Sunday, May 30, 2010

The birth story


I have been meaning to type this all out for quite awhile now, and since Abbey is fast asleep in Auntie Natalie's arms, and Lucas in his Daddy's, I figure there is no time like the present. I have closed myself in our bedroom with the laptop, some jumbo red vines and a tall glass of water. It's gonna be a long one, and probably not of interest to many people, but I need to do this. I need to write it all out, and process it fully. I think that will help bring healing. Here goes...


The night before we went into the hospital was a strange one. It's hard to know exactly what to do with yourself on your last night of not being a parent. I remember thinking I should go to bed early, but also feeling like I should stay up and take it all in. I stared at myself in the mirror for a long time, recognizing that might be the last time I ever saw myself pregnant.

That night after I crawled into bed (around midnight), the babies put on a show for me. They moved and squirmed and danced with such vigor, I remember just laying there amazed. I felt like they were saying "we're ready Momma!"

The alarm went off at 3:30am, as we were supposed to check into the hospital at 5:00am. I showered and got ready, and Dave packed up the van. Before we left, my sister Emily who was staying here held hands with us and we prayed for a safe delivery and healthy babies...

...Drive to hospital, try not to focus on how surreal this all is. Check in. Change into gown. Medical history gone over. Hook up heart monitors to "baby A" (Luke) and "baby B" (Abbey). Have a hard time keeping baby B in range, have to keep moving the monitor. I tell the nurse "she is stubborn...but to tell you the truth I kinda dig that about her". IV's hooked up, my very first IV ever. Not as bad as I feared. Giant water bottle handed to me. Pitocin started. Around 9:00am, doctor is on her way. Dilation checked. Cervix is not "aligned
with the birth canal", hard to locate at first. Oh wow that is painful...I may be in for a long road here... only dilated to 2. Ugh. Doctor arrives, breaks Luke's water. That's a strange sensation. Contractions have been off and on for awhile (days?), just starting to feel them. Not so bad. Around noon some family arrives, they come in to say hello, and stay to chat until I have to get up to use the restroom...backless gown and all. Dilation checked again at about 1:30pm, at about a 5. Making progress. Contractions picking up in intensity. And frequency. Soon I am having contractions every 90 seconds.

*****

I had always wanted to have a natural birth. Always. We had discussed this with my doctor at our 8 week appointment. It had been the plan for the majority of the pregnancy. Then at about 32 weeks my doctor brought it up at a routine visit. She was very careful about it, and gently advised we consider an epidural. Her reasoning was this: I was high risk for needing a c-section, for either one or both babies. If one of the babies went into distress, and an emergency c-section was needed, they would not have time to administer an epidural, and I would have to be put under general anesthesia. Dr. K gently stressed that although this situation is likely in any labor, in my case it was double the odds as I was having two deliveries. She commented that although both babies were head down, if for some reason Abbey flipped after Luke came out and she was unable to turn her, they would have to do a c-section. "It does happen..." she warned. Again, if this did happen and I had no epidural in place, I would need to be put under, and I would miss my daughters birth.

Dave and I went home and talked a lot about it. We talked about the odds of that happening, where faith came in, the chance we were unnecessarily preventing something that might not ever happen, how I would feel if I let go of my always-planned natural delivery... and in the end, I always came back to how I would never forgive myself if things did go awry and I missed Abbey's birth. I knew I would blame myself forever for not just taking the epidural.

*****

At that time (when I was at 5) the doctor suggested it would be a good time to get the epidural, since I still wanted to be able to "feel" things towards the end of the delivery. That may sound like a weird thing to many of you, but it's true. It's not that I am some glutton for pain, it's that I do better working through pain when I can feel it. How can you push with muscles that are numb to you? How can you control muscles you can't feel? Also I wanted to be fully present for the moment my children breathed their first breaths. The doctor had suggested I get the epidural nice and early so that it was in place if we needed it, but it would "wear off" after several hours and then if I so wanted to I had the option of pushing the button to administer more meds into me later.


*****

I'm not gonna lie, the epidural felt wonderful.

I even dosed off and took a few cat naps. The afternoon is then a bit of a blur.

A looonnggg blur.

Some time later, checked again, at a 7 or an 8.

More hours slowly pass.

Around 9:00pm the pain is starting to really come again. Not terrible, but feeling is definitely returning.

Checked again, at a 9.

Around 10:45pm, I am finally at 10 centimeters.

Time to push.

The nurse, nursing student, and doctor all give me a quick lesson in how to push. David stands next to me, and supports my back as I lean forward, "bear down", and push. Those of you that have been in labor before will probably agree with me that it actually feels good when it's time to push. You feel like you are finally doing something with the pain, as opposed to just laying there and letting it happen to you.

Just a few pushes in, I notice Dr.K watching the monitors very closely. She is asking the nurse "how long has she been that way?" to which the nurse replies "not too long..."

"What?" I ask.

Apparently I had a touch of a fever, and Abbey's heart rate was getting higher. "She's is responding to your fever" I am told. "We gotta get this boy out, so we can deliver his sister, ok?"

No pressure or anything.

Pushing, pushing, pushing. Every 60-90 seconds, another contraction comes, time to push again. Pain is getting intense, want to push the button for more med relief, fight the urge to do so. David right next to me, his hand supporting my back, counting "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10...great job baby, you can do this!" More pushing. Lots of ice chips. Chap stick for suddenly very dry lips. Worried about Abbey. Doctor watching monitor very closely. Abbey's heart rate continuing to climb. She's tachycardic. "He's right there Kendra, you're so close!" I am not buying it. Doctor still has a hoodie on. Not even in OR yet, which is where delivery will take place. "1,2,3,4...." Occasionally forget how to push, am told I am doing it wrong, coached in how to push again. It's not as instinctual as you'd think. David telling me he's proud. Doctor telling me she can see Luke's head. "Does he have hair?" I ask. David checks "yes, lots!", "What color is it?" I inquire, assuming it will be blond, as both David and I were blond babies. "It's really dark!" I hear in response. What?!? More pushing. Keep being told I am close. Still not buying it. If I am so close, why aren't we in the OR? Abbey's heart rate not looking good. My fever not looking good. Things start to get tense. "Kendra, you have got to push him out ok? We need to get Abbey out". "I am trying..." I say weakly. So much pressure. "Push, push, PUSH!" We all of a sudden are going 4 rounds of pushing each contraction instead of 3. "Kendra, we need to deliver him..." I am trying so hard. I become terrified I am not going to be able to do this. The words "I don't think I can..." meekly come from my mouth. A chorus of "yes, you CAN do this!" rings out from David, doctor and nurses alike. Finally I am close enough. Luke is right there. It's been just over 2 hours since I stared pushing. Doctor pulls of hoodie and is magically in scrubs. Arm rails up on bed, monitors moved, David is thrown proper attire to put on over is clothes, the bed starts moving down the hall to the OR. I am told not to push while we are in the hallway. I am in so much pain. The nurses drive the bed down the hallway and while attempting to turn it into the OR entrance they overshoot and (gently)run the bed into the wall. "BUST THROUGH THE WALL" I think to myself as the pain is so intense I can't stand the thought of not pushing for a second longer. In OR. I am asked if I can move myself over on to operating table or if I need assistance. I lift myself and maneuver on to table. David suddenly next to me, mask on his face, hairnet on his head, but I can still see his eyes, and they are looking at me in a way I have never seen before. Excitement, fear, love, pride...all in those eyes. Contraction here. Pushhhhhhhh. "He's right there Kendra, he's right there!!" Another contraction. Pushhhhhhh. Strange sensation. Lot's of movement. An emptying feeling. All of a sudden my son appears before my eyes. I hear my husband's voice say "He's here! That's our boy!" I am caught off guard. All this time they had been telling me he was coming, and I didn't realize THAT was the moment he was actually coming. He looks funny. Beautiful funny. He is bluish, but not scary blue. His head is misshapen. His face is squished. He looks bigger than I thought he would. He doesn't cry, but for some reason I am not worried. They hold him up for 2 seconds, and then instead of putting him on my chest as I had always dreamed, they whisk him away to another part of the room so they can focus on getting Abbey out. I think to myself "did that just happen???" The sound of a baby crying suddenly fills the room. Music to my ears. I yell out "how big is he?" the nursing student smiles at me from across the room and replies "7 pounds, 7 ounces". Wow I am going to have 7 pound twins. Lots of pain. Concerned look on Dr K's face. "Abbey has flipped Kendra, I am going to try and turn her manually, ok?" Fine. Do whatever you need to do. Intense pain. Oh dear Lord the pain. Doctor trying to manually turn baby inside. Two nurses pushing hard on my stomach trying to assist from the outside. Guttural noises coming from my mouth. Never in my life have I experienced pain like that. Never. Dr K's eyes meet mine "I can't turn her Kendra, she is going to need to be sectioned". I trust Dr K wholly. "Ok, let's do this". David is asked to step back into the corner while they get me set up. I can hear him saying "I'm right here baby, I'm still here!" Curtain goes up in front of me. All of a sudden monitors start going off. Abbey's heart rate has plummeted. "We've got to get her out" I hear someone say. "Is she going to be ok?" I ask, worried. No one answers me. No one will look at me. No one is meeting my eye. "She's going to be ok, right?" I search the room, begging someone to look at me and reassure me. No one does. People are scrambling everywhere. I start to absolutely panic. Why won't anyone answer me? I cry out, unashamed, "God, please save my baby!"

*****

The day before the babies were born, I sat in the rocking chair in their nursery and read my Bible. I came across a scripture in Psalms that said "You give the command to save them..."

*****

I cry out loudly "God, please give the command to save her!" I am terrified. The room appears to be in absolute panic. Monitors wailing. Tons of people scrambling. "God, where are you?" I yell. No one is talking to me. Dr K is barking orders...she sounds concerned. "God please save my baby girl!" I continue to yell out, unabashedly, between groans of pain. A man appears over me and says "I am Dr so-and-so, the anestheologist, can you feel this?" I feel him move something across my arm "yes, I feel that". "It's gone" he says, referring to my epidural. "We don't have time, we have to get her out" I hear someone say from behind the curtain. "Just give me one minute, lets see if we can get some more in here and keep her awake."

I will always have a deep affection for that man. He tried his very hardest to allow me to hear my daughters first cries. A man I had never met before, nor seen since, tried so hard to give me that precious memory.

A warm feeling washes over my body as more meds fill me up. "Wait one minute" he says. "Is she ok?" I ask again. No response. Lots of beeping. People still talking and hurrying about around me. "Ok let's try again, can you feel this?" I feel a light sensation across my stomach. "Sort of, but just barely, it's fine, please just go ahead, I can handle it". "Ok, proceed". A SHARP pain slices across my stomach. "OUCH!" I scream. "Ok, she's gotta go under, we can't wait..." Monitors blaring. "Dad you come with me out in the hall" I hear someone say as they take David out of the room. My whole world is crashing down right in front of me. I have no idea if my daughter is going to live. I have no idea if I will wake up from anesthesia. They are taking my husband out of the room. I feel so alone. Where is my son? A mask is placed harshly over my face...


I wake up (apparently) hours later, on a bed being wheeled into a room. My mind takes a minute to figure out where I am. I suddenly remember. I am instantly concerned for Abbey, did she make it?? Is she ok??? I am frantic to find out, but for some reason my mouth won't form any words. My eyes search the room. There is David! He is sitting next to an isolate, holding a baby, looking somber. Oh my....wait, there is another baby in the isolate. Two babies. Thank you Lord. They place my bed next to him. I look at him, and he looks back. Both of us just completely stunned. I then notice I am shaking. Warm towels are placed over my head. I proceed to vomit all over myself. A nurse helps me change into another gown. I can't stop shaking. My teeth are chattering from all the shaking. "How big was she?" I manage to ask. "5 pounds, 9 ounces" David tells me. Wait, how big was he again?? Huh, nearly 2 pounds difference I think to myself. My doctor comes over and talks to me. I have a hard time focusing "I am so sorry Kendra..." "Two sets of stitches..." "She tried to come out head, hands and feet all at once, I couldn't turn her..." "We'll keep you here for a few days..." It's all blurry, but I try and listen. David looks worried. Dr K looks tired. "Momma, she's rooting around, do you feel up to trying to breastfeed?" a nurse asks me. Ok, I think to myself, if someone will help me, I can't hardly lift my arms. None of this feels real. They bring me my daughter. She is wide eyed. She looks up at me. I begin to nurse her, and she just stares up at me, completely alert. I am stunned by how awake she is. We stare Italicat each other. So surreal. Yet so blurry....

I don't remember the first time I nursed Luke, but apparently it was right after I nursed Abbey. Not remembering when I first nursed him also means I don't remember the first time I held him. I do not remember the first time I held my son. I do not know what my daughter sounded or looked like when she first came out. Dr K tells me she screamed. Apparently after that, she was "tipped" the wrong way, and a lot of her blood went back into the placenta, and that is why she was so pale and stoic for a long time after her birth. I do not know what the look on my husband's face was the first time he held either of our children, as I was still under when they brought the babies to him down the hall.

A few weeks before the babies birth, I felt the Lord ask me to lower my expectations about delivery day. I had spent years thinking and dreaming about the day I would give birth and meet my child (or in my actual case, children) for the first time. Towards the end of my pregnancy I thought about it a lot, and wondered what it would be like. As I prayed about it, and asked God for a safe delivery of two healthy children, I seemed to have a nagging sensation that I shouldn't have too high of hopes for a certain experience. I can't quite articulate it properly, but I just felt Him warning me that I shouldn't plan on a dreamy, picture perfect day. It wasn't a feeling of impending doom by any means, but just a sense that I should not have any expectations that could lead to disappointment.

I thought I had done a good job allowing room for this, but apparently not good enough for what actually went down.

I still can't talk about it without crying. When we came home from the hospital, I wrote to the babies in their journal, and started to write to Abbey about how very sorry I am that both her Daddy and I weren't there to hear her cry. I know she doesn't know any different, but it still breaks my heart for her. I apologized to Luke, that he didn't get to lay on his Momma's chest for a moment to get warm, or be in his Daddy's arms for so long after he was born. He was pulled away to a corner of a chaotic room...was he wondering where we were? Was he scared?

The hours -and days, really- following are a blur too. I remember being given a baby in each arm, and being wheeled quickly down a hall, into an elevator, down another hall or two, and suddenly into a very small room. I remember my sisters Natalie and Emily, and my mother & father in law coming in to visit just for a few minutes. They had already met the babies much earlier, but they stayed at the hospital to be able to say hello to me. I remember being so touched they had stayed so long just to see me for a moment. It was after 6:00am at this point. Luke had been born at 1:06am, and Abbey at 1:21am. I remember feeling devastated that I hadn't been able to introduce my babies to my family as I had always dreamed...I was one of the last people there to meet my babies in fact.

In the end, I of course am so grateful for my two healthy babies. Whatever means brought them out from the womb isn't what is important, it's that they are here now, and healthy. I try my best to focus on this, and the majority of the time I do just fine. But I still felt the need to write this all out. I still feel the need to cry about it every once in awhile. It was the scariest experience of my life. It was one of the most traumatizing times David and I have ever been through as a couple. It was not at all how we thought it would be. It gave us a very rocky start to parenthood. I was desperate to recover and feel normal, feel like a family. I pushed things too much and tried to force things to fall into a groove instead of just allowing it to come about on it's own. Instead of just allowing myself time to recover and accepting grace, I pushed myself and allowed myself to be crushed when things weren't going as I thought they should. When it looked like breastfeeding might not be an option, I lost it. I do remember that clear as day...the lactation consultant in the hospital told me to "ease off" trying so hard. The babies were both on so much supplement because of Abbey's blood sugar problems from the stress of her delivery, and Luke because he lost so much weight so fast. The LC actually told me it just might not work out (can you believe that?!?), and she left and I just started bawling. I remember telling David "No! This is GOING to work. I got robbed. I got robbed out of hearing my baby girl cry for the first time. I got robbed out of holding my baby boy for the first time. I got robbed of being awake when my family met our children. I am NOT going to get robbed of this experience too!" That kind of determination did me both good and harm. On the one hand I didn't allow myself to give up, which I am grateful for, but on the other I stressed myself out so much that my milk didn't actually fully come in until the babies were about 3 weeks old. Three weeks. My body was just having such a hard time. I was so swollen from all the fluids they pumped into me during surgery, and I needed to just rest and elevate my feet, but I couldn't let myself. I felt the need to overcompensate in every other area since I felt like I "failed" birthing my twins, and was
"failing" at breastfeeding. I pushed myself way too hard and spent the first few days at home just crying constantly.

What have I learned from all this? Well, I have learned that I have a God who is full of grace and mercy, and He has given me a wonderful husband and a wonderful family who will support me through anything. My husband can hold back my fat flap, inspect my incision 5 days post op, and re-bandage it for me, all while looking at me no differently and with the same love in his eyes. My sister while sleep in 45 minute increments and research recipes that have barley in them and make me barely apple muffins because the LC told us that barley increases your milk supply. My mom will send me a prayer shawl that her Church made and prayed over for me. My mother in law will give up a week of her life to come here and help us. The list goes on and on...my family has been amazing. I have learned not to focus on what could have been, but what is now. I have two beautiful children, and although their birth did not go at all as I had hoped, they are here with me now. I am learning to hold loosely to my expectations to how I think things should go, and be better about rolling with the punches.

I have learned that I am grateful we made the choices we did. The only regret I have is not pressing the button and allowing more epidural to come in during the 2 hours I was pushing with Luke. Perhaps that would have allowed me to be awake and David to be in the room when Abbey was born. But, even then I am not sure if it would have. I am glad we chose to go ahead with the epidural. I know we tried our hardest to avoid what happened. I am glad we didn't just go ahead and schedule a c-section, as getting to push Luke out was an awesome experience, even if it wasn't at all like I had dreamed it would be. I am glad that my doctor -the doctor who had carried us through the entire pregnancy-, was able to attend their birth. David and I trusted her completely, and she knew what our hopes were for delivery day, so we know she tried her hardest to turn our baby girl and allow us that experience. I know we prayed so hard for a healthy delivery, and for wisdom in the choices we made.

It wasn't until several weeks after the babies were born that it occured to me how the devil probably had another plan for that day. I had been viewing delivery day as a battle lost, since it had gone so horribly awry from how I thought it would go. But it dawned on me one day I need to see it as a victory. I went back and read all the comments that so many people had left when my sister posted that the babies had been born. SO many people had left comments saying they had been praying. People we had never met, people who had never commented before, people we had no idea were reading. We know our Church was praying, we know our friends were praying, we know our family was praying. We are so blessed. Prayers were answered. We were given two beautiful, healthy babies, who arrived safely -albeit dramatically- into this world.

I think I will go love on those two babies now...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2 months!

I can't believe my babies are 2 months old!!

We got some smiles out of them for this photo shoot, but of course not at the same time =)


A Luke smile...

and an Abbey smile...

Here's what you little babes are up to lately:

-You both are officially in size 1 diapers. Although they are a little big for you (especially Abbey), the newborn diapers were getting a little snug.

-You both are starting to hate bath time a little less, which we appreciate!

-You both are nursing really well, Momma is SO proud of you guys for sticking it out with me!!

-Abbey- you love the sling. You would absolutely live in it if you could! And actually you do spend a lot of the day in it. It is the only thing that calms you sometimes. We think you like the warm, safe feeling of being cuddled like in the womb.

-Luke- you prefer the Baby Bjorn. You like to be able to look around more, and then will fall asleep. You are a pretty tolerant kid most of the time and you don't mind just hanging out for awhile by yourself, just taking your surroundings in.

-You both make snorting noises when you really get to crying...it cracks us up.

-Abbey you are weighing in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces. Luke you are weighing in at approx 9 pounds, 14 ounces. It's approximate because we took your weight with your onesie, a shirt, and a dry diaper on. With all that you weighed 10 pounds, 3 ounces. We would have stripped you down completely like we usually do, but you were so upset having just got a 2 week stint of casts cut off. You cried anytime I set you down, and I didn't have the heart you strip you down and make you cold as well =(. You have your 2 month appointment at the ped's office next week, so we will get weights again then anyways.

-Abbey you always have fuzz between your fingers and toes. You like to grab onto things tightly, and often have your fists clenched. This kind of bothers me, as I hate to think you aren't able to relax...then the other night I was sitting there feeding you both and suddenly realized my toes were all clenched in, and I wasn't necessarily anxious. I guess it's just something I do, and something I have passed on to you =)

-Luke, you love the binkie and rarely refuse it. Abbey, you rarely take it. You both just stink at keeping it in your mouths yourselves =).


-Luke you also got your last set of casts off yesterday!!! Praise the Lord!! We are so thrilled to be done with those, and so incredibly grateful it is looking like you do not need surgery after all. You got your little braces for your feet yesterday, and you do not like them at all. Poor little guy! It must be so strange to finally be able to bend at the knees again after all this time. With the bar attached across the bottom you can't lift one leg independently anymore, and this seems to really frustrate you. Also your skin is so dry and blistered, it just breaks Daddy & I's hearts! We let your skin air out yesterday, and then tonight you took your first bath with Daddy, which you loved =). One really nice thing about these braces is the doctor said you only need to wear them 18-20 hours a day, so you get up to a 6 hour reprieve from them each day! Yahoo!

-You two both smile at us now, and boy do we love it. You are beginning to "talk" to us now too, which is so exciting for us!

-Luke, you have outgrown most of your newborn jammies. Your onesies still fit, and so do some of your pants, but your shirts are getting awfully tight and short as well. Abbey, you are getting too long for your newborn clothes! You still can wear them, and your shirts have plenty of room around the mid-section, but your jammies are stretched to the max when you flex your feet out and your pants look like capri's.

-We have had a few nights of the same kind of bedtime routine. We start to get you settled in for your last nursing session of the night around 9:30pm. We change you and I feed you with almost all the lights out, then you each get 1 of your 2 (2.5 for Lucas) ounces of supplement after this feeding. Something about this bottletime seems to wake you both up or at least make you both realize how hungry you are because you both cry after you finish (which it doesn't take you long it's only an ounce) and want to nurse more. So we nurse just a little longer, until you start to dose. We usually have you asleep and in your cribs by 11pm. Then one of you usually wakes between 2am-3am. I nurse you, you get the remainder of your supplement, and we put you back to sleep...which sometimes takes a bit, sometimes not =). Then Luke you almost always wake up about an hour later. I run in, pick you up, and most of the time you are back asleep before we even sit down in the rocking chair. I lay you back down in your crib asleep, and then you both usually stay asleep until about 5:45am-6:15am. We change you and nurse you, and sometimes Abbey will fall right back asleep. Luke, you usually don't feel like sleeping anymore =). We've found it works best if Daddy and I both get up for the feedings (or at least Dave gets up to help me feed their supplement and settle them back in) so that neither of you wakes up too much once you are drowsy from eating =).
That was how things had been going, and then the last 2 nights have been wildcards. Luke, we think you have a touch of a cold, as your eye has been a little goupy and your nose a little stuffy. You were a little restless the night before last and fussier than usual during the day. Then
last night was really rough. Luke was so upset. He would sleep for 20-40 minute increments, and then just cry. Poor little thing. We felt so sorry for you! Your Daddy & I took shifts just holding you all night long, trying to comfort you enough to sleep. We are praying you adjust to these braces soon, in "true Luke fashion" as Auntie Natalie put it =). Abbey you on the other hand were a champion sleeper last night! You slept from 11pm to 4am when I finally woke you to eat!! I had nursed Luke once on his own around 1:30am(which I rarely do, usually if one is up to eat, I wake the other so they don't tag team me all night long, but last night was a different story since Luke was up all night), and when he was acting hungry again around 4, I figured we should get you up too. Then you both went back down around 5am, and Abbey you slept until 8:30am! We couldn't believe it! We are hoping once Luke adjusts to his braces he will get on board with this sleeping thing you did =)



As I typed this out (one handed), Abbey you have slept in my arms, all bundled up in a pink snuggly blanket. Luke, you are out in your Daddy's arms, in your snuggly blue blanket. You two are such great snugglers, and are happy as can be when in someone's arms...which is where you can often be found =). Since you are both still so young and so little, we feel it's important to make sure you know you are secure, you can trust, and your needs are going to be met. That means you get held a lot, and when avoidable, we rarely let you cry. Daddy and I feel like that is the job of parents of newborns =). Often there is only one of us and two of you, so crying does happen. Also sometimes things just need to get done and babies need to be put down. But for the most part, we realize this phase of being newborns is short, and we want to do our best. It is a LOT of work, but if we can do our best to raise two happy, trusting, secure, attached kids...we will.

You guys are more than worth it.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This and that...

We are going list-style here today folks, as really I just have random stuff to ramble about followed by a cute video of my babies..

- I had my 6 week post op appointment with my OB last week, and besides just a few small residual, lingering things, I am officially "recovered" from delivery and surgery. Well, physically I guess. It's pretty safe to assume I still have some emotional issues to process about how it all went down when I have to change the channel during a rerun of Scrubs because Carla is in labor and things start to go awry and I get so filled with anxiety I start to cry...

...but that is a post for another time.

- I gained 47 pounds while pregnant and learned on Tuesday that I only have 13 pounds left to lose before I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Yahoo! Naturally, to celebrate I grabbed a package of Reeses Peanut Butter cups at the pharmacy after my appointment. =) I can tell you where all 13 pounds are too...in my midsection. My stomach is suffering from deflated tire syndrome. And while it's not like I rocked the Gwen Stefani abs before I was pregnant, this is a whole new kind of pooch going on. I don't suppose attempting to work my abs would do any good either until I lose the extra weight...which honestly I am only so motivated to do! It's not like I have spare time galore these days, and my energy level is pretty much non-existent. Also I am hungry ALL. THE. TIME! Nursing requires a lot of calories and I consomme every needed calorie and then some I am sure. But, I only can fit into one pair of pre-pregnancy pants (and they were my fat pants) and even then I have a serious muffin top thing going on. I bought one pair of transitional pants to get me through the times I need to be out and about, because at home I just live in pj's, sweats, and yoga pants. I also have a new BFF in the empire waisted sundress...oh how I love thee! I do get discouraged when I log onto OldNavy.com and see the item of the week is bathing suits (ugh), but then I just remind myself that this body of mine carried twins -two babies- to 38 weeks, and that ended up being over 13 pounds of babies. And you don't bounce back from that quickly...or possibly ever. But that's ok, I would never, even in the most insecure of moments, trade my giant stretch marks or flab for my healthy, full term twins. Ever. What a gift to have been able to carry them for so long, and I am so honored the Lord allowed me to.

- Breastfeeding is going really well and I am so so so grateful for that. We really have come a long way! The two issues we are dealing with now are they have both suddenly decided they are too good to latch easily on my right side. Little snobs =) I have had to really help them there the last 2 days and they get SO frustrated in the process! Hopefully this will be a short lived problem. The other issue is my supply. I am so hopeful when we weigh them tomorrow at Luke's appointment they will have gained enough for us to not have to add any more supplement back in. Last weigh in Luke was just a little under what they wanted to see, so the lactation consultant recommended he get 2.5 ounces a day, and we could leave Abbey at 2, since her growth was adequate.

- I have figured out I can type one handed with the laptop on the arm of the couch while nursing, hence my ability to write this rambling post. It takes FOR.EVER. but at least I can do something besides watch TV, which gets old.

-In the wee hours this morning I seriously offered my son $1000 if he would please, please, puh-lease just settle in and go back to sleep. Lucas, having no concept of money and therefor no idea what a smokin' deal this was, declined my offer.

- I go back to work in exactly 4 weeks. I have mixed feelings about this. I also have no idea what we are going to do about childcare. Our hope is that David's teaching schedule will be mostly mornings, and I will work afternoon's, and we will only need a sitter a few hours a week when our two schedules overlap just a bit. I am not guaranteed our schedules will work out like this, and I don't know where we will find this person, but I am trusting the Lord to work it out for us...

- And lastly, here is a video of my sweet babies playing...

video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thanks & pics

Thank you all so much for your insight, suggestions & advice on my last post. Blogging is such a great outlet for advice and encouragement.


Taking a quick break from being the Dairy Queen (the babies have nursed every 2 hours today!) now that Dave's home to post some pictures real quick. I can't believe how fast the babies are growing...it's exciting but sad at the same time. Luke has already outgrown some of his newborn clothes, and is ready for a size 1 diaper. Abbey isn't far behind. It's hard to believe just 7 weeks ago they were both in preemie diapers!! It's happening so fast. But there is fun stuff happening more and more as they grow, both babies have smiled for us now and that just melts our hearts completely.

Two babies, two bouncy seats.
(You can see the beginning of a Luke smile here...)

Two sleepy babies after a nice long nursing session...

Daddy mastered the art of both babies in one sling, Momma has been too chicken to try it.



Our second family walk...

Our bright eyed girl...
Holding on to Daddy's pinky & thumb...

Our little thinker...


Sweet little boy...


And this is how the 3 of us roll when 2 out of 3 of us are fussy...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The post where you comment "It just happens..."

Please note the title before you comment on this post =).

For those of you that have 2 and 3 year olds that still have absolutely no sleeping pattern, or even a glimpse of it, please refrain from telling me so. Thank you kindly.

I know my sweet babies are only 7 weeks old, and please hear me when I say I have NO expectations of them sleeping through the night, or anything close, for weeks or months to come. I get it, they are newborns, and that is their job. No problem. They are totally worth it.

My fear is that we will never fall into any sort of routine for sleep patterns.

I swear I remember friends of mine saying their babies just kind of fell into one, where they were "down for the night" - with a few wake ups in the middle perhaps- by 7pm or something, or always up at 5:30am, etc. That they had patterns.

Even with those babies falling into semi-routines, I am well aware that there will always be "off" nights.

This all is stemming from our night last night, and the last couple of nights...



I nurse about every 3-4 hours throughout the day, or more frequently if the babies are needing it. Around 9:15pm (ish) at night we get the babies changed and turn down all the lights in the living room, and I nurse them for about 45-60min. They usually fall asleep nursing, and we hold upright for a bit and burp gently, then lay down asleep. I head to bed then, which is about 10:45pm.

At 1:00am, David (or my mother in law or Natalie if we have help) gives the babies a 2 ounce bottle (this is per the lacation consultant, so that I can get close to 4 hours of consecutive sleep, which is important to maintain my milk supply). Sometimes they will sleep straight through from the 10:30pm lay down to the 1:00am feed, but often one of them will start to wake around then or before then.

Usually they both go right back down after that, especially if they had to be woken up (but just barely, it's a "sleep feed" a lot of the time). But again, sometimes one or both will just be up for a bit.

Then around 3:30-4:00am, one wakes up to eat. Usually Abbey. So David (or our other wonderful helper if we have one!) will come get me and will wake the other baby, change the babies and I come out to the living room and nurse for about an hour. Luke almost always passes out now after/during this feeding. Abbey on the other hand is then wide awake for about an hour. Not fussy, just awake. I'll admit as much as I would love the sleep, I can't really relent these times. It's kind of nice to just have quiet awake time with my sweet little girl, and to see her big beautiful blue eyes...but, I try not to engage her too much with talking to her, as I want her to sleep since it's nighttime =).

It usually takes me at least an hour to get her sleepy and then tired. Throw in one or two sessions of me laying her down too soon or not slowly enough, and she is awake again so I start over. So that means Luke went back to sleep around 5:00am, and Abbey is going back down around 6:00am, or after. Momma's head hits the pillow right after, and then Luke usually wakes back up between 6:45am-7:30am.

This is not so bad. Really it's not. We have pretty good babies. We are so grateful for them.

But this morning after David and I were comparing notes about our shifts, I learned that Luke had woken back up about 15 minutes after I went to bed, and Abbey was up after the 1:00am feeding too.

They are just up at random intervals sometimes an hour or more at different times during the night.

And I started to get a little nervous...you see right now it's not a problem because I have nothing to do all day but meet the babies needs. If I am drowsy all day from 4 hours of sleep (or less) and I don't get a shower or brush my teeth, no big deal. But in approximately 5 weeks I have to go back to work. Granted it's only part time, but still...I will have things I need to accomplish during the day. Like showering. I mean, my work is understanding and all, but a girl's gotta at least brush her teeth before interacting with physicians and patients all day.

Or at least she should.

When I left for maternity leave, my supervisor pretty much told me I had the freedom to choose how I wanted to schedule the 20 hours a week I will be working. I was hoping to do 2 full days and 1 half day, that way I would still have 4 full days at home with the babies. But now that they are here, I am thinking it might be easier on them if I just worked 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. It would interrupt their days less if I was only gone for the afternoon, as opposed to a FULL day 2 times a week. Plus it would mean a lot less pumping. So I am hopeful my job is on board with this too....


Anyways, I am just polling all you parents again and wondering when about your kid's started showing you signs of sleep patterns. I am hoping our babies will have some sort of a routine for bedtime and nighttime by 12 weeks, when I go back to work.

Again, I know there will always be off nights, even when we have a "routine".

And also again, if your kids are 12 years old and still up crazy hours of the night for hours on end, please refrain from commenting on this post =). Just leave me a comment -even if it's a lie- that says "oh it just happens around 10 weeks..." or something. =) Bless you.





And if you made it through this entire rambling post, you are a real trooper, and here is a picture of our monkey boy to reward your perseverance...

Couldn't you just eat him up????

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My first Mothers Day!

I have waited so many years to celebrate Mothers Day, and what a special day it was!!

To those of you out there still waiting to be a Momma, please know I am praying for you today. I know...it's so hard. May God bless you with peace and comfort today, and may He bless you with little miracles soon!!!

My sister Natalie came up for the weekend and it was SO much fun!! She let David and I go out to the movies last night (we saw "Date Night", soooo funny!) and then after Church and a nursing session we went to get pedicures! It has been SUCH a wonderful weekend! I am so blessed!!!





Here are some pictures of the last couple days...



The post double burp baby shuffle...they each slide into the funniest positions when they fall asleep while burping, it's so funny!




You would think it would bother them to always have the others hands in their face, but they don't seem to mind at all =)



Little Lucas-Poocas on the floor...



Little Abbey Mae makes the funniest faces sometimes!




This was my view yesterday morning as I made breakfast & got some chores down. With Natalie here, we had more adults than babies, so I got to do lots of baby wearing, which I love. I so wish I could do it more, but when I am by myself during the day it seems like they either both need me at the same time, or they trade off needing me and I just can't spend quality time wearing one of them. We have a sling that is supposed to fit both babies at once, but with Luke's casts back on it is too difficult to position him in there, but he sure does love the Baby Bjorn, as you can see...


Sweet little Abbey girl loves to grip things so tightly. Here I was calming her down and helping her hold her binkie in, and she just wrapped her hands tightly around my fingers, something she does often. Luckily the camera was within arms reach so I was able to capture it forever...it's a sweet moment for me, and I can't believe already how big her hands are getting...don't grow up too fast sweet girl...


Sleepy little guy...



Auntie Natalie and Abbey...



And this moment made me cry...

...they are getting too big to both be in the bouncy seat together much longer, and that's too bad because they sure do love to be so close. I just love looking at The Mister and his Sister so snuggly together. I love the way she is just turned into him and he is kind of protecting her. I just stared at them and prayed over them...prayed that they would always be close.



Happy Mothers day to all the mom's in my life! Of course my mom! And my mother in law, and my step mom, and my grandma's. Hope you all had a wonderful day!!

And again, to those of you still waiting - "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as just trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"
Romans 15:13

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sweet babies...=)

A little tummy time...





Two little burritos!



Baby chillin' time...


Saturday, May 1, 2010

6 years!

Today is David and I's 6th Wedding Anniversary.

It's a special one, as it's our first as parents =).

Last night a couple from our Church came over to hold the babies and we got to sneak out for a quick dinner between feedings.


Our attempt at a self portrait in the parking lot...


Happy Anniversary baby! I thank God for you, and love you more than words can express.

"My beloved is mine, and I am his"
Song of Songs 2:16