I was going to tell Eva I'm not going on hiatus, but then I realized it's been close to two months since my last post, which is definitely hiatus-like. But I have excuses, honest! To wit:
Knee surgery: I had my knee surgery 2/28, to treat the damaged cartilage that my pregnancy left behind. They wound up removing the torn bits (lateral meniscectomy), which meant I had a relatively easy recovery. I was down to one crutch by the weekend, and was able to get rid of them entirely by five days post-op. It took about two weeks before I could walk downstairs holding the babies, but otherwise I managed them just fine. G took a few days off work and helped me out, and once I got down to one crutch, I could manage them by myself. We spent a lot of time hanging out in bed those first few days, but at that point they hadn't really started rolling around, so that worked fine.
I'm now five weeks out, and I'd been doing really well until last week -- I tried to do too much in physical therapy, I think, and set myself back a couple weeks. It wasn't enough that I had to resort to crutches or painkillers again, just enough to make me cranky. I really want it to be fully healed, so I can get back to...
Working out: I'd been doing really well with this one before my surgery. At the beginning of February, I shifted my gym membership to the Y because they have a nursery, and I started back with lifting weights and swimming. Obviously, I haven't been able to do much lower-body lifting with the bum knee, but I was back swimming ten days after surgery, and I've been making good progress with my upper-body workouts.
I got derailed again for a bit with a wretched case of bronchitis (see below), but otherwise, I'm really happy to be back in the gym. Pre-infertility, I was quite thin and in really good shape after losing about 80 lbs, which may or may not have had something to do with why I developed the hypothalamic amenorrhea in the first place. I gained 10 lbs when my thyroid crapped out, then 25 more during infertility treatment (15 lbs in the six weeks of high-dose estrogen alone), so I wasn't thin any more even before getting pregnant. I got a bad case of the awfuckits and quit working out during the IF stuff as well, and with the bedrest and all, I felt so fat and weak after the babies were born. Breastfeeding twins helped a lot with the weight -- I've lost all the pregnancy weight, plus 8 lbs of the infertility weight, and it keeps ticking on down. Now, I'm getting my strength and endurance back, and it's awesome. Time-consuming, but awesome.
Bronchitis: I got yet another cold which turned into lower-respiratory problems, and ended up with me on steroids for the second time in three months. This is the fourth consecutive cold which has ended with me on steroids, and I'm sick of it. I've started to think (OK, hypochondriac me is totally convinced) that perhaps I do have asthma -- aside from the way my lungs close up whenever I get sick, I've had a few episodes of serious wheezing in the past, and it takes me forever to build up substantial cardiovascular endurance. I have finally had enough, and I have an appointment with a pulmonologist for the week after next to check out the asthma angle.
I have this fantasy that someday I'm going to make it a whole month without anyone in the household (me, the babies, the dogs) having to go to the doctor for any reason. Since that hasn't happened since, I think, May '05, I suspect it will remain a fantasy for a while.
Katherine's bronchitis: My husband and both the babies caught the cold, and while G and Claire got over it quickly, Katherine's cough lingered. She got better for a while and then worse again, and I don't know if she got something else -- G got a second cold not long after the first -- or if it was the original cough hanging on, but she sounds rotten. After our second doctor's visit, she's on antibiotics, but I don't know that it's really helping. She hasn't woken herself up coughing in a couple days, at least, so I suppose that's something. On the other hand, the antibiotics have given her a whopping case of diarrhea...
I hate hate hate it when the babies are sick. They've both been sick twice now, which strikes me as a little unfair considering that they are breastfed and aren't in daycare (although there is the gym nursery, I suppose).
Work: Yes, I quit my job, but I still do some freelancing. I'm a computer programmer, and I did freelance work for about four years, so it's easy money. I've been aiming at 10 or so hours a week, but the nature of the business is that you can only hope to average that -- it's 20 hours one week, none the next. I've been busy these last few weeks, and there was even an all-nighter this last week, with another on the horizon next week.
School: This one's pretty much a theoretical source of busy-ness, since I am currently accomplishing precisely nothing on my final project thanks to all of the above. I feel guilty about it, but that doesn't seem to translate into time spent working on it.
My mom's health: Something's going on with my mom, and while we're not sure what exactly it is, it's a stressful situation. Her blood pressure skyrocketed recently, and she started having some mental trouble -- being unable to remember words, doing "boneheaded things", forgetting things. MRI came back OK, so we don't think it was a stroke. There are a couple things which could be going on, but she's convinced it's the early stages of Alzheimer's, which both her parents had, and she is terrified. She left work early today after she screwed up someone's chart (she is an RE nurse), and came over to my house in tears. I don't know how to reassure her when it's entirely possible that's what's happening. She is only sixty, and she's the only parent I have, as my dad died of cancer nine years ago. She's not ready for this. I'm not ready for this. But, as I learned with my dad and again with infertility, what you want from life doesn't mean anything sometimes.
We have a few avenues of investigation to pursue, but I feel like I'm already preparing myself for the worst. Alzheimer's for her is effectively a terminal diagnosis -- after taking care of my grandparents, she is very clear that she does not want to live like that. I don't necessarily agree with that, which is a subject for another post, but I believe her when she says she won't let it come to that. This particular situation doesn't take up much time, but it weighs on my mind.
And oh, yeah, I have a couple babies: They have changed so much in the last month -- it's like a switch got flipped, and they started making progress left and right. They went from only rolling over occasionally to flipping around like little gyroscopes, and now they are scooting around and trying to get their knees under them. I think we'll have crawling in another month at most.
They are increasingly verbal, too. Katherine was more verbal than Claire for a long time, and said "Ba!" and "Pa!" and "Ma!" when Claire just said "Ha" and "pppbbbblttt". In the last week, it's flipped around, and not only is Claire now saying consonants, she's stringing them together and babbling. She has said "Mama" several times, in front of witnesses even; it's not really directed at me yet, I don't think, but it's like a delicious preview of the day when she'll say it and mean it. I get a little teary-eyed every time she does it.
Every day, I think I couldn't possibly love them any more. Every day, I am proven wrong.