Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hospital Stay Day 4 & 5

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It’s only day 5 and already the days are all blended together. Too much of nothing going on. The rest of Thursday was fairly uneventful. Akinori came with the girls around 5:30 and we had a nice visit and they left around 6. I had dinner, played around on the internet for a bit, and went to sleep I think. I shed quite a few tears Thursday night from loneliness and missing my girls. I finally fell asleep around 11p.m. and woke up at 12:30 thinking I had been sleeping for hours. I was so disappointed to see the time. But right after I woke up a new roommate was brought into the room and she sounded like she was in labor. It was right at that time that my own tummy started to feel tight and uncomfortable, but I KNEW I wasn’t going into labor before April 2nd, so I practiced some deep breathing and willed the pain away, and finally back asleep around 2. The next time I woke up it was 7a.m.!!!! That is the longest I have slept in one stretch in ages!! Weeks! It felt great! But I woke up still feeling sad and lonely and shed a few more tears.

My NST was the same as always. Boys have strong, healthy heartbeats, I am not contracting at all. And before I knew it, it was nearly lunch time. I thought a nurse was coming in to take my blood pressure, but instead she said that I was moving. They were putting me in the bed with the softer mattress in a room on the other side of the hallway with women who have yet to give birth, rather than on the side I was on where women had either given birth already, or were in for surgery or something else.

I packed up all my stuff and went down the hall, and the moment I stepped in the room I was completely taken by surprise by the difference in atmosphere. There are 6 beds, and 5 of the curtains were wide open. The nurse introduced me to the other women and they were all so chatty and friendly right away and asking me all about the twins and where I’m from and telling me all about their conditions and why they’re here. There are no other twin moms in this room. 3 women are hooked up to IVs to prevent pre-term labor, the woman on my right side has placenta previa and maternal diabetes, but was all set up to be released when she started bleeding and had to stay. She’s scheduled for a c-section next Friday. It is my goal in life now to beat her into the delivery room. The woman on the other side of me doesn’t open her curtain and doesn’t talk to any of us, so I have no idea why she’s here. She’s nice and sweet with the nurses though, and she has a family who came to visit her last night, but I guess she’s just not interested in making any friends while in hospital.

The craziest thing is that one of the women in this room actually took my belly dance class once, and was all set up to start taking lessons, when she found out she was pregnant. I never would have recognized her, only meeting her once before, but she recognized me (not too hard). There is nowhere to run in Nagano. Everyone knows everyone somehow.

I moved into this room just before lunch and the talking and chatting and laughing didn’t stop once until visiting hours started and my friend G came and we went to the common room to chat by ourselves. She sent me a message asking what I wanted, and I told her of course she didn’t need to bring anything, but if she really had her heart set on bringing me something, then some lovely bread from a nice bakery would be more than welcome. Nothing fancy, just a croissant, or a roll, or something doughy. She brought me a lovely roll and a bag of chocolate croissants. 🙂 Yum! Yum! Yum! She stayed for about an hour and left just before Akinori came with the girls. They stayed until dinner time.

After dinner things kind of quieted down in the room. And when the lights went out just after 9, everyone closed their curtains and one by one people turned off their bed lamps and went to sleep. Unfortunately, even with the softer mattress, I couldn’t find a comfortable place to sleep. My belly is too big and my back is too painful, and the bed they moved me to doesn’t have a remote control to raise and lower the head and feet like the last bed did. At least with that bed I could move my head up and down and find a happy medium place sometimes. Cranking the bed manually anytime I want to move it, is very unappealing. I didn’t get any naps in during the day though, so I think I fell asleep initially around 10:30 maybe? And woke up at 2 or 2:30 and stayed awake until 4, and I was able to sleep again until 7. The not being able to sleep well takes a huge toll on my emotional state though. Even though this room is a much happier, friendlier place to be, I still woke up all emotional and missing my girls and it was really hard to talk to them this morning when Akinori called.

Of course I was also watching “The Help” and that didn’t help things at all (no pun intended). There are so many aspects of that movie that had me in tears. Definitely not the right movie to watch when you are heavily pregnant, period, let alone separated from your family and feeling lonely. I’m glad I finally saw it though.

My NST this morning was fairly uneventful. I had one or two minor contractions, but no big deal. Nothing to indicate the boys are coming anytime soon, though I just had another one as I typed this. But the boys are NOT coming today! Please boys, just a few more days! You can do it! We can do it! Hang in there!

I’m expecting some more visitors in a little while and Akinori should be here with the girls soon. I hope I can get a shower in before they get here. One of the highlights of my exciting day!

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36 weeks! Hospital stay – Days 2 & 3

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So after the NST monitor yesterday, where both boys showed they have strong, healthy heartbeats and don’t stop moving for a second and I am having ZERO contractions, I laid around in bed until lunch and then took a shower. Really, hospital life is more exciting than I could have ever hoped.

I took a shower after lunch and discovered 1. It was a really good thing I brought my own shampoo and conditioner because this hospital provides NOTHING. 2. This means I should have brought body soap too. 3. The face soap I thought I had put in my bag turned out to be make-up remover, which means I washed my entire body in make-up remover yesterday. I suppose that should have left me less oily at any rate, right?

There are two shower stalls and in the shower I met a lovely first time mother who had just given birth the day before. She looked amazing! Much better than I did after giving birth to either Sara or Amelie. And so refreshed! I was so jealous. I want to look refreshed! I am praying that once the boys are out, we have a good cuddle and a feed, I can send them off to the nursery for a few hours and I can sleep and sleep and sleep! Because lord knows I am not getting any sleep now, and it sucks! When I lay awake at night, all I think is “How will I muster up the energy to get these guys out if I can’t get any sleep?” and the world is just a better, happier place when you’re rested. Being so exhausted and sleepy makes me crabby and negative and really not want to give birth.

A friend of mine who lives about an hour away texted to say she had an appointment in Nagano later in the afternoon and could she stop by before her appointment? I was overjoyed! We’re really not that close, but having anyone come to visit is such a welcome distraction! And she brought chocolate!!! And the most adorable pairs of socks for the boys. She couldn’t stay long but it was nice to know she was thinking about me and so nice to have someone to talk to. I managed to get a brief nap in before Akinori called around 4 to say he was on his way to pick up the girls, and would then go home to get body soap and the other stuff I had asked for, and that he had been to Docomo and picked up a new wi-fi router and it was faster and better than the one before. Yeah! Internet!

I went back to my room to stare at the clock basically. I read some of one of my books, I played around on FB a bit, but I was so tired, and sleep wasn’t coming. I was really excited about seeing the girls. I spent the rest of the time eavesdropping on the conversations going on in the other patients’ beds in my room. When I first arrived there was only 1 other woman, whose baby is still in the NICU I’m pretty sure. She’s still pumping around the clock, and she goes away for an hour or so at a time in the morning and afternoon to visit with her baby I think. The woman in the bed next to me came in a few hours after I did with severe stomach cramps. Turns out she is 12 weeks pregnant with appendicitis! Poor, poor woman! So she had surgery yesterday evening. I’m pretty sure my reference to the smelliness in my post last night was her pooping, and it was totally inconsiderate and ungracious of me and I feel like shit for writing that on my blog, but it was insomnia induced meanness, and you’ll have to forgive me because that’s the only excuse I have. Another young pregnant woman was also admitted yesterday evening with threatened pre-term labor. From the sound of it, she is pregnant with #2 and works nights? Or some nights? She is really worried about her first child as there’s really no one but her husband to take care of the child and he works nights too? but for right now they want to watch her in hospital. Everyone still lives with their curtains closed ALLLLLL day long.

Akinori finally showed up at 6 with the girls, just as dinner was ready. My husband and his perfect timing. I was so happy to see them! He brought custard filled taiyaki, so we all had dessert before dinner in the common room and I got lots of hugs and cuddles and kisses in for about 20 – 30 minutes and then they left and I had my dinner. The food isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, and everything kind of tastes the same, but at least it’s palatable, and so far I’ve been able to eat everything that’s appeared on my plate, and I can be a pretty picky eater.

After dinner I hooked up the new router, and it IS fast! And the connection is awesome! And I am so happy I can watch TV and movies now! YEAH!!! Recommendations welcome! I chatted to N again before bed and then attempted to get some sleep.

It was close to 10 when I got into bed and maybe just after 11 when I finally fell asleep? I managed to stay asleep until 2:30, but I once again woke up in so much pain. My back is so fucked up it’s not even funny. I’m thinking I might call my own acupuncturist/chiropractor who makes house calls and see if she can come to the hospital because I can’t deal with this for much longer. I am really truly afraid the lack of sleep and the pain are going to make labor impossible. I mentioned not being able to sleep to the head nurse last night when she came around to introduce herself, and she said they would see about getting me a softer mattress this morning. Unfortunately all of the softer mattresses are in use, so a nurse came around with an extra bed pad. That is just not going to cut it, I’m afraid. 😦 She said as soon as a softer mattress was available though they would give it to me. Let’s hope someone gets discharged soon!

I finally fell back asleep sometime between 4 and 4:30 and actually slept until just before 7!!! I was still a bit groggy when I woke up, but getting 2.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep felt pretty good. I had breakfast and then a nurse came around with my hospital card and told me I needed to go downstairs to the outpatient OB/GYN department for my regular ultrasound check-up and internal exam. It’s amazing what these last few days of laying around have done to me. I was so exhausted by the time I got back to my room! And that was basically just walking back and forth to the elevator.

I had my ultrasound first and both boys are head down still. I doubt they have any room to go anywhere fun except out at this point, so I’m not too worried about that anymore. Baby A was measuring 2537g, which is only a little over 100g from last week and Baby B somewhere around 2200g, about 100g increase for him too. Their growth has slowed down quite a bit, but the fact that Baby A was measuring over 2500g is great. The dr. was really pleased and said they can come anytime now, but he promised not to stimulate anything until after Tuesday of next week. And when we did the internal he once again had a good laugh because my cervix is sealed tight. Kind of makes me wonder what I am doing in the hospital, but I guess I am relieved to be here in case my water does break, or I go into labor in the middle of the night and we have to worry about dragging the girls out of bed and getting everyone in the car. No messes to stress me out. No laundry. Well-balanced meals 3 times a day. No refereeing the girls’ fights. The doctor did say that he was going to start stimulating my cervix after Tuesday though. I’m guessing that means sweeping the membranes? I don’t mind that so much. I just don’t want any drugs to get labor started.

I came back from my ultrasound and got hooked up to the NST. Once again, both boys super genki, no contractions. No surprise. I have a feeling I am not going to have anything exciting to write about this week at all. Gonna be a lot of boring blog posts about my insomnia probably and my fear of giving birth to TWO enormous babies. Maybe I’ll see if the shower is open. I stink.

Random 4 a.m. thought because I can’t sleep

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I am in enormous amounts of pain 😦 My back hurts so ridiculously badly and it just gets worse every night. They’re getting me a new mattress in the morning. Fingers crossed it works.

One of my roommates either has horrible gas or has shat her pants. Not helping the sleep effort at all.

And the thought that ultimately drove me to write this post at 4a.m., I am confident the twins are not coming this week. I don’t want them to come until after Tuesday next week, and they are showing every sign of cooperating. BUT eventually Tuesday is going to come and go, and then the twins are going to come and I am going to have to give birth to them. Ouch. I hope it’s quick and effortless (wishing for painless is just stupid). Right now, my biggest fear is that my horrible back pain is going to really hinder the whole process. And I hope they follow in their big sisters’ footsteps and come during the day. Everything is much easier to deal with and doesn’t seem as scary or daunting during the day.

Okay, going to go pee and then try to get more sleep. 36 weeks today and an ultrasound and internal exam later on. What an exciting day ahead! Will definitely be posting again later.

Hospital Stay – Day 1

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It’s nearly 6 a.m. on my 2nd day in hospital, after my first night. I’ve been up since 4:30. Doesn’t seem to matter where I am, the pain in my back makes it impossible to sleep for long stretches, that and there are babies crying all night, but surprisingly I am able to tune them out fairly easily.

After sending the girls off to daycare and Akinori to work yesterday I got the last bit of packing and laundry done, had a not-so-minor meltdown about the state of the house and what I would inevitably come back to, and waited for Akinori to come from work to take me to the hospital.

He took a quick shower, and we went to lunch at a friend’s super yummy Korean restaurant (I wanted to get my “last meal” in, so to speak). We get to the hospital, I hand in all my forms, get sent upstairs to the maternity ward, where I arrive to find out there are currently no beds available in any of the rooms with women who have yet to give birth, so I am taken to a large, 4-person, post-natal room and am told I’ll be moved as soon as a bed opens, to a 3 or 6 person pre-natal room. There’s way more space in my current room, and the 1 lady who was already here when I got here doesn’t have her baby with her yet. I think her baby may be in the NICU because it hasn’t even been brought in for a feed, and she is pumping several times a day. I haven’t met her yet so I don’t know any details.

The moment I was shown to my bed, the nurse pulled the curtain and said, “Okay, change into your pajamas and I’ll be right back.” I guess sitting around in your pajamas all day is only normal in a hospital, but it felt weird putting pajamas on in the middle of the day.

She came back with an NST monitor after I had changed and hooked up the boys to monitor their heartbeats and my contractions for the next 40 minutes. Akinori left a little while after I was hooked up to the monitor and promised to bring the girls in the next day for a visit. While I was being monitored, the midwife took some blood. You know how you just know someone is going to be crap with a needle? Yeah, I wasn’t wrong. Ouch! After that she filled in some more paperwork, asking me how often I pooped, if I was okay with having an episiotomy, if I want the boys rooming in with me. I wrote out a birth plan with all that info in it and handed it to the midwife at my last appointment. She took it and without reading it, folded it up and put it in my mother and baby book, which they took from me upon check-in yesterday. Obviously no one has read it. I wonder if anyone will and why did I waste the time writing it? All in Japanese, which is a huge PITA!

Anyway, she asked if I had any questions then, and I had a ton, so I was grateful for the chance to ask them. I’ve obviously done lots of internet research in English on twin births, but that means everything I’ve read deals mostly with how a twin birth is performed in the States or England or Australia.

・If I give birth naturally, it’s okay for not only Akinori to be with me, but Sara and Amelie too. I know Sara really wants to be there, not sure what to do about Amelie yet.

・It’s quite likely my labor will start with my water breaking. Only about 10% of singleton births start with water breaking, but it’s much more common in twin births.

・If I give birth to Baby A naturally, and Baby B needs a c-section, they will take me from the LDR to the OR, and give me spinal anasthetic there. In the States a lot of times they stick the needle in even before the first birth to save time if an emergency c-section becomes necessary. Not here. Same with giving birth in the OR instead of the LDR. It doesn’t happen here unless it’s necessary.

・If I need a c-section at all, Akinori can’t come into the OR.

・I don’t really want any drugs to speed up the birth of Baby B after Baby A is born, but apparently I will already be hooked up to an IV and if Baby B doesn’t come down on his own right away, they’ll use the IV to speed up Baby B’s arrival.

・Unless Baby B is under duress, pretty much no matter what position he is in, they will deliver him naturally. The midwife said never seen a double whammy (as it’s called on Baby Center) before, where the first baby comes naturally and the 2nd by  c-section. She’s only seen them both come one way or the other.

・I have to be hooked up to a monitor the entire time I’m in labor. Not happy about that. At all. It’s for the baby’s safety though. I guess if I think about it that way I can’t be too selfish about what I want. It just means I am going to have to labor in a bed the entire time. No standing or walking around.

・The midwife said there would probably be a big crowd in the delivery room as the natural delivery of twins here is a pretty special and rare thing. Most of the younger midwives have never seen one so it will be a younger midwife on baby catching duty with older midwives present for support. She said everyone was very excited about it though. That made me feel pretty good.

After the NST and my Q&A session, I thought I would listen to some hypnobabies CDs on my iPod. I haven’t done anything at all to prepare myself for labor this time around, and I doubt doing hypnobabies now will help anything, but at least it relaxed me to the point where I was able to sleep for an hour or so.

I woke up, had dinner, spoke to Akinori and the girls, my friend N and came back to my room around 9. A nurse came around to listen to the babies’ heartbeats again. And another one came around first thing this morning. I’ve been seen by about 4 or 5 different nurses by now and they all go on about how I look ready to pop, and let’s get this show on the road, and it seems like they’re a bit induction happy. I keep telling them the babies aren’t coming before April 2nd, nor do I want them to, so let’s not talk induction yet. Well ever really. The babies will come when they come. Relax everyone! The dr. also  mentioned stimulating labor and I said not until after April 2nd please, so he agreed he wouldn’t do anything until after April 2nd.

I finally was able to fall asleep sometime around 11 I think. I woke up at 1:30, got up to pee and then again at 4:30. I’ve had 2 twenty minute cat naps since then I think. Spoken to the girls, and Amelie refused to talk to me. When Akinori told her it was mommy on the phone, all she would say is “Mommy’s not here”. Way to break my heart kid! Akinori has already called 4 times this morning to ask various questions. The most important being about the internet router. He got rid of his docomo wifi router contract, and got one with softbank instead, and I brought the router with me so I could use my computer and the internet, watch TV, movies, etc. and the softbank router is a piece of shit and won’t let me connect to the internet for more than 20 seconds. Akinori’s going to reconnect the docomo router today. I just can’t live without the internet.

Anyway, got off the phone with hub and got in trouble for talking on the phone in bed. Have to go into the hallway at least or better yet, into the common room. Going to tell Akinori to text from now on because getting calls from him every 20 minutes and having to go down the hall each time is a pain.

And that’s about the extent of my hospital adventure so far. I’m sure I’ll be posting often, especially once I can post from my computer and not my phone!

Survival Mode

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That is the best phrase I can think of to describe how I feel at the moment. Sara is still hacking away, though not nearly as badly as before. Amelie then came down with something involving a runny nose, lots of eye crust, severe lack of appetite and diarrhea. She didn’t seem to be in any pain though, and was drinking fine, no fever, and was happy to eat junk food, so I didn’t think it critical we rush her to the doctor. Apparently a stomach bug was going around the daycare and everyone was getting over it in a day or two with meds, but since Amelie wasn’t on meds, she was taking a lot longer, this is what Akinori said her teacher said. He loves the doctor, and I’m a little paranoid about going into a doctor’s office if it’s not absolutely necessary these days as I don’t want to pick up any nasty bugs right now, so he took Amelie to the doctor Friday evening after daycare.

At the doctor’s office were 2 of Sara’s classmates, and apparently the 4 of them (Sara, Amelie & the 2 classmates) forgot all their ills and had a grand time creating havoc in the waiting room. So glad I wasn’t there. Akinori came home much worse for wear though and started getting chills on Friday night. He then comes into the bedroom in the middle of the night and turns on the light looking for warmer clothes, and then once he’s got them he makes a run for the door because he is going to be sick. Only he doesn’t make it outside the door and gets sick all over the door and the floor. Bleeecccchhhh! Oh, and poor Akinori. I really did feel horrible, but I couldn’t get up to help. I really can’t risk getting some gastro virus at the moment, I feel awful most of the time as it is. So the poor guy mops up his own sick with a towel and sprays Febreeze all over the place and gets into the bath. I couldn’t fall back asleep through all of this and stayed up worrying about what would happen if I went into labor that night or the next day since Akinori obviously would not be able to accompany me to the delivery room.

The next morning Akinori woke up with a 38.5 fever, but insisted on going into work and taking Sara with him to keep her out of my hair. I told him he didn’t have to take her, but he said his dad wanted to see her anyway. Apparently his father sent him straight to the doctor, thank goodness. He was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis and got an IV drip and meds. FIL took over Sara duty for the afternoon and Akinori came home to sleep and moan and groan. All I can say is I know Akinori is miserable and in pain, but thank god it’s not the flu! I am getting pretty nervous myself about not being in the hospital, in that I am home alone all day every day, and if I go into labor, I would need to call a taxi or more likely an ambulance, and who knows when Akinori would get there, and I tend to get BH contractions at night quite often now, and they make me nervous. So in the back of my head, I just keep thinking, “If I make it to Tuesday, it will all be okay!” Even though in reality, the babies probably won’t come for at least another week after I’m admitted to the hospital. Fingers crossed they don’t anyway.

Obviously Akinori couldn’t prepare dinner, and we really have no food in the house anyway, so I ordered some delivery paella for dinner which was pretty yummy and I felt kind of bad that Akinori couldn’t have any, but the girls ate well, meaning Amelie too, which made me happy. And then I started feeling all icky again. And now of course I am worried that me feeling gross is from gastro, not from being over pregnant. And let me just take this moment to tell you, being pregnant with twins is much, much, MUCH harder than being pregnant with 1 baby. I feel I can say this as I have done both now. There are lots of women who don’t like being pregnant, period. And I get that. It’s not always the most pleasant experience. But with one, at least I was only miserable at the very end. With two, you are full-term singleton size and then past that size, for a long, long, ridiculously long time. My tummy is just too huge. My back is in ridiculous amounts of pain, and I know I keep saying that, but it is! Laying down now feels worse that sitting up straight because my tummy is too heavy and pulls over to the side. I can’t explain how awful that feels, but it feels horrible! And I can’t breath when I lay down, even on my left side, and my nose is perpetually stuffed >.< Honestly the thing I am looking forward to most about going into the hospital is the bed! I don’t have to lay down flat on my side, I can raise my back and raise my legs, and sleep half sitting if I need to. THAT sounds like heaven right now. I’m actually afraid I’m going to go into labor and my back is going to be in so much pain I won’t be able to deliver naturally. Will the pain of labor win out over the back pain?

In more “this is so not what I need right now news” I spoke to my parents yesterday on Skype. At one point my mom had mentioned that she wanted to come out for a whole month after the twins were born to “help out”. I told her flat out no. She’s not a hands-on grandma to begin with, as I have said before. And more than needing help cuddling the twins, I need help wrangling in the two big girls, getting them fed and dressed and sent off in the mornings, feeding my family in the evenings. Kindy and daycare pick-ups, grocery shopping, laundry. My mom can’t drive on the opposite side of the road. She can’t cook, and she wouldn’t even be able to microwave stuff since everything on the oven is written in Japanese, same for the washing machine. She would just be in the way and annoy me, for. a. whole. month. No thank you.

She actually took the news quite well when I told her. She got really upset at first, but when I explained all of the above, nicely, to her, she got it. My parents are all about coming for the first shrine ceremony though. They came for Sara’s and wanted to come for Amelie’s, but the earthquake/tsunami happened and I had them postpone their trip so they came in October and we did Sara’s 7-5-3 ceremony, well photos, then instead. When they came when Sara was born though it was miserable. Akinori and I were first time parents, just getting used to having a baby at home, and then we had my parents come, and they behave like guests. It’s different when you have guests who come and actually help, but my parents didn’t even wash the dishes. So yesterday when my parents mentioned coming in April or May, I told them we were thinking it would probably better if they came in June. I am going to have TWO newborns I will be trying to adjust to and TWO toddlers trying to adjust to having two newborns around. It is going to be a crazy time. Having help coming to stay is one thing, but having guests come to stay is just added stress that will most likely drive me over the edge. I nearly had a panic attack while talking to them.

So I also mentioned that this time I don’t think it’s a good idea they stay with us, and instead stay at a ryokan (Japanese inn) within walking distance from our house. Although there are many things I don’t like about this house, I LOVE its location, and the fact that there are several nice ryokan, all decently priced within walking distance from our house, is wonderful! And so convenient, and really the best choice. I am going to need a break from my parents. I cannot have them here in my house 24/7 for 2 weeks. They annoy me enough on Skype, having them here in person just makes me crazy.

My dad was making comments like “I figure you won’t make it back to the States for 7 or 8 years until Sara can take some responsibility and help out.” Just shows that he has no freaking clue! Sara can’t babysit, she’s 4! But she is great at getting diapers, helping Amelie change her clothes, put her shoes on, folding laundry (well she sucks at folding laundry, but she loves doing it), clearing the dinner table. My dad knows Sara when she was 2 years 10 months or so and scared shitless of him and still super hyper. He doesn’t see her on a regular basis, so it’s not like he has any clue what a good little helper she can be, but I just hate it when he makes comments like that. I hate it when I feel like he is judging my children period, and I don’t want to expose them to that either. My kids love their grandparents, but they won’t anymore if they feel like their grandparents don’t accept them 100% for who they are, good parts and not-so-good parts. Auuugggghhhh!!! I don’t know where to begin with how stressed out I get at the thought of my parents coming to visit. It makes me feel horrible. There are so many people who have lost one or both of their parents and would do anything to have them back, and I certainly don’t want mine dead, but I can’t stand to be around them. What kind of awful person am I?! Okay, this subject stresses me out way too much. Done for today.