December 14, 2017

Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Shells

I am just getting back into the routine of making dinner, now that the babies are (sort of) on a schedule and I know when there is a 30ish minute window to cook. Not sure when there will be a window to cook and take photos, so I am re-sharing one of my favorite dinners that I posted a while ago. I have been craving it, and it is such a cozy comforting dinner. It is just special enough though that it could be made for a holiday, and the green from the spinach and flecks of red from the pancetta make it perfect for a Christmas Eve or Christmas day spread.

It has just snowed in New Hampshire and the temps have turned to arctic, and every night we are craving a comforting, stick to our ribs kind of …

November 17, 2017

Love in a time of NICU {Instapot Beef Barley Soup}

Sometimes when I want a good laugh, I think about everything that has happened in the last month.

Survive the end of a twin pregnancy.

Have a C-section.

Have twin boys (!)

Have a newborn with Down syndrome.

Have a newborn without Down syndrome, but with some considerable fussiness, especially when he gets his diaper changed or is not being held.

Have an emergency illness lower 6-day-old Ronan’s temperature to 94, and rush to get him admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital for hypothermia. Discover he has Hirschsprung’s Disease.

Heal from your 6 day old C-section while living in the sleeping suite (basically a dorm room) by rolling Michael around the halls of Boston Children’s in a clear plexiglass bassinet, which draws so much attention to your newborn that it takes you 20 minutes to get across the hospital.

Get terrified that you will lock yourself out of your sleep suite multiple times a day.

Get more terrified that you will lock your newborn in.

Leave your phone in the …

October 25, 2017

The Twins Are Finally Here

{Welcome to the world Michael Seamus and Ronan Christopher Curtis. Born 10/13/17. Michael was 6 lb 7 oz and Ronan was 6 lb 6 oz, both 20 inches long.}

The twins were born after my last scheduled non-stress test, when I was discovered to be 2 cm dilated and my OB didn’t want me to go the weekend with breech twins and partially dilated, since a prolapsed cord (or the umbilical chord being able to hang down out of the uterus, possibly cutting off blood flow) was a big risk and a danger to the babies.

It was a blissful 5 days despite Ronan’s difficulty eating. Then his body temp started to move south, until 6 days after their birth it was down to 94 degrees, and we were sent to Boston Children’s Hospital. Ronan was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s Disease, which is one of the …

October 3, 2017

Pregnant with Twins 34-36 Weeks (Baby Gear Edition)

Oh, you’re still pregnant? That’s nice.

Note: The news is full of headlines that are heartbreaking at the moment so I know that pregnancy pains pale in comparison. Life is fragile, and should never be taken for granted. But I am writing these posts hoping they are helpful to other moms who are expecting, twins in particular, so what follows is for them.

Despite lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, 3 really great feast days that would have made fantastic birthdays, and my continued hope that I could report les bébés wanted to come early, we are all still hanging out together in our increasingly cramped quarters. 

At this stage of the pregnancy, my mental and physical limits are stretched beyond anything I have ever been through. For example, my biggest issue is actually just getting up from the seated position. Other problems include: walking, breathing, sleeping, carpel tunnel, swelling, heartburn, headaches, mental fogginess, emotional …

September 20, 2017

Pregnant with Twins 32-34 Weeks

 

This week we had another mile marker, another WAAAYYY out there date – Rob’s birthday – that seemed impossible back in February and March. Lucy’s birthday is this weekend, and I wondered way back then just how I would be feeling at this point in time. Will they come early and share a birthday week? Will I be miserable?

The answers are looking like no and not totally. I have this resignation that they will never be born, ever, and in fact they are just a prop in my belly, and that carrying around this belly is my new normal.

^Look at that! She switched things up with a new angle.

Perhaps this is because my OB scheduled a C-section at our last appointment (they are both breech), and she put it on October 17.

October 17.

4 weeks away. The day we booked the c-section, …

September 13, 2017

Peach Brioche Bread Budding

Peach season is winding down, and you may be looking for ideas on how to use up the last of your bushel (if you haven’t already eaten every last one in its wonderful naked form).  This dish marries two of my favorite things: seasonal fruit and bread pudding.

I fell in love with bread pudding after trying it at some of the quintessential New England restaurants in the area. If you have never tried this rich, comforting dessert, I would try to rectify that immediately. Once I learned how easy (and frugal) bread pudding was to make I was hooked. Don’t let the title ‘Peach Brioche’ slow you down AT ALL because you can use any good bread that you were smart enough to throw in your freezer or that you have on hand that is stale – french bread, sour dough, challah. All good. Typically recipes require the …