Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10th 2013- Happy Anniversary!

I haven't written in awhile, but feel my wedding anniversary is worth it. I know this blog is about the girls, but the girls came from somewhere, and that is the love of my husband and I.......

As of today Jim and I have been married 2 years. I know that isn't 5 years, 10 years, 50 years etc, what's so big about 2 years right? I mean come on, 2 years is just barely starting, 2 years doesn't mean anything, isn't there the 7 year itch to survive, isn't the divorce rate in the United States like over 50%, so woo-hoo we made it 2 years that doesn't prove anything right? Except... I disagree... In the last 2 years my husband and I have been through more things than a normal couple may ever see, yet I'm sure others have survived worse. But thanks to God and the sheer power of our relationship, I wholeheartedly believe we have only gotten stronger through our troubles and have become unbreakable. Don't get me wrong here, we fight, we get mad, we yell, we go to bed angry... but we communicate, we talk, we occasionally agree to disagree, we hug, we kiss, we make up.

Looking back over the last 2 years it amazes me we have survived. Even the beginning, I was sick our wedding night, which lasted into our honeymoon in Jamaica and cost us $300 to get better for the last day and a half of the most beautiful vacation of my life! From there we continued to live in an apartment above a pet store that smelled so rancid because they didn't care for the mess the pets left, plus dogs and birds up all night making an insane amount of noise! To finding out we were pregnant, then pregnant with twins, then 7 weeks bedrest in that nasty apartment because I was bleeding, then 7 more weeks of bedrest in the hospital, praying we wouldn't lose our babies, and 8 weeks in the NICU while we waited for our babies to get strong enough they could come home. Meanwhile, ending our apartment lease, moving into my parents, moving again into Jim's parents, and finally into our house almost a year ago. The loss of income as I went part-time to keep the girls out of daycare, me working every weekend and no real family time. My mom almost dying after going into cardiac arrest from a simple same day surgery. My grandma, that I had no appreciation for growing up, turned into my hero, my mentor, and passed away while my mom recovered. Jim's great-grandma whom lived to 105 amazing years old gave up the fight and passed away. We have been through numerous sickness's between us, our babies, our family, seen people we care about pass away suddenly and some expected, we have suffered financially, emotionally, physically and in the end... I still have my rock, my support, my best friend...my husband.

Now don't get me wrong... it has definitely not been all bad!! We had a lot of fun in Jamaica despite me being sick and it was still the most beautiful place I've ever been! We hated the apartment but there is a certain charm to being able to say we lived above a pet store! We had a lot of fun making those 2 babies! ;) I was able to gain an appreciation for my husband I never would have any other way after watching him faithfully sleep by my bedside and do everything for me while I was on bedrest. To watch him visit the NICU everyday and learn the simple tasks I've done so long I had no idea normal people didn't know how to do. (Change diapers, give baths, get dressed, even hold a baby!) I have been able to watch his face light up everyday he comes home and makes eye contact with the girls, which if I was working I may have missed. We have celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, holidays, Mondays, Tuesdays, etc just because! We have decorated a home, a nursery, a yard, we have made new friends, we have lost old friends. We have gone to church, we have prayed, rocked out to Christian music! We have lived life to the fullest...together... and for that I'm grateful!

I have been asked how I know we were meant to be, how even though we fight, we don't end it, how we could possibly have such a strong relationship... Let me tell you our secret! We have our fundamental values, to steal from work, we have our cornerstones that we rely on. There are things we love about each other that is more important than all the bad things that could happen. For instance, we have had our troubles while I'm at work on the weekends, Jim will forget to do some chore that may not be necessary, but appreciated, like wash a load of laundry. I get mad because I have no clean pants to wear the next day, we fight, but even though I know he forgot to do the laundry, or he forgot to do a million things some weekends, I know he didn't forget to pray with the girls before they went to sleep. We pray every night with them and it is something we both find extremely important and he may not have an amazing memory, but he has his faith, and I may not have clean clothes, but my children will know God and that will last forever. That is more important to me than having to wear dirty pants for a day! When I get mad I remember those things that I find so special about him that are part of the bigger picture. Yeah, I'm still mad about the clothes in the moment, but I would never get a divorce in a moment. If I didn't love him for his core values, what would I love him for? Love can't last forever because someone is good looking, or has lots of money, looks fade, jobs can come and go, but if you love who the person truly is at the core...on the inside...that can last forever!

So while today is only our 2 year anniversary, I know we will have all those other milestones, but it's just as important to stop and appreciate the 2 years we do have under our belt. I truly, from the bottom of my heart, beyond words, love my husband, Jim Enyart and am grateful beyond measure for every moment we have had and will have together. He is an amazing father, that may fail sometimes, but it comes from a place of love and well meaning. He is an amazing husband, that may drive me crazy some days, but would do anything for me, and I for him. Thank you God, for giving me this man, this family, this life. I love you hunny!

-Love, Heather Noel ENYART!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2nd- Post Partum Depression

So this isn't something that is easy to admit and I struggled with it on my own for the first 5 months of the girls being born, but I have post partum depression. I know I have dealt with depression a majority of my life and have always written it off as with my crazy life who wouldn't be depressed. I did the same thing after the girls were born, the social worker in antepartum that I talked to often before and after the girls were born and still stop and see now if we are in the area, has been recommending I start antidepressants since the girls were born. I kept saying oh, I'm fine, but I finally realized I wasn't fine. She was very insistent that it would just take the edge off and make things bearable and I would continue to deny it and say who wouldn't be depressed with their girls being born 11 weeks early, in the NICU, no house at the time, then twins at home with no sleep, just moving into a house and constantly having things going on. Then I started getting mad at Jim for everything, we were fighting daily and barely speaking. I figured if we kept going like this we would be divorced in a year and if antidepressants would really take the edge off at this point it couldn't hurt. I want my marriage to work and was willing to try anything. Unfortunately at that point we were barely speaking and I couldn't tell him I had started them. I was ashamed, and felt like I should have been able to get through this on my own. When you have a psychology background it makes it even harder to admit you have a problem and need help. So it took about a month before I could tell him. When I did tell him he took it very well but is blaming himself. It's so hard to explain to someone that isn't dealing with depression that it really is nothing to do with them and there is just something not right with you. But it's easy enough to treat. Since starting the pills there has been a drastic difference and I have even had moments where I thought man I want to be mad about this but I'm just not, it's ok. Do I walk around with a big goopy smile all day and in la-la land... no, it's exactly like Peggy said, it just takes the edge off things. I'm not always good about taking them everyday, I have never been good about that, but I notice a difference after skipping them for a couple days that they really do make a difference in my attitude.
Now, since there is a big story right now about the mom in Zimmerman that just killed her 2 kids and all the other crazy people killing their kids, or suicide or whatever, I need to say, I have never since the girls were born thought about hurting myself or the girls or Jim. Suicide crossed my mind often during my teen years but my sister beat me to it and put things in perspective. I have a couple times had to leave the girls crying and walked out of the room for a couple minutes to gather myself but I think most parents go through that and I would never neglect them or leave them in a dangerous situation.
Like I said this has been very hard for me to tell my husband, and I just told my mom and Jim's family this weekend, and for me to tell all of you is hard as hell, excuse me. But I feel like depression and other mental health disorders are shunned in our society and instead of reaching out to help people we stereotype them and avoid them like the plague. If you choose to do that to me so be it, I still have a wonderful husband and family that I assume will love me no matter what. I would rather raise awareness and share my story like I have with so many personal things regarding the girls. I want to be open for other people going through similar situations to have someone they can talk to or just know they aren't alone. Depression whether it is post partum or just depression effects everyone at some point in their life I believe. Some people can deal with it on their own but sometimes you need help and I think that should be admired, putting yourself out there and admitting you can't do it on your own.
Anyways, on  side note, we are walking as a family on April 28th for the March of Dimes March For Babies Walk. I'm so excited about this and looking forward to giving back to an organization that has done so much to help so many people, including us. We have been so blessed to have such a miraculous outcome with our girls and we just wish everyone could be so lucky and feel the need to give back. It is something we feel very strongly about and would love to make it a family mission for the rest of our lives. Not only were my girls premature, but I have 3 nephews and a niece that were early and it is something we feel very passionate about. We would love for everyone to walk with us and are thinking about having t-shirts made if we can get enough people signed up in time. Otherwise we would be so grateful for any donations we could get. I know most of you have a dollar and even a dollar gets us 1 dollar closer to our goal and its 1 more dollar than they had yesterday. We are looking forward to some of the nurses and staff from our hospital will be walking and some of the other residents we were with in the NICU and Antepartum so it will be a big reunion and we would love for them to see the support our girls have had through this whole ordeal. It is only 2 miles and I'm over 100 pounds overweight so if  I can do it you guys can too!!! Like I said we would prefer people walk with us as much as we want your donations, just to see everyone with us that prayed and kept us in your thoughts as we went through so much would be enough motivation for us! Anyways, to sign up or donate it is www.marchforbabies.org/TwinBells.
Enough about me and our mission, I'm sure you would all love an update on the girls!! They are getting so huge!! We had our NICU follow up appointment a little over a week ago and the occupational therapist, nurses, nurse practitioner and neonatologist were all amazed at the progress they have made!! They are meeting or exceeding all milestones they expect a 6 month 11 week premature baby to be hitting. Even since that appointment they have started doing more things! Anabell just figured out tonight as a matter of fact how to roll over from her back to her tummy. Really I think she was just so mad because we are working on fixing our bedtime routine that it was out of her frustration she was rolling over. Then she kept getting her foot stuck in the crib rails when she rolled and would be twice as mad! I felt so bad for her but couldn't help laughing and clapping for her progress which she also did not enjoy! She has also started sitting for a couple minutes on her own, unassisted. When I tried showing her pediatrician last week of course she refused to do it and made me look like a liar, but I figure I have 18 more years of that to look forward to and wasn't too surprised!! Isabell is right behind her and has been rolling to her side for weeks now but is just as content on her side and doesn't seem interested in going all the way over. The pediatrician was impressed that she is starting to get her legs under her and may crawl before she rolls. :s Not quite ready for that!! We started solids last Wednesday after their normal 6 month appointment, but we jumped the gun on that one. Isabell had been a little stuffed up but didn't realize til that night that she actually had a pretty bad cold and had already passed it onto me and and Anabell. You aren't supposed to start solids when they are sick and fussy so there was mistake number 1!! Then it probably didn't help that they had their shots that day and ended up getting a fever for the first time from them. Again, didn't catch onto that till later, so mistake number 2!! Either way they survived the rice cereal attempt, but they weren't too impressed by it. Then we tried again on Saturday, after giving them a couple days to get better, and they were pretending to be hungry even though they just polished off their bottles so we figured what the heck!! Went much better and they seemed to enjoy it a little more. The real treat came yesterday when we started sweet potatoes!!! They LOVE them!! They both went to town and in the 2 feedings between yesterday and today have almost polished off the whole jar!! Anabell screams bloody murder if you don't shovel it in fast enough!! It is amazing how quickly they figured out putting the spoon near their mouth they should open their mouth and suck it off! They keep sticking their tongues out and drooling a lot of it out but it is just amazing to see how quickly they are figuring it out! Pretty sad for me, they are growing so fast!! Anabell is almost 17 pounds now and probably is over actually and Isabell is probably over 14 pounds by now. They have stuck to this 3 pound difference for awhile now and it seems to be working for them. Good for us because as most people are noticing, the older they get the more they are starting to look alike!
Other than that not much going on. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! I had to work in the morning and missed most the excitement and seeing my girls in their dresses so I'm a little depressed about that, but nothing I can do about it now I guess. I actually really enjoyed the time I was at work and some of the kids amazed me and gave me a glimmer of hope the world won't end when they take over! I offered to make deviled eggs for the first time ever and all the kids said they hated them but I decided it wasn't Easter without them. Turns out most of the boys had never had one and they all thought they were amazing! They just didn't want to feel stupid for not having had one. Made me grateful for what I do and have had and realize how privileged I really was. There are so many things I take for granted and then some of those boys make me realize how bad it could really be. It is those moments that make me love my job and continue working there despite driving over an hour to get there and all the crap I get from some of them.
The girls baptism was beautiful! They were so well behaved and pretty much slept through getting the water poured on their heads. Isabell woke up and whimpered at the end but really didn't care. We had a nice lunch afterwards and were lucky enough to use the church instead of trying to cram so many people into our little house. It was so sweet when I got there I changed the girls there because I never could have gotten them in their carseats in their dresses. After I changed Isabell this sweet older lady came up and took her and walked around during the coffee hour showing her off to everyone while I got Anabell ready! It was so nice and I just wish I knew her name because she talks to us every Sunday and is always gushing over the girls and how well behaved and beautiful they are! We were given some beautiful gifts and were again reminded of how blessed we are by so many people in the congregation giving us cards and coming to talk to us and wish us well. I drove home crying once again! Someone anonymously gave us a giftcard to Coborns and never wrote anything on the card or anywhere. We really have no idea who it was and if they wish to stay anonymous that is fine but if you know who they are could you please thank them from the bottom of our hearts! We are so grateful to all the people who have supported us through this journey and continue to be part of our lives.  I can't think of a better way to end this except by once again saying Thank You and God Bless!

Love, Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21st- 6 months 1 day old!

Wow! I knew it was awhile since I posted anything, but reading through it obviously so much has changed!! Where to start!! I guess discharge is as good as any!.....

Wednesday November 14th I went to visit the girls and we had a new nurse. She said they were working on getting Anabell discharged tomorrow and if we were interested they had a room open in the wing so we could all stay together in one room. I called Jim and told him to pack our bags we were moving back into the hospital! Anabell was discharged the 15th and we were allowed to stay in the hospital another week when Isabell was discharged on the 21st. On the 15th we started attempting to give Isabell her med bottles by mouth so she could get ready for discharge as well. Everytime we gave her a med bottle she choked and would turn blue and quit breathing. Over that weekend it turned into almost every bottle she was choking on which gave us a lot of practice since we were in the wing with only 1 nurse for 5 babies and they were stationed down the hall with a phone that should go off when their alarms did but for whatever reason never worked for Isabell. It was very stressful and on Monday after having a long chat with the doctor and the occupational therapist Holly, Holly went to fight for us and got us a swallow study. Unfortunately it came back normal and there was nothing they could do except thicken her med bottles. So we went home the day before Thanksgiving mixing her meds with formula and rice cereal. Apparently there is an enzyme in breast milk that breaks down rice cereal and it won't thicken so she had to have straight formula. At the time meds meant pear juice due to her constant constipation and a multi vitamin. It was the scariest thing in my life having these two tiny infants at home with no monitors to tell me if something was wrong! We moved into Jim's parents house because we were still waiting to close on our house and didn't want the girls around cigarette smoke at my parents. Jim's brothers came home from college for the weekend so we had lots of hands to help out! The first month they were home I had a nightmare every night that I fell asleep with them in my bed and they ended up suffocating in my pillow case and I would wake up tearing my pillows apart trying to get my baby out of them! I realized quickly I just had to look over and check their cribs to know they weren't in my pillows, but over the weekend I woke up like that and Anabell wasn't in her crib and Jim was next to me! I freaked out and Jim woke up to me tearing the bed apart trying to find my baby! I yelled where is Anabell and he jumped out of bed and ran to the living room. When he came back he said Dave had her. I was so relieved and after I calmed down realized she was due to eat anyways and went to get her. Dave was laying on the couch with her and I said I would take her and he didn't move... I said again I can take her and he just looked at me and said uh, I don't know how to move her! Apparently he had been stuck there for awhile because Jim went to bed and he didn't know how to move a baby! It was so sweet and hopefully he doesn't get mad for me sharing this!
Currently the girls are doing amazing! They are both almost caught up in weight to where a 6 month old should be, Anabell weighs over 16 pounds and Isabell is over 13 pounds. Its been a couple weeks since they were weighed so I don't have exact numbers. We have a follow up appointment at the NICU tomorrow so hopefully that goes well! We had an eye appointment for Isabell a couple months ago and her level 1 retinopathy of prematurity had cleared up and gone away. We have another eye appointment in May so hopefully it is all still good. They will likely end up with glasses someday, but that was likely to happen anyways since Jim has glasses and everyone in my family except me does. They are smiling ALL the time and occasionally you can get a giggle out of them. They struggle with tummy time but recently it started clicking and they are pushing up and looking around. I almost cried the first time Anabell pushed all the way up because all I could think is she will be crawling anyday!! Ah! They are starting to figure out toys and like things that make noise. Anabell is still protective big sister and always wants a hand on Isabell and for the most part Isabell wants nothing to do with that. But lately when we have been somewhere new Isabell can be found reaching for her sister! They haven't started solid foods yet but they have their 6 month appointment with their pediatrician next week and will probably start soon then! They are both on Zantac for acid reflux and a multi vitamin. Isabell is off the pear juice now and doesn't need her bottles thickened anymore either. Unfortunately I ran out of breast milk when they were about 3 months old and it was too hard to pump at work so they switched to formula. I wish we would have lasted longer, but I'm proud we lasted as long as we did!
On December 18th we closed on our house and made a mad dash to move in! We couldn't wait to have our own space and did a rushed paint job, got the carpets cleaned and started scrubbing the house. When we bought it you could smell the previous owners must have chain smoked inside, but we didn't realize how bad it was until we started scrubbing! 1 window took me over 12 paper towels to clean all the smoke off of! There were blinds on 2 windows that Jim wanted to clean and I said heck no, get rid of them asap!! I pretty much scrubbed everything I could find to scrub, including taking every outlet cover off and heating vent cover and throwing them in the dishwasher! (neat trick I learned from a friend that moved into a smokers house not long before us, thanks Steph!) I am still finding things now that I have to scrub, but its made major improvements! Unfortunately the carpet cleaning didn't do nearly as good as we hoped and someday when we have the money will definitely need to be replaced, but being we aren't long to toddlerhood and dumped sippy cups and food all over we might as well wait at this point. Our house has 3 finished bedrooms and 1 unfinished. A mostly unfinished basement, except the 1 bedroom, and pipes for a second bathroom in the basement. It is a split level in Big Lake in what looks to be a nice neighborhood but being we moved in winter we haven't met much of the neighbors. When we first saw the house we drove through the neighborhood and there were kids all over the yards and streets so we are hopeful the girls will have friends! It has a door upstairs for a walk out deck and a door in the basement for a walk out patio, but no patio or deck yet. We have a large backyard with a little hill and ditch but the other side is the very busy county road 5. Jim wants to put a fence up in front of the hill but I think it might make a nice little sliding hill for the girls in a year or 2 so we are still debating where the fence should actually go. Definitely don't want the girls to be able to run onto that road though!!
I went back to work 2 weeks after the girls came home but was able to take a part time position at our group home and only work weekends. Its nice because I'm still getting 24 hours in a week since I can work a double and a single shift in on Saturdays and Sundays. I love being home with the girls all week and love getting a break from the girls, but its hard to have to work when everyone else is enjoying family time. We don't have a lot of family time since Jim doesn't get home until 6 and I am usually running around after he gets home. I try to get out of the house a couple times a week with the girls because I want them to learn early how to behave in public and I feel the more we do it the easier it will get. Our popular place to go is the Mall of America. I actually haven't even spent any money, its just a nice place to get out of and be able to walk around. The girls love all the sights, sounds and smells and are all smiles the minute we get there. I love the covered parking lot so I don't have to worry about the extreme winter attacking my girls! Plus the exercise is nice and we usually get stopped 100 times so I get to use social skills once in awhile! I'm definitely looking forward to the summer so we can go to the zoo like everyday and other outdoor activities! I have cabin fever to the extreme!!
On Christmas Eve we decided to attempt and take the girls to the late service at church. There weren't a lot of people there but I was near tears when a lady came up to us and went "Oh my, there they are! (Looked at an older lady nearby) Do you know who these girls are!? They are the twins we have been praying for for weeks!! They are so beautiful! I prayed so hard for you guys EVERY DAY, and here you all are!" I was so shocked to see someone had so faithfully prayed for us and cried the whole way home. On Ash Wednesday we decided we had taken the girls out enough we could figure out church. So off we went and at 1 point we were surrounded by over 20 people oogling the girls! It was so overwhelming but heartwarming to see all the love and support we had. Since then we have made more of an effort to go to church as often as we can, which can be difficult when I don't have a set work schedule and only work weekends. Every time we go another person comes up to see them and tell us how they prayed for us and were so glad we are still doing so well. Pretty much every Sunday and Wednesday I drive home sobbing because I am so amazed by God's power and what he has provided us with. Going to church every Sunday has become more than just an act, it is something we look forward to and we look forward to teaching the girls about God and Jesus and their love. It has become so much more meaningful because we are there for more than just us, we are there for our girls that have brought us closer to God than any other thing we have been through. The girls are getting baptized this Sunday and we are so grateful to have this opportunity since we had so many days we never knew if we would make it this far. We got cake for the coffee hour to thank everyone at our church that prayed for us but that doesn't seem enough. I know so many of you prayed for us and I wish there was some way we could thank you all, there is nothing we needed more and you all provided us that. Thank you.

Love always; Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell