successful but I got my tubes tied for ME.

Now since I am sure people are really wondering about this, let me explain ONE TIME ONLY….I got a tubal because…

1. My insurance covered it 100%

2. I know I do not want anymore kids period and have no desire to ever be pregnant again

3. It represented me closing this chapter of my life

4. Antonio Cromartie..If you don’t know who he is, Google it.

5. It’s my damn body and I can do what I want with it!

I also requested a pathology report to confirm that my Fallopian tubes were in fact what was removed. BECAUSE, round ligaments look very similar to Fallopian tubes and they can be confused. Now I consented to a tubal only IF I needed a c-section. So that part of my birth plan went right lol. Mom Life is the Best Life but I am done with the pregnancy life.

Now back to the babies. At 33weeks, our babies are considered to be premature. I only got a quick peek of each baby before they were quickly taken away. Hubby got a few pics of them while they were being examined and prepped for the NICU immediately after birth.

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Both of our girls were breathing on their own and did not need oxygen. The little nose thingy helped them breathe room air without straining etc. If you look at the pictures, you can see it was not hooked up to anything. The steroid shots really helped them in this case. They were also no where near the projected weights they had estimated. And also Remy wasn’t THAT much smaller than Roxy. Aside from being born a few weeks early, our girls have no significant health issues.

Part 4: This Sucks

Once I was moved to the other area after the surgery, I felt like I needed to puke. I wasn’t in any pain but still numb. I fell asleep briefly and then was moved upstairs to my recovery room. I hadn’t seen the babies and was very exhausted. The pain medication was doing its’ thing so I ended up having some juice, water, and crackers and then I went to sleep. The next day, I was able to get out of bed and the nurses helped me go pee on my own for the first time since the surgery. Walking right after feels so weird. The pain was horrible though. After I was able to move around, the gas started (which is a good thing. You are aware of this if you are a c section mama). A few hours passed, I had a full meal and was feeling better since I could move but still needed a good bit of pain meds.

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I had to pee 3 times on my own before they removed the IV. Once that was removed I was given a wheel chair that stayed in my room for the 4 days that I was there to go back and forth to the NICU. My beau and our friends who came to visit had a little too much fun playing with my wheel chair and wheeling me around.

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I saw the babies in the NICU the day after I had them on May 2nd. I was able to hold them and my beau changed their diapers. We didn’t stay up there long because I started to feel a decent amount of pain again and wanted to go lay back down.

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Where they were in the NICU, you weren’t allowed to take pics unless your phone/camera was placed inside of these clear sterile baggies so the pics aren’t the clearest. (they have since been moved to a different part of the NICU).

My OBGYN gave me a belly binder to wear in the hospital which a lot of doctors don’t do that. If you ever have a c section it wouldn’t hurt to ask for one during your stay if they can provide you one. I stayed in the hospital a total of 4 days (with the option of a 5 day stay but 4 was enough for me) and then I went home. The other bundles of mayhem haven’t met the twins in person yet, but they have seen lots of pics and we have video chatted with them while we visit so they can see them live. I picked something comfy I already had in my closet to come home in since I didn’t get the chance to order what I had planned to wear. I also had planned on getting my hair done beforehand and that didn’t happen either.

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I was able to comfortably slip on my Bellifit Girdle which helped with the discomfort. I have had this girdle for a while and have used it after my previous 3 births. The girdle can be worn after vaginal or cesarean deliveries.  It provides more support than the binder; but for some a regular binder may be more comfy afterwards versus a full on girdle. 31947338_1657027697680474_2197663619229941760_n

Even though I had to leave the hospital without my babies, I am very happy that they are being cared for in one of the BEST NICU’s in Georgia. We get to see them whenever we want. The c-section wasn’t really ideal, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It def helps to prepare yourself mentally and know what to expect beforehand. Being educated about the surgery helped me a lot. I got a lot of good information from other moms and from doing my own research.

It is just odd to me that some mothers say that c-sections are the “easy way out”  when it comes to giving birth. Being someone who has done it all (medicated, unmedicated, and now c-section), I can say that it is by far not the easiest way out. If anything to me, it is the most inconvenient/convenient way to give birth. While I am not happy about the extended down time, I am thankful and humbled by the experience. The c-section has made me more patient, and also given me a much needed period of rest that I have not had in a long time. The girls being in the NICU is allowing me to fully heal and rest without having to meet the demands of caring for two newborns (at the moment).

Some have messaged me and commented that they feel bad for me etc. This is so annoying. No need to feel bad or sorry for me because there is nothing to feel bad/sorry about. I am not sorry that I gave birth via c-section to two (although premature) babies who are pretty healthy. The goal and priority since day one was to have healthy babies. My body did its’ job well. Some people haven’t said the right things but mean no harm and some are just plain insensitive as hell. The type of personality I have, I can be pretty mean…so for the most part I just haven’t responded much to comments because I don’t want my replies to be taken the wrong way. Yes, I am pretty irritable because of everything that is going on.  I am human and need time. I know once they are home, I will be pretty much healed and ready to hit the ground running. Plus I already have a cool tattoo in mind for my scar.

 

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K.I.S.S Recipe: Shrimp and Lemon Oil Pasta

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* my adaptation of Giada De Laurentiis Recipe for Linguine with shrimp and lemon oil *

This is dish is something special that I make, that my beau absolutely loves. This is coming from a guy who wasn’t much of a seafood and veggie eater before he met yours truly. The first time I made this dish was Valentine’s Day 2011. I wanted to make a romantic fancy meal without the super messy kitchen and possibility of it being a total epic fail. It has been a keeper since then. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter has a fish and seafood allergy so I can not vouch this one for being a “bundle of mayhem approved” meal. This meal pairs great with some white wine, candle light, and ambient music to set the tone for a date night in. It can be easily doubled and not to mention it also makes AMAZING leftovers!

 

Ingredients

To make the lemon oil you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested

To make the pasta you will need:

  • 1 box of Linguine Pasta (1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon of mince garlic
  • 16 ounces of shrimp (uncooked, cleaned and deveined)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed not bottled. You will need about 2 good size lemons or more depending on the size of the lemons you purchase)
  • 1 lemon zested
  • Steamed Broccoli, fresh spinach, or fresh Arugula  (whatever you like veggie wise)

Instructions

Lemon Oil:

This needs to be done in advance. I usually do it the night before but it can be done a few hours ahead. If you do it the night before the oil will extract the most flavor from the lemon zest. If it is done a few hours before, the oil will have a slight less present lemon flavor. Also you can add more or less zest depending on your taste profile.

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In a small container (I use one that has a lid, if you don’t have one just cover a bowl with plastic wrap). Combine the oil and lemon zest. Cover and set aside.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to bowl over high heat. Be sure to add a little drizzle of olive oil to the water to prevent the noodles from sticking.

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Your shrimp should already be completely thawed out and clean. You will need a large skillet. You can either drizzle the pan with some olive oil, use a little butter, or spray non-stick spray (whatever your preference is). Heat the pan, add the shrimp and season to your liking.

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I usually cook the shrimp during the last few minutes (last 6 minutes) of the pasta being al dente because shrimp cooks pretty fast.

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This is also a good time to steam the broccoli if you are using broccoli. I prefer the steam in bag veggies because this mama is lazy.

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Add in zest from 1 lemon while the shrimp is cooking. 20170829_183214

Cook the shrimp until it is pink and there is no more grey/white showing20170829_184044

Once pasta is done, drain and return it to the pot. Add shrimp, oil, and toss in the green aspect of your choice.

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Don’t forget the salt and pepper!20170829_184832

Sometimes I add in a little more lemon zest after everything has been combined because my beau really loves lemon. I serve this in a large bowl or on a large plate with bread sticks or just some good old Texas toast.

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That’s it! Not too complicated right? I hope you enjoy this easy to make pasta dish!

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Dear NICU

NICU

 

Dear NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit),

 

After having 5 healthy and considered “term” babies, I never would have thought I would ever have to meet you. May 1st, you automatically took piece number 6 and 7 of my heart. Bringing these girls into the world at 33 weeks was unexpected, exciting and scary at the sametime. I still had hope that I would make it to at least 36 weeks and avoid you. My body decided otherwise and here we are. I never imagined that after 4 days in the hospital I would come home empty handed. That was the quietest ride home from the hospital ever. At first I felt like you robbed me of my golden hour and chances to bond with my babies. I only got to see them for a split second before they were whisked away to the second floor to be with you. I laid there on the operating table in tears because I could barely see my babies faces due to the oxygen masks and several layers of blankets. I wanted more time, at least a kiss but was denied because it was your time. The first 24 hours was very hard being stuck in bed, nauseated as hell knowing that I could not see my babies until the next day. There were pics but they did not compare to being able to snuggle my babies and take in that newborn smell immediately after giving birth; as I have done in the past.

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I was angry. Very angry….livid. I wanted my babies. I am supposed to be one of the most important parts of their life. I am their mama. For however long, you are now their mama.

Visiting you felt gloomy because the initial floor is so quiet. You can smell and feel how sterile the atmosphere is as soon as you step off the elevator. The warmth was not cozy but necessary to sustain life. As I was wheeled in, emotions almost got the best of me. I was not able to get up from the wheelchair, but I could see my babies. My babies with all kinds of wires and gadgets hooked up to them protruding from the soft pink and blue swaddle blankets; and me a few hours almost a full day post surgery unable to hold my babies. I felt so empty and like I was cheated out of motherhood. The golden hour I will never get back but by any means necessary we all got the babies here safely. No one told me what to expect or how it feels to have a baby in the NICU. I was not prepared. My anxiety got the best of me a few times, but I had to keep telling myself they are in a safe place and trust the process.

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Even though you will be my babies home for however long; whatever the circumstances, those are MY babies and there are somethings only I can provide for them that you can’t. Being separated from my babies is one of the most difficult things I think I have ever had to deal with outside of Grand Daddy passing away. I don’t know if you understand this or not; IDC but I want you to know this. You have caused a little tension between me and my beau because we are both so damn exhausted.

 

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You are now becoming apart of our normal, but each day gets easier when it comes to leaving after our snuggle time. The first day I fell apart as soon as we got in the car, but the next day I was okay.

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We plan to continue to take an active role in our babies stay with you. We know and trust that you will provide the safest environment and best care possible during this extremely stressful yet exciting time for us. We hope to find some joy in this journey as we watch our babies thrive and exceed expectations and milestones each day; in order to get them home.

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