Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Babies are here!

As you've probably seen on Facebook, the babies arrived on Tuesday September 17th, at 8:16am and 8:23am. Labor was fast and delivery was very very smooth. My birth story is a bit of a blur because everything happened so fast, but I want to write it out before I forget details I want to remember.

On Monday, I went into labor and delivery because I had felt reduced movement from the babies. I wasn't really too concerned, but with twins it's always always always better to be safe than sorry. My short trip to L and D involved a quick non-stress test where they monitored the babies heart rates and tried to determine if I was having contractions. Turns out, I was having contractions but I couldn't feel them. My cervix was still at 3cm, just like it was at my appointment the week before. So they sent me home, and I expected to go home and wait at least another week.

By bed time that night, I was having a low back ache, which I attributed to the cervical check because I had been getting back aches after each check for a couple of weeks now, so I just applied some heat and went to sleep. I woke up at 1:30am to use the bathroom and the backache was a bit worse but I just ignored it and went back to sleep for a while. By 2:30 am, I was having contractions that were still somewhat sporadic but definite contractions. I was waiting around for the magic numbers: having contractions that were 60 seconds long and at least 3-5 minutes apart. Mine never really organized themselves that way, I would have a 60 second contraction and then either immediately have several 30 second contrations or nothing for like seven minutes. I was able to walk through my contractions for the most part all the way up to delivery!

Anyway, I wasn't able to go back to sleep after waking up at 2:30, so Brad got up and finished packing the hospital bag and I was progressively needing to vocalize and move through contractions. Sitting and lying down were just not options. I started experiencing some bloody show around 3 or 4am. At 4:30 I decided it was time to call the doctor because I was beginning to throw up (transition?! already!? My contractions aren't the magic numbers!!!). She obviously told me to come on in.

Once at the hospital (which the ride involved a very very very very uncomfortable mama because the babies were moving down which put IMMENSE pressure in a lot of places. Sitting was so so so bad for it. The car ride also involved throwing up and then dumping it out at a stoplight. No judging), I don't think any one expected me to be as far along as I was. While they got me to change and tried hooking up monitors, the nurse checked me and determined I was at 7cm already (at this point it was shortly before 6 am).

Then it got a little chaotic. We needed the epidural to be placed about an hour before I showed up to the hospital, there was no doctor currently there to order the epidural, and the epidural was something we really needed due to the nature of twin births and the number of unexpected things that can occur in them. By the time my doctor go there, I was feeling the need to start pushing, which of course was not allowed. She checked me and I was fully dilated. So there I was sitting at 10cm with a bulging bag of water, a baby's head practically RIGHT THERE, being told not to push and wait for the epidural. This was the worst part of the whole labor process. Waiting and trying not to push. FINALLY, somehow the epidural was placed around 7am ish and despite contractions coming every 1-2 minutes I was able to sit still long enough to get the drugs.

Epidural given and in effect. My attitude improved a lot at this point.
Once the epidural was in place, the doctor broke my water. The epidural was too strong for me to feel the sensation to push, so they allowed me to rest for a while before doing some practice pushes. By this time it was after seven, so it was shift change and another doctor from the practice came in and would be who delivered me. This wasn't a HUGE deal because I had seen this doctor the most, but had not yet had a chance to go over my birth plan with her. Anyway, she had my epidural dialed down a little bit, and I was able to start pushing. They wheeled me down to the OR because they want to make sure they're prepared for anything. The getting prepped part was interesting because there was bed switching, tons of staff around, and a lot going on at once. Once Brad was in the room we began pushing.
Getting ready to head to the OR
Eleanor Jane was born at 8:16 am. She weighed 6 lbs .5 ozs. Amelia Claire was born at 8:23am and weighed 5 lbs 8.5 ozs. Both did very well considering that they came early at 36 weeks. The first 48 hours of life they lost a lot of weight, so we needed to begin supplementing with formula. This weight loss combined with monitoring bilirubin levels meant they had to stay in the hospital two extra days. I was discharged on Thursday and the babies came home Saturday afternoon.
Eleanor is on the left and Amelia is on the right.
My birth experience was basically what I wanted with one little blip. The doctor did cut an episotomy even though I would have preferred to tear. I think this was more of a result of not being able to go over my Birth Plan with her before I showed up fully dilated and ready to push. But, overall, my experience was wonderful and I don't think I could have asked or wanted anything else in regard to the actual birth process.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Style File: 35 Weeks

 Well...35 weeks. Only two more until full term! I'm a day late on this post, sorry about that. Sometimes you just can't get it all done in one day and I'm ok with that. At least I got 35 week pictures done. That was looking iffy there for a moment. Brad is napping right now and I so wanted to join him but... I slept until almost nine this morning and I decided I didn't really *need* a nap. I wouldn't have slept anyway.

This week's outfit is definitely the same dress from a couple weeks ago paired with the same scarf and jean jacket from a couple of weeks before that. Part of me is like "Well, that's pretty lame" but the other part of me is like "Well, that's how it is!". I do not have the time nor financial resources to keep a huge maternity wardrobe, especially at this stage of the game. But to be fair, the outfit I was going to take photos of today had a mishap when I wore it to work this week. I've always been a clumsy eater, but I swear the belly has it's own gravitational pull when it comes to anything remotely drippy. But I digress.

 Minus my puffy feet, this outfit makes me feel put together. It was 66 degrees when I woke up this morning so I took the opportunity to do a little bit of layering. I think I've decided if I have my way, if we ever get pregnant again I would like to be pregnant in the fall and winter. Not necessarily because summer was hot (it was), but because I like layering. It's so much easier to feel more styled when I can layer on a scarf and jacket. I think part if it is I also feel less conspicuous than when I'm just wearing a tee shirt and shorts (though that type of outfit was totally necessary in July when it was so dang hot outside!).

As far as the babies are concerned, things are looking good! My blood pressure was down to normal at my appointment on Tuesday. My labs also came back normal so that pretty much means pre-eclampsia is not a worry. It never really was, but they like to keep tabs on such things especially for women carrying multiples. All signs are pointing to the fact that the babies will be here sooner rather than later. My doctor did ask me to begin staying off my feet and limiting my activities, including no longer working. She's hoping this will get me at least another week with these babies inside. So far, I've made it from Tuesday to Saturday so I think we have a good shot of at least making it to next week sometime. I'm really praying they hold out until well into my 36th week because it is better for them in terms of lung development and the ability to suck and eat well. But, if they were born in the next ten minutes they may have a bit of a hospital stay but overall, barring anything weird coming up, they would do relatively well.

My last day of work was yesterday, and it was a bit of a relief. I've made some great friends with some of the other ladies I work with, but it was a definite relief to be able to walk away from the stress that it was causing me. My job is an ordinary desk job, but lately there have been some University wide changes that have caused a significant amount of stress on everyone, coupled with the fact that the department reduced the credit hours required to graduate with the MA in Government... It was pretty busy there for a while. I would come home so swollen that I couldn't bend my ankles very well and forget about cooking dinner. All of that was impacting my ability to sleep so I was perpetually exhausted (on top of normal pregnancy exhaustion). I spent most of the week at home, working online, to wrap up but let me tell you... I have slept so well this week without the added stress and discomfort working gave me. I did go into the office for a few hours yesterday for my final wrap up and to make sure I got all my junk out of my office. All that to say, it is bittersweet because that job was my first "big girl" job out of college and I will miss seeing the ladies I worked with. It's a good thing we all live in the same area so I should be able to keep up with them!

So there you have it. The bumpdate can be summed up like this: babies could come at any time, but they might wait a few more weeks. Life is much more comfortable now that I do not have to go to work anymore.

I'll definitely update when something happens, but until then... if there's no news just assume nothing is happening. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Style File: 34 Weeks...where I break my own rules

 Rule Number 1 I am breaking: always check your hair before taking outfit photos. Clearly, I'm having a bit of a wild hair day. ;) But no matter! Sometimes my hair is wild. Especially when it's been like a million percent humidity for at least a week.

Here I am at 34 weeks. That means that the babies are about the sizes of butternut squashes. Or if you go by BabyCenter they are the sizes of cantaloupes. Basically, I don't think this fruit/veggie comparison is all that accurate. ;) They're probably roughly 4.5 or 5 lbs at this point. 34 weeks also means I can deliver at the hospital I want to deliver at (yay!) and that if they came now, while they would still be premature, they would likely not have a ton of hospital time.

Rule number 2 I am breaking: Leggings are not pants.

I'm pretty sure these are actually leggings. But they were hanging with the maternity pants at Target and they're quite thick. Plus they were 30 dollars which is pants price. So maybe they're Pleggings? well...they're comfortable and they're going to be my "work pants" for the next couple of weeks. Of course I'll wear long shirts and all of that jazz. Let me tell you. Getting dressed is definitely a challenge these days. I'm down to very few items that work or are comfortable. But I don't have that much longer and hopefully will shrink back in size somewhat. ;)

I also like how comfy this shirt is. I'm undecided on the flattering factor, but it's comfortable and I can still wear it to work.  At this point...I don't really care. ;) Thanks Old Navy!

Babies are doing well to my knowledge. I had a doctor's appointment this morning and for the most part everything is fine. My blood pressure is a smidge higher than it should be, so they did some blood work and are having me come in next week on tuesday instead of waiting a full week. They're moving me to weekly appointments anyway, so it's not a huge deal. Bummer for me because that means I have to miss work ( ok...maybe that isn't a HUGE bummer. Sorry work), but it just is what it is. If my BP is still wonky next week they'll talk to me about what my options are. So far it isn't a huge concern at all because it isn't that high; just higher than mine has normally been. Babies are both still vertex and are pretty much sitting head to head one on the left and one on the right.

We have most of our baby projects finished! Be sure to check out the nursery post if you haven't already! I packed (well halfway packed) my hospital bag last weekend and have a list of remaining items to be placed in it sitting on top. Mostly what's left on the list are clothes I'm still wearing (like leggings, t-shirts, etc). As I get closer and closer to 37 weeks, I'll start putting those things in there and just dealing without. I'm working on a play list to take with us. I'm not sure how much music I'll actually want to play, but I figured I do tend to put on music when I'm trying to focus on something, so I should probably have that option available. It's not like loading it to the iPad is going to be all that big of a deal.

Oh, and side note: I am currently comfortably wearing Brad's old wedding band. Yay swelling!