Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Time Flies when you're....not sleeping? No it doesn't.

So, I'm having a hard time coming to grips that my babies are 10 months old. Math was never my strong point, but I'm pretty sure I have a 1st birthday to plan in less that two months. Less than 2 months until these babes turn 1! Crazy, crazy!

This (almost) year has been full of ups and an incredibly high number of downs! Having twins is no joke (although I sure thought someone was joking when I found out it was twins. Read about that here). Between the sleep deprivation, obscene amount of diapers, sleep deprivation, puke, sleep deprivation, need for caffeine, crying, ...did I mention sleep deprivation? 

All grumbling aside, I would NEVER go back. Having twins is a ton of fun. I'm amazed at them. Sometimes I just stare and wonder a) how did they both fit inside of me? b) I can't believe I delivered two babies! c) how did I get so lucky? d) Surely these are the cutest twin baby girls in all of history!

Do you think I'm kidding about the cute part? Ok, see for yourself!

March 20, 2015-wedding dress rehearsal
 7 month photo

 6 months

8 months

9 months

10 months - not so cooperative these days

Out for a walk

Bath time fun!

Both standing! Walking to follow soonish (not too soon, right girls?)
So there's a  bit of catch up! One of the things I usually love about having twins is meeting new people. You feel a bit like a celebrity. I talk to lots and LOTS of people when I'm out with the girls. Most of the time it's fun. If someone is grumpy (usually me) and/or I'm in a rush, it can be frustrating to be bombarded with questions. There are days when I want to answer like this:

Thanks for checking in! Enjoy your day!


Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Birth Story - Part 3 (last part)

We left off that I had finally reached 10cm and am ready to push these babies out!

They wheel me out of one room and into the OR (all while I'm holding my baby in and trying not to push). In a few minutes there are more people than I can count in this room that's already full of equipment. This was the most chaotic and out of control I felt. There was so much going on around me and so many people and I was getting scared so I just closed my eyes while they got everything set up. My GP was yelling at the nurses to "just get the bed locked" and I then had to move from one bed to an OR table (not that comfy,but whatevs - I'm just having a baby  two babies). Then I get oxygen (oh ya, another tube to add to my collection) which then that tube gets squished by the wheels on the OR table I'm on and the doctors are still freaking on the nurses who just can't seem to get that dang bed into place and locked. Ok. It's in. Then my legs get strapped and velcroed into these big roboboot type contraptions and hoisted up high. Two big, bright lights are pointed you-know-where and my modesty was left at the door. My new favorite person, the original anaesthetist, was out of surgery and back to stay with me through the deliveries. He sat at my head and was so helpful. He asked how the number 7 sounded and I said sure and then I didn't feel anything anymore! That was great. 

Pushing time. Oh wait, the doctor cranks my already spread eagle stance even wider. Great. Did I mention there are 14 people in the room and one peeking through the OR doors? I said too many to count earlier. I lied. 14! 14! Two medical students (one of which was a young man whose eyes were the size of saucers). At one point I announced, "EVERYTHING YOU SEE/HEAR IN THIS ROOM, DOES NOT LEAVE THIS ROOM!". I got a few laughs, but I was serious. A lot of embarrassing things happen during labour and I didn't want to be talked about after the fact. 

Ok, so pushing, pushing. Hard, hard work that pushing. Makes me parched just thinking about it. I wanted water.No water allowed. My GP is allowed to deliver Baby A, which I thought was great. She delivered both Mason and Lucia and we love her so that's all good. She coaches me on when to push since I can't feel the contractions. I really need something to drink. I beg. Dr. R (at my head) gives me this tiny bottle of sterile water and says I can have a small sip. He says, "This is the most expensive water you will every drink". It didn't taste good, but it moistened my mouth and airway enough that I could get a good breath in to push some more. I pushed for 8 minutes (yep, only 8) and at 1:59pm, out came Baby A! She was screaming! They put her on me right away which was a huge surprise and blessing. I had been told they wouldn't do that as they need to get her checked out before B comes. A (later to be named Janelle) was such a good size though that they put her on me for a minute before checking her over. As soon as Janelle came out, Baby B flipped head down (from her previous breach position) and Dr. Mc (who surprised me by being present - she had been operating but came to be there for the deliveries) clamped down on my belly to make less room so B couldn't flip again. My second bag of waters broke (or they broke it? I think they may have broken it for me). It only took about 10 minutes for her to get low enough to push and then I had to do it AGAIN! Good news, she came out in 3 pushes. (Those of you who had long labours, please don't hate me. I had to deliver two, remember?) At 2:09pm, our sweet Clara was here. I got a quick snuggle with her and then she was checked out by the nurses. Two teams of nurses and one pediatrician were there during the birth just waiting for the babies. 
Baby A - Janelle born at 1:59pm Sept.9, 2014
Baby B - Clara born at 2:09pm Sept. 9, 2014

Louisa told me later that she could hear everyone cheering when the babies were born. I remember seeing my GP and she had the BIGGEST smile on her face. I couldn't have asked for a better team. They were all so supportive and I can never thank them enough.

Once Janelle was cleaned up a bit, they sat her up on the warming table so I could see her. "Isn't she cute" the nurse said. I didn't think so. "Ya.." She was all squished and looked like she had no neck so her cheeks were pushed up to her eyebrows. "Really cute..he.he."

They weighed Janelle at 7lbs 4oz! Pretty good size! The doctors cleaned me up (only a few stitches) and then were on their way. There were a lot of smiling faces in our room and I had done it! I gave birth to twins! I felt like a million bucks. No more pain, I could breathe. I was a superstar. 

They weighed who they thought was Clara and she was 7lbs 4oz. JP was adamant that they were weighing Janelle again and when the nurses checked, he was right. They had Janelle instead of Clara. Clara came in at a whopping 7lbs 13oz (which is pretty big for a twin). 

It was the best outcome and we are so grateful to God for giving us a healthy pregnancy, uneventful labour and delivery, and two beautiful healthy babies!

Our faithful friend Louisa and Janelle's first selfie.
Clara on the left and Janelle on the right.



The Birth Story - Part 2

We left off that JP STILL wasn't back from getting his wallet.  They were ready to administer the epidural and rupture the bag of waters.
One of many.

JP did make it back and promptly put on his scrubs. He looks pretty good in them, maybe he's in the wrong profession ;) The anaesthetist came (whom I think is GREAT!) and placed the epidural. To be honest, I was more afraid of the epidural and the giant needle than I was of birthing twins. I'd done the birth thing before, but I'd never had an epidural and I'm not that fond of needles. Anyways, he explained everything he was doing and although there was some pain, it wasn't from the epidural being placed, it was the needle that administered the local anaesthetic. Yikes! It burned. The epidural was taped into place and more tubes were added to my collection. Oh yes, now that I had an epidural, I needed a catheter. There's a first time for everything, right? Ugh. That upped my tube count to three (with the hand IV doing double duty with the antibiotic and a pitocin drip to keep the contractions building).

Louisa arrived while I was getting the epidural and they had her wait until it was done. Then she came in and kept us company and took a lot of photos. It was really nice having another person there to help with things or just to keep us company. 

With the epidural in place, it was time to "break my water".  The sweet OBGYN on call came back in and got her gear together. I had this done with Lucia so I knew what to expect. They have this long thing like a crochet needle with a little hook on the end. They find the bag and then just puncture a hole in it. I don't think they anticipated how much water would come out. The OBGYN and the nurses commented on how much water there was. It was like someone left the bathtub running and water was pouring out on the floor. It just kept coming and coming. The entire floor was covered. And that was only Baby A's bag! I was drenched too so the nurses clumsily changed me and my sheets (I'm not sure if they were clumsy or I was clumsy - remember I have a ton of tubes and that was making it difficult to do anything as everyone was getting tangled up in them.) To keep better track of Baby A, the OBGYN inserted a scalp monitor on her. This was great, but was (Tube count 4)
Asking about my contractions

mid contraction

I was hopeful that the epidural would mean pain free, but that wasn't the case. It only took on the right side of my body so that left side, where sweet baby A lovingly had her feet jammed up under my ribs, was completely PAINFUL! I think it would have been more bearable to feel my whole abdomen contracting rather than only having half of it. The pain was all located in two places - up under my ribs and right low down in my tummy between my hip and belly button. The contractions were getting really intense and I was breathing pretty heavily from what I remember. Now that I had the epidural, I wasn't allowed to have much in the way of fluids. I was allowed "small sips" of water now and then. I was SO thirsty though I just wanted to down a 10 gallon! To make matters worse, my thoughtful but somewhat clueless husband was sitting beside my bed drinking a cup of juice with ice and CRUNCHING. Adding insult to injury. He was also bouncing his knee which was resting on my bed and I was trying to hold it together and then Louisa (who was with us for moral support/photos/help) said, "Is JP's crunching on the ice bothering you?" To which I replied, "YES!". So he went out in the hall where he guzzled and crunched it all in a hurry. It was still annoying but at least I wasn't boring holes into his head with laser beams from my eyes! Whenever the nurse wasn't looking, I'd ask Louisa to pass me my cup where I would put as much in my mouth as I could fit and swallow before she noticed again.

What time is it?  I'm not sure where we are in the timeline of things. Things were picking up. I'm in a lot of pain so they consult the anesthetist again. The nice one who placed it is now in a surgery (with one of the surgeons from the office I work at! Weird. I'll tell that story next time! so they send a new one in. He's young. He pulls the tape off my back and fiddles with the epidural, then leaves. The nurses come in and look at me. There's blood everywhere so they take all the tape off again, clean me up, and put more tape on. I didn't need my back waxed, but I guess it's complementary with an epidural ;) And I'm having mountain sized contractions through this process.

Uh Oh! Baby A's monitor starts beeping sending friend Louisa into a mild anxiety attack as she goes to get a nurse (while not wanting to alarm me). Scalp monitor slipped off in all the excitement I guess. OBGYN comes back to reinsert. All is well again. Except...

(Just a warning, I'm typing this next section with a fair bit of sarcasm. If it sounds like I'm ticked off at the world which I was in the moment, but now as I'm typing it, I find it humorous).

Still.not.working. The epidural that is. I'm still in pain. I should be getting close now. They tell me to let them know if I feel the urge to push.I think about it for a while. Have a few more contractions and yep, I need to push. The nurse calls the OBGYN to come check (and with her comes my GP, a med student/resident? and a few other people). I'm at 9cm! Woo Hoo and Boo Hoo. I'm at 9cm, but I'm not ready to push until we get to 10! Everyone leaves. 5 or 10 minutes go by. "I NEED TO PUSH!" Entourage re-enters the room, I get checked. Nope, still 9cm. Apparently the baby is posterior so my body is having a rough time with that last centimeter. Then came my least favorite part of this process..they have me roll from side to side through the contractions. I could hardly roll side to side when I WASN'T in labour and half of my body numb from an epidural with a bunch of tubes around me. Roll. Ouch. Roll. Ouch. Roll. Ouch. It must have been humorous to Louisa and JP, or maybe it was just uncomfortable. Remember I'm almost as big as beluga, I'm numb on my right side from my ribs to my toes, I'm in excruciating pain on my left side, and I'm thirsty and not allowed to drink. I can't roll anymore. Check me. 9! I thought it couldn't get worse. I was wrong :) Since the rolling side to side isn't working, I have to get up on my hands and knees and labour like that to try to get baby to turn and reach the 10cm mark. (You still remember that half my body is numb, right?) Yep.  
On my hands and knees like a dog. In a hospital gown with my rear end facing the door. I pity anyone who walked by my room in those moments. (Thank you to whomever put the blankets up on me)

I think I only had 3 contractions before I was shaking so bad I could hardly hold myself up anymore. They eased me down (as carefully as you can ease a beluga out of water) and then I really felt the urge to push. For reals. I felt like I was crying wolf a bit, but they humored me and had the OBGYN and groupies come back in. Da da da!!! I was 10cm! Yahoo! Let's get this show on the road!
Moving to the OR

All of a sudden there was a flurry of commotion as nurses and people pour in from everywhere. We need to move from the normal labour and delivery room to the Operating Room (in case there's a need for an emergent c-section if something isn't right). Louisa isn't allowed to come with us so she stays behind in the room to wait for us to return not as two (JP and I) but as 4!

To be continued!
The time we left for the OR



The Birth Story - Part 1

*Update* The babies are actually 4 MONTHS old! I began recording their birth story when they were a month, but still haven't finished it!

The girls have been here for almost a month, but I just haven't been able to take the time to write out their birth story. It's not traumatic in any way, it just takes time and energy that I haven't had. I decided that today I had better just do it before I forget!

38 weeks. This is 3 days before the babies arrived!
I was set to be induced on Wednesday, September 10th. If you remember from my post at 36 weeks, this was a week later than originally planned due to the abundance of twins expected the first two weeks of September.  I was beyond miserable and by the night of September 8th, I was at an ultimate low. I was in pain EVERYWHERE. I couldn't get comfortable in any position and my emotions were all over the place. Rather than vent on Facebook (cuz that is a slippery slope) I logged on to my BabyCenter group online. The group was all moms expecting twins or already delivered twins so I figured that was a good place to vent and look for some encouragement. They've all either already gone through it, are going through it, or will go through it.  Anyways, I typed my heart out and clicked "Post".  Re-reading my entry later, I noticed that instead of typing "I feel like I'm letting everyone down" I had typed something similar to "everyone" but my phone auto corrected
it to "Beyonce". So the sentence read like this: "I feel like I'm letting Beyonce down".  It made a bunch of other women's day to say the least and I cried I was laughing so hard. Before that I had just been crying, so cry/laughing was a great improvement.

 Getting back on track, I went to bed around 11pm on Monday night and could not get comfortable. I was achy all over. My hubby came to bed at midnight and I still wasn't asleep so I got up out of bed and went to the kitchen for a snack. I hadn't had dinner as I wasn't feeling all that great. I had a piece of bread with peanut butter and headed to the recliner in the living room.  I may have dozed off and on, but ultimately ended up back in bed at around 1:30.  I was having crampy pain (just like menstrual cramps) that was constant. No contractions. I'd had a few false alarms where I'd start timing contractions for a few hours and then they would just stop. So disappointing and disheartening. I was up and out of bed quite a bit through the night with the unrelenting pain (and the need to pee every 40 minutes). I was having bloody show, but still no contractions so I didn't really think I was in labour. By 5am, I was having irregular contractions, but the pain felt so different from my past two labours. I was having pain all the time and then it would get stronger with a contraction and then ease off to just the "regular" pain again. I also noticed some bright red blood and started to get concerned that maybe something wasn't right. I told my husband that I thought we should go to the hospital just to get checked out. I would feel better knowing the babies were still doing ok. We called his parents to let them know the plans and were on our way to the hospital around 6:30am.  Both our kids were still sleeping so Auntie J came up to be here until Lita (Grandma) could come. It was now Tuesday, Sept. 9th and it was Mason's first day of Kindergarten.

We loaded up the van with our gear and bags, just in case. We parked in the parkade and I walked into the hospital and up to the 3rd floor Labour & Delivery. I had been holding my emotions in check, but when we got there, my friend was (who is an L&D nurse) was there and I lost it. I burst into tears and my fear that had been just under the surface came gushing out. She took us to the back and hooked me up to the monitors (as I'm so familiar with from all those non-stress tests). Both babies looked great and were doing fine. My doctor would be by to do her rounds soon so they just called her to let her know I was there. So, I just layed low for a awhile. JP ran back out to the van to put more money in the parking meter (we'd only paid for an hour). My contractions started to come a little more regularly and by the time my doctor came, I was having fairly decent contractions about 3 minutes apart. I still didn't grasp that I was in labour. It still felt different.

My doctor came in at 8:30am and talked to me and checked things down below. I was a solid 4cm dilated. I asked her if I was going home and she said, "No, you're in labour. You're having these babies today". That's when it sunk in! I was having the babies today. TODAY! September 9th! My doctor was excited. I was a bit dazed. Things started rolling. I needed an IV started with antibiotics as I had tested positive for Group B strep a few weeks back.

JP had forgotten his wallet at home so since we were staying, he decided to head home to get it. I said it wasn't a big deal as I had my wallet, but he was pretty concerned and needed to re-plug the meter again (this time all day) so he headed home to do that.
This is me hanging out by myself while in labour. 

Since Dr. M (my OB) wasn't on call, Dr. M came in to see me. I hadn't met her before, but I'd heard good things about her so that was comforting. She came in to see me and see how things were progressing. I think it was about 10:30am by now.  She checked and I was 7cm dilated! 7!! When did that happen? My contractions weren't that overwhelming and I was breathing through them quite well, but I really didn't think I would have been that far already! She said it was time to get my epidural in place and then she would rupture my membranes to get things moving a bit faster. JP wasn't back yet so I asked if we could wait. I said I'd text him, which I did. This is the message I sent him:
You need to come back now. I'm 7cm dilated and they want to do my epidural and break my water soon. I asked them to wait for you.

His reply:
Omw. (on my way)

15 minute later he still wasn't back so I sent him another text.

Apparently he was on his way up.

To be continued...