Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Week Old

This will probably be the last post on this blog... moving back over to the "big blog" now since we're officially home as a family of five :)

The past week ended up being insane. I thought it was going to be easy going once we got home from the hospital and were waiting on little P, but it wasn't so much. It was emotional and stressful in that every day we were told "hopefully tomorrow". Friday we were going to visit but I was SO tired, I had about 4 hours of sleep since going into labor Wednesday morning and we figured we'd head up Saturday morning once we were rested, got Maya home, and got a little settled. Saturday they said not to worry about visiting (they knew what a hike we had) because he was on the track to going home for Sunday, but Sunday morning they called to say he wasn't maintaining his body temp and they had to turn on the warmer. I had a breakdown and we went up there, where I was able to hold him finally and feed him and change his diaper. It was totally worth it for that little bit of time spent-and thanks to my pump having a battery attachment I was able to pump on the way out there (might as well since it takes so long) and give him a little breastmilk (which I guess he hogged down that night!)

We were going to go up on Monday hopefully prepared to bring him back with us but he had a higher bilirubin level than they'd like, not high enough to use the lamps but on the higher end of normal so they wanted to recheck him the next day to make sure it was going down and not up. I had a bigger breakdown then since we were told to pretty much prepare as long as his feeding was ok and he was maintaining his temp, which he was. We didn't go up because Ava had a checkup a little after noon, and we'd have another late night of driving coming back (not a fan of driving a dark two lane road with our little bean in the van!) ...we decided to go home, get our bags and everything packed, head to Charleston early to visit regardless of what news we got and just come prepared and hopeful.

We headed out Tuesday morning, and I called on the way to see how he had done the night before-and they said as long as he passed his car seat test he'd be good to come home! Amazing news to us but we didn't even know a car seat test existed so we were kind of frustrated and hoping and praying he'd be fine. Turns out the parameters for the test are absurd and had he failed, he REALLY deserved to still be there! We got there, I popped in to see him, they were able to start the test right away since he had just finished a feeding (perfect timing-otherwise we would've had to wait another 3-4 hours!) and he passed! It was a long afternoon of just waiting around, Patrick took Maya down to this really neat play center and I sat with Ava in the waiting room (neither one of the girls could go into the Special Care Nursery, where he had been moved to Saturday or so).

I'll tell you what-our 6 days, although super stressful to us being there and seeing other babies and hearing their stories really puts things in perspective. I'm so fortunate to have carried them for as long as I did, and to have two babies sleeping in the pack & play next to me is more than I could have hoped for. I'm thankful for all of the support and encouragement we had from family and friends, and for the prayers most of all. That made his stay only a 6 day one! I'm glad it's over though, and that they are both home and we are learning how to be a family of 5. It's definitely had its challenges, especially with Maya, but we'll get there.

In the meantime-here are some pictures!

Here's an honesty shot :) 36 weeks, 4 days before their arrival!
Maya's reaction when Patrick told her the babies were coming!Ava PatrickAva-sooo much hair!
Little P-man
After he had to go under the oxygen hood
Holding Ava for the first time
Went to see him for the first time, before his helicopter ride
Maya is such a good big sister!
Patrick went up to Charleston on Thursday to see little P-this is while he was still on CPAP and a feeding tube
Going home!
Holding my little man finally!
Teeeeeny! 4lbs15oz here-on Monday
Finally together :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

They're Here!/Birth Story/3 Days Old

Well, apparently that bad mood I was experiencing on Tuesday WAS an insane surge of hormones... leading to labor!

*Disclaimer: if you don't want to know the gory details, skip this part! Because some are gooory :)

I went to bed before 9 on Tuesday night, following my super duper bad mood post. In the middle of the night (4:30am), I felt the gush... and unlike when it happened with Maya and I thought I peed the bed, I knew exactly what happened. I tapped Patrick on the shoulder, told him that my water broke, and he shot up in bed and was awake... I rolled over (and I RANDOMLY had a regular pad on that night-just because we were out of liners in that bathroom, and I had to wear them because of my plug loss, so all the initial gush was absorbed by that-definitely wouldn't have been that way with liners!) and made it out of the bed and into the (linoleum floor!) bathroom before it started splashing all over. I made it into the shower and just kind of stood there while it ran like a hose... I had Patrick grab my phone so I could call my (amazing!!) neighbor Lauren to tell her it was time. (Ironically, she had just been lying there awake, and she didn't know why.) I insisted on taking a shower because I felt disgusting and had amniotic fluid all over. I hurried as much as I could, but my contractions started about when I got out of the shower so I'd have to slow here and there... we finished packing the last minute stuff in our bags, Patrick woke Maya up and told her the babies were coming (she was THRILLED) and we headed out.

When we got to the hospital it was about 5:30. In the parking lot I had another massive gush that soaked my shorts and made my flip flops super slippery. My contractions had gone to about 5 minutes apart-I had 2 or 3 just on the drive to the hospital, and had one in the parking lot that I couldn't walk through. We got in there and thankfully (THANKFULLY!) Patrick had called ahead while I was in the shower and told them that we were coming in-so they were waiting with my chart, and waiting with the water breaking paper and just did a quick swipe with me standing in the bathroom and skipped a whole lot of steps of being admitted to antepartum, yadda yadda (which probably bought us some very very precious time). I walked on into the labor room and we got the long, stupid, ridiculous process started.

Funny conversation when we got there, as we were testing my water and stuff-when I walked up I asked who was on duty that night to deliver, and she said Dr. B-one of the two who would deliver him breech-was on. I already knew the answer, but asked anyway, when the shift change was-7am. I asked who was on next, and it was one of the doctors who would do the c-section if he didn't flip... and I said well lets hope we can get them out by 7, and we all had a good laugh. But I was nervous.

So I got changed into my hospital gown and they had me shove a towel between my legs because water was still gushing here and there. They checked me and I was at a 5 and I forget how effaced, Patrick is pretty sure it was 100% though. I warned them that with Maya I went from a 4 to a 10 in an hour.

The admission process was insane. We just had to literally sit there and wait until I was technically admitted into the hospital-they couldn't do a thing until then. The contractions started picking up.

Finally like a half hour or more later I was admitted, and then we had to start the consent process. RIDICULOUS. I don't know why I couldn't have consented to half of this stuff beforehand. They'd have to read me the paperwork/give me the gist of it, and then some of it I had to do times two because of the twins. And then I'd have to sign. By the end, all my "signature" was was a few scribbles, because my contractions were coming about 20-30 seconds apart and were very intense-way more intense than pitocin ones with Maya.

After I signed my life away I had to have bloodwork done. At this point, since I knew I was getting an epidural (I said no initially, but if we had to go to a c-section I'd have to be put completely under and Patrick would have to leave the OR-so in that case I chose the epidural because I didn't want him going anywhere) I just wanted the thing because it was just SO intense.

Then the anesthesiologist came in. I told him that I didn't have faith in an epidural. He told me he'd prove me wrong. I was checked and was at a 7. The nurses tried to sit me up for the epidural and get me in position, but I literally could NOT-I was in so much pain-they were kind of getting mean and told me I HAD to, and I just made noises and said I couldn't-but realized that the towel in between my legs might have something to do with it. So I told them that, it was removed, and sure thing, I could sit up. Epidural was then administered and life was good pretty much right away. Dr. B checked me immediately, and we were shocked that I was at a 10 and her head was right there (probably why it hurt so bad to sit up for the epidural-her head pressure was basically pushing up against that towel!) ...time to fly.

They were moving then. I was having the urge to push. They were telling me to breathe through the urges as they wheeled me into the delivery OR-and then somehow I had to try to get on the stinking OR table (at this point I'm just thinking are you for REAL-she's going to fall out) I look around, doctors and nurses are saying hi and are introducing themselves, and then all of a sudden I see Dr. D, who is the other doctor who would deliver breech. I asked if Patrick could hurry up and get in there (I was really worried that he'd miss the delivery) and he did. I don't know how many pushes it took to get her out but it wasn't many at all. Ava Elizabeth was born at 7:07am, weighing 5lbs5oz and 17 1/2 inches long.

Since the pressure of needing to push had been fulfilled, I could have gone to sleep. We needed to get him out though. The doctor reached in and broke his water and then started to fish around in there. Yes, fish around. He was in there pulling down on him... I don't know anything about the logistics of it but there was a lot of pressure and it just felt really weird. Then it was time to start pushing him out, once he was in position-I was getting really tired really fast, so it wasn't as easy as her. He hurt a lot more coming out as he was completely frank breech (came out peeing and pooping they said!) AND the doctor's hand was in there trying to guide him out. Finally it was over, it took a little longer for him to cry which really worried Patrick. But he was ok. Patrick Neill was born at 7:20am, weighing 6lbs even and 18 inches long.

I was kind of in a quiet, happy haze after it was all done. Patrick went to go see the babies (they had gone immediately to the nursery) and I was being stitched up (1st degree tear, no biggie) and I was just kind of in a non-pregnant they're here glow.

It wasn't until we were transferred to our postpartum room that we found out there were going to be some issues. Ava was completely fine and was going to be with us shortly but Patrick was having breathing issues-it was just really hard for him-they call it "wimpy white boy syndrome", as in the hierarchy of preemie babies with lung issues white boys are most likely at risk (RDS, respiratory distress syndrome-is what his official diagnosis ended up being and the technical term for it). He was going to be monitored for awhile before they made a final decision on what to do, and finally after a couple of hours they decided to transfer him to Charleston where he could be on the more appropriate vents for what was needed.

We got to see him for a few minutes before he was gone. Right before they flighted him out they brought him in to say goodbye-he was in a massive incubator on wheels, sedated, and intubated. It was SO hard to see.

We've been able to bond a lot with Ava, and it feels completely unfair that he's not here... but he has a heck of a story, he was the first of any of us to ever take a helicopter ride :) He's done great in the NICU there-by Thursday morning he was on 21% oxygen (room level) on CPAP, and had no residuals from his feed... Patrick went up to see him and was able to hold him and spend some time with him, which I am SO glad for. Friday morning he was on room air and had a bottle (vs his feeding tube) and Saturday morning (this morning) he was considered to be a "feeder and grower". The news is that hopefully he'll be able to come home tomorrow, as long as he feeds well tonight! We'll hear either way sometime tomorrow-and you can better believe we'll be showered, ready, and waiting just in case! We won't be having any visitors come over for the next week or so so that we can work on bonding time with him-I'm ready to be completely selfish :)

Ava is a complete sweetheart. Now that we have a feeding schedule kind of down, she basically eats and sleeps which is no surprise at all (and last night we actually had a great night of sleep-yay!). We are having to supplement a bit because at discharge her weight was down to 5 pounds, but my milk came in today so hopefully we won't have to do that for long. We are completely in love with her and can't wait until she and her brother are reunited!

Pictures to come tomorrow :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

36w3d

It started this morning. Well, every morning the past few days... woke up in the most wicked mood ever. Pure evil. Completely mad. Patrick has a very sarcastic, goofy sense of humor... I usually love it, but the past couple of days that's the last thing I want to hear is a "silly" comment because even though I KNOW he's just trying to cheer me up, it doesn't work. And then Maya is just being her usual completely sweet self, though sometimes quite loud, and very, eh, active. She jumps as her mode of transportation. A lot of times she forgets to be gentle with me and launches herself at me, which hurts, and is NO fault of hers but in this mood... I really have to try my hardest to not snap on her. Evie nearly pushed me over the edge today too-it actually earned her a trip to the grooming salon-she got excited and jumped upward toward me (which she rarely does to me because she knows I hate it) and scratched my belly. An hour later she was at Petsmart for the afternoon (and came back delightful and squeaky clean and her undercoat all brushed out).

So the morning carried a rotten mood, the afternoon was ok even when my nap was interrupted by the breastfeeding support lady, and this evening is back to being awful. I'm crampy and Patrick accidentally overcooked my pasta so I'm hungry. And now I'm pouting and just not taking the initiative to make something else because I'm crabby about it.

Just keeping it real, folks! :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

36w1d

Mission of the day was to make and freeze meals. It took all day-but I got it done! I started around noon and put together two veggie lasagnas, two pans of enchiladas, and two pans of mac & cheese (with a third going to be put together tomorrow morning-I had to run to the store for more ham this evening and when I got back (with my KFC too, hah) I didn't feel like steaming the broccoli or cooking the macaroni for it). Not the healthiest of choices, but they are easy, freeze well, and are favorites of ours. I got a lot more suggestions from friends that I'll make and freeze next, if we end up finding a deep freezer-absolutely no more food can fit in our kitchen freezer now.

I took a break in the afternoon from my cooking extravaganza and took a nap-I woke up and couldn't walk. I've overdone it for the past two days now and hopefully it's done something in the progress department-at least with moving her down, if not anything else! Tonight my feet look like hobbit feet, minus the hair of course. I'm ready for a foot rub, "sleep", and a relaxing day tomorrow!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

36w

Honestly, I didn't think I'd get this far! I'm super glad I did-most worries of NICU time for the babies has passed by now, thankfully! Chances are, we'll have take-home kiddos :) Today's picture is a whole one, so you can see what my ridiculous belly looks like compared to my (lack of) height, since you can't really tell with the "just belly" shots.

Today was a teensy bit miserable, but sort of self-perpetuated. We had a lazy morning, I organized our shopping list, and we hit the commissary. Took an hour and a half... mainly because of my (lack of) speed and feeling kind of icky from the start. We got our shopping done though, got home, and I tried to nap-I completely hit a wall after all that walking and then sitting in the van on the way home.

Conveniently, though, the TOILET in our master bathroom is all of a sudden on the fritz. I'm guessing it's a seal issue but as we have shelves over it we can't get to the insides easily... we have to take apart the shelf system and move it out of the way and then investigate. It makes this horrid squeaking filling-up noise every few minutes... I'm a light sleeper anyway, and since the bathroom is literally right there... well it just doesn't work. So I laid in bed just angry. And inally got up because I was so crabby. And was thankful that yesterday Patrick got me a Kit Kat that I hadn't eaten yet. If it does it all night tonight I'll be blowing up the air mattress and sleeping in the babies' room, that's for sure!

My legs continue to be complete tree trunks. They as a whole ached today and looked as if I've put on (seriously) 100lbs or more. And to tie into that, some lady called me fat yesterday-in the context of saying to Maya "Oh your mommy is so big and fat!" ...it's a good thing my kindness and patience was ruling yesterday instead of hormones. I am NOT fat. I am unbelievably swollen and unbelievably super pregnant-NOT fat. I've gained weight, yes, but it's still on the lesser end of what the doctor said (50-60lbs) and every single pound is to make for bigger babies. It doesn't bother me what I've gained or what I look like. I'm secure enough in what my job is right now. Her comment annoyed me. I just kept my mouth shut and kept talking to the other women who were there. Still, I can't wait until all of this swelling goes away-it hurts.

9 days or less!