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!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Week Ago

One week ago, this happened-

This has been the best, hardest week! Going home tomorrow!!!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

33 weeks, 2 days and all is well

Our appointment today went really well. Baby A is 4 pounds 10 ounces and Baby B is 4 pounds 14 ounces. And that people, is 9.5 pounds of baby. I don't have to go back for 2 more weeks and the doctor said he's not really expecting anything to happen in the meantime. I'm about 1 cm dilated which means absolutely nothing. Also, my belly is measuring in at 42 weeks. If I was having one baby, my belly is the size it would be if I was 2 weeks overdue. So, big. The doc says that as long as I make it to next Tuesday, we're home-free. I can have the babies here at my hospital with my doctor. Also both babies are head-down so they should hopefully stay that way which means hopefully no c-section!

We're going to the beach this weekend! Actually, I doubt I'll put foot to sand but it should be an interesting trip. My grandma (mom's mom) takes all of us to the beach every year for Labor Day. I haven't been able to go for several years because we've been living in Texas so this will be my first time seeing a lot of my family members in a while. Two of my cousins have kids I haven't met yet and two of my cousins have husbands I haven't met yet. I don't know how long we'll stay- probably only one night but we're playing it by ear.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beyonce Beyonce

No that's not what I'm naming my daughters!

I am so incredibly naive when it comes to song lyrics. Just now, a friend was saying (on Facebook) how she's making her last trip to Texas as a single lady and so I was commenting back with lyrics from that Beyonce song "All the Single Ladies." Anyway, I needed to look up the lyrics online to make sure I got them right, didn't want to embarrass myself. And I had them SO wrong. And that happens to me ALL the time.

At least usually though I know I don't have the lyrics quite right. But I have been singing along to Single Ladies for what? Over a year now? Wrong the whole time.

In other news, I colored my own hair today. Its the kind where you do the all-over color and then go back and add the highlights. I think it looks really good except that on one of the highlights, I didn't get the stuff close enough to the roots so it looks a little weird. I'm hoping it looks more normal tomorrow after I wash it.  I live an exciting life.

Tomorrow I have an appointment for a check-up and a growth ultrasound. We'll see how much these little girls weigh and make sure they're growing like they should be. So tune in tomorrow for all that info. Also for my 33 week picture. Couldn't take one today because of the afore-mentioned unwashed hair.