Sunday, March 29, 2015

No, you may not go outside and play yet.

Well, I have been inpatient for two full weeks as of tomorrow.
I have got to tell you, I can't believe how fast it is going.
Do NOT get me wrong, the lonely parts are hard, the "good nights" filled with tears are hard, the sleeping is impossible, there isn't an inch of privacy even for a phone call, I've had six roommates so far - some good some not so good, and the food is garbage but ... looking at the big picture, these things are minor.
I am incredibly impressed by the staff. I have never felt more taken care of or watched after. And waited on! "Can I get you water?" "Can I get you juice?" "Do you need anything?" It is impressive and reassuring.

I can not say I feel like I am in a 5 star resort or anything, but you learn to adjust.
I am encouraged to walk around, get out and do things (but not too out) - for which I am thankful because I am not much of a "sitter still".
At one point in my first week here, we were discussing outpatient monitoring as opposed to being in here for 6 more weeks full time. Now, I have to say, anyone staring 6 weeks stuck in a hospital room will jump at the idea to be home sleeping in their own bed, with their partner, pets, amentities, etc. Showering where things are familiar, and eating decent food! WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?
Well, that was my first thought anyways. Then I thought about it a little more. For 6 months I have been given the statistics of my situation. The advantages of being here. The reasons I am here. And my mind quickly changed to "No." No I do not want to go home. I do not want to travel here every day, two to three times. No. I want to be here! I actually can say I want to be here!!!
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttt, if you could let me out for a few hours a day I would really be happy.
At this point we started considering day passes. My doctor was all for it! Yay!

So I decided, since things were on such an early side, and everything was going so well, I was going to take a few hours and go home. I laid on my own bed (which was one of the most blissful experiences of my life, I cried - who knew?!), I took a shower in MY shower. I dropped off laundry, I ran the dishwasher, I cuddled with my cat and snuggled with the love of my life. Stopped at Target, grabbed some essentials, ate actual food and headed back to my temporary home.
Let me tell you - as wonderful as the break was, as fresh as the air felt, there wasn't a moment I wasn't on edge. I was so afraid I was going to get in trouble for leaving that I don't think I actually relaxed for 30 seconds. Probably not even 10.
I returned to my hospital room and felt relieved. I got settled for the night and began to relax. The nurse came in to do my evening non stress test (funniest name for a test that stresses out EVERYONE involved!)
Well, apparently babies were not happy with the decisions I had made for the day.... and decided to act up! I landed myself in the labor and delivery unit.
At 26 weeks (only days after NICU said "we will not discuss the grimness of 26 week delivery" to me)
After three or more hours of monitoring already.
To say the very least, I was not thrilled nor excited.
I was numb, terrified, trembling and exhausted and alone.

Let me preface this all with just a bit of information: I do not do medical situations. No seriously. DO NOT DO THEM. I have never been hospitalized, I am absolutely petrified of hospitals. I do everything I can to avoid them. I have never had so much as an IV, no surgery that required inpatient, no anesthesia. Any of these ideas will send me into a full blown anxiety attack at the drop of a hat. I have been prepping myself for it, because it is all coming, but 6 days of being in the hospital was certainly not enough prep.

Long story short(ish) - I was placed on monitoring (I was told would be about 4 more hours) and that was the plan. Then the resident doctor came in and we talked, they said the cervix was closed and all was looking well. After a bit of further discussion and calling the doctor on call, changes were made. Prep was done for delivery (steroid shots, IV drip, magnesium drip, etc) and I was in a full on panic, at 2 a.m. that lasted until day break. But the babies stayed in.
I was sent for ultrasound at about 8 or 9:00 in the morning. Everything looked spectacular. Cord flow was great, breathing and heart rates were excellent, all was good. I was taken off IV, and given food (yay), monitored for three more hours (this makes about 15+ total!) and sent back to the safety of my original room, a place I never knew could look so good!

Needless to say, I learned a lot that day.
First things first - my ass will not be leaving this hospital anytime soon. Day trips will not be happening. Visits home will not be happening, even for Easter or my birthday. Excitement will be brought to a minimum. Boring days are much welcomed.
For the first time in my life, I want BORING.
Secondly - ummmm, magnesium is freaking awful! They should use it to extract answers from terrorists. Seriously. I am pretty sure I am going to have to have it again at some point and the thought makes me want to jump out the window.
Thirdly - I am reminded that I am surrounded by the best staff, in the best place with the best care for my babies. You have to stop and wonder why things happen sometimes. I am being told my stress was not the cause. I am being told my leaving for a few hours was not the cause. I am being told to learn to meditate and control my anxiety. And I am being told to not bother to worry because what ever happens will be.
So, why? Who can say why. But I have decided after a few days of thinking, what I am going to take from this situation.
I am taking this as a warning. A warning to remember why I am here. To remember now is time to slow down, because in a few months there will be no down time! Also an opportunity to find a method of relaxation, a plan of action for stressful moments, and a way to control the fear and find the happiness.
As this pregnancy continues, I am finding lessons I have needed to learn in my past are being forced upon me now with vigor. It is as if these two boys know, with out even really knowing, exactly what I need and when.
The past year has taught me more lessons than all of my (almost)37. But I don't think anything has taught me as much as these two have in the past 27 weeks. If they are teaching me all of this now, I can not imagine the things I will learn when they finally arrive! 6 weeks or more, no sooner!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


This morning I woke up, I laid in my bed with my cat for an extra couple of minutes - enjoying my own bed, the view from my own window and my kitty's purring. I thought about my life, and where I have been. I thought about the things I have done, the happiest moments, the saddest moments and the scariest moments. I thought about when I moved to NYC - knowing next to nothing about the city. I thought about the time I sold everything, packed my car, drove across the country and moved to L.A.
I thought about how these two huge moves scared me less than a 2 month trip to my own local city hospital.
I tried to understand what made this move scarier than the rest. For someone who has traveled to weird places for years, spent time away from home, moved around - why was this so much different?

The conclusion I came to was quite simple. Anywhere I went, any thing I did, I knew that when I was ready to, I could come home. And it would still be home. The difference is now, when I come back home at the end of this stay, my life will be a thousand times different than it has been the last 37 years. I will be a mom. My boyfriend will be a dad. And my life as I know it, will never be the same (in ways I can not yet understand).

I thought about how much has changed in the past year (well, less than a year - whoa.)
Drastic changes. Of all my life, I have never had so much change, in such a short time.
And the one very big, very important thing I have been taught, is that home is not a place.
Home is who you are with.
And although when I return back to my dwelling, my life will be different, but it will also be so much the same.
And it will be home, because I will be surrounded by those I love and those who love me.
This is what makes home, home.
Not a place, not a building, just the love people share.
Families & friends.
So in the meantime, I am in my temporary 'home'.
Where every time a familiar face walks through my door, it feels like home.

Dated: 3/16/15

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Looking for the "pause" button

It is Wednesday morning.
I am sitting here staring at my To Do list, eating a breakfast I wish consisted of chocolate chip cookies.

This list I have in front of me is two pages long, front and back.
It covers every errand to run, every grocery to buy, every item to clean, every suitcase to pack and every room to organize... along with many other things and notes and ideas.

It is basically "nesting" (an unexplainable urge and need to clean/organize the whole house, top to bottom before baby, or in this case babies, arrive) on paper, or spring cleaning or a combination of both considering the recent weather change.
Nesting usually takes place starting a few weeks, or months before the baby is born. Old wives tales suggest it means labor is coming but from everyone I have spoken to it begins much earlier than that. And it is an instinct that really can't be explained. 
Before I go further, let me back up a little... so, a "normal" pregnancy runs approximately 40 weeks. This would mean, in my mind, nesting begins around 30-35 weeks. That might be early but some people are just born to plan and prepare. Let's for sake of example say it begins at 32 weeks. 
At 32 weeks of a mono-mono pregnancy - you are having your babies. BOOM! 8 weeks of prep for babies, GONE.
Now back up even further- at approximately 24 weeks (depending on doctor and situation) you are inpatient hospitalized (yes, we have just gotten to the heart of this post). So apparently you, as a mono-mono mom are to be "nesting" around what? 18 weeks!? Dear God. This brings us back to an insane To Do list that others can't comprehend. 4 months of prepping packed in to, say, two weeks. 

Monday morning I am going to walk out of my house, with only what I can carry. (OK that is a lie, I can't carry anything. It'll be what someone else, stronger and more balanced than my now enormous self can carry). But not much. Think of packing for a weeks vacation (and by vacation, I of course mean jail) but having to stay for 8 weeks. No washer, no dryer, no refrigerator, no microwave, no getting up for a midnight snack in your undies, no cuddling on the couch watching crappy TV with the love of your life, no sitting in the 'new' nursery dreaming of the arrival of your little one. None of that at home, nesting, resting stuff. 
Just some luggage, some strangers and some odd machinery monitoring you. 

I will walk out of my house on Monday, knowing when I return in two months, my life will be absolutely NOTHING of what it is right now. Not only will it be different when I arrive home, but it will be different in a way my brain can not even begin to understand. 

I have talked to many women over the past few weeks who have spent time inpatient waiting for their babies to be born. Some have hated it, some have not. Some flipped out, threw a fit, absolutely refused to go and others have gone quietly. I guess I fall in between. I do nothing quietly. I fear for the nurses on D6 of Albany Medical Center, because I know that over a matter of two months they are going to consider holding a pillow over my face while I sleep countless times. 
In the words of singer Frank Turner:
"And I won't sit down
And I won't shut up
And most of all, I won't grow up"
God Bless those poor nurses who have no idea how their lives will change upon my arrival on Monday. They are going to hate me when I try to redecorate the room, leave and go to Target and tell dumb jokes until they want to blow their heads off. 

All joking aside, just how does one prepare for such an event like this? I mean, clearly you clean the house, you pack your things, for months you save activities to do while inpatient, you gather advice, you read what you can, you ask questions, you cook meals and freeze them for those still at home, you do laundry, you run errands, you tie up loose ends.... but really? How do you prepare for the home sickness, the loneliness of missing your of your partner, the missing of a pet (crazy but true), the boredom, the stir crazy, the missing of your own bathroom, and your own home, and driving in your car, the missing of holidays and birthdays and life happenings, the lack of freedom, the idea that the one place in the world that scares you more than most is a hospital and medical procedures and emergencies, and roommates and babies and you have never had anesthesia or surgery or even have a single idea what it is like to give birth to preemie babies and dealing with a NICU or anything leading up to it or what comes after and omg omg omg omg omg ... the claustrophobia of it all....HOW!?!?!

I have an answer. After the lists of things to do, the arrangements, the tasks, the errands, the groceries and the laundry are done, you are left with faith. 
You remember that this journey, is in fact just that... it is an adventure. You do what you have to do, with out resentment, and with out the fear swallowing you whole. You do it with support from those close to you and also from those you never knew would or could support you. You remember that two months is a tiny  amount of time to sacrifice when it comes to saving the lives of those you are creating. You remember the scary statistics and the feeling you felt the day they told you exactly what you were up against and you then remember your promise to those babies and to the other parents in your same situation - to fight this good fight the way it was meant to be. With positivity, faith and hope. To prove the statistics wrong, to be support for those who follow you and to build little warrior babies from the get-go.

THIS is what life is about. As corporate America sits there wishing for Friday, for fast forward, for the weekend of St. Patrick's Day parties, I am wishing for the pause button. For one more night to sleep next to the person I love, for one more hour hanging out on my parents couch and talk nonsense, for one more minute of  snuggling with my cat. But life has no fast forward, no rewind and certainly no pause button. I savor every moment at home til Monday arrives. And then come Monday, I am going to savor every, single, last minute I am in that hospital receiving care other mothers only wish to have, surrounded by a support system any other girl can only dream of. And come delivery day, I will savor every moment that led up to meeting these little guys and every moment that my life is no longer what I knew it was before. Life goes too fast to not do these things daily.
I will not take the little things mentioned above for granted. Because I will know the struggle to go with out them. 
Yet again, this experience is handing me even more lessons I couldn't have otherwise imagined learning. 
If that alone, with the reward of babies, isn't worth the small inconvenience of an 8 week hospital stay,
I truly do not know what is.

**With this being said, if you are in my position and facing the "jail time" of inpatient hospitalization, know you are not alone. And remember no matter how much it sucks, and how boring it is and how awful it will seem, it will never amount to the love you will receive for doing it. Best wishes!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

No need for sleep....

It is 1:57 a.m.

I am wide awake.

This is not a new practice for me, I have mastered the art of not sleeping ever very well over my past 36 years.
The difference today is.... I. Am. So. Tired.

As I lay here, there are many thoughts that run through my head but the one I am hearing loudest is "sleep now, because when the babies get here - there will be no sleeping for you."


This is the same feeling you might get when you have a big presentation at 8 a.m. and you are counting the minutes before you have to get up. It goes something like this:
1:00 a.m. (as you run over all numbers for the presentation) "If I fall asleep now, I get a good 5 hours of sleep.

2:45 a.m. (as you rehearse the opening line of the presentation) "If I fall asleep now I still get 3 hours and 15 minutes, that'll do"

4:30 a.m. (as you remember the blouse you planned to wear is at the cleaners, shit.) "I really need this hour and a half to function, please God, please! Just let me fall asleep!"

5:50 a.m. (staring at the ceiling now lit by sunlight.... you drag yourself out of bed, cursing) "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. How will I ever make a good impression with no sleep!?!?"

This is similar to how I feel. Except at 5:00 p.m. that night, the childless worker in the example above, gets to come home and collapse.

My brain is replaying all the sleep I am told I will never get, ever again, for the rest of my life. Ever.  
"If you think you're tired now, you have no idea what tired is yet" is a line I hear far too often. If you want to ensure that a very uncomfortable, over tired, already terrified pregnant woman, will not sleep - tell her this. It works like magic.

Along with this statement I hear, on the regular, these similar statements:

  • "If you think your house is a mess now, clean it while you can because it will never be clean again"
  • "If you think you are broke now, just wait"
  • "You miss going out and your social life already? Kiss that goodbye"
  • "While you are at it, kiss the pants you wore last summer good bye as well"
  • "Expect to fight with your partner- a lot"
  • "Get rid of anything you truly love now because your kids are just going to break it anyways"
I wish I could explain the fear this invokes in a mom-to-be. Add these to the reasons I no longer sleep. Life is changing faster than I could ever imagine and anything I have ever had control over, I no longer have control over - at all.

From what I understand, pregnancy is supposed to be a very exciting time. A very happy time. Not a terrifying ride of misery. I fully understand that my situation is different than most. And although it is a tad bit stressful, I wouldn't change it. As I have said, everyone is offered the situations in life that they need to learn and grow, and this is mine and I am blessed to have it.
BUT I wouldn't mind seeing some encouraging words every now and then instead of struggle. I wouldn't mind the negative stuff being out weighed by the positive stuff I hear. I make my own present, and I am aware of that, and I do everything I can to focus on the positive, because there is plenty. But I can not be the only mom-to-be out there (and I do not just mean mono/mono twin moms!) who is just plain ... scared. 

So I decided to make a compilation. I asked for parents to give me their greatest parts of parenthood. The things they love, the things that make them happy to be parents.
And the answers I got shattered my heart into a million, happy, excited pieces. 

Here are a few to hopefully help inspire you as well:

Eileen  Because at the end if the day (and my kids are 23 and 20) you will never have anything like the bond between a mother and her children.

John  I know your parents. I knew you as a girl. You'll be great

Crystal I have yet to find a moment that I am more overwhelmingly in love with my husband than those moments in the weeks following Carter's birth. Not when we were falling in love, at our wedding, finding out we were going to be parents... Nothing even comes close to the immense amount of love and deep respect I felt watching him hold Carter, and taking care of me when I wasn't at my best. I get teary just remembering it.
Don't listen to everyone giving you the negatives. It's just different, and you adapt. You will lay your eyes on those tiny humans that YOU MADE, and everything else will fade away.

Kimberly You think you have felt love, then you have a child and you wonder how u ever lived without this feeling

Jennifer  It is the most amazing feeling knowing you created those human beings!

Beth  I've never worked a more difficult job in my life. I've laughed till I cried, cried till I was hysterical, slept-walked through my day and nearly lost all sanity..but every time I am at the brink..four words make it all worth everything. "I love you Mama".

Stephanie  When you look in your babies eye's enjoy and capture every moment because before you know it there in High school, then college etc.. It goes fast ..Capture those memories

Alyssa  Parenthood really forces you to come to terms with who you are. It makes you dig deep and be better in ways you can't comprehend before you make the journey. You will learn how to effectively prioritize. You will feel deeper--the highs and lows are so, so powerful but GOOD.
And love. It may come all at once or take its time to build up, but I promise that one day you are going to feel it, and it will shine so bright, it will cut through all the darkness. Yes, it is hard, and yes you will have bad days, but that love will be worth it.
Also. Kids are funny. And full of so much innocent wonder. Your life will seriously fill up with joy by absorbing even a fraction of that!
AND you get to do things like color, mush Playdoh, and play with toys all the time! Fun!

Bobi  She's <my daughter> amazing. I made that!! Confident. Smart. Everything I taught her to be. She makes me proud every day.

Stephanie   The pants that don't fit, the broken favorite things, the dinners out and the time off to cure the hangovers don't ever seem as important as they did before. Being a parent is hard work but you get paid in tiny hugs and first laughs and peek a boos and it is the best pay you will ever make. The first time they say Mama or laugh or sing their first song your heart explodes out of every crevice in your body and nothing, not one single damn thing will ever matter as much as those little people who spit gum in your hair, and you always forgive them.
I also want to add that there is never enough time and there is never enough money but it always works out. Everyone tells you that you need to give so much up to have kids but all they need is love. Kids will play with boxes and pans.

J Derek  Think you're awesome now, just wait till you're a super somebodies hero

Kate  There's no better way to finally love your body no matter how "imperfect" after you hold your baby/babies and realize how amazing and beautiful it really is.
As a breastfeeding mom I never felt so much pride as I did watching her grow and be thrive knowing "I did that"
Being the person with magic kisses that fix all the boo boos

Marilyn  You learn that you are stronger and braver than you know, and you see yourself do what has to be done, and you feel immense pride in yourself for having mustered to get it all accomplished... and that doesn't even touch on the love you'll feel for your children... which fills your life in ways you can't even imagine.

Laura  One of my favorite parts about being a working mom is the excitement and hugs and huge eyes, big kisses, pure innocent joy I currently get when I walk in the door from my 20 month old

Nicole  It's the most exhausting and rewarding job I've ever had and wouldn't change a thing!!!!!!! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I'm on duty!!! A hug and kiss and an "I love you mommy" is all I need to keep me going!

Heather The best moment in the world is the first time you hear you child say "I love you mommy".

Brett  Being a super hero is definitely the tops. Their smiles and cuddles make all of that other stuff seem frivolous

Christopher  The older you get the smarter your parents get.

Kerri  By no means does any of this outweigh the amount of laughs you will have with your partner over stinky diapers, getting peed on, the hilarious things kids they say, or the hilarious way they try to dance. And seeing him hold those babies will be incomparable to anything else in the world. You got this!!!!

Meghan  My son is 13. Looking back at the milestones and being proud of his accomplishments and being his biggest cheerleader for all he does make me happy. While yes there are moments when you wanna run away and hide it is a love like no other

Molly  You think you know what love is now, just wait!!!

Bichi  When the tables turn and they are there encouraging you, helping you, being proud of you...appreciating what you do. That's pretty cool. You get to teach someone to be as good as you always wanted to be!

Keith  When Cadence was first born and just beginning to breathe and she was taken over to the warmer she started hysterically crying, as newborns do. I went over and said "hi baby" and that's it. She stopped and did everything she could to see me. And that changed my life forever. She had been hearing my voice all those months. And that's all she needed right then. I'll never forget that.

Emily  The moment I saw my baby for the first time and heard her cry, I was in love! And it's definitely a love like no other, it really can't be described or put into words..just AWESOME! Everyday I look at her and it blows my mind, that I helped create the BEST, most precious gift I have been blessed with!!!

Frances You are about to embark on the absolute best times of your life. Stay positive and DON'T listen to nay-sayers! Lucky you, to enjoy TWICE the love.

Tina  No matter how bad your day sucked, when you see that babies face light up when you walk in the room all your problems disappear
Heidi  All of those statements are so true! What makes it all worth it? It will be the first time in your life, that very moment you lay your eyes on that baby (for you babies), that you will undoubtedly feel a true love. A love that is like no other. Nothing and I mean nothing, will break that connection. It will be the first time you can truly say that you will put someone elses needs before your own and you will be ok with that. All that exhaustion and i don't just mean not getting another 2 hours of sleep (although that will mean the world for you to get), I mean pure physical exhaustion that sleep won't cure. It's an exhaustion you have never felt that comes from taking care of another human being, making him into a mini you or a better mini you, you will take such pride in that child. Its like your own masterpiece. He is a reflection of you. You won't be prouder of anything else you've ever created. You will work so hard like never before at giving this child a good life. And although your own needs are on the back burner, your child's happiness will always come first. Things you worry about now won't even be a thought once you lay eyes on him. This will be your BIGGEST achievement in life. And how can that not make you so excited?

Mark My daughter taught me "love." I couldn't imagine a love like this. Ever. There were times it was financially difficult. Others were so frustrating, you wondered how you would ever get through it. But, I wouldn't change a single moment. It's been an incredibly rewarding ride.
Another message is: Hold on tight to your sense of humor. You can't always laugh in the moment (and there will be moments you'll want to literally roll on the floor laughing - but you can't because you still need to correct the behavior), but remember to do it'll make those tough moments a lot easier. Lastly, one of the coolest parts of parenting for me was watching my daughter experience those things that I experienced as a kid and watching her awe and wonder. I'd watch her and think, "That is soooo cool!" Then, I'll be the very 1st to admit how "lucky" I got with my daughter. She didn't deal me even a 10th of what I gave my parents.

Carrie  We get so caught up in this crazy life that we miss out on what is wonderful in the here and now! We stop worrying about the future because they are staring back at us. Our kids help us stay present and in the moment. Those special little moments when they get sooo excited about something as simple as "Frozen" soup or their daddy walking in the door after working all day, a sticker from the doctor after being stuck with needles, their favorite inappropriate adult song comes on the radio and they start dancing in their car seat... The list is endless but it's those little moments that bring pure joy and happiness to your life as a parent!
Lynn  First, master the art of sarcasm so you can indirectly tell people to f*ck off when they say insensitive things like all of the above.
Second, I've never loved anything I hate so much like this (being a parent) ...In other words, no matter how bad things seem to be, at any given moment, you will still love it. And that trumps all.

Anna  In a way those things are right because life as you know it will never be the same after you become a parent. BUT being a parent, especially a mother is the most rewarding and incredible thing that can ever happen to you. You will wonder what did you ever do without them? Holidays are so much better through the eyes of your children. The love you feel for them and the love they have for you, indescribable. Be excited for this new journey you will embark on. Parenting doesn't have to be any of what's described above. It's what you make of it.

Kate  Think you've felt loved before? Just wait till you get that first face munching slobbery kiss.
Think you pretty important? Wait till you're somebody's hero by magically kissing away the hurt.
Expect to cry, a lot. Tears of love, joy, exhaustion, awe, frustration, mirth, and gratitude.
Say goodbye to those fancy pants you wore last summer because they're going to get ruined by sticky fingers clutching at you because you're safest place in their world.

Keri Honestly, being a parent was what I was made to be....Daniel is my #1 - I hate when pple feed me the crap that mom comes first or she can't be the best mom she can be. I call bullshit. Daniel comes first....period. Once I held that little man in my hands (which he Pooped in immediately ) I lost all fear of what to expect and just lived for that moment. Its hard to do but always trust ur gut. I still parent "in the moment". As a huge anxiety sufferer I refuse to let daniel see mommy like that....he has grounded me, taught me true love, helped me learn to love more worry less...and worry more lol if that makes sense. There is NOTHING like being a mommy or daddy....i thought I loved my animals more than any human ever could....then along came daniel and showed me a whole new melt your heart cry tears of joy love. You will sleep again you will have things you love you will have a life you will do whatever you want bc it's your life and why it won't ever be the same it will be sooooo much better. I PROMISE. All you have to do is allow it to happen...whatever "it" is. Trust the universe trust yourself. You got this. We all the same and in completely different ways

Michelle  Think you've experienced unconditional love with your partner? Wait until you hold what you've created and have nurtured and will continue to do so for the rest of our life... Wait until you see that little one.. That's the absolute definition of unconditional love.

Kim  Every single day since I've become a mother and put my baby(s) to bed... I turn back before I close the door, feel that lump in my throat and literally say, out loud thank you God for this(these) angels. I have always been moderately religious... But for these 2 girls, my heart and faith grew 1000 times, I see every single blessing I have that I over looked before... From the fact that my fridge is full, my bills are paid, my car is working and my babies loved and fed. I have never been more proud of any accomplishment I've ever attained and every single thing that was ever important to me, just isn't that important anymore. Just remember to take those steps back to see what they're doing. Put the camera down, you being in the moment is far more important than capturing it. Of course your life is changing... You're about to be 2 babies whole world.

Kerry  And you think your Mom is the best there is now, just wait until your babies are here... You will understand EVERYTHING your own mother did for you on a whole new level!!!!

Donna Experiencing all of the firsts! Just remember to be laid back and enjoy them.

There it is for you. Real parents, real answers. 
I want to make it clear, that I did not say I am not excited. Of course I am excited!
But I think with all the talk out there about how hard it is to be a parent (and don't even get me started on what I hear about twin/multiple parenting) that all of us parents-to-be, who have no idea what to expect, need to be reminded of the amazing journey we have no idea we are about to embark on - in a good way. 
When I see a parents eyes well up when they talk about their children, I find encouragement that dirty laundry and sticky hands and no sleep are not what parenting is all about. 

My hope is that this post will bring that feeling of encouragement to a new parent-to-be that might be feeling just as scared as I am. I cried my eyes out reading through these responses more than once.
And I can't wait for the the day to look back at them and feel exactly what they are all saying.  THAT is true excitement if I have ever known it!

**Thank you to all who participated. If I was unable to include your response in time, please feel free to leave it in the comments below on this post, I am sure you as a parent could have wisdom us parents to be could use!