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Our Birth Story – The Girls

Our Birth Story – The Girls

Friday, September 4th, was my last OBGYN appointment and NST test.  The girls passed with flying colors and my appointment showed no signs of labor any time soon.  I never was dilated or effaced and none of the contractions that showed up on the monitor were painful.  Both girls had switched to the breech position.  After speaking with the doctor and mentally preparing myself that the c-section was going to happen I felt ready.  The weekend went by really really slow.  It was a long weekend too with labor day, having Monday off.  We convinced Steve’s parents to come and help out so that my mom could come to the hospital with us.  They came on Sunday and it was so nice to know the boys were in good hands.

By Monday evening I was getting really nervous.  Steve helped me shower with some special soap I was asked to use before the surgery.  Then I headed to bed early.  Tuesday morning, we woke up to my alarm clock and started getting our stuff together for the hospital.  I jumped in the shower real quick for another scrub down of the special soap.  Then we left the house about 10 to 7 and headed to Mercy.

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Steve and I headed into the hospital to meet the girls

I was feeling excited to meet the girls.  We got to the hospital and checked into labor and delivery around 7:20.  My doctor had said to get there by 7:30.  But it took a while before we were brought back to the triage room.  My mom had to wait in the lobby until we were finally in a room and they began the surgery prep.  I got my blood taken for some baseline levels and had an IV put in.  Then we were strapped up to some monitors for the girls to watch them while we waited for the OR to open up.  My mom got to come up and the three of us waited around for a very long time.  There were a few times that they couldn’t find baby A on the heart rate monitor so the technician was aggressively pushing and holding on my belly to keep the monitor on her.  It was a little uncomfortable.  At one point Steve had to apply his “Dr” skills to hold one of the monitors in place.

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Dr Steven DeLuca monitoring babies

9 o’clock came and went and we were told that we were going to be swapping places with a couple that were already there since 6 am that had their surgery scheduled for 11.  I was ready to get it over with but her labs had already come back and they were yet to take my blood.  At one point Steve made a comment about them forgetting about us and my mom and I reminisced about a previous appointment where we were waiting in a room for over an hour and half and finally a nurse came in and said “Are you guys waiting on something?” to which we responded “Yes, the Dr.”.  We thought that’d be funny if they came in asking if we were waiting on something, “Yes, a scheduled c-section”.  We were all laughing uncontrollably and the poor babies fell off the monitor again.  But at least we were joking around and having fun.

Finally an OR freed up and they brought me back to the room to get prepped.  I met the anesthesiologist and told him my experience during my last c-section.  He listened to all of my suggestions and was very nice about wanting to make this a new experience for me.  I sat up on an OR prep table and my doctor, Dr. Erika Nichelson, came over and had me lean forward and held me while the epidural area was cleaned and the drugs started being delivered.  It was nice to have her familiar face and voice distracting me with stories of her 4.5 year old twins.  Once the epi was in, I was moved from the first OR table on wheels and moved onto the actual operating table.  I had asked that my arms not be strapped down and everyone was okay with that.  They began pushing the drugs in almost immediately and it took a very long time for my legs to feel numb.  Very similar to my last c-section.  Only this time they waited and ensured I was good before they began.  They added more drugs at one point and I remember feeling like I was going to vomit but I never did.  They waited about 20 minutes to make sure my legs felt very heavy, that I wasn’t able to feel any pricks on my skin, and that I wasn’t able to pick up my legs or wiggle my toes.  It made the world of difference.  After the drugs had started, they inserted the catheter.  A million times better than my last experience.  I could barely feel it and it was all done.

Once I was all numbed up, they brought in Steve.  This time around I asked for a gentle c-section.  This usually means that they lower the drape and hold up the baby so you can see them as they are delivered and checked to make sure they are okay.  Sometimes they even have a clear drape, but they didn’t.  So they left the drape basically laying on my chest but I couldn’t see anything they were doing… my belly was still too big.  They first checked to see the position of the girls and, sure enough, they were both still breech.  Then they started the surgery.  It smelled like burning hair when they first started, maybe they were using a laser?  Steve was sitting right next to my head watching the whole thing and letting me know how good I was doing.  I remember looking at the clock and feeling like it was a very long time from when they started cutting to when they started getting the babies out.  There was a lot of digging around (apparently I had a lot of scar tissue and they had to “search” for my uterus).  When they brought out the first baby. I looked at Steve who was staring at the team and he had tears in his eyes.  They announced that it was a baby girl and held her up for me to see.  Then her nursing team took her and cleaned her off and made sure she was breathing okay.  Then the doctors dug around for another good bit looking for baby B.  They announced they were going to cut her water and Steve said water shot up everywhere when they did.  Then they pulled out baby B and told us it was another girl and the team worked to get her to make her first cry. Because the curtain was low Steve could see the whole thing without having to stand up and peer over a curtain.  Which was so awesome to live it through his eyes and watch him react to the birth of his daughters.  He kept looking at me and looking over at the team and telling me how beautiful they were.

Once the girls were out the surgeons spent a long time cleaning me up, removing the scar tissue from the previous section, and then sewing me up.  While they were doing that Steve got to hold baby B right up next to my face.  She really was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Her sister had a little bit of trouble breathing and the nursing team just wanted to make sure that she didn’t have liquid in her lungs.  Pretty soon Steve was rotating which girl he got to hold and show me.  They were both gorgeous.

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Steve in the OR holding both girls

It was great that I was distracted with how pretty the girls were because when I focused on the surgeons and what they were doing I felt nauseous.  The surgeons were taking a lot longer than I had thought it would take to stitch me back up.  I heard them talking about blood clots and saying things like “it’s coming out of no where”.  I was told later that I did lose a lot of blood.  However, the doctors were calm and collected and I didn’t feel like I was going to die on the table like I got from my first c-section experience.  It was only brought up one time about a blood transfusion and it was more of an after thought like it was something they were going to keep and eye on me and make sure my iron levels improved.   If I ever get pregnant again it was advised that I don’t try to labor on my own because of all the scar tissue.  Apparently it would’ve been fine for this pregnancy but for any future goes it wasn’t recommended.  So no more VBAC hopes for me.  That’s okay though, after these girls were born my initial thought was my family is now complete.

In recover back at the triage area, my mom was there waiting for us.  Both girls came back a little later and the nursing team asked me instantly if I wanted to try breastfeeding.  So I had them both in a double feeding position and skin to skin instantly following surgery.  They both took to the breast instantly and did a great first time feeding.

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double feeding success right after birth

I didn’t have the feeling I had after the boys c-section where I didn’t want to hold them for fear of dropping them.  This time I felt surprisingly strong.  I was happy having them both close.  I also didn’t have the “fat suit” feeling I had with the boys.  I was definitely swollen from the liquids in the IV, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as my first c-section.  We stayed a long time in the triage room before we were brought into a room back in recovery.

 

GirlesTogether

best friends already

The only weird side effect I had was my face felt really itchy to the point of being uncomfortably itchy.  Overall though, my second c-section experience was so much more enjoyable than my first.  I wouldn’t want to go through that every day, but knowing that it didn’t have to be rushed and scary and impersonal should be reassuring for other moms who have no other birthing choice.

The next couple days at the hospital were a blur.  The girls have been little angels.  Having Steve’s parents in town was amazing and allowed my mom to come to the hospital and help Steve and I out.  Unfortunately she had to leave when visiting hours were over at 8:30 pm.  Evenings weren’t so bad, we managed a few hours of sleep here and there.  The biggest thing being the interruptions from the hospital staff taking vitals on the girls and me and checking my incision.

It took us until the second day to announce the girls names.  We had said we liked Emily and Olivia from our “date night” where we went out brainstorming names.  But I wanted to see the girls before we finalized anything.  And their middle names depended on who was who.  We wanted baby B to have the middle name Ivy, “IV”, for roman numeral four.  We thought that was nerdy and fun for our fourth child.  I’d always wanted one of my kids to have Seacat as a middle name, and especially wanted it to be one of my daughters since it was my maiden name, but I wasn’t sure it would sound good with both names.  Steve instantly told me he thought baby A looked like an Emily.  I think it could’ve gone either way, so I agreed and baby A became Emily Seacat DeLuca.  That left Olivia as baby B, and she looks like an Olivia.  I love the way Olivia Ivy DeLuca sounds.  So they were named!

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snuggling with mommy

I mentioned how beautiful the girls are, and as their mother, I’m partial.  But it is such a cool feeling to have a daughter.   It’s funny because Steve’s dad mentioned how to him most babies look the same.  Unless they are dressed in blue or pink it’s hard to tell if they’re girls or boys but with these girls it is very obvious they are girls.  I had said the same thing to my mom and Steve earlier.  They are gentle, their features are beautiful; they ooze femininity.

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Grandma and Grandpa DeLuca

Recover has been…. challenging.  I don’t remember it being this tough with the boys.  I didn’t get out of bed immediately like I was hoping that I would’ve because they left the catheter in until Wednesday morning.  From when it came out a timer started… I had 6 hours to pee or else they were going to put in another catheter.  Since the catheter was the worst experience of my first c-section I went into panic mode.  Steve’s parents came by after they dropped the boys off at school and we told everyone the girls names.  Then I was on the toilet trying to pee.  I was worried that the more I drank the worse it would be thinking my bladder could only hold so much and I had already downed a lot of liquid trying to pee.  I asked one of the nurses the best approach and, despite some language barriers, she finally confirmed that I should go crazy with drinking the liquids.  At noon I still hadn’t peed so they gave me until 1 pm.  I finally peed. It was painful, but at least I did it before having to have another catheter.  Crisis averted!

On Wednesday, my mom and I were walking around the hospital when the photographer that takes photos in the hospital stopped us.  She said she’d take pictures and the packages started at $30.  No obligation.  So I said sure, why not.  She came by the room and we got some great photos of the girls.  I’m thrilled with how they turned out.  It was only $150 for all the digital photos so I went ahead and purchased them.  We still plan on having another photo session this coming week with another photographer in the area.

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Hospital photoshoot – 1 day old

Our next freak out was of course with the girls.  We knew they were going to lose weight but they were feeding so well.  Regardless Steve and I weren’t worried about it until some of the doctors told us how they couldn’t lose more than 10% of their total body weight or they would’ve be able to go home.  So of course Steve and I freak out and are cluster feeding the girls all night long with little sleep.  Early Friday morning Steve wakes up and says to me “Where is the other baby?!?” all panicked.  And I said, Steve, they are both there.  To which Steve replies “no, the third baby”.  He was standing out of bed and looking at me, it’s not like he was talking in his sleep.  To which I calmly told him that we only had twins and that he was just having a dream.  He went back to bed.  I texted my mom shortly after that and asked that she come to the hospital early so she could help us out.  She got there right when they let in visitors at 8 am and Steve was able to rest a bit.

Skin to skin

Skin to skin

Shortly after my mom came the baby’s physician came in to check on the girls.  They had lost 10% (Emily) and 11% (Olivia).  They hadn’t reweighed them from the night before though and Steve and I felt we did a good job plumping the girls up over the evening.  My milk had definitely came in.  The doctor didn’t seem concerned.  She said it’d be okay for both girls to go home, especially since she noticed some colostrum spit up and knew we were old hats at breastfeeding twins (I went 15 months with the boys!).

So we were free to go!  I haven’t seen Steve move so fast.  He sprung out of what appeared to be a deep sleep and started helping us get all of our stuff together.  Of course we brought way too much stuff that we didn’t use or need half of it.  Steve pulled the car around and my mom and I went down with a woman who wheel chaired me down to valet.

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snuggling before heading home from the hospital

 

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Olivia enjoying some grandma time

 

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Emily taking in the hospital sights

 

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3 generations of ladies

 

 

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On our wheelchair ride to the car

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All smiles as we proudly show off the girls to onlookers

We got the girls strapped into the Audi and my mom squeezed between their two seats, and we were on our way home with our daughters!

Birth Stats

  • Birth date: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
  • Gestational Age when born: 37 weeks, 6 days
  • Original Due Date (40 weeks): September 23rd
  • Type of Twins: Di/Di
  • Time in NICU: NONE!
  • Schedule c-section, both babies were in the breech position.  Originally hoped for a VBAC.  No bedrest beforehand.  Healthy pregnancy, no signs of pre-eclampsia.
  • Chinese Zodiac symbol: Goats
  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo
  • Baby A
    • Emily Seacat DeLuca

    • birth weight: 6 lbs 11 ozs.
    • birth height: 49 cm; 19.3 inches
    • head size: 35
    • time of birth: 11:48 am
    • APGAR score: 9 and 9 (9 after 1 minute, 9 after 5 minutes)
    • going home weight: 6 lbs
  • Baby B
    • Olivia Ivy DeLuca

    • birth weight: 6 lbs
    • birth height: 49.5 cm; 19.5 inches
    • head size: 32
    • time of birth: 11:49 am
    • APGAR score: 8 and 9
    • going home weight: 5 lbs 7 oz

 

Our birth story – Lisa’s perspective

Our birth story – Lisa’s perspective

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.