Monday, July 29, 2013

Loving the Life of a Twin Mommy

Max and Harper are doing amazing! We went to their two week check up last Thursday. I was so nervous about them gaining weight. Max was especially fussy with gas and wasn't eating as much as his sister. I was thrilled and somewhat shocked that they both exceeded their birth weight!

Maxwell weighed 6.10 at birth, leaving the hospital was 6.5, one week check up was 6.6. At the two week check up he weighed a whopping 7 pounds, 1 ounce! I look at him now and he has changed so much. He is getting a chunky middle and has his first roll on his thighs. He really looks like a full term baby. He is still looking a lot like Daddy but we are both seeing him change a lot. He doesn't look JUST like Jeremy anymore...more of a mixture. Thank goodness! You know, I had something to do with the creation of him as well!

Harper weighed 5.9 at birth, leaving the hospital was 5.7, one week check up was 5.8. At the two week check up she weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces! Her sweet little cheekies have filled out and she has my chipmunk cheeks for sure. It is crazy but I just can't stop kissing that sweet face. She still can't fit into newborn clothes very well. They fall right off of her. Her features are so dainty and petite. She is definitely a DIVA!! She loves to keep Mommy and Daddy up from her last feeding before bed until the next feeding. It is usually from 10pm-1am. Then she is perfectly content going to bed. She doesn't just cry all the time. She wants to be held and snuggled and if we try to put her down before she is done snuggling...the diva comes out!

We are really loving being parents to these two! We can't imagine our lives without them. It is so weird how much they have changed us.
  • We forget to watch our DVR shows and we don't care.
  • We have forgotten dinner multiple times and around 10pm eat crackers for a meal.
  • We plan our weekend afternoons around the 3-4 hour span between feedings.
  • I have become a very protective Mama Bear when it comes to strangers looking at, touching, or asking about our babies. So weird, I know.
  • I carry Germ-X everywhere I go.
  • We both are consumed with spending time with them.
  •  I make up songs for each twin and sing them to them off key and don't care.
  • Showers aren't a priority.
  • Poop, pee, and boogers aren't really that gross on your hand.
  • We don't mind getting 5 hours of sleep instead of 8.
  • Make up isn't as important as it used to be.
  • Facebook? Who has the time?
  • I sometimes don't answer texts until hours later...not by choice.
I had gained 75 pounds with the 20+ pounds of fluid I gained in the last week. However, the fluid has pretty much gone down and the weight is coming off without too much effort. I have lost 50 pounds! I have 25 more pounds to go before I am back to pre-pregnancy weight. However, I will not have my pre-pregnancy body EVER again! I am okay with it. I earned these hundreds of stretchmarks and loose skin. As soon as I am cleared for exercise (probably not until after my 6 week post pardem appointment in 3 weeks!), I will start running again. I am hoping that I can lose the 25 pounds plus some fairly quickly. I just want to be back in my regular pants and shirts.

I am recovering from both deliveries well. I was cleared to drive and at my doctor's appointment, she said my C-section incision looks great. I am still sore around the incision but get around just fine. I try to take it easy when I have some soreness or pain. Dr. Driskell also felt like she needed to explain her reasoning for the emergency C-section while I was getting checked out. (Although now, it doesn't even matter to me!) She felt bad that I had to endure both deliveries but explained again how concerned she was for Harper when she went into distress. I assured her that I was happy that she was looking out for my babies' health and that's all that matters.

Here is a before picture from a few days before Max & Harper's arrival. I am wearing Jeremy's XL T-shirt from one of my races. Then there is the picture taken today at 18 days post delivery. I am wearing a size medium T-shirt from the same race. I still look pregnant but holy cow what a difference! I am afraid to go out in public without the twins because people may ask when I am due! I may start posting anti-belly pictures now. are some pictures of the babies too!!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Max & Harper's Birth Story Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this crazy story you can read about it here.

I left off as I was wheeled into the OR. I had the epidural and it was making me a little hazy at this point. I knew what was going on but people and things were moving around so quickly. I moved to a really uncomfortable bed. I remember I was more concerned with messing up the epidural cord that I knew was in my back.

It was around 11am by the time I was moved and re-hooked up to the machines. Dr. Driskoll did something "down there" and asked if I could feel it. I could so they asked me to press the epidural button to administer more pain meds. I was really not in pain at all, which was fabulous!!

I am not exaggerating when I say that there were probably 25 people in the delivery room with me. I had two anaesthesiologists, my three nurses, the doctor, and each baby had their staff of 4 nurses too. It felt like there was a party for their arrival. Jeremy was right by my head so I could see him, talk to him and look at him. He said I even made jokes with him throughout the delivery.

I thought the delivery was going to be like the movies. You push a couple times and it is over. (However, I now realize I had it very easy!) That is not the case. Multiple times through the pushing process I declared to the room that I couldn't do it anymore. They kept telling me he was "right there". Well, he seemed to be right there the whole time and I think they were just telling me that to bait me into not giving up! One nurse, Cindy, was in my face and ear the whole time. She was a great coach. She kept my eye on the prize of seeing my babies. On my seemingly short breaks of pushing, Jeremy would soothe me and rub my shoulder. I pushed through contractions for about 25 minutes before my beautiful baby boy, Maxwell, made his arrival into this world. It was the most glorious moment of my life up until that point. He was perfect in every way!

Maxwell Salvatore Marc was born at 11:31am weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long. He looked right at me and melted my heart. Then he was whisked away with his nurse team.

Then, I realized that I had to do this again with my baby girl!

However, the doctors and nurses were busy talking with each other and using the ultrasound machine. As I looked back at Jeremy, I knew something was wrong.

My baby girl quickly slid into place and tried to come out hand first. Dr. Driskoll explained that I may need a C-section. If I delivered Harper the way she was presenting, I could bruise her arm but she would be okay. I did not want a C-section by any means so agreed to push her out.

They had to screw in a heart rate monitor to the top of her head so they could closely monitor her. Dr. Driskoll said she would allow me to push through three contractions. This scared me because I pushed through more than 10 with Max. I tried. I pushed with every ounce of energy I had left. After three contractions, Harper's heart rate dropped severely.

The room started bustling and I didn't know what was happening. Dr. Driskoll left her post to come up to talk to me. She said that we had to get her out now. We didn't have time to dose up the epidural for a regular C-section. We were in an emergency situation and I would be knocked out. I cried and pretty sure screamed out. I kept saying "No" over and over again. Jeremy was in shock as well. This isn't what we had planned.

Jeremy had to leave the OR and be with Maxwell. I was left to try and fight the anesthesalogist. I literally batted away the gas mask multiple times. My arms had to be restrained before I drifted off into dreamland.

I missed Harper's birth. So did Jeremy. It makes me sad but I know it was best for her and that's all that matters.

Harper Evelynn Rose was born at 11:42am weighting 5 pounds 9 ounces and was 18.5 inches long.

Harper had to stay hooked up the monitors for a few hours but nurses made sure to bring both of my babies to me as soon as I was out of recovery. Harper came to me still hooked to monitors but I was in love right away! She was released to join Max and us around 7pm that night.

We were able to come home Sunday, July 14.
Unfortunately, when we got home we had to lose a member of our family. Our cat, Lola, showed what we expected from her--she would not be a good fit with babies. She is a jealous cat and reared that jealousy towards our babies. I have had her for 8 years and I cried for days when we got rid of her. She loved me and that was really it. I needed to make that difficult choice to keep my babies safe. I hope the shelter we put her in finds her an awesome home.
We have had lots of visitors and LOTS of help! Seriously, my family and friends have been amazing. My mom, sister, and mother in law have spent time with me during the day. My mom and sister cleaned my house. Multiple people have brought us meals. We are truly blessed by all of the help and love we have had from others.

Welcome to the World, Max & Harper! Here is your Birth Story (Part 1)

My babies are 9 days old today and what a whirlwind it has been. I expected to be busy and expected to not have time for everyday tasks...but I am still so surprised at how little time I have.

Relaxing showers are a thing of the past. Blogging? Who has the time?

Instead, I fill my days with baby snuggles, cuddle time, feedings, changings, and then repeat it all again every 3 hours. I am on CLOUD NINE!!

 I still have a hard time believing they are mine. I definitely have been suffering with what they call "Baby Blues" except I don't feel blue. I do cry uncontrollably...sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours, or in the case of Thursday all freaking day long. I cry because I worry about doing everything right. I cry because my heart is so filled with love for my angels that tears are the only way to cope. I cry when they cry because I want to make their pain go away. I cry when in the middle of the night, I can't get Max to burp and am so exhausted (by the way, getting a baby to burp is the most frustrating thing at 3am).

Now onto the story...

Wednesday, July 10: This was my last doctor's appointment. I knew this because I had visited Labor and Delivery 5 out of the previous 7 days for my hypertension. My blood pressure would skyrocket, I had swelling everywhere, nausea, headaches, etc. I was so sick that they scheduled an induction date of Wednesday, July 17. I was thrilled to have an end date in sight.

That night I was having pretty severe contractions. However, I was having maybe 4-5 in an hour...not enough to go in. They weren't regular either. Around 11pm, the contractions just stopped. So, defeated...we both went to bed.

About 3-4 times throughout the night I would get the worst stabbing menstrual pain. It would last about 90 seconds and go away. Then I wouldn't get another until an hour or two later. Again, not in labor.

Thursday, July 11: Jeremy woke up around 7am to get ready for work and to feed our animals. I got up and went to the bathroom. I then walked towards the kitchen but before I could get there, my water broke in our hallway. I didn't know what to think at first. My first thought was "Oh great, I peed my pants!" I went into our hall bath as fluid continued to pour out. I knew this was it! I yelled for Jeremy and showed him the mess. He smiled and said, "Yes, it is go time!"

He brought me my cell phone as I cleaned myself up and put on new clothes and a pad. I called Labor and Delivery to tell them my water broke and we would be there in 20-30 minutes. We live close but had to pack the car and such.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:45am where I was greeted by one of my favorite nurses, Katie. I was taken directly to a delivery suite. (I knew we wouldn't deliver there since twins are delivered in the OR). I was quickly checked (5cm as I was the day before), hooked up to monitors, and epidural was ordered. My contractions were getting close together and stronger.

By 9am, I had the epidural. It made me a different person. I no longer felt any of those contractions. My doctor was not on call so another doctor in the practice, Dr. Driskoll, showed up to check on me. She knew I would go quick and they already had called in the forces necessary to cover a twin delivery. She was initially concerned that I wanted to do a vaginal birth. She went over the concerns but I had already discussed this with my doctor. I did not want a C-section! I was positive about that.

Dr. Driskoll came back around 10:15am to check me. I was at a 8cm. She said that she would be back to recheck me in 15 minutes. She told Jeremy to suit up in his OR gear.

 I was shocked that it was moving so fast. Dr. Driskoll was back in the room 5 minutes later saying that she couldn't wait because she was so excited. In that short 5 minutes, I was now at 10cm and ready to be wheeled to the OR.

They didn't waste time either. I was whisked away to a very bright room.

(Part 2 coming shortly)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Late Announcement: Max & Harper are here!!

I am hoping to have the time to write their birth story shortly. But Max and Harper were born last Thursday, July 11!!

It was a crazy day that didn't go to plan but we don't care now!

Maxwell was born at 11:31am at 6 pounds 10 oz, 19 inches long.

Harper was born at 11:42am at 5 pounds 9 oz, 18.5 inches long.

They are healthy. We got to come home Sunday, July 14.

Here are some pictures to hold you over until I update their story.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Are We There Yet?

I am over 36 weeks now! And...HUGE! I had only gained 55 pounds until last week when I gained 14 pounds of fluid in one week! Now I am a swollen, Michelin man-like preggo! Luckily I am back on bed rest because if I went out in public, I would be a spectacle. People just stop and stare at my largeness.

I have to remind myself that there are TWO over six-pound human beings in there! However, this post is going to be an honest post about what it is really like carrying twins. Although, I am truly ELATED over the impending births...carrying twins is not easy.

I don't want you to think I would take any of this away.

I had such an easy pregnancy up until the pre-term scare at 31 and a half weeks. Since then, I think I and everyone else has expected these babies to appear earlier than expected.

Bed rest has really sucked. I was on strict bed rest from 31.5 weeks-34.5 weeks. Then I was doing great! I was able to get out of the house. Clean the house, do the laundry, etc. Last Tuesday, that all stopped again.

I felt so nauseous and dizzy on Tuesday. I ran to CVS and checked my blood pressure. It was really high! I called Labor & Delivery and they had me come in. They were extremely concerned about pre-eclampsia. However, they got my bp under control, lab work came back okay, and there was just a trace of protein in my urine. What did happen Tuesday night...I dilated from a 4cm to a 5cm! I thought for sure I was going to go into labor or they would keep me to induce. NOPE! I was sent home.

I had a scheduled appointment the next day. This is where we found out the 14 pounds of fluid gain. I still had high blood pressure so was escorted to L & D again! Again, bp slowly went down with resting on my left side. More lab work was done and came back okay. I had to schedule another appointment for Friday.

Friday came and surprise, surprise...I had protein in urine and high blood pressure! L & I come (again!). I was there for most of the morning. They mentioned a 24 hour urine collection that could help them make the decision whether to induce right away or wait a bit.

Throughout the 24 hour collection on Friday, Jeremy kept begging for protein so we could get this show on the road. However, on Saturday's visit to L & D (again), there was just below what was needed to be considered severe enough to induce labor.

I do not have pre-eclampsia (which is good) but I am on modified bed rest for gestational hypertension. I have to monitor bp, protein in urine, and fluid gain. I still get wicked headaches, dizziness, and nausea but as long as it doesn't get worse...I am okay.

So the last week has pretty much made me more miserable than I was before. I literally have cried every night just praying to not be pregnant anymore.

1. It hurts to move. Either the belly is sore or the pelvic pressure is so bad.
2. I have to pee every 30 minutes thanks to the babies dropping.
3. Sleep. What is that? I sleep at max 40 minutes at a time.
4. Headaches. Awful headaches like I have never had before.
5. Anxiety. I have no idea when they are coming or how...the fear of the unknown scares me.
6. Disgusting things like: hemorrhoids, mucus plugs, etc.

All worth it to see those babes in a week or two!

Doctor is supposed to schedule the induction date when I go in on Wednesday. I am hoping she takes the specialist's advice and induces me this coming weekend. We shall see!