Monthly Archives: July 2014


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This is the first soaker that I’m working on knitting for the girls. I’m using the Cheeky Soaker pattern and will be trying the Sheepy Soaker for the next one. I’ve also got a project so secret (and so barely started) it doesn’t have a picture.

Normal’s Just A Setting on the Washing Machine

First of all, the girls are doing well. They’re in the “graduate nursery,” not the NICU any more; they’re working on leaning how to eat, regulate their temperature, and being weaned off oxygen. They’re each over four pounds now, so they’re growing like tiny weeds.

In college, there was a song that they had a folksinger perform during orientation with the line of the post title: “Normal’s Just A Setting on the Washing Machine.” It’s strange how normal changes so quickly.

The girls were born very late on 8 July (I’d gone into labor in the very early hours of that day and the bulk of the day was spent trying to stop the labor at least long enough for the girls to have steroids for lung development). I first saw them almost exactly twenty-four hours after labor had started. During the first days while I was in the hospital, they weren’t ready to be touched yet, but then we started to be able to hold them.

Every day now, I go and visit them and do kangaroo care/skin to skin. It’s an actually scientific treatment for them (and for me and for Caleb when he comes); they do better if they’re lying on a familiar chest, hearing a familiar heartbeat and voice, than if they’re in the isolette. I’m also supposed to kiss them as much as possible so that I pick up information about their immune systems and produce the right antibodies in my milk. (Patting and stroking, though, are too much stimulation for them in quantity; I’m supposed to put a hand on their backs instead of stroking them.) The daily visit, the pumping milk every few hours, the calls in to see how they are right after morning shift change and nightly weighing (later on bath days) are all the new normal. And, in a matter of weeks, when they’re home, there will be an entirely new normal that will soon seem as if it’s always been that way.

They got names the day after they were born; we’d been planning to figure that out what ended up being the weekend after they were born. They were around two months early, so we thought there was time. I’m not going to be using their names here for a while at least; partly it’s because all four of us have somewhat distinctive names, but also it’s because I’m trying to figure out what information about them I want on the Internet. Here, they’ll be going by the First Lady (for the older one) and the Matriarch (for the younger one). These are references to holders of their names, but hopefully not Googleable.

I’ve started knitting a diaper soaker; I held it up to the Matriarch and checked that the sizing looked right. Of course, since motherhood hasn’t changed me entirely, I’m making it in referee stripes.

Tuesday’s Children Are Full of Grace

Very late on Tuesday evening, I gave birth to my twin daughters.

They were very early and are slated to be in the NICU for quite some time.

I’m at ten percent on the second shawl and will keep working on it to welcome her home or be used at her baptism.

One thing that was very comforting to me when they brought me up to see them the first time was that the older girl had on a handknit hat and there was a handknit blanket in her warming bed. Now that the younger one is stabler, there’s a blanket for her as well. They’re in incubators, so no hats now, but have the blankets down below their feet.

It was so nice seeing that, even though this was totally unexpected, they still had something there made with love for them.

Amazingly, not a Saturday

Lace shawl start

I’m at about seven and a half percent now. I got off the double points and onto the circular, which makes it feel a little faster.

Six and a half!

Six and a half percent!

I’ve made some progress, but have a lot more to go. It’s been so hot here that I’m glad I’m knitting a lightweight lace piece instead of a sweater.