8 New Year’s Resolutions for Preemie Moms

If you’re a mom to a preemie baby, or preemie twins like I am, chances are you’ve heard all of these tips — or proposed resolutions — before.

But bear with me.

Yes, you may have heard them time and time again, but for one reason or another, perhaps you just didn’t follow through.

That’s OK. It’s a new year and another opportunity to restructure how you live.

 

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(Nikoh (L) with Mommy and Noah (R) in January 2017.

So here’s my resolution list. Take it as a friendly little reminder to let the little things go in 2017 and focus on being a tad more easy-going for your own well-being.

1. I will sleep when the baby (or babies) sleep.

When you have a preemie, chances are you are not sleeping much. Between nursing around the clock or feedings every hour or so, you can always use more rest. So when the baby sleeps, remember you should sleep, too. Close your eyes, silence your phone, log off social media and shut your eyes. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 2 hours, that sleep and rest can help.

2. I won’t waste excessive time on social media.

Yes, I know this can be so hard to do. Especially because we all love to scroll up and down on our favorite social media apps to see what everyone is up to, but it can get excessive at times! I know, because I’m guilty of it! A few minutes here and there to see what’s going on is OK, but realize it can be more beneficial to put your phone down after 15 minutes or so and “unplug” your mind a little. Chances are whatever you missed online will likely pop back up in your feed tomorrow.

3. I will let the laundry pile up.

If you’re anything like me, the problem isn’t loading the washer or dryer. It’s folding and putting all the clothes away! I have twin toddlers (boys), and they breeze through clothes like no one’s business! My sunken in bathtub has now officially become the “family closet” where I just sift through clean clothes to find something for each of us to wear, and that’s OK! Yes, I could spend hours folding and putting clothes away, but why stress when I can use that time to play with my babies?

4. I won’t feel bad for staying home.

Nurturing a preemie baby can take a lot of time and patience. And it always seems like when you do take baby out of the house, he/she/they almost instantaneously get sick. I swear my preemie twins were sick every other week this summer. So instead of going out of your way to attend every birthday party or family/friend functions, know it’s OK when you feel like you should just stay home instead.

5. I will schedule some “me time.”

Whether that be a trip to Target (my favorite place to go!), a drive-thru at Starbucks, a trip to the bookstore, a mani/pedi, or whatever it is you like to do — do it! Don’t feel guilty for giving yourself an hour or two to decompress and unwind. You deserve it, Mama!

6. I will be proud of my mama lifestyle.

When my twins were fresh out of the NICU, I barely had time to eat, let alone get dressed and do my hair. I rocked the mommy bun for well over two years and learned to embrace a fresh, makeup free face in public. I often felt bad for spending all day in my PJs, and then after finally taking a shower around 7 p.m., I’d put on a clean set of PJs. I lived in PJs, and you know what, they are so comfy, easy and great!

7. I will eat something, no matter how small, every morning before 10 a.m.

A banana, protein shake, slice of toast, bowl of cereal, handful of almonds, whatever it is that is accessible, shove it in your mouth! Even if it doesn’t sound good, you just need a little fuel. It took me forever to do this myself, but once I started putting something in my stomach before 1 p.m., I noticed I had more patience with my preemie parenthood responsibilities and felt better, too.

8. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Every night when I tuck my babies into their bed, I often feel tears well up in my eyes, because I remember a moment in the day I am not proud of. A moment where I lost my patience with them, a time when I knew I could’ve been a better mom. It’s normal. We all lose our patience; we are all doing our best and we all have the unconditional love of our precious preemies. You, Mama, are your baby’s lifeline, and even when you’re not at your best, you will always be good enough. So take a breath, forgive yourself for not being perfect, and remember tomorrow’s another chance to do better.

Why I’m Thankful for My Fellow Preemie Mamas

fullsizerender-1Having a preemie baby can change the way you look at life. It can change the methods by which you prioritize everything from household tasks and work to relationships with family and friends, as well as the focus you place on yourself.

Spending any amount of time in a NICU can make an impact on your heart. Parents of preemies learn fast that we need to be amazingly strong. And if there are times we don’t have the strength for ourselves, we also quickly realize how comforting it can be to be able to pick up the phone, send a text or an email, and reach out to someone who has been exactly where we are.

Some people will understand the change and the new person you’ve morphed into since becoming a preemie mom, while others won’t ever grasp the change, and that’s OK. Hang on tight to anyone who makes an effort to help you get through the NICU experience, and who wants to be there for you and your preemie(s).

I am so thankful to have two close friends who experienced a NICU journey similar to mine with premature twin boys. Almost three years later, I still reach out to them every few weeks for advice about minor medical-related issues that arise, advice on the different toddler stages and struggles, and even for reassurance when I feel like I am doing motherhood all wrong.

Here’s why I am thankful for my fellow preemie mamas:

We understand the complex emotions. It’s been two and half years since my twin boys were born premature at 28 weeks, and I still think to myself, “What did I do wrong? Why wasn’t my body strong enough to carry them longer?” I don’t think I will ever “get over” their premature birth; it’ll always stay with me. It’s comforting knowing other preemie moms can relate to the emotions I will likely always feel about their NICU days.

Some preemie moms also understand why I cringe when I hear my friends say they “can’t wait” to have their full-term baby, or when they do things to kickstart their labor. I am not trying to be judgmental. I am still experiencing sadness about my pregnancy that was cut short, and I really just want you to enjoy yours until baby says its time.

We praise every milestone. In our eyes, our babies will always be worthy of praise, no matter how old they are.

We are each other’s best sounding boards. I am so grateful to know when I talk to fellow preemie moms, they don’t judge me. Instead, they understand my deepest emotions about everything related to my prematurity experience. I feel like I can tell another preemie mom (even a mom I just met) anything, and almost instantaneously they relate and know exactly how I am feeling. The premature baby and mommy community is a strong one, and it’s a great comfort to know there are others who are always willing to listen and be a friend.

XO~

Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Breath-Holding Spells ‘Common,’ But Terrifying

We are smack in the middle of a double dose of the “terrible twos” at my house, which for my twin boys started well before they were 2 and now include terrifying breath-holding spells. Noah and Nikoh’s temperaments often get … Continue reading

Heartbreaking Accidents Will Happen…

This gallery contains 11 photos.

  From the moment my twin boys were mobile (crawling, cruising around the furniture, walking and running), I became fixated on baby proofing our house to keep them safe. My biggest fear, like all parents, was to ever see my … Continue reading

‘Mothering’ Through the NICU Heartache

I didn’t think I was strong enough to be a NICU mom. Hell, I didn’t even really understand the importance of what the letters N-I-C-U actually meant.

But I learned — very fast– how critical the NICU was to my babies’ development and survival and how my plan for motherhood would never be what I expected. Continue reading

Moms Don’t Need Sleep, No Really..We Don’t ;)

I never imagined I could ever “miss” sleeping, but then I became a mother to twins 25 months ago, and I have not slept a solid 2 hours since.

Yes I could have just said 2 years, but 25 months sounds more excruciating, and these days –if I’m being honest–I’m all about dramatics! (Judge me if you  must. But being a little ‘drama’ makes me feel better when I have those ‘Woe is me!’ moments…I’m sure the ‘perfect mommies’ out there can’t relate at all 😉

I swear sometimes I’m so tired, I literally crawl into my twins’ Little Tikes playhouse with them, just so I can close my eyes for 5.2 seconds, and I promise as silly as it sounds, it helps! Where do you escape to? Bathroom at work? Cat nap in your car? Floor in the playroom? Drive-thru line? We all have those places where we steal a few seconds/minutes to ourselves and man does it feel good! Little things people, I am all about the little things to survive each day. When I’m really, really tired and missing my sleep, I literally lay in my bed thinking, ‘How the heck am I going to make it through today?’ Meanwhile my little monsters are jumping, crawling, singing, playing all over my semi-lifeless body. So when I finally muster the energy to change their diapers, brush their teeth and wrangle them downstairs, I head straight to the kitchen. I make myself a cup of coffee in a super cute cup, hoping my gel manicure still looks fresh and post a pic (like the one below) to my social media pages to make it “look” like I got this motherhood thing down to a science.  But if I’m being truthful, life as a mom is/was/will never be as easy, flowery, or glamorous as we can filter it to be. But hey all of the positive reinforcement and comments I get after posting my cute coffee cup picture really helps get my butt in gear for the day! So I do what I gotta do. Whatever it takes.  I’m all about motivation.

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(My fave coffee cup from TJ MAXX & OPI gel nail color ‘You Don’t Know Jacques,’ enhanced with my fave IG filter ‘crema’ – January 2016. “Looks” pretty, right?! There’s a reason I cropped out my face haha!!)

Okay so I know I am not the only mom who often daydreams about how incredible it would be to go away for the weekend, all alone, and sleep in a lush hotel bed with blacked out windows! Heck I’d even take a full Saturday or Sunday at home in bed all by my lonesome. Then I remember I’m a mom and that will never ever happen again for the rest of my life! But a girl can dream, right? But you know what I have come to realize, if it doesn’t ever happen, if I never get that chance to fully recharge myself, sxssxsxxxxxxZzZ  (Sorry for that typo, one of my twins just got a hold of the keyboard lol!) then that’s okay. I have come to believe mothers are like unicorns. We have mystical, magical powers that give us the energy to keep going and tending to our children, households, careers, errands when there is absolutely nothing left of ourselves to give to anyone or anything. Yet somehow, we get it done. We may have a mini-nervous breakdown somewhere in the car, shower, pantry, closet….but we make it happen.
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My twin boys Noah & Nikoh just turned 2 in March, and I’ve been working hard on weaning them off their overnight feedings. Hence my extreme lack of sleep from letting them cry it out. On average I still wake up anywhere from 2-4 times every night. Trust me tired mamas when I say, each time I wake up with my babies I think about you. Yes, YOU! Exhausted, sleep deprived, depressed, sad, overwhelmed moms….and I say to myself, “I know I’m not the only mom awake right this second, caring for her babies or kids, so if she can do it as tired as she is, so can I.” I think about my fellow mamas a lot (the expecting moms who soon will realize how evil sleep deprivation is, the newborn mommy whose baby is waking every 2-3 hours for feedings, the twin preemie mama whose babies need to be fed every 1.5 hours,  the toddler mom whose baby sleeps through the night but she still wakes up overnight to check on baby, the veteran mom who has grade school kids that still wake her up at night when they don’t feel good or forgot about a last minute project…  I pray for you/them every single night! I pray for our patience and strength to continue to thrive solely on the love we get from our children who need us moms for absolutely everything, no matter how young or old they may be. I pray because I know how easy it is to wallow in missing that precious sleep that we lack since the moment we became a mom. Easier said than done, I know!

So if you’re like me and always find yourself wondering if you’ll ever sleep again, although it’s probable, it’s highly unlikely. But you’ll survive, because that’s what us mamas were born and bred to do.

And incase no one has told you today, you’re doing the best you can, and that’s all you can ask or expect from yourself. So be proud of what you accomplished today, and remember we can start all over again tomorrow. And when you’re at the end of your rope from lack of sleep and patience, know you have a fellow mom in ME – Nisha…Noah & Nikoh’s mama – who is thinking of and cheering you on.

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(Late night footsie session with my twins, Noah & Nikoh. – April 6,2016)

Who needs sleep anyway when we can just stay up all night and cuddle! Totally overrated 😉

XO~
Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy