Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Photo Update

 As a family tradition, we always take a picture in front of the Christmas tree. Up until now, we've always had just us and the cats. This year we have girls! We did this right before bedtime so its amazing they're not screaming. We couldn't get either girl to look at the camera but I still think it came out ok. We are a family of 4 now!
In other news, the girls recently discovered their hands. This is what they look like most of the time now-

We generally have to pry their hands out of their mouths so we can quick stick the bottle in. Like an awful mother, I didn't take ANY pictures of Christmas day. So I'm waiting for some relatives to send me some so that I can post them. What a bad mommy! Honestly though, it was such a whirlwind, I just didn't even have time to grab the camera. Look for lots of pictures next year- we're staying home!
Our friend Nadia made these ornaments for the girls. Aren't they gorgeous? I had been looking for Baby's First Christmas ornaments and couldn't find any I liked but then Nadia surprised me with these. I love them!
Daddy tricks
I made these for Steve's side of the family for Christmas. They are hot chocolate on a stick. I made the chocolate blocks and even made the marshmallows from scratch. It was so much fun! I can't wait til the girls are big enough to cook and bake with me.

Weight updates

Went to the doctor today for some quick shots. Amelia weighs 13 pounds 10.5 ounces and Claire weighs 11 pounds 15 ounces. My little girls are growing so big! Amelia slept in 6 month jammies last night because she keeps popping the snaps on the 3 month ones. Sigh. My babies are growing up right before my eyes. They are probably a little young for me to start talking about how I wish they could stay babies forever but I do.

Amelia is losing all her hair. It is seriously coming out in clumps. Claire is shedding a little bit but not like Amelia. Claire still has a nice head full of hair. I can't believe that she's not even 4 months old and she has enough hair to wear bows. Not the headband kind, real bows. She wore one several times over the weekend. She's so pretty!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas was here

Ok, let's act like Claire doesn't look like she just saw a giant spider. I think this is a pretty cute picture actually. Both girls will now smile "on command" (ie if you are doing something smile-worthy AND they feel like it) but I can never get them to do it at the same time. Steve's grandma gave the girls these "baby's first Christmas" outfits.

Christmas was... okay. Not great. There was far too much running around and familial obligations for it to really be enjoyable. Everyone insists on seeing the babies but no one wants to come to us. Now, to anyone reading this, that isn't directed at you, it just is what it is. Traveling 4 hours each way with two infants who don't like their car seats is no one's idea of fun. So next year, people are invited to come to us but we are staying home. It was also bad because the girls didn't sleep in their own beds for 2 nights which I don't like. They actually did really well one night- they both slept until 3 am.  But I still like for them to sleep at home in their own beds. By the time we finally made it home, the poor little angels were absolutely exhausted. Amelia cried so hard in the car the last half hour, I thought she was going to pass out. We had to pull over twice to calm her down so we could make it home.

I managed to get a cold while we were gone and I think I've passed it to Steve. On Sunday, we were all supposed to go to my grandmother's house but since I was sick I couldn't go. Steve took the girls, which I thought was brave because our WHOLE extended family was there. I think they had a good time. The girls got TONS of presents- I don't know where we're going to put them all. We so much appreciate everyone who thought of them and us. It was just an overwhelming whirlwind of a weekend.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Cutest Family

 These are my friends Andy and Rheanna and their little boy Brandt. They also have a doggy, Dixie, but she's not in the picture! Poor Dixie. Andy and Rheanna just celebrated their second anniversary of being a family of 3 and they are about to celebrate their 3rd Christmas with Brandt in their lives. They are the BEST parents (seriously, I want them to adopt me!)  but there was a time when they weren't sure whether or when they would ever be parents. And then they got a call. The Call. A baby was on the way! 
Brandt came to their family through the miracle of adoption. That little cherub had a birth family that loved him so much that they knew they couldn't take care of him in the way that he needed. They loved him enough to let him go. And how could it have worked out better? A baby who needed a family and a family who needed a baby. They only found out a week before Brandt was born that he was on the way and I don't know that Andy and Rheanna have stopped smiling since. They are super-close to Brandt's birthmom. She is even planning to visit them this summer and I know they call and skype a lot. I have been touched so many times when I have heard Rheanna talk about Brandt's birthmom. I think it would be easy to feel so jealous of your child's love and not want him to love anyone but you. But they don't see it that way. I could go on and on but that's not why I'm writing this-

Andy and Rheanna are looking to adopt again! They are open to any child. They have so much love to share and they want to be parents again. I'm having a hard time believing anyone wants to go back to the newborn stage (ask me when they're sleeping through the night...) but they do. Brandt is ready to be a big brother and Dixie is ready to have someone else to lick. Anyway, you never know how these things happen. It could be a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend whose cousin is pregnant and doesn't know what to do. All I ask is- if you know someone who is considering adoption for their child, mention Andy and Rheanna to them. It would mean the world to them and who knows what could happen? As a mom myself, I wish every child could have parents that loved them so much and I wish every child was wanted. They have an adoption profile here along with more pictures! Seriously, they do more fun stuff in a week than we do all year. This was way longer than I intended but they are good friends and good people and wonderful parents. Maybe they'll get a Christmas Miracle.

Merry Christmas!

The girls are as excited as you would expect from a pair of 3-month-olds. Aren't they pretty? This picture was taken by Amy Burch who did some pictures of the girls a while back. I am having so much trouble deciding what to order from her. They absolutely look like baby models. This picture was our Christmas card this year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Amelia

My little Amelia, yes that happy smiling girl, has turned into such a big fit-pitcher! And it gets worse when Mama tries to hold her and help her calm down. So today I am breaking one of my rules and letting her sleep in the swing. I couldn't take the yelling anymore. I think she misses her daddy. Yes, that must be it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No One Ever Thinks About the Poop

Both yesterday and today, I have woken up to poopy diapers. Tomorrow I'm hoping to wake up and find that the Cleaning/Christmas Shopping Fairy came during the night. I won't hold my breath- I save that for the poop. People who see us out and about always say "Oh! I always wanted twins!" but I think they have failed to take this aspect into consideration... I ca't be mad at them though because look (!) how cute!!!
This is the best smile I could catch on Claire. That girl takes after her Uncle David and starts making goofy faces when she sees the camera. Amelia, on the other hand, is a total ham-
And here the girls are trying on their Christmas dresses at my parents' house-
Claire wasn't too sure about being dressed up.  FYI- my mom made these dresses! Is she talented or what?

In other news, our closing date on our house got pushed back to Jan. 7th. Not happy. The reason we're buying a house is because we need to live there! Sigh... I guess we'll manage.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We have a house!

We're not going to have to live under a bridge! Closing on Dec. 30!
I guess I should go back and explain that we decided not to get that other house. It had too many problems. But this house is brand new and gorgeous and perfect! And it has lots of lovely trees in the back yard. Yay!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

So Happy

Lately I have come to realize how incredibly happy I am. I have an awesome husband who is truly a wonderful, joyful father. He cooks, he cleans, he plays with our baby girls and most of all, he loves us. A lot. Steve is gone for three weeks to some brutal training. He can't see us or call or email or text or anything. All he could talk about before he left is how much he was going to miss us. I would never have said it was possible but I love him more now that we have our daughters. There is just something about watching a grown man make silly faces to a baby and talk to her in a high-pitched voice.

I have two beautiful daughters who are such joys to us. Amelia is growing so big and smiling at us when we make faces at her. She likes to snuggle with her Mama and she wrinkles her tiny forehead in a way that makes my heart melt. I am so lucky to be her Mama. And my little Claire! She has the biggest eyes and if I let her, she would lay on my chest and stare into my eyes all day and night. When she looks at me like that, I know that she knows that she is mine and I am hers. She has recently started smiling too. I could not ask for two more wonderful little people and I truly enjoy every day that I get to watch them grow and love them.

I feel so lucky that I am able to stay at home with our girls. They are 12 weeks old now which is about the longest maternity leave that anyone gets. I can't imagine packing my girls off to daycare every morning. I think we would have to get up by 4am to make it there by 8:00. Instead we get to spend lazy mornings laying in bed, singing songs and cuddling. I wish every mom could stay home with her babies if she wanted to. I would make the choice again and again. We have definitely had to go without some things since I stopped working but nothing important.

In addition to all this, we have a nice home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have food in our pantry and clothes in our closets. We have families that love us and care for our girls so much that they beg us to let them babysit. Just for a little while. The other day, Amelia was crying and I was making her bottle and telling her "Its not that bad! You have a mama and a daddy that love you and a nice sister. You are about to have food in your tummy and there is more anytime you want it." And I got kind of choked up thinking, I can't imagine looking at my crying child and knowing I don't have any food for her. It is truly a tragedy that when we have so much, there are children that go to bed hungry at night. Its one of those things that I've always known but I guess you feel it differently when you have children of your own. Lots of things to think about...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting so big!

The girls are getting so big! Yesterday they sat in the Bumbo seats for the first time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Your mind will trick you!

Steve and I were watching videos today that we took around the time of the girls birth. And can I just say Holy Cow! I had already forgotten how huge I was. This picture was taken 2 weeks before the girls were born-
It is completely irrational for anyone to go around looking like that! Plus two more weeks of growth. There's a reason I stopped leaving the house. I also thought that my stomach shrank a lot faster than it apparently did. Those videos were amazing though. Its incredible how much our two little girls have grown in (almost) 11 weeks. Here they are looking so sweet in their Christmas pajamas-
Claire always wants to check out what Amelia is doing. Our last Show and Tell photo for today has all of the girls in our family in the bed together. Often by morning we have at least one baby in the bed with us but 3 was a little much!
Sometimes you just have to laugh to yourself. Steve is playing Xbox online and every time I upload a picture I hear "I don't know what's wrong. All of a sudden my internet is lagging. I don't know why it won't work. No! I died!" Hahahahahaha Yes, our internet sucks but that is funny. I'll never tell. Um... I don't think he reads my blog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

This year, Shutterfly is running a promotion that I'm very excited about. Basically, if you write about Shutterfly on your blog, they will give you 50 free holiday cards. This came at a perfect time as I was just starting to wonder what we were going to do about Christmas cards this year. Obviously, I want everyone to see my little sweeties but I also needed to save money because of the aforementioned sweeties. In the past I have ordered our cards from the drugstore and they didn't have a big selection but Holy Moly! Shutterfly has pages and pages to choose from! I don't know which one we will end up going with but this one is certainly a favorite. I am so excited to take advantage of this offer and I hope maybe someone else can take advantage too. All you have to have is a blog. Now I'm going to go check out their birth announcements...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


November is Prematurity Awareness Month.
We were really lucky. Our girls were born at 34 weeks and 1 day. That's about 6 weeks early but for twins 34 weeks is pretty good. All the nurses in the Special Care Nursery kept telling us how good it was to make it 34 weeks. The girls lungs were mature when they were born. They were in the SCN for 8 days as Feeders and Growers. The doctors just wanted to make sure they were growing well and they had not one setback. We were really lucky.
When our girls were in the NICU/SCN we received a LOT of gifts from volunteers. These ladies make hats and blankets and clothes and things for the tiny babies. We must have gotten 10 or 12 things for our girls. As special as those things were to us, I can only imagine how much they would mean to someone whose babies didn't have such a good outcome.

If you are thinking about doing something charitable for Thanksgiving or Christmas, please think about the families that are spending the holidays at the hospital wondering if or when their babies can come home. If you can't do something for them, maybe you could make a small donation to the March of Dimes. Now I'm going to go kiss my two growing preemies!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


When one girl stops screaming, the other one starts. And round and round and round we go...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Little Nek-Neks!

My two little nekkid girls! They love to be naked! You can really tell how much bigger Amelia is than Claire. Last week at the doctor, Amelia weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces and Claire weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces. So Amelia has already more than doubled her birth weight and Claire is almost there. They also had to get 2 month shots at the doctor- 3 shots and one oral vaccine. So you can imagine my poor girls were not happy. I wasn't really very happy either because I had to take them by myself! Daddy was out of town looking for a house for us. The good news is that he found one-
We are closing on December 8th! This is very exciting to me because this house comes with....
I haven't actually seen the house yet but the home inspection is on Monday so I'll see it then. I'm so excited about our new house! There are going to be a few things we have to do- we'll have to have the pool fenced in before the girls start crawling and walking. There is a really big yard on the other side of the pool and I want them to be able to play outside without worrying about them falling in. Obviously I will be outside with them when they're playing but still. When there's one mama and two little girls, a fence seems safer! We're also going to look into one of those pool alarms.
The house is absolutely gorgeous. There are new floors throughout the whole house and they are beautiful. There are also some lovely built-in bookcases and a nice fireplace. The only thing I don't like is the counter-tops. The ones in the bathrooms and the kitchen are pretty ugly but we are looking at our options for what we can do with them. I don't really see us spending a whole ton of money on it but hopefully we can improve the ugly brown laminate.

Anyway, the girls are getting big and finally figuring out their days and nights and we are working on a bedtime. Eventually I'd like to have everyone in bed by 7:00 but its a work in progress. I have a friend in the neighborhood who has a little boy that is 3 weeks older than the girls. She says he just started sleeping through the night. I hope that is in our future soon! I really have to count little Clay as 7 weeks older than the girls because he was born at 38 weeks instead of 34 but still! Its out there... somewhere in the future. Mommy and Daddy are very excited!

I don't know what else to say really. I feel like we are finally starting to emerge from survival mode a little bit. There's a website I look at (called How Do You Do It) that is written by several moms of twins and one thing I read there has really stuck with me. One frustrated mom wrote "I feel like I'm so busy managing my twins that I can't enjoy them." So I'm trying to focus less on the managing and more on the enjoying. Because while its important to me that the girls learn to sleep etc., its more important to me that I can enjoy them while they are so small. I really love kissing Amelia's big cheeks while she just gazes at me. And I love to watch Claire's funny faces. Mostly, I love being a Mommy to my sweet little girls and I think I'm pretty good at it. At least, most of the time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The last few weeks we have had several "firsts." Claire had her first mohawk-
Ok, so she doesn't really like it very much. The girls also got to meet their Uncle Jeremy (and his girlfriend Jessica) for the first time.
Claire didn't like that either. That girl... Amelia and Claire had their first shots last week. They get a shot to help prevent RSV which is a very dangerous respiratory infection that preemies are especially susceptible to. Claire took her shot pretty well. She wasn't a big fan but Daddy comforted her and she got over it pretty fast. Amelia, on the other hand, acted like we were killing her.

See her sad little boo-boo? We are going to be traveling this weekend. The girls only have one cousin and its his first birthday. Happy Birthday Leighton!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sleep Deprivation

 Things are getting serious around here. A few nights ago, Steve ordered something online in the middle of the night. After that,  he totally forgot about it and bought another one at the store. Yesterday, the one he bought online showed up and he was completely surprised. I'm just glad it wasn't something expensive. 

Last night I thought the girls were really good. I thought they slept from 1:10 when I put them down until 5:40. Nope, it seems that they woke up in the night, Steve got up and tended them, and I never knew a thing about it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bob

I really REALLY want one of these strollers. We have a double stroller now-
but see those teeny tiny wheels? They don't do so good off-road. And the girls are going to grow out of it in a year or so anyway. So I really want the Bob. With its nice swively front wheel. And those big tires that can go over gravel, or rough pavement or grass... If only I could see spending over $500 on a stroller. Maybe I can get one used. I still have several months before the girls could actually use a stroller like that.

That picture of me with our stroller was taken the ONE week that I was cutely pregnant. Right before I ballooned!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We're making progress.

Last night the girls got up at about 1:30 and then they slept until about 7:45 this morning. They usually get up again at about 5:00 so that's good progress! Its the second time they've done that although the last time was about a week ago. I don't think I need to say that we LOVE it when they sleep for so long!

Amelia is nursing MUCH better! She's still not totally breastfed but she's nursing at almost every feeding. She's taking about half of her feeding from a bottle and then nursing for the rest. So proud of that baby! Claire still isn't nursing much but I haven't been working with her as much. Now that Amelia is doing so well, I'm starting to work with Claire more. I'm still pumping too which gets old but I think its helping keep the milk supply up. My little sweet peas are doing so well!

Last week I found out that an old friend is pregnant- I'm so excited for her!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Halloween!

So I didn't actually get the girls any costumes but I did get them these super-cute shirts from Wal-Mart. Only $3 each!

Claire apparently enjoys licking her sister. In other news, Steve's actually at work today so I feel like a real stay-at-home mom. I've even got dinner in the crock-pot and worked on folding clothes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When it rains...

Mommy and two babies are all sick. Neither baby wants to eat very much because their noses are stuffed up. On top of that, Claire has had two baths in two days because she got poops all over herself. Then when she got out of the bath, she peed all over her dad. Poor Miss Amelia's nose is so stuffy that she has to breathe through her mouth. Makes it hard to take a bottle. You should all be glad you're not at our house.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tired Times Two

Read it like Chandler Bing: Could the circles under my eyes BE any bigger?
Despite the under-eye circles, we're all doing well. Poor Miss Claire had to go to the doctor yesterday morning. She had projectile vomited twice in about 36 hours and that seemed like enough to warrant a doctor visit. The doc thinks she has reflux and prescribed Zantac. She also told us to make sure to keep Claire upright for at least 15 minutes after feeding her. It seems to be working, no more projectile vomiting since yesterday morning.

Unfortunately when she puked, I was holding her and it got ALL over me. She did the same thing to Steve the night before except that she pooped and peed on him too. Poor guy.

Today is BEAUTIFUL! We have all the windows open and are enjoying being able to hear all the birds and stuff. I absolutely LOVE fall! Fall and Spring are my favorite times of year. I just love knowing that Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. This year, I wasn't planning on dressing the girls up for Halloween- they're still so small that I don't think I could find a costume to fit them anyway. But then I saw some costumes on (if you don't know about Etsy, you should check it out- all things handmade! Its one of my favorite websites) that I'm pretty sure I could reproduce with very little effort. I don't know. They're still so small that it hardly seems worth it. We'll see... It probably depends on whether I'm able to order what I need fairly cheaply online. I am definitely not up to shopping all over town to find the right fabric and things.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lots of Photos!

Last week, the girls got their first tub baths. As you can see, we cheated a little about Claire's umbilical cord. It was just hanging by a thread so I figured it was fine to go ahead and give her a bath. She kind of looks like she doesn't trust me but both girls actually like getting baths so far. They just don't like it when you get them out. I guess it makes them cold.
Amelia doesn't seem to mind her dad giving her a bath. She's a sweet baby. After their baths, we let the girls relax on one of the quilts that my mom made them.
As you can see, there's not much the girls have that's not pink. While we were in Birmingham last weekend, the girls got to meet their big cousin Leighton. He is their only cousin for now.
Leighton very sweetly petted Claire's hair. Otherwise he pretty much ignored them. He's not quite 11 months old yet so he's not too interested in babies. He still is one! This week the girls have had a little bit of tummy time. Amelia went first-
Both girls' neck muscles are getting a lot stronger- they like to pick up their heads and move them around to look at things.

Today we took the girls to the Botanical Gardens to celebrate their one month birthday. They, of course, slept through the whole thing but we had fun. Whenever we go anywhere with both babies, its like being a celebrity. People always want to talk to us, follow us around and ask us questions. I have renewed respect for people who are hounded by the paparazzi. I mean, they bring it on themselves in a way but still... Today at the Gardens, one of the workers drove by in her golf cart and spoke to us. Then 15 minutes later she was back with her daughter to show her the cute twins. And they are cute! The other thing about having twins is that everyone wants to start pulling twins out of their family tree to tell you about. "My great-aunt Ethel's son's girl Shelley has twins!" And I never know what to say to that because I don't care. I usually go with "Oh that's nice..." and try to keep moving. I'm thinking of getting a shirt that says-
Yes, they are twins.
Yes, they're both girls.
They're one month old.
They weigh about 6 pounds each.
Thank you for your interest. I'm trying to enjoy some time out with my family. If you are interested in twins and what that's like, please ask your great-aunt Ethel about her granddaughter's twins. Thanks!

Its not that I think people are really trying to be bothersome or anything like that, it just gets tiring. Anyway, at the Gardens today, they were having an exhibit (for lack of a better word). People and businesses in the community could put up "scarecrows" for Halloween and some of them were pretty funny. Here are some of my favorites.
The Head Chef
Lady Gaga
Not really sure what this is...
Claire enjoying the ride.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kind of sad

I'm kind of sad for a friend right now. Its not that anything bad happened to her, no one died or anything like that. Its just that she's going through a hard time and I know how she feels. BTDT. But I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know so I can't really call her to talk about it either.

Too I'm sad for my little Claire- she just threw up a lot. I thought we were getting over that. Added to that, I'm also a little sad because I see us making an inevitable slide towards more and more formula. The nursing is not going well and I don't really have the energy to work on it like we should. I know what I need to do, or at least I think I do, but I just don't have the energy or the will to do it.

I feel resentful of the staff at the hospital because I feel like we were set up for failure. I don't know how much is my fault- I had that spinal headache for 4 days and couldn't have taken care of my girls anyway. But I really feel that they weren't supportive of our breastfeeding relationship. It was undermined so early and often that I didn't even get a chance at a good start. And maybe that's my fault for not pushing harder. But I was so sick the first 4 days and without my husband after the first day... Well, it is what it is. The girls are never going to be good nursers and I'm never going to do what it would take to make them be. I know babies grow just fine on formula and I'm still pumping to give them as much breastmilk as I can...

This is such a downer of a post. Things are actually going really well here. The girls' umbilical cords finally fell off so they've had a few baths now. Thank goodness. They even each had a shower. I took them in the shower with me when we were out of town over the weekend. They really like it. We were in Birmingham to see Steve's grandfather. He's doing really poorly- he had to be put on hospice recently and he's not expected to make it much longer. Steve wanted him to see the babies before he goes.

While we were in Birmingham, we had the girls' pictures made. We just went to Portrait Innovations, nothing fancy. They came out ok. I mean, the girls are only 3 weeks old so I couldn't expect much from them. Here are some of the better (or more interesting) ones.

                                                                        Family Shot
We didn't order this one- there was one pretty similar that was better. I just thought it was cute how Claire is yawning.
                                                   Amelia is telling Claire a big secret.

I made the girls' outfits. We got a few cute individual shots of each girl. Little sweetie pies! The girls are doing really well and growing like weeds. Amelia is over six pounds and Claire isn't too far behind.
I'm so proud of my big pretty girls!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We're official!

 Well, the girls are official- I got their Social Security Cards in the mail today. You would think twins would just be one number off from each other but they're not. The cards were the first pieces of mail that the children have received. It was kind of weird to fish something out of the mailbox addressed to my babies! I guess their birth certificates won't be too far behind.

I'm kind of excited- now we can set up savings accounts for the girls!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Its good to be home!

We have been home from the hospital for over a week now. I don't think there is anything like spending 24 hours a day in a hospital with your babies for 9 days straight to make you appreciate being at home. And we had it so easy. Some babies have to stay in the NICU for 100+ days. We were so lucky. Our girls were in the NICU for less than one day (about 12 or 14 hours) and then spent the rest of their time in the Continuing Care Nursery.

When we got home, on of my first priorities was to give the girls a bath. They hadn't been bathed since they were born and they seemed dirty to me. They still (!) have their umbilical cord stumps so all they can get is sponge baths for now but those stumps are almost ready to come off. Here are some pictures of the very first bath. Miss Amelia:

And Miss Claire:

They aren't the biggest fans of bath time but they have both done pretty well. They've had a few more baths since this first one. They don't particularly like being bathed but they seem to really enjoy having their hair washed. And they just smell so GOOD afterward! I can't wait until their belly-buttons are ready so they can have a real bath.

Here's something you didn't know about preemies- they grunt. A lot. And sometimes they hum. Its really cute when they hum. The grunting kind of makes you feel bad for them. We had to stop sleeping in the same room with the babies because they were making so much noise that we couldn't get any sleep. Its caused by an immature nervous system but it just makes Mommy nervous. Now we sleep across the hall from the nursery in the guest bedroom. That way we can hear the girls if they cry but not hear every grunt and hum. I wish I had a video to post.

(FYI The next paragraph discusses nursing and breastmilk. So if that's TMI, skip to the bottom)

Feeding the girls is still our main challenge. They are both getting lots of breastmilk but we are still working on actually nursing. So that we can actually get some sleep, we are nursing during the day and doing bottles of breastmilk at night. The good thing about the bottles- it takes them about 10 minutes to finish a bottle. When they nurse... it takes them about 40 minutes each. Each! Theoretically I can nurse them both together but its a challenge. Since they don't have much head control it makes it hard. I have come to realize that I care more about them getting breastmilk than actually nursing. So lots of pumping going on over here.  Amelia is our little piggy. She gulps and gulps no matter what you give her. That girl loves to eat! Claire takes her time more and she spits up more. I don't know if she's more gassy or what. The spitting up has really increased the last 2 days. But she seems happy.

My biggest personal challenge is trying not to feel like a bad mom. I feel bad that I can't do everything for each girl that I would be able to do if they weren't twins. But they are healthy and happy so I guess we're doing fine.

When the girls were born, my mom said they didn't look like me at all, but she just informed me that after looking at my baby pictures, Claire looks like me. So maybe she's not the mailman's child after all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So here's what happened

Last Monday (right, Labor Day) I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and my water broke. I knew that meant to get ready because once you're water breaks, you're having babies. Its not like going into premature labor where they can try to stop it.  If you'll recall, my doctor had told me that I had to make it until Tuesday to be able to deliver at our home hospital. So Monday morning saw us sitting at 33 weeks and 6 days instead of the required 34 weeks. I thought sure they'd let us stay. It was just a matter of a few hours right? Wrong.

I was transported 3 and 1/2 hours by ambulance to UAB hospital in Birmingham. The ambulance ride actually wasn't that bad. When I had been hooked up to the monitors at the hospital, they showed that I was having contractions but I wasn't feeling anything. The babies were tolerating the contractions VERY well and they didn't expect us to have any trouble getting to Birmingham. And we didn't. When we got there and got checked in, the nurses hooked me up to the monitors again which were showing contractions again. But I still couldn't feel them. The doctors decided to give me a shot of Demerol to try to slow or stop the contractions until after midnight, when they wanted to induce labor. I couldn't really understand why they wanted to slow or stop labor for 12 hours and then induce me but again, it was all about making it to midnight so that we'd be at 34 weeks.
I talked the doctors into waiting until the next morning to induce me. I had only slept 4 hours Sunday night and by Monday night I was exhausted. Sometime during all this, I got 2 steroid shots which were supposed to help the babies' lungs to develop. Anyway, Tuesday morning at 6am, I got hooked up to Pitocin and the real laboring began. Around 11am (and after having made VERY little progress), I finally gave in and decided to go ahead and get the epidural. The babies were tolerating the labor very well but their Mommy was not. What I really wanted to do was get up and walk around but that's pretty difficult with 3 monitors and an IV and a blood pressure cuff. So I got the epidural but it took them an hour to put it in. Its not supposed to take that long and from the conversation between the doctors, I take it that there is something atypical about my spine.

Anyway, I'm being induced and having some visitors. My mom and Steve's mom were there. People kept thinking it should be going faster than it was. Finally, about 8:00pm, the doctors decided that I was about 8 cm dilated and that it shouldn't be too much longer. They set up a tray to take to the OR with us and at about 10:30 the OR people came to take that tray because everyone thought it wouldn't be much longer. As it started to get later, I started to be able to feel the contractions more and more and I began to worry that the girls would have different birthdays. Everyone was fooled though because neither girl was even born that day! At around 4:00am Wednesday morning, I began to feel like I really needed to push and the doctor decided it was time. We made the move to the operating room (which is an awful place to birth) and got all set up. Amelia Eleanor was born at 4:31am and followed VERY quickly by her sister at 4:37. Claire Elizabeth did not want to wait and came screaming out after about 4 pushes.
                                                                     Amelia Bedelia
Claire Bear

The girls are doing great and only had to stay in the NICU for a few hours. After that, they were transferred to the Continuing Care Nursery for 8 days and then we came home! Having two babies in the CCN for that long was hard but there were lots of other families there that had it worse. Our girls basically just needed to grow a little bit and show the doctors that they were eating and gaining weight.

I, unfortunately, was the one with all of the trouble. Because of the botched epidural, I got a spinal headache that lasted for 4 days before having a Blood Patch. That's where they take blood out of your arm and inject it into the epidural space. It made all the difference in the world though and I was able to finally get up and around and care for my girlies. I would not wish that spinal headache on anyone though. It was 4 days of misery. All you can do is lay flat in a darkened room. One day, I spent the day laying in bed crying all day and when the doctor finally came, he said I wasn't in "enough pain for it to be a true spinal headache." Showed him when that blood patch fixed me right up.

My mother-in-law used to work in the NICU at UAB so she still knew a lot of the nurses and got to catch up with them. My mom works in the OR at UAB and so she was able to come visit us really often while she was on breaks. My sister-in-law just started working at UAB last week and so she was able to come over after work too. Wonderfully, we had lots of visitors and people to admire our precious girls. Despite all that, it is still good to have them home and not have to worry about all the monitors and noises. Both girls have a head full of dark hair and we could not be more delighted with them!