We welcomed twin daughters Emily Seacat DeLuca and Olivia Ivy DeLuca into our family on Tuesday September 8th, 2015 via a repeat c-section. Lisa and the girls are doing great and everyone arrived home from the hospital today. The girls were born a day shy of 38 weeks and weighed 6 lbs 11 ounces and 6 lbs respectively. …more about our story later but here are a few pictures that the hospital took…
Today Steve and I went to our 30 week growth ultrasound at Mercy. Steve wanted to practice driving to Mercy and Labor and Delivery just so we were comfortable knowing where everything is incase something happens. My appointment was early this time so we didn’t have to wait around the long before being seen.
Baby A: heart beat 136, weight estimated at 4 lbs, breach – 73rd percentile
Baby B: heart beat 143, weight estimated at 4 lbs 7 ounces, traverse – 59th percentile
I caught a glimpse of the monitor when she was measuring and it said Baby A was coming in at 32w6d and baby B was 29w0d. I was slightly worried that baby A was so much bigger than B and the ultrasound tech talked to a doctor and no one seemed to be that concerned.
Their little heads were touching each other. Yay, another pregnancy of freaking out as to whether or not they’ll turn heads down.
Last night was Steve’s holiday party for the Carnegie Institute. It was held at a local country club. Steve and I got all dressed up and left the boys in the loving hands of Grandma and Grandpa DeLuca. They came in for the weekend to give the boys their Christmas presents early. *spoiled/lovedDudes* The party was so much fun. Steve and I had a much needed escape from the norm and enjoyed a night of dancing. We were even the first on the dance floor.
Before we headed out we got some pictures… check it out:
I ordered some new art from Etsy and we stretched it onto a frame yesterday… hence the new backdrop.
Yesterday was the boys 15 month appointment . We took them to the pediatrician and they had two shots. When we got home they were acting okay but kind of sleepy . At 4:30 pm, Ann called upstairs to let me know Nathan was puking . He looked miserable and kept throwing up every 10 minutes. It was scary. We called the doctor for the second time around 7:30 pm and she said to take Nathan to the emergency room because of the worry of dehydration since he wasn’t holding down any liquids. Luckily our nanny is awesome… Ann came back to the house to hang out while Anthony slept and Steve and I headed to the hospital.
They triaged us and gave Nathan some zofran to stop the vomitting. It really was a magic pill. He was so much better after that. Within 20 minutes he was no longer puking and was even asking for juice. He was a whole new person. We had to wait a bit longer before we could be taken back to see the doctor and she barely looked at him and said that the stomach flu was “going around”. She gave us a prescription for zofran and sent us on our way.
Maybe he got something at the pediatrician’s office. There weren’t any other kids there though so it must’ve been handling the blocks and toys. Nathan did so much better today. It’s sad to see our little guy so miserable. Despite it all he was his normal happy self when he wasn’t throwing up and even managed to crack a smile and laugh at daddy:
My experience having the twins was not at all like the experience I pictured from the moment we found out we were pregnant. Knowing that Anthony was breech for such a long time did get me thinking about the possibility of having a cesarean section but I still held onto the hope that he’d turn before I went into labor. I still think that he might’ve if the doctors had let me go to full term. …but a natural child birth was just not in the cards for me…
On Friday, October 26th, I received a phone call from the multiples clinic. The nurse on the line told me I needed to go into labor and delivery… tonight. “Tonight?!?” I remember asking? She calmly told me that I had some abnormal test results and that they had informed labor and delivery that they should be expecting me shortly. I definitely panicked at this point. I remember asking the lady on the phone “Am I going to have babies tonight?!?” and she responded with “I don’t know”. I ran downstairs and into the basement where Steve was working on writing his thesis and asked him while holding back tears “will you help me pack a hospital bag?”. Steve immediately also freaked out asking if I was in labor and I explained to him the phone call. It was 4:30 pm when I got the call so I told my manager at work that I was headed to the hospital and threw up a quick blog post to let family and friends know. I then jumped in the shower and got myself together.
Steve and I got to the hospital shortly after the call and had to ask where labor and delivery was. We didn’t even go on a hospital tour so this was our first time seeing this part of the hospital. When we got to the labor and delivery area they were expecting us, we signed in and were taken to a triage room. Lots of doctors came in and left. I was pricked about 8 times from a nurse trying to find a vein to take some blood. Our doctor at one point came in after a high blood pressure result and said “I’m going to have to c-section you if your blood pressure doesn’t go down”. At that point it felt very real. Steve and I were holding each other and I closed my eyes and tried to focus on keeping the babies safe. I was just over 34 weeks at this point and I didn’t want my babies to be born this premature. So I relaxed enough for them to allow me to be monitored another day. They never moved us from the triage room so Steve had to sleep in a tiny chair next to me. They also weren’t allowing me to have any food until very late in the evening. For the surgery I wasn’t allowed to have food for at least 6 hours before.
We made it safely through Saturday and then on Sunday I was brought to a labor and delivery room and put on magnesium It was some nasty stuff that made me feel very warm. It wasn’t as bad as everything kept saying it was going to be. I kinda liked being warm. At this point I had an IV sticking out of the side of my right hand and had to use a bed pan to go to the bathroom. Finally in the evening of the 27th a head doctor came in and said that he didn’t think I needed the surgery that night as I had no other signs of pre-eclampsia (no headaches, blurry vision, cramping below my right breast). He said they were going to give us until 35 weeks. I had a few more days…
The next week was a blur. I was getting more and more uncomfortable as the boys grew inside me but I was stubbornly hoping to keep them in as long as possible. They were supposed to stay until the week of Thanksgiving! I felt wonderful, I didn’t understand why my doctors were trying to take them out so soon. I was basically on bedrest though. Steve was allowed to take me for wheelchair rides and I had to wear compression socks and these odd leg massaging devices in order to prevent clotting. Not to mention the fun I’s and O’s tracking we were supposed to do. I had to track everything I put in, liquid wise, and everything that came out. I hope I never had to pee in a “hat” ever again.
It was great when my mom finally arrived. She was able to relieve the neighbors from their Gracie duties and ran a bunch of errands for Steve and I. She also kept us entertained in the hospital room. Between my mom and Steve I was being spoiled with awesome foot rubs. One nice thing about Hopkins is we had a private room to ourselves and the food isn’t that horrible. We were fed three times a day and could order guest trays for only $5. 98% of our meals were wrong or missing an item, but overall their was some decent food from a hospital. By the time my mom arrived the doctors had informed me that everyone was willing to wait until 36 weeks for the surgery. woohoo! Small victory.
Even though my blood tests and levels were remaining normal, the doctors still felt that 36 weeks was as long as they were willing to let me go. Seeing as how pre-eclampsia can turn from normal to fatal without any warning. Over the course of my stay at this point I had about 5 different IVs (they had to change them every 4 days) and daily or twice daily blood draws. For someone who hates the sight of blood this was one of the worst parts.
The day before the surgery:
My mom wanted to get one last picture to remember how big my belly was. She also wanted the “rear view” because she said I didn’t look pregnant from behind. It definitely looked like I swallowed a basketball.
I was told that our surgery was scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday, November 6th. This meant that I wasn’t allowed to eat anything after midnight the night before. For some reason the meal service forgot to deliver my meal on Monday night so it was frustrating trying to get the nurses to find me an awesome tv dinner. If I would’ve died during the surgery that would’ve been one crappy last meal! 🙂
On Tuesday morning I woke up as always because some doctors came in to do some measurements, etc. At one point one of the nurses said that I wasn’t going to go into surgery until noon. I was upset because I wanted to get it over with and because we got my mom to wake up super early to come to the hospital so she could be there before I went into surgery. At about 8 am another nurse came in frantically looking for me since I “had to be on the table by 10”. So I was “prepped” and had to rush over to this little room to get ready for the surgery. The little room was mostly the nurses and teams organizing themselves and putting together all of the details for the babies once they were born. They were also monitoring me. Steve got to put on a blue hospital scrubs and a hat. He looked good! Unfortunately only one person was allowed in the operating room so my mom had to wait outside.
I was really hoping that I was going to be given the epidural before the catheter was put in place. If I have another cesarean some day I will insist on that happening! The catheter was the worst part of the entire experience. I was screaming and don’t remember ever being in such pain. There was blood in the bag shortly after it was inserted. It was by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Maybe the nurses just didn’t do it right. I’m not very flexible to begin with and I was being yelled at to hold still while I was shaking and miserable. I do not recommend that experience. No idea why the nurses decided to do it before I was on the drugs. They said they were going to do it to “save time” but really it just freaked me out about the process that much more.
Soon after the horror show I was wheeled into the OR. It was a pretty cool room with giant umbrella like light fixtures. Up until this point I had only really seem females but the OR room was crawling with men. Also, everyone was very young. I’d say all of the doctors were 45 or younger. No one warned me that going through birth meant that your privacy goes out the window. Everyone got a good glimpse of my lady parts. The OR was crawling with people. There was a team of about 5 nurses for each baby, the doctors that would be performing the surgery, residents, attendees, and the team of anesthesiologists.
First up was the anesthesiologists. They had me sit on the side of the table and put in a local anesthetic so that I wouldn’t feel the epidural. It wasn’t bad, felt like any other shot. Then they put into my back a spinal and the epidural. I’m not sure why they did both. After the spinal I was feeling a little light headed and felt like I was going to pass out. They had me lay on my side while they put in the epidural. They started the medicine for the spinal. I could still feel everything. They’d poke me by my shoulders and then by my thighs and ask if they felt different… and they didn’t. I was getting a little panicky at this point… worrying that I was going to have this surgery that I felt. Finally they gave me the drugs through the epidural. They did the same poking or ice cube testing to see if I felt things differently and the epidural I still felt things but not as much as with the spinal. The guy asked how tall I was and when I said 5’10” he gave me an extra dose of whatever medication it was.
Info on the types of anesthesia: http://www.burlingtonanesthesia.com/PublicPages/C-Section.aspx
Spinal anesthesia – For planned C-Sections or in labor patient who don’t already have an epidural this is the most common choice. Spinal anesthesia is similar to epidural anesthesia except the needle used is much finer and is passed on purpose into the sac of fluid which bathes the spinal cord. The epidural is placed outside of this sac. Unlike the epidural, all necessary medicine is given in one injection through the needle. There is nothing except the medicine left inside. There is no epidural tube or catheter involved. The procedure for placement is otherwise very similar to epidural placement. Please refer to the explanation in the section explaining epidurals for labor.
Epidural anesthesia – If an epidural has been already placed in labor this most often will be used.
The rest of the surgery happened very quickly. Things were getting blurry at this point. The group moved very fast to lift me from the first hospital bed onto the OR table. My arms were pulled out to my sides. Then they finally allowed Steve to come into the room. I don’t remember seeing his face but I heard his voice. He was allowed to sit beside me on my side of the curtain and talk to me through the entire thing. I think they had already started cutting before he was in the room. A few times during the surgery it did hurt a little. It was an odd sensation of pulling and tugging. The initial cut felt like a hot iron. I didn’t really know how to relax myself but I closed my eyes and focused on breathing and tried to take my mind off of what was happening. I would repeat in my head how much I loved Steve and how much the little babies needed me.
I could hear what the doctors were saying and I remember them talking about Anthony coming out. I think I held my breath waiting to hear him make a noise. When he finally did it was music to my ears. They took him to his side bassinet and started cleaning him off and performing whatever tests they run on newborns. He was breathing great on his own. I don’t remember getting to see him, I don’t think they brought him over to me. I think Steve got to see him though. At this point I was now focused on Nathan. I needed to know he was okay, too. More tugging and pulling and what felt like the weight of a bowling ball was again lifted from me. Another healthy crying baby boy. Their cries were exactly what I needed. I remember looking over to my right side and seeing them both there and feeling an overwhelming sensation of joy and happiness. Then I felt really tired. The doctors were moving fast to close me up but I heard one of the doctors say “she’s losing a lot of blood” “get a clamp on that vein!”. There was a no-nonsense atmosphere and a feeling of lots of hands moving around me. At the mention of blood I felt queasy and I remember calling out for Steve. Then I told the anesthesiologist that I was going to throw up… and then I did. I don’t really remember much after this. I somehow ended up back in the triage type room and I felt really cold. I couldn’t stop shivering.
Steve and my mom came in with the two babies that I finally got to see, they were beautiful. My mom and Steve were all smiles as they showed off the two babies and double checked with me that I wanted baby A to be Anthony and baby B to be Nathan. Here’s the two nurses holding them up for me to verify their names:
We couldn’t have picked better names. Anthony looks like a mini Steve and Nathan has a lot of Seacat in him. Here’s a picture of us… our first family photo:
I looked horrible, and felt horrible too. I was so swollen. I felt like I was wearing a fat suit. They said it was from all of the IV liquid that I was given before/during the surgery. Definitely not the first holding picture a mom imagines with her makeup perfect, eyes shinning, and a nice big smile. But I’ve never been happier…
Anthony Scott DeLuca was born on November 6th, 2012 at 10:22 am weighing in at 5 pounds 11 ounces and 19.5 inches long. Nathan Douglas DeLuca was born two minutes later at 10:24 am weighing 5 pounds 10 ounces and also 19.5 inches long. I was able to hold them for a long time but they felt so heavy in my arms. I had to give them back to Steve to hold and eventually they went back to the nursery for additional tests.
The doctors decided that I needed to go back into a labor and delivery room rather than to the postpartum section of the hospital so that I could be given magnesium again and monitored. Here we were given the worst nurse ever. She was a little German lady who was obviously spread too thin. Every five minutes we were ringing the call button to get her back into the room to fix an alarm that was going off. I have no idea why the hospital left the babies with us in that situation. We weren’t given any formula and had to rely on my breast milk that hadn’t even came in yet. I was given a pump but no one knew how it worked so we were sitting there with no idea how much the babies were getting fed. There was no mention of leaving them in the nursery to be cared for. We did our best trying to feed them and kept asking this nurse for guidance. She would take my boob, pop it into a babies mouth and then squeeze it hard. It was so awkward, there was nothing natural about how she was dealing with us. Steve and I both sensed the red flags and were on edge with how we were treated. I don’t think any of us slept that night. The following morning the doctors told us I could go off the magnesium and the boys were taken for some more tests. Nathan had lost a lot of weight over night and the doctors were freaking out. He was sent to the NICU. They blamed us for “poor feeding”.
Things got much better when we finally got over to the postpartum section of the hospital. We were introduced to a lactation specialist and our nurse was eager to teach us. We were able to visit Nathan in the NICU that night. We were both pretty upset to see him there. They had fried him under the heat lamp and stuck him to take blood a million times in his foot. Luckily he only had to spend one night in the NICU and then he was back in our arms. However, the NICU scare freaked Steve and I out to the point where we were fighting about breast feeding vs. bottle feeding. Learning to breast feed is hard enough… it’s even harder when you have a baby that goes to the NICU for weight loss. This lead us to supplement both boys after each feeding which meant 2.5 hours on, 1/2 an hour off, then repeat. The 1/2 an hour off was usually spent pumping to make extra supplements. Between the three of us no one really got any sleep. There was a lot of tears shed in the next few days trying to find a balance and learn how to be parents.
As for me, the recovery wasn’t as bad as I envisioned it to be. I felt like I had to learn how to walk again. It didn’t help that I was wearing a Lisa fat suit. We tried to get out on a short walk 2 or 3 times a day around our loop in the hospital. When I peed it felt like someone was taking a sponge and squeezing it over the toilet. I’ve never lost so much pee before. But this was all goodness, as it meant that extra water that was inside me was coming out. The doctors talked a lot about a blood transfusion. Given that I lost over 50% of my blood during the surgery. But I didn’t want it and insisted I’d be okay without it. I was very pale and weak for a long time, making the feedings that much harder. I give Steve credit for stepping up and taking over the diaper changing duties and the “burrito”ing. There was definitely some laughing between the tears… The doctor did a good job with the incision but it’s still heeling. It’s very low along my bikini line. My stomach isn’t back to normal just yet but I have a little corset thing I’m wearing which makes it more comfortable to move about. I’m not supposed to do situps or try to rebuild my ab muscles for the next month or so. I’m trying not to take the oxy pain medicine as frequently as I’m allowed. The sooner I can get off it the sooner I can drive the new car!
Steve and I would not have been able to do it without my mom’s help. We needed a third pair of hands and could’ve even used another pair or two. Having my mom also allowed Steve to go home for longer naps every now and then when his sanity was becoming questionable. Twins are tough! In the end it was all worth it and I’d do it all over again for these little guys.
We were finally all discharged from the hospital. At first it was the boys that they wanted to observe to make sure they were gaining weight, and then it was me. I had very high blood pressure (130’s over 90’s). The doctors put me on some blood pressure medication and wanted to keep me around for observation. We didn’t get out of the hospital until after 6 pm on Sunday, 5 days after giving birth.
We were anxious to get out of there! On one hand it was nice having so many people we could ask questions to and the nursery to feed the boys if we wanted a few extra hours of sleep. But we spent so much time in that little room, the menu was getting old, the bed felt harder and harder each day, and we were constantly being interrupted by doctors and nurses running one test after another or just stopping by to see how we were doing.
**Thank you grandma and aunt Sara for picking out such fun going home outfits!
I had to sit on a wheel chair with two babies as one of the nurses wheeled me downstairs. Nathan was a sleepy little guy looking styling in his green turtle outfit. Anthony was not happy with the ride. In the lobby he was screaming his head off and trying to slide out of my lap. My mother bear instincts kicked in as almost everyone stopped to exclaim “oh my goodness, TWINS!”. I wanted to use my body as a shield as if to say “no babies here”.
We hadn’t gotten the second car seat installed yet so Steve was rushing to get that done. It was a very chilly night in Baltimore and we hustled to get both boys strapped in before they got too cold. I’m shocked the nurse let us drive away because the straps on the babies were not correctly adjusted. Grandma Seacat, my mom, was forced to squeeze between the two car seats in the back of the corolla. I’m sure the five of us were a hilarious scene.
…it felt so good to finally sleep in our own bed after 2 weeks and 2 nights stay in the hospital.
Both are latching together making feedings twice as fast! Not sure how long this is going to last but it’s super cute to see the two boys staring each other down and holding hands in the middle.
Here’s a pic my mom took to document the success. Nothing inappropriate showing I promise. 🙂
Nathan likes to do the cross hold while Anthony is content in the football hold. So they get all tangled in each other. Every now and then I can get Nathan to football hold as well. These little dudes are going to be very close growing up.
Today is Saturday, it has been four days since the twins were born. The four of us are doing amazing, both boys are now latching on the boobs despite some frustrations. Being in the hospital is nice because there is a new lactation consultant every day who comes in and helps to coach us through some of the issues we’re facing. I’ve found that it’s easier to feed the boys on the rocker using the twin “breast friend” (thanks Marcia!). When we’re not trying to feed we’re pumping milk. The strapless hands-free bra has been a life savor (thanks Hilary!). I have probably gotten 3 hours of sleep over the past 4 days.
Breast Feeding rules:
- No Pain – relatch to comfort
- Deep latch – chin to breast, nipple to nose, wide mouth, scoop
- Round Nipple – compressed nipple is a sign of a shallow latch
Steve and I didn’t take a single baby class and definitely weren’t expecting to have the boys so early. We are fast learners though and the nurses and technicians have been great about teaching us as we go.
I am very adamant that the boys breast feed and don’t get hooked on the bottle. So we’re been finger feeding them which can be a pain. Here’s a picture of daddy finger feeding. Basically we take a syringe (which Steve is already an expert in using) and attach this long tube thing. Then we place the tube on our pinky fingers and put our fingers in the babies mouths. Then using our other hand (or another person) we push the syringe each time they suck to reward them for sucking. We’ve been supplementing them after each feed in order to get their weights up. Unless they gain weight they won’t be allowed to leave the hospital.
Three days after the twins were born I sat in the dark in my hospital recovery room alone trying to get a nap. Steve and my mom had left so that I’d have some quiet time. Both boys were in their bassinets and I just started silently crying uncontrollably. I’m sure the lack of sleep and pregnancy hormones had something to do with it but it was a happy cry. I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to have so much love in my life. Family and friends who love me unconditionally. It’s weird that giving birth to two beautiful babies and knowing that I’d do absolutely anything for them made me appreciate all of the current love I have in my life. I am so lucky in love. Thank you family and friends!