31 December 2013

2013

Did Hell just freeze over or is there actually a post popping up on my blog? Yes, yes my friends there is a new post.

You guys, having twins is NO JOKE. I had high, high hopes for myself to keep up this blog on a weekly basis and document anything and everything about the twins…. FAIL! Life with twins has been more than I ever expected it to be. It is beautiful. And challenging. (more on that in another post)

This post is my 2013 letter/review. I wanted to type out a list of things I was grateful for at Thanksgiving, but didn't get around to it and then, wound up sick with two sick babies. So this post is an ode to all the things I am grateful for in 2013….






Dear 2013,

You my friend were a challenge to say the least. It so tough to say that the best day of my life happened in a year I wouldn't call my favorite. The amount of stress and pressure that came along with you this year was insurmountable. As a whole you were not my favorite year, but you do hold my most favorite day in your hands. My beautiful boys were born in your year, and for that I will always love 2013. I am also grateful for the following that 2013 held:

My health - i have to remind myself on a daily basis how truly lucky I am to have this. There are many people sitting in hospitals not knowing when their last day will be, that would LOVE to take my place. I am forever grateful for my health.

My husband- this man has been by my side all year. (except this weekend when he flies to Pasadena for the National Championship game, but hey, he deserves it) I'm not sure where I would be without him. He is my rock. Through every smile, laugh, tear, breakdown and let down, he's been right there to share them with me. I am more in love with now then I have ever been.
I am also thankful for his job, and the way he works his tail off. Because of both of these components, I  was able to make the decision at the end of this year to stay home with the boys. I so look forward to not ever missing a thing and watching their every growth.

My boys - my boys:) I love saying that. These two littles have brought more joy to my life than I ever could have dreamed. My every breath is stolen by them. My world revolves around them. And I will spend every second of my life making sure they know how much they are loved and how very much they mean to me.


My family and friends - these people are the best support anyone could ask for. They kept my spirit and soul up this year and I am forever indebted to them for doing so.

My incredible doctors - my doctors had to make some incredibly tough decisions on my behalf this year. And although I did most of these hard things kicking and screaming, they brought my two happy, healthy baby boys into the world safely. Thank God for them

Hospital bed rest - yes, I said it, I am thankful for the 5 weeks I sat in a hospital bed and cooked my littles just a bit longer. This had a major hand in their health. Their great health. I also made great friends with my nurses and continue with some of those friendships today.
And lastly, through bed rest, I learned a lot about my self. I did lots of soul searching and self learning. Because of bed rest, for the first time in my life, I was fully proud of myself.

Parenthood - parenthood has also taught me so much about myself, it has made Adam and I an incredible team and it is the single best thing that has ever happened to me.

*** my friend Leah gifted me "The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude" book. Its dated for every day of the year and you are supposed to write down every night, the little things you were grateful for that day. These things aren't meant to be big things, like family, friends etc… they should be silly things that you take or granted every day. ie: your Starbucks barista had your drink ready and waiting for you when you walked into your neighborhood Starbucks.
I was so excited to receive this, and I am making it one of my goals this year to do it every night. Wont you join me? you can find the book here.

I've listed out some small things below that I am grateful for, some on a daily basis, and some that happen every once in a while:

-my babies crying, screaming crying  - i always make a point to stop and think to myself, thank God for those lungs.
-my pup - poor thing didn't know and still doesn't know what happened to her. She has been patient and very good with the boys. She still craves attention but she keeps her distance while still trying to figure out who these little boys are.


-Instagram/blogging - i know, sounds so ridiculous, but through both of these "places" I have formed wonderful friendships with other twin moms that have quickly become my "pen pals." We swap advice, almost on a daily basis, and without them, I would be lost.

-my pump - not really, but really. I hate my pump, I do. But its the only thing that has made giving my boys the very best milk, possible. (I plan to burn it when I'm through)

-my home - i love my house. I curse it on a daily basis when I have to run up and down stairs 100 times a day, and we are currently looking for a new one. But every time I curse it, I do say "if you were only one level, I would stay in you forever" other than the stairs, its perfect. I am so thankful to have a beautiful roof over my head.

-my car - I am blessed to drive what I drive and feel safe every time I am in it and every time I drive the boys in it. I know it sounds silly to be thankful for this, but my anxiety levels aren't as high as they would be knowing I am in a very safe car.

-my bed - after being in a hospital bed for 5 weeks and then on my couch for 2 weeks, I have never been more thankful for that king sized bed in my life. It is my little slice of Heaven.

reflux - both my boys have reflux. And although it is the bane of my existence, I know these boys could have a lot worse conditions. Being "happy spitters" is low on the totem pole of infant conditions and I am thankful to be there and not dealing with something more serious. (or something that gives me less sleep than I am getting now)

-sleep training/Moms On Call - because of this program my boys are sleeping 9 hours through the night now. Which makes this completely sleep deprived momma feel like a whole new woman.

-Snuzas - the boys wear these little alarms to monitor their breathing. If they have no movement for 15 seconds the alarm buzzes them to get them to move, if they don't move after that buzz, an alarm will sound to let Adam and I know. This helps me sleep at night.

There are countless other things that I am grateful and thankful for this year and every day. I am hoping my new journal will keep my list up to par for this letter next year.

Thank you all for following along, for your endless support, prayers and kind words through this year.
Here is to 2014 being the best yet!



xxoo
-b



30 October 2013

Twin Update


For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a lot of these pictures, so I'm sorry:) But for those of you who haven't here are pictures and updates from the past 4 weeks {4 weeks?!?!? who the hell decided time can go this fast}

 
I already blogged about our first week together, but here were G & G’s stats that week:
{from first doctors visit}
Grayson:
5 pounds 7 ounces

 Greer:
5 pounds 12 ounces

 
At this appointment we were told to up their ounces of milk each feeding and that she wanted to see us back in a week. We were also to put them in indirect sunlight to help with their jaundice. Their bilirubin was only a 9 but they were just a tad yellow.

 
Week 2 (October 8-14)
{stats from 1 week old visit}

 Grayson:
5 pounds 9 ounces

 Greer:
5 pounds 12 ounces
 
At this visit they had each only gained 2 ounces. We were told they needed to be at their birth weight by the 2 week old visit. So she up’d their ounces again and changed them to eating every 2-2.5 hours, which ever they could handle. {but could Momma handle either of those?} Turns out none of us could. The boys would either not finish their bottle or toss their cookies after each one. So Adam and I decided to keep the ounces up but go back to feeding every 3 hours.
 
 



{2 week visit}
 
{newborn/family photoshoot}
 
 

Week 3 (October 15-21)
{stats from 2 week old visit}

 Grayson:
6 pounds 5.5 ounces {4% percentile}
19.5 inches long {10% percentile} (I think I messed this up. I held his head while they stretched him out and didn’t hold it up against that metal thing)
13.5 inches head circumference {7% percentile}

 Greer:
6 pounds 9 ounces {5% percentile}
18.75 inches long {2% percentile}
13.75 inches head circumference {12% percentile}

 WE DID IT!!!!!

We got the boys to their birth weights and then some! Whew! We were so excited and happy our boys were moving right along.
 

{first sink bath, surprisingly we both loved it}

{first game days at home}

 
 
 
 
 
 
Week 4 (October 22-28)
{weight from Urgent Care visit}

 Grayson : 8 pounds 0.5 ounces
Greer: 8 pounds 5 ounces

This was the week I visited the ER for my bladder and kidney infection. It was a long, long week still trying to be a Mom and heal myself. In the midst of all my healing, the boys got a severe “diaper rash” (to me it looks like just raw skin) but the doctor’s office said since they were under a month they wanted to see them. The day I called they didn’t have any open times but after 5pm, our doctors office turns into an urgent care and the doctors take turns taking the evening shift (one of the reasons we chose this practice). So we went in and saw the doc there that night. She didn’t think it was anything but a little rash but put them on two creams to prevent any infection. We go back to the doctor tomorrow (Halloween) for the boys 1 month visit!

{trying out napping in our cribs}
 
 
 

{Mom trying to get the hang of "feed twins at same time" thing}

 {Mom gave Dad a hall pass to the Florida State game in Tallahassee, we kept her company}
{Practicing wearing baby}


 
Over the past 4 weeks we’ve had lots of family and friends in and out to see the boys. The amount of love and support we have received has been wonderful. We are so happy for those who were able to make it to see the boys in their first month of life!

We are looking forward to seeing a few more people and celebrating the holidays as a family of four.

Yay for my favorite time of the year!!!

29 October 2013

Our First Week

*I'm so sorry I didn't keep my promise and blog every day last week. On Wednesday afternoon I got severe body aches and chills. I rested, drank some warm tea, but nothing seemed to help. Adam came home early and I got to taka full 2 hour nap. My symptoms were still the same when I wok up and my temperature was 103.6. I called my OB and she insisted I go to the emergency room. So I did. In tears. When would all of this stop? Adam stayed home with the boys (wasn't about to take them there) and my brother met me at the ER to sit with me since I was so upset. I was there from 8:30pm -2 a.m. getting test run and an IV with fluids and antibiotics. Turns out I had an infection in my bladder and kidneys. PAINFUL. However, now I am feeling better and ready to talk about our first week with the boys*



The day we left the hospital, Amanda (my nurse that I became close with) wasn't working. But she picked up an afternoon shift and came and spent the morning with Adam, the boys and I and helped us get everything ready to leave. Have I mentioned how sweet she is? And they all are for that matter.

{our sweet nurse, Amanda}

Any who, after the boys were cleared for discharge and I was cleared, we got our things together and were wheeled out. At the time of our discharge, the lobby was getting retiled, so we were wheeled through the cafeteria, during lunch time. This should have been my first hint the rest of the day would be full of a comedy of errors.

{about to go home}


{getting wheeled out.  and another downside to a C-section, retention of all those fluids they pump into you}

We got outside and Amanda said " Boys, this is your first breath of real air." I teared up. ha! This was only my fourth breath of fresh air in five  weeks. We got the boys in their car seats, I hugged Amanda and another tech goodbye and got in the car. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, I started to cry, really cry. I hadn't been out in the real world in five weeks or in my own car. Everything looked different. I suddenly found myself wanting to go back. Back to my little room, where our little family was born and existed for the past four days and the last few weeks of my pregnancy was spent.  Strange, I know, but its what I had come to know.

{in our car seats}


When we got home Adam and I went inside to see Campbell before we bombarded her with the babies. She immediately ran to Adam. What the hell?! I hadn't seen her in five weeks, and she ran to Adam. Then after a few seconds she ran my direction and loved on me for a bit. Then, we took her into the garage and brought the boys out of the car for her to sniff. We had sent their first hospital hats home with my sister for her to smell and get used to (if you are pregnant and have a dog(s), when you deliver save that first hat to send home. The first hat has the babies scent and the yours on it) She was very curious with the boys.

A few hours later, I was in a lot of pain. I hadn't filled my prescriptions yet, and was starting to feel the effects of that mistake. Adam ran to the pharmacy and filled them so I could take them immediately. I was still in a fog. And in an amount of pain I never thought I'd ever experience. And my hormones... oh my! I was crying just looking at my little loves. I kept saying, I can't let anything happen to them. What if something does? what if something happens to me? I again, wanted to go back to our hospital room, where I knew everyone was safe. and GOD I was HOT.

That evening, I was still hot, I kept saying, is anyone else hot in here? No one was. Then around 8pm, everyone started to feel what I was feeling, hot! Sure as shit, our AC was out. I wanted to cry but didn't. We called our AC company, it was too late for them to come out. I looked at Adam and said "I will pay thousands of dollars right now for one of those emergency places to come out and fix it." So we had one come out. The fellow who came to fix it went to take a look at it. He came back in with this sad look on his face. He knew what was wrong but he couldn't get the part until 8 a.m. He looked down at the twins and said "I am so sorry."

So now we had to figure out what to do. Over my dead body was I taking two newborns (four days old) to a hotel. I wouldn't even take them now and they are almost a month! They weren't allowed around any other babies or children so friends here in town were out of the question. Only other option was to drive to my mom's in Orlando. At this point I still didn't cry. My maternal instincts must have kicked in and all I was focused on was getting my little some place cool and safe to sleep. So off to Orlando we went.

My sweet sister who had one more night with the babies had to say good-bye. She made coming home so easy and beautiful. I was so sad to not get to spend this one last night with her. She ended up at my brothers that night, but stayed back to shut down our house for us.



a little side note, since the boys were losing so much weight the pediatrician wanted to see them the next day in her office (Saturday) to get weights and measure their jaundice. That appointment was at 10 a.m. the next morning.

We got to my  mom's, got through our first night of sleeping and feeding.
{at CC's house}


{at CC's house}
And at 7:30 a.m. the next morning we got up, put the clothes we had on from the day before, got in the car and drove back. We got back with just enough time to drop off the dog and head to the pediatrician's office. We looked like white trash. I was still in the clothes I left the hospital in. The boys were in only onsies and socks and we looked like we hadn't slept in weeks. But this doctors visit turned out to be exactly what we needed. We asked our pediatrician all sorts of questions to make sure we were doing everything right. She was so encouraging and supportive and we left there feeling like we were making it:)

{first Doctors appointment with Dr. Hauser}




The rest of our first week was spent downstairs, as I wasn't allowed to use stairs for two weeks (I gave in after 7 days on the couch, my back couldn't handle it) We set up a little apartment downstairs and made our dining room table Baby Central. our next six days were spent snuggling the littles, learning our way through everything, sleepless nights, Adam bringing Campbell to the changing table more than twice, and both of us waking up between each feed thinking the other one fell asleep with a baby. It will be a week we never forget. We did it together, learned together, and built more and more respect for one another.

{snuggles with all 3 babies}


{first "washcloth" bath}



23 October 2013

Our first few hours

Our first few hours together were filled with both of us saying over and over again "can you believe they were just in your/my belly?" "I can't believe they are here" "We are so lucky"
 
These two boys were miracle babies. We learned after talking to doctors days after their delivery, that most of them were very concerned and not overly confident that these boys would make it as long as they did or even make it at all. We were shocked. All of our doctors put on a great front and never showed this fear in front of us. We heard over and over again from our OB's and High Risk doctor how proud they were of us and the littles, we had all defied the odds. And for that we are grateful.
 
I didn't realize that my first night I wouldn't be able to do anything. That Adam would have change every diaper and get up with every noise. And that he did. He was my hero and an amazing first time Daddy to G&G. I was in awe of him.
 

 
 
The first night went something like this (again was not expecting all of this)
 
10:00pm - Our tech came in to give the boys a bath, they hated it, screamed and cried
12:00am - My nurse, Tracey, came in and took my bag of fluids out (but kept my IV line in, because, as I am just finding out, I lost more blood than I should have during surgery and they are waiting to get my tests back to make sure my platelet counts are up)
2:00am- They come in to assess the boys again and remove my IV line, since my tests came back good.
4:00am - Back again to remove my catheter and make me walk for the first time. I have never been in so much pain in my life as that walk across my room. 
6:00am - The nurses come to get the boys so the pediatrician can assess them
 
this was the start to our sleepless nights :)
 


22 October 2013

The Twins Birth Story


The morning of October 1st, I woke up extremely calm. (I know, I was shocked myself) One of my favorite nurses was working and I was her patient that day (by request, of course). She changed out my IV, wheeled a stretcher in front of my room and we were off. I think I had gotten so used to taking things day by day minute by minute, that I couldn't even think 5 minutes ahead of myself. So I contribute that to my calmness (and don't worry that's all about to change)

Elevator ride down to Pre-Op
(Amanda, my nurse, took this picture and said we would be happy one day she did. And I am)
 
I, again, had been prepped by my nurses and doctors on exactly what to expect. So I felt extremely comfortable going into Pre-Op. Two of my OB's were to be in on my surgery, one for the babies and one to watch my previa. Dr. Perkins was to be the main surgeon and my beloved Dr. Young was to assist her. I had seen Dr. Young the most through my pregnancy. He always took the conservative approach with me and made me feel safe.
 
In pre-op, my vitals were taken, the babies were monitored, and I had to take all sorts of stuff to "settle" my body (some grape sour patch flavored drink, minus the sugar, yuck, to settle my stomach and the contents that remained in if any)
 
Dr. Perkins came to see me in Pre-op to say hello and let me know she'd see me inside.
Then the anesthesiologist came in to see me with his nurse. THey were both super sweet and explained to me exactly what was going to happen with my spinal block. 
*side note- up until the day before my surgery I thought I was just getting an epidural. But I was informed I would be getting a spinal block that would make my body numb and unable to move from my chest down. My anesthesiologist told me a spinal block felt about 10% of what my IV felt like. THANK GOD! I hated getting my IV's in and if this thing were to only be 10% of that pain, I could handle it. His nurse then informed me she was solely in charge of me and my comfort. She would sit behind my head the whole surgery and give me anything I needed. That also made me feel at ease.
 
The next thing I knew, another nurse was whisking Adam away to get scrubbed in and I was getting wheeled to the OR. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My anxiety completely swept over me. From the ride in the OR hallway to entering the room. It wasn't anything like I was expecting. I'm not exactly sure what I was imagining, but this hallway and room were cold and white and all I could think was "are my babies really going to be born in this room?"
 
I decided at that moment to just close my eyes. My nurse sat me up on the edge of OR table and my anesthesiologist started small talk with me (what are the babies names going to be? were they spontaneous or IVF?   where Adam and I worked? how we met?) Then he stuck me in the back, as a clenched onto a pillow and nurses hand. I really wanted Adam and was terrified without him there. After the doc was done things moved really quickly. they spun me around, threw a curtain up and I immediately started shaking and couldn't breathe. I was given oxygen and my nurse that was in charge of my comfort kept telling me "as soon as the boys are out, I am going to give you what is equivalent to 2 glasses of wine in your IV to make you stop shaking and take the edge off." ummm... can I have that now please?
 
I heard Dr. Perkins and Dr. Young come in. Dr. Young came around the curtain and said " Good Morning? How are we? Ready to have these babies?" and in that moment I felt safe. A familiar face I knew had my best interest at heart. Someone that had put so much time into my pregnancy, was now there for the final outcome.
 
Then my sweet Adam came in, all scrubbed in. I looked at him and said "We are never doing this again." At that moment I knew why God gave me two at the same time.* Everyone says this will change and I'll forget all about it, but just wait until I get to the recovery portion of my story and then let's see how everyone feels!
 
The doctors immediately started my surgery once Adam was seated. The next five minutes felt like a lifetime. I kept saying " Dr. Young, are they okay? Am I okay? Am I bleeding out? (if I haven't mentioned it yet, this was my biggest fear, as I knew with twins and my previa there was a greater chance of this happening and that there was a blood transfusion team waiting in the wings for me.
 
In about 5 minutes, we heard the doctors say, here comes Baby A! And then we heard screams. Beautiful screams that we were hoping to hear to let us know their lungs were great and the steroids had worked. I heard Adam say "Baby, he looks just like you" and then they peeked him around curtain for me to see and then he was off to be assessed. Then one minute later I heard Dr. Young say, "Dad get your camera ready." and I thought there was no way Adam was going to look over that curtain... but sure as shit, he did. He stood right up, brave as ever and started snapping away. And I am so glad he did. He have wonderful pictures that the two of us will treasure forever. (I have made him swear we will be the only ones to see them, however) And then a second set of screams.
My nurse leaned down to me and said " here comes those two glasses of wine, momma." Then, I heard, "5 pounds, 15 ounces and 6 pounds 2 ounces, and great lungs, NO NICU!!!!" I was so happy. Elated. I couldn't breathe I was so happy. The boys were then brought over to us and we held them for the first time. This moment I felt so alive.
 










 Adam was then whisked off again to recovery with the boys and I would meet them there shortly. They finished stitching me up and then wheeled me to recovery. From the time Adam left, the rest of the day was blurry. Those two glasses of wine must have done the trick. I do remember parts of the rest of the day. Here is what I do remember:
Being wheeled into recovery
seeing the boys being cleaned up and assessed again
The boys being brought over to me
The nurses getting the boys to latch on
Amanda, nurse, coming down to see me
the nurses trying to get me to move my legs (which I couldn't do)
and then I remember being on the elevator going back to my floor and all my nurses greeting me when I got off (this brought tears to mine and Adam's eyes)
 
 
 
The rest of the day was spent staring at our boys. My mom, sister and brother were there and lots of assessments were done on myself and the boys. I couldn't move from my stomach down still but I held the babies all afternoon.
 

my three beautiful boys
 
 
See you back here tomorrow for our first night together and the start of recovery....