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Happy Holidays!

Thought I’d post a little photo update in case anybody was still following.

That and I get a $10 shutterfly coupon code for doing it🙂

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I started to write Part II to the twins’ birth story, but it was turning into a long description of all the ways we had to fight the hospital to do what we thought was best for our babies. For instance, I fought to get a supplementary nursing system to help Grant learn to breast feed and get a few extra calories instead of just giving him a bottle of formula when his first blood sugar number was a little low.

It’s a simple little contraption that has now taught 2 out of 3 of my babies how to nurse. Yet both times the nurses and lactation consultants have dismissed it as ineffective.
SNS
It basically lets the baby get a little extra formula or breast milk with each suck, thus encouraging them to suck more vigorously.

I had a LONG list of other issues that we fought for this time but didn’t know enough about to ask for with O.

So I started writing….and writing…and writing…. but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to remember all of that. I want to remember everything that went oh so right.

Instead of remembering that my Mom somehow managed to put down the video camera and face it towards the wall JUST as the were pulling the babies out… TWICE… and that the drape was still in front of my face so I couldn’t see anything, I’ll remember getting these first glimpses of them through the nurses from across the room, and hearing that Marshall’s first act on earth after crying was to pee on his brother.
warmer

Instead of remembering how long it took them to get the babies to me in recovery, I’m going to remember when they first put their warm little bodies on my chest and Marshall wiggled his way up and latched himself on. (The boy is a barracuda. I may have had 2 lazy nursers, but Marshall is determined to make up for his brothers.)

skin

Instead of remembering that we got stuck in the overflow rooms and barely had space for two bassinets, I’ll think of O meeting his little brothers for the first time in that room. Oh, he was so excited, but so nervous too!
o meets M

o meets twins

I’ve already blocked from my mind the nut job who took their hospital pictures because her voice made me want to scratch her eyes out (“Oh my God, they are just SO PRECIOUS!!” –insert her sobs– Um, lady, I just met you. Get a grip.)

I’ll remember taking some snapshots of them instead.

Like this one that shows how much a two pound difference in a newborn really is:
size

Or this one, which I’ve titled after a proclamation of one of the nurses in the delivery room “Well, I guess we know who has been stealing the Wheaties!”
wheaties

Instead of being irritated with how often they whisked the babies off to the nursery for every little thing, I’ll remember these moments, which need no description.
cuddles

In the end, our family is complete. My blog about secondary infertility is no longer about infertility. IF will always be a part of me. I’ll always twitch when someone says they “finally got pregnant!” after 5 months of trying. There will be things I regret about how things should have been and scars that won’t heal, but I want to put it behind me. Time with these babies is precious and they grow so quickly, and I want to spend it soaking it in, not trying to think of some infertility connection to blog about.

So what began as a search for a sibling is now complete.

Siblings found.

sibling found

Just fair warning, this is going to be LONG. I like remembering the little details, and this is my chance to record them.

At 1am on a Friday in July, 2006, I woke up to go to the bathroom and heard a small pop and a gush as I sat on the toilet. I called to my husband from the other room, and after about 10 minutes of me yelling, he finally woke up and brought me the phone so I could call the midwives.

At 1am on February 23, 2011, I was laying in bed debating whether it was worth going to the bathroom since I couldn’t usually pee anyway. I heard a small pop sound that reminded me of the knuckle cracking sound I kept hearing from my belly. I wondered briefly if maybe it was my water breaking, but I was not terribly awake and didn’t think much of it. Then I sat up and GUSH. No doubt. I laid back down hoping to stop the water works, whacked B a few times and said, “my water broke” and then rushed to the bathroom trying not to make a mess of everything.

When I called the midwives this time, they told me to head right in since there was a risk of a cord prolapse with a breech baby A. Baby A always refers to the baby closest to the cervix (aka “the presenting twin”), and since there was no head to act as a cork, there was a small chance the cord would come out first and get compressed. She told me they’d probably do the c-section in the morning but that they’d want to monitor me until then. I then called my Mom and told her and my Dad to head over (Mom was coming to the hospital with us, Dad was staying with O overnight.) Then I called one of my BFFs who was staying with O while we were in the hospital.

B delivered puppy pads to me (I now suggest all PG women get these as they have come in quite handy both times), grabbed cell phone chargers and a few other things to pack in our hospital bag, and made himself some coffee. I shoved the puppy pads in my pants, tried to find some pants that fit over them, and off we went.

On the way to the hospital, we decided we’d better firm up our name choices. Nothing like waiting until crunch time. We also decided we’d get a good look at them before deciding for sure.

Around 2am, we got to the hospital, got checked in to L&D, got hooked up to the monitors, and confirmed I was having contractions about every 5minutes, which was kind of a baseline normal for me at that point. They didn’t hurt, though. Just felt like tightening. They checked me to make sure there were no feet sticking out and reported I was about 3cm dilated. (I originally resisted getting checked not wanting to introduce infection, but they wanted to check for feet due to the baby’s position.) Not having been checked before, we didn’t know if I was progressing or had been walking around that dilated for weeks.

I also asked to get an ultrasound to confirm baby A was still breech. No way they were going to cut me open unless I knew 100% for sure (and I was pretty sure I still felt his head in my ribs, but just in case.) Yup, OB on call confirmed complete breech presentation. Baby A basically sitting cross legged on my cervix. Damn.

In the back of my head, I was remembering the conversation I had with the Dr. who does breech deliveries. He said if I showed up at the hospital dilated to a 6 to call him and he’d just deliver them vaginally. I was half way there and not scheduled for the c-section for a good 5 hours, at the earliest.

So they monitored me for a while. We asked when they’d do the c-section and they told us there were a slew of them that morning, so they weren’t sure. The woman who came into the ER right before me had a repeat c-section at 4am. Somebody had one scheduled for 7am. They told me I’d probably go in around 9-10. That seemed like a LONG time away since my contractions were starting to hurt a bit. They told me if I went into active labor, they’d bump me up and to the scheduled one later.

By 4am, the contractions were definitely hurting. I rang the nurse and told her. She said I didn’t look like I was in pain. I told her I wasn’t having a contraction at that moment, so DUH. She readjusted my monitor and left. By 4:30 am or so, I rang her and told her if I was going to be in labor for 5 more hours, I needed OFF the monitors and out of bed. NOW!

One annoying thing about twins is that it takes a while for them to get their 20 minutes of monitoring because inevitably one baby is hard to keep on the monitor. This became increasingly annoying as the night went on.

At some point around 5am, they finally let me off the monitors and let me get in a hot shower/tub. For some reason I thought it was important to wash my hair at this point, despite having frequent painful contractions. Scrub, scrub, moan. I filled the bathtub, sort of surprised they were ok with it since my water was broken, but hoping desperately it would help with the pain, wondering in the back of my head if I was going to get MRSA or something. Well, the water helped for about 2 minutes, but it was lukewarm and I was freezing my butt off.

Shivering, I got back out, ordered up some warm blankets and sat in the rocking chair rocking through contractions for a while. Did I mention that this whole time fluid would still gush out randomly? So I sat on chux pads. Ew. Miraculous and amazing though it may be, birth is frickin’ disgusting.

Things get blurry around here. There was a lot of moaning. I have no idea how far apart my contractions were, but they were close. I think the shift changed at 7, and somewhere around then my midwife came in. She asked if I wanted her to check me to see if I was at 6. I said yes, just in case. I think she said I was a 4.

At some point they wanted me back in the bed for more monitoring. Being in bed was infinitely worse than being out of bed. I protested a lot and know I cut their 20 minutes short. I think maybe I asked them to move the rocking chair over by the monitors so they could strap me up there because I remember sitting on that side of the room.

I signed some paperwork at some point to consent to everything. I’m sure I read all risks carefully and with full consideration.

Meanwhile, they kept talking about doing the c-section at 9am. 9am. 9am. I just have to make it until 9am. I was really conflicted by all the labor pains. On the one hand, I was happy to feel like an active participant in the birth of my children. On the other hand, I knew it was a whole lot of pain for nothing. They were not going to come out that way. It didn’t matter how well I progressed. I was just killing time in pain because of a scheduling backup in the OR. Which side of this I fell on depended on whether I was in the middle of a contraction.

Sometime a few minutes before 9, an anesthesiologist came in to talk about I don’t know what. She said they’d have me in by 10am and were just cleaning up the OR. 10 am! 10AM?!?!?!

I believe my exact words were “OH MY GOD, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” WTF happened to 9??? Another hour of this????!?!?!?!?!?

I think after that I got out of bed. My midwife raised the bed way up so I could lean over it. She did major counter pressure on my back which had hurt like hell through the whole thing. I also had her squeeze my hips together, which helped some for about 2 contractions. I was getting to this fast furious point of contractions where they were right on top of each other, where NOTHING was touching them, where nothing felt better, and there was just no time in between.

They brought my Mom and husband scrubs to put on, so I knew we were getting closer.

The OB nurse said she talked to the nursery and they would try to send down a nurse who could monitor the babies so they could stay with us in the OR.

Around 10, they got me in a wheel chair to go to the OR. I wanted to die in that chair because it hurt so damn bad. I had been feeling nauseous for a while and they gave me a bag to throw up in. I was contracting fast and furious, probably scaring the bejesus out of all the PG women on the floor because I’m pretty sure I was making a lot of noise.

When I got to the OR I was struck by how cold it was, how bright, how I REALLY didn’t want to be there. They had me move to the table. The person who did my spinal was practicing or something, I swear because she had somebody talking her through it. My husband had been holding my shoulders when she started, but then the expert took over as I was contracting like crazy with no time in between and they needed me to curve over more. Good lord that hurt. I was shaking and vomiting at this point. I kept thinking I was probably in transition and couldn’t believe they had made me wait this long. I got this feeling like a shock in the butt that made me yelp as they did the spinal. Um, a little warning people? I’d like to not jump while you have a needle in my spine!

The spinal made my legs start to feel warm and then the pain all stopped. Weird feeling. The swung my legs around. I asked her to tell me when they were starting. I thought they’d prick me and see if the drugs were working. She told me they were already half way to the babies.

After getting me on the table, the anesthesiologist hung a drape from the IV poles. I asked her not to because I wanted to see everything. She said “oh, nobody wants to see that.” I said I did and asked that she drop the drape so I could see them coming out. She promised she’d drop it as they were pulling out the babies. She lied. I heard them talk about them being almost out and she said she’d drop it in a second. Then she did after baby A was already out, but it was bunched up under my face and I couldn’t see anything. So the thing I wanted most in terms of delivery (along with nursing them ASAP, which took about an hour) didn’t happen. I’m fairly pissed about it but trying to let it go. It was such a simple request.

They brought them to the side, I saw them for 2 seconds, then they brought them to the warmer. They did put them both in one so I could see both, which was nice. The first thing Baby A did was pee on his brother. There were usually people in front of them, but I caught glimpses. When baby A came out, I heard him scream pretty quickly. I started crying thinking about how long we had waited for this. When they pulled out baby B, I remember the OB “Look at this one. You can see your reflection in his head!”

Baby A got a 8/9 on his APGARS. Baby B got a 9/9. We could tell in the OR that Baby B was significantly smaller than Baby B, but it wasn’t until later that we found out he was almost 2 lbs smaller. (Baby A was 6lbs 11 oz. Baby B was 4lbs 13oz.) His health seemed no worse for wear. In fact, the OB said smaller twins often do better because they’re more stressed in the womb and therefore do better out of it.

At that point, they wrapped them up and someone held them up to my face. It was hard to see them because they were literally up against my cheek. Also hard to see through tears. We snapped some pictures and stalled a bit, but they carted them off to the nursery with my husband. My Mom wasn’t allowed in the nursery because she wasn’t a parent, so she stayed with me in the OR. I was so impatient for them to finish so I could get back to the babies, and it seemed to take forever. (Probably somewhere around 20-30 minutes for me to get to recovery, but it was a bit of a blur.)

As we left the OR, I was so happy they were here and healthy and breathing well. I was also unhappy about not having my wishes for the c-section addressed, but mostly I was happy they were here and couldn’t wait to cuddle them. I could feel my irritation melting away as I just looked forward to getting my hands on them.

It has taken me 2 full weeks to write this much, so I’m going to post Part I now and finish up the rest later. I did realize that I never updated what happened with the babies, so I’ll just tell you for now that they’re both doing great, gaining weight and both came home with us after ZERO time under the bili lights!

I’ll leave you with this preview of their Newborn pictures done by Laura at Vibrant Life Photography. Love her and am so excited to see the rest!

vibrant life

(That’s Grant/Baby B on the left and Marshall/Baby A on the right.)

Don’t you just want to scoop them up? I’m spending an awful lot of time just staring at them.

As soon as I’m awake enough to write a complete sentence, have stopped calling my children by any of the other names that were on our list, and have lost the porn star boobs. (I fond myself suddenly having sympathy foe porn stars and their giant boobs. Left that first part9 sp you could 4seebj condition one.)

Baby update!

So more details to follow, but Grant being a tiny little peanut has made it hard for him to hold his temperature, nurse, etc. We finally got an LC to bring us a “supplementary nursing system” (SNS), which is like a tiny tube you can attach to a bottle to get extra calories in them while nursing. For some reason, people tend to poo-poo it, but it had worked great with O, so I kept pushing. We used it 2x so far and it’s making a big difference in Grant’s breastfeeding drive.

Marshall is a barracuda who needs no encouragement, though we may use it once with him too.

Because of our A/O incompatible blood types, they’re both at high risk for jaundice, and Grant has a few other factors that make him an even higher risk. We figure the more they poop, the more flushed their systems, and the better chance their bili levels will come back at a good place when they test it for the first time tonight. We’ve already crossed one hurdle with Grant passing 3 consecutive blood sugar heel pricks.

I never gave their weights here, I guess. Grant was 4lbs 13oz, 17.75 inches. Marshall was 6lbs, 11 oz, 18.75 inches. Thus the look that Grant is giving Marshall here. “Dude, why do you keep stealing my wheaties?”

wheaties

To Grant William (left) and Marshall Alexander (right).
together NB

Details to follow!

B just vetoed “Johannes,” which would have been appropriate because February 23, 1455 was the date of the first printing of the Guttenburg bible using moveable type. Thus started a printing revolution across Europe, leading to an explosion of knowledge.

In 2011, it was the date my water broke at 1am. Stay tuned for more details!