Friday, February 29, 2008
Today (well the 30th of each month) is their 9 month birthday! Here are some pics taken on the 30th of each month starting at 5 months. I wish I had started sooner but I wasn't thinking plus the first two would have been at the hospital. Notice how Kaylie is all smiles for Mommy's camera today!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I may have jumped the gun with calling 9-1-1 but I needed someone to guide me if she stopped breathing. I now know that in these situations I panic. Not something I'm proud of. So I am signing up for an infant CPR course right away!
I think by being in the Bumbo all hunched over, the spit up had nowhere else to go so it went out her mouth and nose. But I have never seen so much in my life! I thank God she is okay.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Carseats- yeah--not going to even go here---A MUST!
Cribs- For us it was essential to have two. God bless anyone who has their twins in the same crib for like a year. I don't know how they do it. Ryan & Kaylie just kept waking each other up in it so it didn't work for us.
Boppies: Two are essential. I NEVER would have survived feedings by myself without them. Great for propping the babies and giving them a place to hang out. My only complaint is that ours sagged in the middle early on. Washing it helped firm it up a bit, but not for long.
High Chairs: I've been using one up until this week. Prior, I would feed one and then the other right after. That worked for awhile. Now, I am going to start feeding them at the same time. We are having 3 meals a day now and all I feel like I do is feed babies so doing it at the same time may help me save my sanity a little. I have regular high chairs. They sell the space savers and I consider getting them all the time since we are short on space but I have these already.
Exersaucer/Jumperoo: We got away with only one of each of these. They rotate using them.
Bouncers: we needed two of these. Again, great for giving them a place to hang out and play.
Swings: Some people feel two swings are necessary. I think it depends on your kids. We had a regular size swing and a travel swing. There were times we needed to use the travel swing at the same time but for the most part one swing was fine.
Pack & Plays: we started out with one but realized the weight limit of the bassinet part was being exceeded. Plus, they were waking each other up so we got two for our main level of the house. We spend our days on the main level. Now the kids take naps upstairs, so we really only use one. For naps, Kaylie takes hers in the pack & play in the spare bedroom and Ryan is in his crib. They don't fall asleep at the same minute and sleep the same length of time. In general their naps are at the same time. I have two kids who like to fall asleep in different ways: Kaylie screeches herself to sleep sometimes and that would really agitate Ry when he was tired so they are seperated for naps. The Pack & Plays can be used for travel too.
Changing table: Again this depends on your house too. If you have one level, one changing table is sufficient. Like I said, we spend our days on the main level of the house so for me having a changing table down there was beneficial. Now the one in the nursery hardly gets used except for after baths. Truthfully if I had to do it again, I would NOT have had a changing table in the nursery. A pad on the floor would be sufficent. Live & learn.
Bumbo: although this item has been recalled, we only got one of them and it has worked out just fine. We rotate.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
You’d think twins would be doing the same things. By this I mean wearing the same size diapers, wearing the same size clothes, and eating the same formula. No on all accounts for me. I’m sure I am the exception and most twins actually do do these things. Because of the size difference (due to IUGR) they have been different all along. (The pic above was taken in August. I know Kaylie's pants are hiked a little too high! LOL). There were a few matching outfits that I was given and would have loved for them to wear at the same time but that never happened. I know it’s trivial but it just requires me to make sure I have everything for everybody--clothes, diapers, & formula. As a mom you have to be prepared but as a M.O.M. I just have to make sure I am doubly prepared. Ah, the life of a Double Duty Mom! (Had to get that in there!)
Monday, February 25, 2008
Remember this toy? I know you all have seen it at one point. I had it as a kid, but it came with a dark and light purple ring too. The company must be saving money, but they have added some balls to the red ring. Ok, whatever.
This is the toy of choice lately. They LOVE to take the rings off. We have mastered that, and won't stop until all rings are off either. Putting them back on--not so much. We'll get there. They just can't resist pulling them off. This can go on for a good 10 minutes--a long span of time in an infant's world.
Ryan seems to love to use the rings as pillows. On a few occasions I have witnessed him put his head down, become very still and sometimes close his eyes. I of course felt the need to snap a pic. Once was cute, but then to see it again gets you wondering. Should I be worried about this? Is this normal behavior?
Hope you find it as funny as I do. I think I'll hold off on calling the doctor just yet. :)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
A pic of them both finally home together!
What does a twin nursery look like? Crowded!! I'm embarrassed to say (although it was no fault of my own--being in the hospital beforehand) but we didn't have the nursery ready for them so they shared a crib in our room for 2 weeks. In that time, we had purchased another crib and got the nursery ready. Bob put up crown moulding and a chair rail. He's a handy guy. It looks great though. I don't think they even noticed we didn't have it ready. Here are some pics of the nursery. Yeah I grappled with whether I should do half blue and half pink, but instead I went with vibrant primary colors. The biggest problem was positioning the cribs in such a small room!
views from the door
wall opposite the cribs
Grandma painted the wall letters to match the border & quilt. They look great don't they?
Speaking of Grandma, I am so thankful that I had my mom to help out. In fact I had my mom help out for two days a week for 6 months! Not everyone gets this, but it was a sanity saver. I got some needed sleep and I was able to 'escape' as we would joke. Now that she has stopped, we are coming up with other ways to arrange our schedules so I can get some "me time." So a tip for any future M.O.M.--get help and take any that is offered.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Bob took pics every day and some video. My poor guy was driving the state-going to work, driving 30 minutes to see the babies, driving another 45 minutes to the hospital I was at, and then driving an hour+ home. Basically making a triangle each day. Insane. Again—my hero.
The blood clot is gone but as a result I take Coumadin every day to thin my blood to prevent future clots. I needed to stop pumping. It was not safe for the babies. There were many days in the beginning when I forgot to take my medicine. I had twin infants which means I was sleep deprived. I have since put a reminder in my Outlook because I am sure to check my email before bed each night. It has worked like a charm!
Everyday was a roller coaster. You had to take an elevator up to the NICU and each time I prayed that they had had a “good day.” Fortunately, they mostly had good days but there were some bad ones. Answering a phone call when you see the hospital number come up on the caller ID is enough to throw you over the edge. Each time we got one of these, it was bad. You just didn’t want to answer in fear of what it could be about.
Some bad calls we got were when Kaylie needed a blood transfusion because her platelet levels were dropping and she was being put in the isolation room. We got a call telling us about the IV burn Ryan received in the NICU. By far, that was the worst call we ever got. My confidence in the NICU was shaken after this incident. Will I ever forgive them? There is a scar on the back of his hand. We go back to the plastic surgeon in March but at this moment it is not looking like he will need surgery. We also got a call saying that Ryan needed a transfusion as well. He was fighting off a nasty infection.
The good days entailed holding them, seeing them gain weight (grams) each day, being moved off the vent to CPAP, and then finally breathing on their own. Believe it or not pooping on their own was big as was increased feedings. I took part in changing diapers, and once they moved to the step down nursery I gave baths and we began bottle feeding.
It took a week before I was able to hold my babies. A WEEK. It was such an amazing feeling to finally be able to do that. You grow up having the dream of giving birth and they put the baby on your chest and everyone is happy. I didn’t have that moment. It happened a different way for me for some reason I'll never know. This was our FIRST family photo taken 20 days after delivery.
After 30 long days in the NICU, they were both moved to the SCN (Special Care Nursery—a step down unit) and on day 42 Ryan came home! Kaylie came home a week later on Day 49! They needed no monitors. Kaylie weighed under 5 pounds when she came home!! Talk about scary. Ryan was 7 pounds when we took him home.
We were glad to get off that ride.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
These are some of the first pics we have of Ryan and Kaylie. When I look at them I still can hardly believe they are my babies. I have to fully admit that I was drugged up when I saw my babies for the first time. I barely remember it to be honest. I got to see them at about 9 P.M. on the day of their birth. They were born at 5 in the morning. The NICU was a foreign world to me and DH filled me in on “the rules” on our way up. I was weepy before we even got in the door.
I remember having to stay seated in the wheelchair and peer up at them. I saw Ryan first in an open air bed. I was overwhelmed by all the machines, lights, beeps, and wires. I pressed myself to see past all that. He was beautiful. He had 5 fingers and toes on each hand-yay! I remember the skin on Ryan’s legs and back had rolls to it. Kinda like a Shar Pei dog only more precious. Rolls where the fat that would have been accumulating in the last few months would have settled. I touched his thigh—it seemed to be the only place without an electrode/sensor. I could see all the places on his heel where he was pricked. There was even dried blood on the blanket that he laid on. I cried. I wondered if he was in pain.
He wasn’t breathing on his own but they assured us that they were rapidly decreasing the support and that he would be on CPAP in no time. They had tried that already but it was not effective so on the vent he went.
I saw Kaylie next. YIKES! Oh my God! Something along those lines were my FIRST thoughts at seeing my baby—terrible isn’t it? I wish I could have realized how beautiful she was at the moment when I first lay eyes on her, but she was the tiniest baby I had ever seen and I just got wrapped up in that thought. I would give anything to go back to that moment because she is beautiful. I tell her that every day. The poor girl is going to have a big head about it. I actually couldn’t even see her face because she was wearing her blue-blocker sunglasses under the blue lights. These were later removed and the light turned off. Her skin was reddened and you could make out the bones in her body. The tears started rolling. I just remember thinking how small Kaylie was and would she be okay. A baby this small didn’t have a chance right???
It would later prove that little Kaylie was stronger than her brother. She was a fighter from conception. Tears fell left and right—sort of like they are right now as I write. I did a finger and toe count and I touched her through the hole in the isolette. I think a nurse assured me she was holding her own. Like I said, the details are fuzzy. Kaylie was on CPAP from the start. No breathing issues. Her little lungs were working.
These poor babies had to endure more than their fair share in just the first few moments of life. I had to try to put on a happy face and stay strong. All I wanted to do was hold my babies and cry. I needed to know that they were going to be fine.
GUILT: The guilt that goes along with not being able to get to full-term with your babies is enough to eat you up. Could I have done something different? You just feel like a big failure. I guess I had to feel good about getting to 30 weeks, some people don’t get there. The Dr.’s didn’t think I would get as far as I did. But I still have the guilt today.
Meanwhile the first time you get out of bed after having a c-section is the most pain I have ever been in. Honestly, after that initial time it gets better but WHOA! It didn’t help that the nurse I had just pretty much yanked me up instead of letting me get up at my own pace. I was taped to the bed!! My catheter tube was taped to me for some reason and then the sticky residue from the tape had me stuck to the bed, so maybe that is why it hurt so badly. I had some resistance. All in all it probably took me a week and half to feel good enough to stop taking pain meds. They say not to do stairs, but to be honest they didn't bother me although I did stick to the rule of once down and once up a day. My mom came to take care of me the first week home.
Monday, February 18, 2008
BTW- I just figured out if you click on the pics I put in, they open up into a larger screen! Did anyone else know this? Have I been under a rock?
Sunday, February 17, 2008
They wheel me over, and I was hooked up to the monitor for a bit while the nurses there asked me all kinds of questions. At this point, the resident was conferring with the head Dr. to see what was going to happen. Some people kept coming in and out of the room—hooking up a catheter, taking blood pressures, etc. Then I was asked to sign all kinds of consent forms for the c-section. What?!?!?! I’m having these babies right now???? The nurses shake their heads yes. I say, “I need to call my husband.” I called DH back and say, “You need to come NOW! We are having these babies.” Everything turned into a blur at this point. I remember wanting to get up to go to the bathroom but they wouldn’t let me. I was so cold. I was scared. I was shaking. I was alone. DH got there pretty quickly it seemed. As soon as he arrived, I was wheeled into the OR and given the spinal. I couldn’t feel ANYTHING! It was a weird feeling. (LOL). The team came in and got started right away. I really don’t know how long the whole thing lasted but it seemed quick to me. DH was in his scrub gear. I was surprised at how relaxed everyone was—they were even making jokes. I guess you need to put the patient at ease and they probably have done thousands of c-sections prior to mine. Why I thought I was special I'll never know.
Ryan was born at 5:12 A.M. weighing 3 lbs. 10 oz. 16 ½ inches. Kaylie was born at 5:14 A.M. weighing 1 lb. 14 oz. and 14 inches long-- classifying her as a micro-preemie. The only thing I wanted to hear was the sound of their cries. I heard their faint cries and that pretty much was it. Out of the corner of my eye I could see them being whisked away and MANY people working on suctioning and doing whatever it is that they do. I just laid there and prayed that they were going to make it as they stitched me up.
Recovery was okay. It took awhile for feeling to return to the lower half of my body. I really liked the warm blankets they put on you as I was shaking very badly. I did throw up once. All in all I made it through my first surgery. Little did I know the pain that would follow.
Now when you hear the words “hospital stay,” you freak out! A million thoughts start rushing in. My main worry was work of all things. What would I do about work? I was a teacher so you just can’t call in sick. Teachers HAVE to be there—like the postal service—Nor rain, nor sleet, nor hail. Your mail gets there. It’s kind of like that with teaching. I needed lesson plans & detailed instructions etc. etc... My principal was great about it and told me not to worry about a thing. What a relief. I sent what I had and tried to put it out of my mind. That was a hard thing to do—give up the class you worked so hard to mold. I’ve been told they became a bad class after I left. I feel badly about that. I’m sure some valuable learning time was lost. So the prospect of going to the hospital long-term was a scary one for me. I knew it was best, but it didn’t come at the greatest time. Does it ever??? I would miss spring—my favorite season and I would have to spend my birthday in a hospital. I ended up spending one month in the hospital before going into labor. Sort of ironic but I was able to go outside ONE day while I was at the hospital. I started having pains THAT day which were accompanied with the runs (I know TMI). Three days later I would have my babies, not knowing those pains were really contractions. DH always says it was because I got to go outside. I got through that one month because of family, friends and DH’s DAILY visits. That guy of mine is a hero.
Next entry: the delivery…..
Well this was a bittersweet day. We found out that we were having a boy & a girl!! (Another one of Life’s only surprises. We were still surprised--just earlier). Can’t get better than that. We found out we were having a boy first in case you were wondering. The bitter part of the day came when we were told our daughter was growing smaller than our son. Her femur was smaller and could possibly be Down’s syndrome. We met with a genetic counselor who recommended an amnio to see what the cause could be. We declined that. To us it wasn’t worth the risk involved. Whatever it was we would deal. So a lot of tears fell on what should have been a happy day. I guess they need to tell you all the scenarios, but I have to say I was SCARED. The end result, after 6 hours at the hospital, was that we would continue to monitor growth every two weeks. I continued to go for checks and my daughter continued to grow-albeit small.
Up until this point I really had a great pregnancy. The only symptoms I had were REALLY sore boobs for just about the whole pregnancy, some spotting, and extreme fatigue. Fatigue like I have never felt before—well at least until the babies came home. LOL! I had no morning sickness which was great because they say it can be worse with multiples. I did have to eat pretzels/crackers throughout the day or I would feel just a tinge of queasiness. I developed some swelling in my feet at around 20 weeks. All in all, a good pregnancy.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I must say that from the time we found out until the time we told our parents at Christmastime, it was great knowing that we had this secret that nobody else knew (except the Dr.’s of course).
So how did we end up with twins? The short answer is luck I guess. It was not an easy road to say the least. It took us 15 cycles of actively trying (just winging it, ovulation sticks, tracking temperatures, fertility monitors, vitamins, exercising, switching to boxers---you name it!) to have a baby starting in September 2005. If anyone has been there, it is the worst feeling in the world as each calendar month flies by and you continue to get BFNs (Big Fat Negatives—as in the result of the pregnancy test stick each month.) Everyone around you seems to get pregnant the first cycle. You start to wonder what is wrong with you, you think maybe it’s DH, you question why God would do this, etc. etc…You can only imagine the stress this puts on someone, especially when there really isn’t anyone that you know that truly understands what it is like to go through it. (Well, there was one person I knew and we did talk, but mostly you feel alone.). The worst thing you can say to someone going through it is, “Just relax—it will happen.” Really, I heard this so many times and wanted to just smack each person. At the year mark, we went for all the infertility testing and were found to have “unexplained infertility”—yeah, whatever that means. I guess it means they couldn’t find any reason why DH & I couldn’t have a baby. All looked good on both accounts—ok great—“So why is this happening?” you ask yourself. We were told the next cycle we would start a drug to help ovulation called Clomid. So I anxiously awaited for the next cycle to start, but it never did. I had gotten the long-awaited and elusive BFP (Big Fat Positive)!!! In my heart of hearts, I think I “relaxed” that last month knowing we had a plan. But SHHHH! Don’t let anyone know. :-) I still will not EVER say those two words to anyone I know because you just don't know if there can actually be something wrong.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Ryan can sit on his own and has been since mid January. Unfortunately he HATES tummy-time and really doesn't have much upper arm strength. So as soon as he tries to reach to the side or too far forward, he does a faceplant. Sometimes he finds this hysterical and other times not so much! LOL. We really are working on the tummy time but it's slow going. He has only rolled over twice in his life. At the 9 month check-up I will be asking the Dr. about this to see if we may need some Early Intervention evaluations. Kaylie rolls a lot but has yet to do a double roll. During her tummy time, she is doing 360's. So I'm thinking scooting might not be far behind. She also recently cut 2 teeth and did it without being cranky. I was surprised to find the first tooth on the 4th and then one right next to it this week. Very exciting stuff. Okay gotta go feed babies...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I also wanted to add that I'm new at this and not sure how often I will post or if I will be able to keep up with this blog.