Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Year in Review

2015 really was the year of Stella. It's crazy to think she wasn't even conceived at this point last year and now she's already three months old. I spend the majority of 2015 pregnant and then the rest of it with a new squishy little baby. 

In January we found out we were expecting another little baby. It's was truly terrifying given my history of miscarriages and the age of Lucy and Clara.  I still laugh that I told Dr. B that I was pregnant before I told my husband. I came across the video of me telling W the other day and laughed at the shock on his face. I was still nursing and had to stop in order to start medications to sustain the pregnancy. 
We started doing PiYo and not eating any processed foods. 

I took this picture on the day I found out I was pregnant. 

In February we had our first ultrasound and trip to NYC/Long Island with the girls. We saw baby Stella as a teeny tiny embryo and were reassured everything was going well. 
The girls got to play in the snow for the first time. 
My friend nicknamed the baby "Quincy" since my husband is the fourth generation of his name and this is a nickname for the fifth. This nickname stuck for the entire pregnancy. 

In March the girls dropped at nap and started napping only once a day. They also started walking by themselves to the car which made my life so much easier. 
I took another trip to NYC by myself for an ultrasound with Dr. B and the NT scan with my OB. 
We traveled to spend time with my sister and dad for Easter. 

I remember the beginning of April being tough. Between sickness and teething, the girls were super difficult. 
We took a trip to Mexico with my mom and she landed herself in the ICU at the hospital with seizures for most of the trip. Needless to say, it wasn't the relaxing vacation we had hoped for. 
I announced my pregnancy on Facebook. 
I started interviewing other OB's and looking around to switch providers as I really wanted a VBAC. 
A good friend and her twins moved. 

In May we found out we were adding another little girl to our family. 
I took a week-long course to become a certified lactation consultant and we introduced potty training to the girls. I remember feeling a bit disappointed and isolated about the lack of play dates and fun things to do with friends. 

Mothers Day
Our announcement
Memorial Day
In June we started working on the nursery, had our first night away from the girls, and I reached viability. I also hired our doula Jen. 

July brought the failure of my 1 hour glucose test and all the drama that came with it. I was super upset during this time about failing and refused the three hour. Instead I had to test myself four times a day for two weeks. In the end I totally avoided the label, but it was really stressful to me. My "little sister" from the moms of multiples delivered her babies at 34 weeks and we spend a lot of time using her pool while she was in the hospital. Finding out the baby monitor reached to the pool was one of the best things ever. I spent many days lounging in the pool while the girls napped. It was amazing!
More good friends moved. 

One of my favorite pictures of all time

4th of July

I spent most of August planning L & C's Sesame Street themed birthday party. I celebrated my 32nd birthday and decided I wanted to switch back to my old OB. Unfortunately they wouldn't take me back so I was stuck with the new practice. 

In September we celebrated Lucy and Clara's second birthday with a Sesame Street party. Like always I invited way too many people, but luckily the weather was nice so we were able to all be outside.
 We ditched the pacifiers and seriously struggled with sleep issues for quite a few weeks until we finally let the girls cry it out. The sleep issues were seriously stressful with another baby so close to arriving. We missed W's cousin's wedding as the people we were supposed to stay with were sick and instead got sick by going to the state fair.
We went apple picking with friends.
I switched off of Lovenox and packed my hospital bag. 
Chocolate milk at the state fair

On their birthday

Apple picking

Opening presents on their actual birthday

Early October brought Stella into our lives. Her birth was a huge event of the year. I spent a few weeks feeling down and fighting off PPD, but started to feel a little more like myself by the end of the month. The girls were donuts for Halloween and Stella was a little munchkin. I reflected on how grateful I felt to have my three children, despite how crazy life felt.
We had family photos taken by my friend Stacy for the second year in a row and went pumpkin picking as our first big outing as a family of five. 
My favorite from our family photos. 

Mama and Stella

Our first official family photo. 
So little

Carving our pumpkins. 
In November we struggled with Stella's reflux and learned she likely had a hearing loss by repeated failures on hearing screenings. I spent a little time feeling bad about wanting to put my baby on a schedule, but then realized it's important to do what works for each person and family.
We celebrated Thanksgiving at home with my dad and then went to my mom's for another Thanksgiving meal that evening.
 I took Stella's to Albany to have her upper lip tie and posterior tongue ties revised. 

I tell the girls to put toys at her feet because otherwise they'll put them on her head.

Sweaters knitted by Grandma. 

In December we started to get into more of a groove. Stella failed another hearing test and we saw an ENT. We celebrated Christmas at home and the girls got new Cozy Coupe Cars, a ton of clothes, some fun flashlight books, puzzles, baby doll accessories, and a trampoline.
 I felt a bit disappointed by the professionals I hired to help me in my post partum time, but have since changed my expectations.
We went down and cut down our Christmas tree with W's cousin and family.
We were super bummed to miss another family member's wedding on New Year's Eve in NYC, but happy to have three beautiful little girls to snuggle instead.
Stella's reflux was a little more under control and she started to be a more content and happy baby.
We went to a fun Christmas party and my friend who moved in April came for a visit. 
At the Christmas tree farm. 

The past few years I answered the following questions and always enjoy reading back. I'm going to keep the tradition going. 

What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before? 
Experienced labor and contractions
Let my children cry it out after struggling with sleep issues for weeks 
Left the girls overnight 
Learned to knit
Attended our first music concert since having the girls

Did you keep your resolutions and will you make more for this year?
Last year I wanted to be healthier by cutting out sugar and processed foods. We did great at the start and then I got pregnant and the morning sickness kicked in. I spent most of my pregnancy feeling awful and sick, so eating was a real challenge. I'd like to get back to doing this again in order to feel healthier. 

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My neighbor and little sister had her twins at the end of July. 
My fertility buddy Holly finally gave birth to a little girl after seeing Dr. B and way too many loses for anyone.
 My friend Michelle was due after Christmas but didn't have her baby until 2016. 

Did anyone close to you die?
Luckily, no. 

What countries did you visit?
Mexico. We went to the Riviera Maya in April with my mom. She ended up having seizures the first night and spending most of the trip in an ICU. It didn't turn out to be the vacation we felt we so badly needed. 

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I would like to have more patience with the girls. I would also like to have a little time for self care as it's nothing something that's easy to find these days, yet so badly needed. 

What dates will be etched upon your memory, and why?
Feb 13- our first ultrasound for Stella with Dr B in Long Island. We booked appointments on Friday the 13th two months in a row.  
September 3- Lucy and Clara's second birthday 
October 1- the day I went into labor
October 3- the day Stella was born 

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Growing and birthing another perfect little girl. Stella is definitely my biggest achievement of the year. I also took a week long course to become a certified lactation consultant. 

What was your biggest failure?
Stella's birth felt a bit like a failure as it didn't go as I had hoped/intended.
When she was first born I also felt like a bit of a failure for wanting to have her on a schedule and not being as flexible as I hoped I would be. In the end I realized that's just the way I parent and it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was pretty sick my entire pregnancy. I was on medications at first to help manage it, but eventually was able to come off of them because they gave me horrible headaches.
I struggled some with feeling down at different times during the year, but nothing too severe. 

What was the best thing you bought?
I can't honestly think of any big purchases we made this year. I think the best thing we bought were the expensive meds that helped me sustain my pregnancy with Stella. During my pregnancy with L& C my insurance covered these same meds. This time not so much. 

Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, bills, food, car, endless amounts of cute kid things. The only thing I changed about the last sentence from last year is I changed baby to kid. 

What did you get really excited about? 
Getting pregnant spontaneously with Stella and the first time the girls got to meet her. 

What songs will always remind you of 2015?
Stitches by Shawn Mendes

Compared to this time last year are you:
Happier or Sadder? I wouldn't necessarily say sadder, but it's been a challenging and hugely life changing year. I went from having two sweet babies last year to now having two challenging toddlers and a newborn. 
Thinner or Fatter? Fatter : ( being three months post partum doesn't help that. 
Richer or Poorer? Poorer since I didn't work too much.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Enjoying my pregnancy.

What do you wish you'd done less of? 
Worring about how Stella's birth would go and about little things during my pregnancy. I wish I hadn't put so much energy into switching providers and stressed so much about the gestational diabetes. 

How did you spend Christmas?
We had a lobster dinner with just us on Christmas Eve at home. We spent Christmas morning at home and I made cinnamon buns from scratch for breakfast. W's parents came over to celebrate a little later and we opened presents with them. We went to W's Aunt's house for dinner with about 15 family members. 
We celebrated Christmas with my mom, step dad, and brother a few days earlier with dinner at my mom's house. 
We went to Albany the weekend of New Year's and got a hotel. We celebrated there with my dad, sister, step mom, BiL, and nephew. 

What was your favorite TV program?
Honesty? No idea. I watched The Office for the 100th+ time.

What was your favorite book of the year?
Wish I had gotten to read more. My friends just started up our book club again but I haven't even cracked the ginormous book that I'm supposed to have read in a few weeks.

What were your favorite films of the year?
I finally saw Inside Out and loved it. We saw The Hunger Games in the theatre but didn't love it. 

What's one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A successful VBAC. 

What kept you sane?
W and my friends. It seems I relate best to other moms who have twins since they seem to understand best the craziness that is life with twins. My in laws have really helped a ton since Stella arrived and are here a few days every week to help out. Without them things would be really difficult as a SAHM to three kids two and under. 

Tell us valuable lessons you learned in 2015:
Just because you plan things and want things to go a certain way doesn't mean they will. Birth is unpredictable. 
Toddlers are tough! Even though words make life with toddlers easier, it can also make it more difficult when they ask for things they can have or demand things.
The post-partum period is tough even without babies in the NICU.

2015 really was a crazy year. Lucy and Clara changed so much during that time. They started really talking and learned to use the potty. The huge surprise that was Stella entered our family and turned things upside down. I'm so grateful for this life that I have and feel so blessed and lucky to have my three beautiful little girls. I'm so amazed by how much life changes every year and I can't wait to look back on this next year to see how different everything is. 

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