Saturday, October 29, 2011

One Week Later...

The babies have been here for a week now, I can't believe it. This has been the longest and shortest week of my life. 

Grace Irene and Caleb Michael, three days old

I thought I understood the meaning of the word overwhelmed before I was the mother of twins- but I've learned a new level of overwhelming worry, guilt, exhaustion, joy, and love since I first heard their tiny cries.

Overwhelmed doesn't often give off a positive tone- most people think it's a bad thing to be overwhelmed.  I've seen both sides this week.  The amount of love I feel for them, the amount of sheer happiness and pride I have in them already- it's truly overwhelming.  I feel this incredible sense of protection- of worry for them.  It's terrifying, really.  And unbelievably overwhelming.

First pediatrician appointment, 10/27- five days old (Caleb on the left, Grace on the right)

Mommy changing baby Caleb, our little man, for the doctor's visit.  He's still a little jaundice and he had to go get his heel pricked for the FOURTH time right after this. What a strong little dude.

Grace cuddling with Mommy after her first sponge bath at home, six days old.  Yes, I still had my hospital bracelets on until yesterday...
So their births- I'm glad I was able to throw a couple of blog posts up right before and then right after their births to document what was going on.  It was such a whirlwind, an unexpected whirlwind. 

Friday was supposed to be a relaxing day.  My best friend, JJ, came over and she was gonna help reorganize our kitchen cabinets so we had room for some of the baby supplies. We were, after all, less than a week away from their delivery!  Only one weekend left- had to take advantage!  Well, we ended up spending two hours reorganizing the whole kitchen...and then taking back some baby stuff and shopping around for Halloween onesies in "newborn" size- they were coming before Halloween now! I wanted to have something for them to wear for a picture! Oh...looking back. If only I had laid down when I first started contracting instead of pushing through it to get a couple more stupid little things done.

I started having contractions pretty early in the day- probably around 10am.  They were irregular and similar to the braxton hicks, just a little more frequent. I didn't count them or time them...I figured they'd stop when I'd lay down or drink some water, just like they always had.

Then about four hours later, I noticed that they were really hanging around a lot more than usual.  I didn't go a full 30 minutes without one like I always had before.  When B got home from work around 4ish, I finally laid down in bed with him to chat. It was the first time I'd put my feet up and really started paying attention.  How selfish of me, how foolish. 

That's when I started timing them for the first time- 4:00.   My contractions were already 5 minutes apart when I first started timing.  I called the doctor after about an hour of timing them. She told me that they wouldn't stop my labor if I was in fact going into labor, but they also wouldn't help it along.  So she said I should take a relaxing bath, a shower, anything that was calming for me.  Just try to relax, push the fluids some more (which I started doing at 4), and see if we could slow them down.

Three or four hours later, around 8 or 9 I believe, after a nice warm bath, a relaxing shower, and laying down as much as possible (they were getting pretty uncomfortable),  I was timing my contractions at about two minutes apart.  I knew this wasn't normal- I knew when I called her back and told her, she'd send me to the hospital.

So, of course, the only logical thing to do was blow dry and straighten my hair.  Yes, that's right.  My contractions were nearly on top of eachother and I straightened my hair.  I figured, if I was actually going to have babies soon, I wouldn't want to deal with ridiculously frizzy hair. When I straighten it, I can just leave it alone for a could days... I mean, honestly One Day?  (Well, in hindsight, this may have been the only good decision I made all day- it was WAY easier to deal with my hair in the hospital for four days after having it freshly straightened.  I know,  I'm ridiculous). But I will throw out there that while all of this was going down, B went out and got a workout in.  He, at first, thought that it wasn't really gonna happen.  But then he decided that if we were gonna have the babies that night, we'd remember everything about the entire day and he didn't want to look back and think he was lazy for not working out.  Oh,  that's my B alright!

So I called the doc, she obviously sent me to the hospital. B and I packed up our bags (I had already packed the clothes, just needed my toiletries and some extras- B hadn't packed a thing, he was sure we had until the 26th...).

The best part about the night was that on the way to the hospital, my contractions slowed down significantly.  I actually told B to turn around- I was sure that it was over and I'd be sent home.  I didn't want to deal with the hospital if I didn't have to.  They slowed to about 7 minutes apart...I was excited and embarrassed that I'd gotten all worked up over nothing.  B convinced me that going to the hospital was still a good idea- what if they started up again?  So, we got there around 9:30 I think, not really sure.  My doc had called ahead.  I already pre-registered and they got me hooked up to the monitors to check the babies heart rates and my contractions. After what seemed like only about 30 minutes, the nurses called my doc to let her know that, in fact, I was having strong, regular contractions every 4 minutes or so, but that I wasn't dilated.  She asked them to give me some fluids and call her back if they slowed.  They started the IV- B sat beside me and we tried to take my mind off of it. B had told me earlier in the night that he wanted to take me to this new Mongolian bbq place he went to for lunch.  We had decided that we'd go as soon as my contractions stopped.  On the drive to the hospital and as we sat there waiting, we talked about what time it closed and whether we could still make it...haha.

Just a few hours before they were born!

Notice B's shirt!! The Lucky shirt! I made him wear it :)
After the entire bag of fluids was gone, they checked me again.  My contractions were still regular, getting more painful, but I hadn't dilated yet.  My doctor called it and said that at this point, if my contractions aren't stopping, going home was pointless (and would just be painful).  They told B and I we would be going in for my c-section within the hour. Queue extreme panic and nervousness. We were only a few days earlier than our scheduled section, but we had just lost a week of time only a couple days before that! This was all happening really fast- we had to accept it and move forward.  We were gonna be, now!

It turned out there was an emergency c-section that pushed us back, and then they got really busy and it was a few hours before we got in.  They gave me some drugs to slow my contractions because there was no point in laboring at this point.  They didn't work- it just got worse (but wasn't horrible by any means- I was still in the very early stages of labor...but I know I don't want to know how much worse it would have gotten...yikes).

Finally, after being prepped for surgery for about three hours, they were ready for us.  My parents had driven up to see us off (my Dad had taken two bena.dryl before we called them because he had an allergic reaction, so he was super drugged up and sleepy while we all waited for them to get us in. Hysterical!). I haven't mentioned it yet, but the babies were born on my Dad's birthday! 10/22- what an amazing day! I'm so glad that they were there to see us off, and that our kids share their birthday with such an amazing man!

After some hugs and kisses, I was guided off into the OR.

My Dad- "Papa".  A little loopy!

B saying goodbye to the belly- look at that thing!

The hardest part of the surgery was the spinal- and not because it was painful or anything, really it wasn't.  I was just shaking uncontrollably! I think I was nervous and excited...and way cold.  My doctor actually came over and held me so I could rest my head on her shoulder as they placed it.  She's amazing- I have the best MFM ever.  Seriously.

I felt the spinal just a bit- had the bee sting feeling, then some sharp pain down one leg, then a little burning.  Really nothing too bad at all.  It was over and done with in probably 10 minutes start to finish. They laid me back, but of course I was way too tall for the table so I had to try and scoot myself down as my head was hanging off...with hardly any feeling in my legs.  Then they gave me a place to put my arms and I apologized over and over for all of the shaking. I couldn't control it.

After only a few minutes, they put up the drape screen and B came in the door.  They were moving really fast- and I heard music on in the background. I wish I could remember which song right now... but I remember it being funny what was playing...I think I said that I liked it.

Then, the anesthesiologist started checking my numbness.  He wiped an alcohol pad on my arm and asked if I could feel how cold it was and I could.  Then wiped it on my rib cage and I could only feel the touch, no cold.  Then he moved it up, still no cold.  Then higher, no cold.  Then my armpit- still no cold.  He sort of paused and tried to tell me that, in fact, I could feel the cold.  I said no.  So we spent the next several minutes going back and forth between my arm and right below my armpit with this alcohol pad.  Finally, he got a little nervous and had to tilt the table because he was worried it had gone too high.  Nice.

And then, the pressure.  Oh the pressure.  I feel like I was bouncing up and down off of the table.  They were pushing so hard on my upper abdomen.  I commented on the burning flesh smell...that was awesome.  After only a couple of minutes, the doctor said "and this baby's breech" which I thought she said "and this is baby b" and I freaked out that somehow they pulled out B first...I kept asking if it was a boy or a girl...they must have thought I was crazy.  Finally they let me know that Baby A was coming out breech- feet first! All of a sudden I started hearing "congratulations!" but I didn't hear a baby crying.  I was just waiting for a baby to cry.  I didn't believe it.  They had already started on Baby B- a ton more pressure because he was so high up. I was still waiting for that cry...and then, I heard her.

It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.  Our little girl was whaling like no other, but it was such a tiny little voice.  I just kept saying "wow", and B agreed. 

We didn't have much time to take it in, because they announced that baby B was also coming out feet first, and then he was here.  Again, no cry- I could only hear little Gracie.  All kinds of congratulations and commotion, but not another little cry.  I held my breath, until I heard him.

He was so distinct- a different tiny voice.  It was unbelievable.  I listened to them both singing and I broke down.  We had two children.  We were parents.  Our dreams had come true.

B was amazing the entire time.  He got the whole thing on video (yes, the whole c-section and it's awesome! I'm so glad that I got to see it.  He even has video of them holding onto his hand as they were being warmed up and of himself cutting the cords! Absolutely unbelievable. 

Our entire world.


  1. Awww, those babies just had to meet the world on their terms and time... and they are SO precious. I love how different they look, two sweet little unique miracles. Enjoy your dream come true, can't wait to get ours too:] Rest when you can mama!!!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! So happy for yall! They are beautiful!

  3. Awh - so fun to read this. They already look so different and I'm sure have their own little personalities. I loved your line about their two little voices being so unique!

  4. They are so precious! You are going to ROCK this Mom thing! Congrats to you and B! I'm so happy for you!

  5. They are just gorgeous hun, congratulations! I know pregnancy was far from easy for you guys and if you're anything like me it will take you some time to come to terms with what you went through (email me any time you want to talk!), but what a beautiful gift at the end of it all! I'm sure you're currently exhausted and perhaps rather baffled by even the simplest things in your sleep deprived state (especially with TWO babies to love upon!) but, as you say, totally overwhelmed by that love :)

    Part of me finds it funny that you could ignore the contractions that long as I know I was totally aware of all of mine prior to labour (although perhaps that was because I was hoping to avoid the induction so was overly aware of every twinge) but part of me can understand because I'm sure you didn't realise how strong they were because you've had similar, if not worse, before, right? I remember the medical team being astonished I made it through 24 hours of contracting every 3 mins or so and up to 5cm dilated with only a couple of paracetamol and a codeine and they really couldn't believe how calm I was. But the truth was I'd had much worse with Endo! In fact despite the fact I totally freaked out for a while after they broke my waters Tim said the midwife looked totally baffled when she found I'd set up camp on the floor in the only semi-comfortable position I could find because I was so calm on the outside that she obviously couldn't guess how much pain I was in. And even then it was no worse than my worst periods. Um, I've gone off on a slight tangent but my point was I can understand from my experience how you could perhaps have not realised just how strong and real your contractions were because of your experience with Endo.

    Anyway, you take care of yourself and B and those babies of yours. This is such a precious, if totally overwhelming, time. I'm thinking of you all xx