Friday, June 26, 2009

My first few days in the hospital

The first night after the boys were born, I didn't sleep a wink...so 8 a.m. came quite early. I was still coming off the anesthesia, so I was still laying in bed. I was finally able to move my feet and legs -- such a weird sensation. The one thing I'll never forget was the intense impulse to scratch every inch of my face and chest. I was literally taking the blanket that was covering me on the hospital bed and basically rubbing it all over my face because it felt so good since it was a little scratchy. If someone came into the room at that point, they probably would have sent me to the floor for the crazies because I looked insane.



At 8, I called the nursery to check on Nolan and see if he could be brought over to my room since I wasn't able to get up and walk yet. While I was waiting for him, I called over to the NICU to check on Luke. He had done well throughout the night. They had him hooked up to a feeding tube, but he was drinking from a bottle with no issues. Justin went over to visit him early in the afternoon with my mom and was able to feed him and give him kisses while I spent some time with Nolan in my room. I was feeling extremely nauseous by this point. I was only drinking liquids, but was still getting sick pretty frequently. It's just one of the many side effects of the anesthesia unfortunately!



By this point, the catheter had been removed and I was able to get up and walk around a bit. The c-section incision bothered me a little, but it wasn't unbearable. You don't really notice how much your body relies on the abdominal region until it's a little tender. I'll be sure to do lots of core-strengthening in the coming months! As soon as Justin returned from the NICU, he walked me over so that I could spend some quality time with my son. My mom was holding him when I went in and gave him to me immediately. He had just eaten with Justin, so he was a little sleepy, but he was opening his eyes to check out his mommy. Love!! That's all I can say!



Mom Mom and Luke





I went back to my room and that's when our closest family and friends started to arrive to meet the new additions to the family. Everyone got to hold Nolan since he was up-and-at-em in the room! I still hadn't even changed his diaper at this point because my husband, the rockstar, had taken care of everything! He was so attentive to both the boys and me.


Uncle E & Aunt Chica




Grandmom & Nolan



Uncle Rick & Aunt Brenda holding Nolan




After visiting hours were over, Justin & I dropped Nolan off at the nursery and went to the NICU to say goodnight to Luke. I was holding him for all of 10 minutes when the amazing NICU nurses surprised me and brought me Nolan as well!! It was my first time holding both of them at the same time -- what a great feeling. I could not have been happier! It was hard, but eventually I had to say goodnight because by this point, I hadn't slept in like 40 hours!


Their very first picture together!



I actually got some sleep that night so when I woke up the following morning, I took a shower and changed into normal clothes. My c/s incision was still sore, so it was very slow-going for me, but it felt good to feel "normal" again. I didn't want to wear that hospital gown anymore! We got Nolan from the nursery nice and early and spent the morning with him. Around noon, Justin, Nolan & I went to the NICU to see Luke. He had been taken off the feeding tube and his iv was removed. He was also regulating his own body temperature, so he wasn't under any lights!


A very tired Mommy & Luke



We spent some time in there, then went back to our room to wait for more family and friends to arrive!

Aunt Danielle & Nolan

Pop Pop & Nolan




At 10 p.m., we dropped Nolan off at the nursery and went in for Luke's feeding, diaper change and temp check. He drank almost 2 oz that night and was doing sooo well. I felt really good when I went to sleep that night.


The following morning, I woke up, took a shower and was waiting for Justin to arrive when I called the NICU. Luke had regressed a little over night and wasn't maintaining his temp and wouldn't take more than 5ml in his bottle. Basically, the NICU nurses said that he's a preemie twin and his body was working so hard the day before, that it just got tired, so they would basically do the work for him. They put him back under the heating lights and inserted another feeding tube so that he wouldn't have to use all of his energy trying to do these things for himself. His x-ray showed that he does have immature lungs, so we're now going to wait a few days to see how he progresses. Of course I was upset. Nobody wants to hear that their little child is struggling, but I the nurses that are caring for him are amazing and I feel so good that he's in their care.

So, today's the day I go home. I will be bringing Nolan with me, but Luke will be spending some more time here at the hospital. It breaks my heart to leave him, but I'm only a 1/2 hour away. I can come and visit him any time. I can call in the middle of the night to check on him. I am SO looking forward to the day when I get the news that he's been cleared and is ready to come home. It may be a little while longer, but it'll all be worth it in the end.


Their picture from last night.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Birth Story

June 22nd started out like every other day. I was awake very early and had breakfast with Justin. We then went out to have the weekly NST at the hospital. Here's a picture of me before we left...little did I know it would end up being my last pregnant picture!



The boys passed the NST straight away and we went home. I spent the day relaxing on the couch and watching tv. At 7 pm, Mom and Dad V came over for a delicious dinner that Justin cooked...big juicy steaks, fat baked potatoes and veggies. Little did I know that 2 hours and 10 minutes later, my water would break.
John & Kate had just started and at the first commercial break, I went to use the bathroom. Everything seemed fine until after I washed my hands. I felt my water break. I shouted down the stairs for Justin and he came right away. I told him what was happening and he went in search of my cell phone for my OB's number. We got a call back from the doctor on call...it wasn't anybody from their practice. great. He was Dr. H and he told Justin to bring me and my bags over to the hospital immediately.

I changed my pants, grabbed a couple of towels, threw some last-minute items in my bag and stood by the front door waiting for Justin to finish up with everything he needed to grab. The car ride wasn't terrible. Since it was so late, there was hardly any traffic and we made it to the hospital just before 10 p.m. I was having some cramping in my back in the car, but it wasn't un-bearable. We started making our phone calls to family and friends letting them know what was going on. I have to admit it...it felt AWESOME making the calls. It was 2 weeks before my scheduled c-section and I was very nervous, but it was incredible knowing that I was going to meet my boys soon.

We made it to the hospital and were met at the ER with a wheelchair. I was wheeled to L&D and we told the nurses that I had just eaten a big dinner. They had to run some blood work and speak with the anesthesiologist about my dinner. I waited in triage with Justin and my mom while everything was being worked out. The contractions had started by then and were coming every 3 minutes. I don't care if I sound like a sissy...they hurt. I couldn't wait to head to the OR for the spinal! By this point, Dr. H had come in to visit me. Even though he wasn't my regular doctor, I felt extremely comfortable with him. He was very compassionate! It also didn't hurt that he was the head of the L&D department!

At around 11:20, I was wheeled over to the OR to be prepped for the c-section. Justin waited in the hall and put on his fancy dad outfit while I had my spinal. It was not at all like I thought it was going to be. I watch a Baby Story and sometimes the women cry when they get them. Didn't hurt at all!

They laid me down on the table and put up the drape. By that point, I felt nothing from the waist down. It was such a relief to be done with the contractions. Justin came into the room and sat by my side. A minute or so later, Nolan made his entrance to the world at 11:38 weighing 5lbs 12oz, measuring 18.7". At 11:39 Luke came, weighing 5lbs 1oz, measuring 18". I will NEVER forget the sound of their first cries. It made me cry, but I had the biggest smile on my face! Justin left my side to go check the boys out and take some pictures and video.

Luke was brought over to my side before he was sent to the NICU for breathing issues. They believed he had inhaled some fluid and it was causing him to breathe rapidly. Nolan was able to go back to triage with Justin and I before we were sent to our room. Our parents were able to come back and spend some time with us and Nolan. It was incredible sitting there with him in my arms finally, but I missed my little Luke.

I was sent to a room around 1 and tried to sleep, but I honestly didn't get a minute that night. I kept re-playing the entire night through my head. I was elated, in love, and in awe all at the same time. Justin was trying to sleep in the the cot next to my bed. He got a couple of hours in, but not much. We were new parents. Something we had wished and prayed for and it finally came true. I've never been more in love with him. He surprises me every day with his incredible, natural parenting skills. He's an amazing man.

More to come later...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Boys Have Arrived!!!!

I just wanted to keep everyone up-to-date: I had the boys yesterday night, June 22nd at 11:38 & 11:39 p.m. Nolan Robert weighed 5lbs 12oz and Luke Albert weighed 5lbs 1oz! My water broke at 9:10 p.m. and we were admitted to the hospital by 10. The boys were here not even 2 hours later!

They're beautiful and they're blonde!? I thought for sure that with Justin's dark hair and eyes, I was going to pop out some dark-haired kids, but they're both super blonde like me!
We were able to spend some time with Nolan in triage, but Luke was sent to the NICU because he breathing rather quickly. He's still in the NICU at the moment although his breathing and coloring has become much better. The nurses believe that he may have inhaled some fluid and is having trouble expelling it himself. I hope it corrects itself soon because if it doesn't, that means we only get to bring Nolan home on Thursday.
At the moment, we've got family and friends and little Nolan in the room with us. Aunt Melissa is changing his poopy diaper and we're all super happy and in love with these two little guys!

I'll post a full birth story later, but here are a few pictures of our little miracles.


Justin & Luke in the NICU

Me & Nolan right after he was born

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm 9 months pregnant!

I woke up this morning and wished Justin and Happy Father's Day, then we looked at our baby book and noticed that I'm 9 months pregnant today. 9 months!! I am so proud of these little guys for hanging in there for this long! Just 15 more days before we get to meet them!

Making it to 36 weeks means that the boys will need very little or no NICU time. It's a huge milestone that I'm incredibly grateful to have reached!



The past few days have been really good for me. I've been feeling much better and have been able to move around just a little bit better than I was just 3 weeks ago. Sitting up on the couch used to really hurt my back, but for some reason, it hasn't been bothering me lately. We had friends over for dinner last night then we hung out in the living room for a while playing a game and I didn't have any problems sitting up...it was nice. At night, I've been experiencing some strange hip pain when I lay on one side for too long. It's a strange sensation and I'll talk with my doctor about it, but I suspect that she'll tell me it's totally normal.

I've noticed that a few of my blogger friends have been marking their weekly milestones with a little pregnancy quiz and I will too...even though I only have 2 weeks left!

How far along?: 36 weeks
Total weight gain: 41 lbs
How big is baby?: They should be around 6 pounds each.
Maternity clothes?: Definitely.
Stretch marks?: Not one. Hopefully I manage to continue with my good fortune!
Sleep?: I have no trouble with sleeping, but I wake up about 5 times a night to use the bathroom or re-adjust my position because my hips hurt.
Best moment this week?: Giving Justin his Father's Day present!
Movement?: Lots of hiccups and stretches -- they don't have much room to kick, but they are still moving around!
Food cravings?: Nothing in particular. I've been on an edamame kick.
Labor signs?: None.
Belly button in or out?: Out.
What I miss: Margaritas.
What I'm looking forward to: My c-section!!
Milestone: Making it to 9 months!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We have a birthday scheduled!!

I should say that it's 'tentatively' scheduled -- July 6th is the big day!


I went to see my OB today and things couldn't have gone better. There has been no progression and everything else checked out perfect. I have a feeling that I'm in it for the long haul! July 6th it is. Wow! It feels so great to have it down on paper!

A year ago, I had my first infertility appointment with the RE. It was such a scary step for me to take; it was like admitting to myself that something was "wrong." I'll never forget that 2 hour initial consult and I learned a lot from my doctor that day. The following months brought us happiness because we felt like we were being proactive and taking the situation into our own hands, but there were definitely lows too. Every time we discovered that I wasn't pregnant, it was like a blow to the chest. I never thought I could be so sad, but I was. I remember being away with family and discovering on the second day of our week-long vacation, that our first IUI hadn't worked. I thought for sure it was going to work because the timing was perfect and we were actually DOING something about our situation. That was pretty rough on me, but my husband lifted me up like he always does and we moved forward. Two months later, I discovered I was pregnant with the twins.

I will never forget those feelings and I think it makes me appreciate my pregnancy all the more. For every backache that I have; every time I wish that the babies would just come today; and for every minute on bedrest...it's all worth it. My sons are definitely worth the long wait and I can't wait to meet them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

35 weeks

What a fun weekend! On Saturday night, our friends Melissa and Eric came over for an awesome dinner that Justin whipped up. We were playing some board games when I started having some BH contractions so we all changed locations and I just laid there and played. Justin, the water warden, made me chug lots of liquids and they eventually stopped. It was such a fun night!

I cheated on bed rest. Yesterday I went to my parents' house for dinner. I figured that since everything is on the same floor over there, I could take a 10 minute drive and relax there for a change of scenery. It was a success! It felt amazing to get out and sit in the sunshine for a little while.

Wow. Check out those pasty white legs.
It's settled...after the kiddos come, I'm going for a spray tan.

Squinty eyes from the sun, which magically appeared after about a week of rain!

I remember way back when I was about 15 weeks pregnant and I took a trip to Motherhood Maternity with Melissa and tried on one of those fake pregnant bellies under my clothes to see what I would look like later in my pregnancy. I said to Melissa "there is NO way I'll EVER be this big." I'm just a small person. Well, my belly has far surpassed what I ever thought it would be. It should have it's own zip code and I love it because it means that the little guys are getting chubbier and stronger.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

34 week belly picture & doctor's appointment

Check out my new trick! Balancing plates on my enormous belly!! Do you think 'America's Got Talent' will want me on their show?

Bedrest isn't really all that great for my girlish figure. I had my OB appointment yesterday afternoon and everything went very well, but when I stepped on the scale, I was a little shocked to see that I gained 5 pounds in 2 weeks time! I suppose that's what happens when you lay around in bed and grow two strong little boys!
Everything else checked out well. I haven't dilated any further, so I'm still at 2cm. This may be a bit TMI, but last week in L&D, I had an internal by one of the doctors at my practice and I swear it felt like he was trying to shove his entire arm in there. I mean, it hurt. Yesterday, at my appointment, I knew I was set for another one, so I was a little nervous. I try to make the appointments with my favorite doctor, Dr. T, so she was the one to perform yesterday's internal. It was like a walk in the park! Didn't hurt at all!! How can one doctor be so gentle and yet another SO forceful?! After she checked the babies and measured me, I asked if I could schedule my c-section with her and she said "absolutely", but unfortunately, the doctors' schedules aren't complete for July 5th week, so as soon as they get that together, they'll call me back and we'll get everything arranged. Now I'm on to weekly OB appointments, so I get to go back next week. I am actually looking forward to it because it gets me out of the house!!
Here's the 34 week belly picture -- taken yesterday before I went to the OB. The shirt is a little tent-ish, isn't it?! Check out the pack n play set up in the living room!! We're getting closer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ultrasound & Belly Slideshow

We woke up nice and early for our NST and ultrasound this morning. I was excited just to go outside for the first time in a week! Thankfully the sun was shining; it would have been disappointing if I stepped outside and it started pouring.

The ultrasound was up first: Nolan is weighing in at 5lbs 5oz and Luke is tipping the scales at 4lbs 6oz! The perinatologist said that they're progressing nicely and everything looks good! I've got almost 10 pounds of babies in me. Nolan's still breech and Luke is vertex, so I'm still on for the c-section. After the ultrasound, I headed into the room for my non-stress test. This was the first week that they both passed without any incident -- I think it's because their father was in the room with them!

I have an appointment with my OB on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure this is the first scheduled appointment where they're going to do an internal. I was 2cm last Monday when I was in labor & delivery. Hopefully the bedrest has prevented me from dilating further. I also think that this is the appointment where they'll schedule the c-section!!! I know that we were talking about the week of July 5th, which is my 38th week, so I'll see if that's still the plan.

Here is a little slideshow of my belly pictures. It feels like just yesterday that I was able to fit into my skinny jeans and rock some cute heels!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

33 weeks & a very lumpy belly

Here is the 33 week belly picture. It was taken on Sunday -- the day before I landed in the hospital. That afternoon, I got to enjoy an awesome lunch at one of my favorite places with my mom, sister and Melissa. It was such a beautiful day!





Here is my lumpy belly from one night last week. I couldn't resist taking a picture of the craziness that was going on under my shirt.


This week, the boys should weigh a little over 4 pounds and they're losing the redness & wrinkling in their skin. Their skeleton is hardening, but the bones in their skull aren't fused together, making it easier for the baby (and mom) during delivery.

It's crazy just knowing that they'll be here soon! Justin has got everything together at home. The pack n plays are built and are fully stocked, the swings and bouncers are ready for the little ones. The bottles and nipples have been sterilized. All of their clothes have been washed and put away. We've made a lot of progress...now we just need babies to fill everything!

Hospital Bag

We're very fortunate that Justin's company is so amazing because he has been able to work from home and help me actually stick to my bedrest. It's crazy that I have to rely on someone to make my meals and basically do everything around the house -- I'm not used to this! He's been incredible though...as always!

Today I made a list of things that I need packed for the ever important "hospital bag." I've checked out a few websites that offer suggestions on what to bring, but the problem is that those lists are very extensive! Do I really need a back massager, a blow-up neck pillow and a roll of toilet paper from my own home? I doubt it. So, just in case anybody cares, here's a list of what I intend on bringing. I'm sure I'm missing things, but I'll figure it out as I pack...

for me
socks, slippers, underwear, pads and a robe
wireless bras
pillow (I'll keep it in the car until I need it)
rubber bands & hair clips
chapstick, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, body lotion, deodorant
toothbrush & toothpaste
a towel & washcloth -- supposedly the ones provided by the hospital aren't up to snuff...
makeup
camera, video camera & charger
iPod
laptop -- I actually need to see if the hospital has wifi...
something comfy to go home

for the babies
going home outfits
boppy
receiving blankets -- I know the hospital provides some, but I like my cute ones!
car seats (obviously)

I'd love to hear suggestions from other moms & moms-to-be on what to bring or not to bring!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

officially on strict bedrest...

I had a weekly Non Stress test yesterday afternoon. While the babies were being monitored, I was having lots of contractions so the perinatologist sent me over to triage for further evaluation. The contractions weren't painful, but they were very strong and frequent. Once I made it over to triage, they monitored the babies for a while, then hooked me up to an iv. I had been drinking plenty of water, but I guess it wasn't enough because I took a bag and a half of fluid. My doctor was there, so he came over to do an evaluation. My FFN test came back great, but I was 2 cm dilated and 20% effaced. He wanted to keep me there for a little while and check later to see if I was going to continue dilating. Thankfully, throughout the entire process, the boys were doing great! Dr. B told me that they couldn't have cared less that I was having so many contractions -- what a relief! He came back later that evening to do another internal, but I hadn't progressed. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that. I was laying in bed for a few hours thinking about what would happen if they had to deliver the boys that night. They're only 33 weeks and they just aren't ready yet! Justin and I were talking about how under-prepared we were for this. We don't even have hospital bags packed yet nor do we have the car seat bases installed in the car!

Dr. B came over to visit me and he told me he felt comfortable sending me home, but that I am to be on strict bedrest. No getting out of bed except for bathroom breaks and quick showers. I was a little sad about it, but I think that making it to 33 weeks without bedrest was a great accomplishment for my pregnancy! I will do whatever I need to do to keep the babies in there a bit longer. He told me that he'd like to see me make it to at least 34 weeks. I have another NST and ultrasound scheduled for next Monday and I also have an OB appointment scheduled for next Wednesday afternoon. I am hoping that I can make it until then without any further incident.

So here I am. Laying in bed on a beautiful day. Things could be so much worse, but I can't help but think about the boringness that is to come. I read a lot of blogs, and pregnant women on bedrest get very antsy! There's so much that needs to be done to prepare for the little ones! Honestly, because I'm such a planner, almost everything is done, but I really need to get my hospital bag packed. Justin's going to install the carseat bases this week just so that they're ready...just in case.

Stay in my belly a little longer, boys. I can't wait to meet you, but I want you to be a little bigger and stronger! I love you both.