Monday, November 30, 2009

Mother of Twins Prayer

There's two to wash,
There's two to dry.
There's two to argue,
There's two to cry.
One's in the mud, having a ball.
The other holds a crayon, another marked wall.
Some days seem endless.
My patience grows thin.
Why did God choose me to be a mother of twins?
The answer comes clear at the end of the day.
As I tuck them in bed and to myself say:
There's two to kiss,
There's two to hug.
And best of all,
Thank you, God, for two to love.

I am not sure who wrote this. But, I found it on another twin mom's blog and like it.

And Even More...
















Even More Photos

Here are a bunch more of the photos we had taken. I have also posted several others on my facebook page (album titled Addison & Olivia).







More Photos
















Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Newborn Photos


Zac and I had a friend come over last night and take a bunch of photos of the girls. She's still editing them and will get them all to us in the next few days. But, here's one she sent us late last night that turned out fabulous! Just posting it as a little teaser!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gaining Weight!!

Since coming home, we have become well acquainted with the pediatrician--checking weights twice weekly. However, today the girls officially hit their birth weight! For those of you who don't know, babies lose about 10% of their birth weight in the first few days following birth and are expected to gain it back by 2 weeks of age. So, my girls are a little bit behind but the doctor was pleased. We don't have to go back for 2 weeks! WAHOO!

Addison is 7 lbs 8 oz (birth weight plus an ounce). Olivia is 6 lbs 10 oz (birth weight exactly).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ready to Escape the Hospital





Here are the girls all packed up in their car seats in the NICU (last Saturday) and ready to go home!

Yawning Babies

Olivia is on the left, Addison on the right.

video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home at Last

We are home. I will write more later but I am dead tired. I am eager to take a shower and take a little nap. We are having some friend's over (with dinner in hand). After being in the hospital for 9 days and visitation being so limited (due to swine flu) I am starving for some social interaction with friends.

It feels so good to be at home. The girls are sleeping soundly. We survived our first home breastfeeding.

Pray for them to stay on their NICU schedule. I'm a bit nervous about these first few days.

I will post pictures of them in their car seats sometime tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12th Update

Feeding tubes are out so both girls' faces are tube free! Addison is off of the sugar IV solution. Olivia will be off of it by tonight. Their blood sugars are doing great! Their jaundice is continuing to improve. They will be off of antibiotics tomorrow.

They are both still breastfeeding well!

Doctor thinks we will be leaving Sunday or Monday. HURRAY!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Picture--November 11th Update


Not much to update. Both girls are breastfeeding well. Their jaundice numbers are improving thanks to some pooping. The funniest thing---bear in mind my husband had only changed 1 diaper prior to having our own babies. Zac went in to change Addison's diaper and apparently it was quite the pile of poo. He got her a clean diaper and started cleaning her and every time he cleaned her bottom she would poop again. It was hysterical!! He walked past my mom in the hallway and said, "Are you going to see my poopy girls?" It was just too funny.

Here's the latest picture from today. That tube you see in Olivia's nose should come out in 30 minutes. Both their faces will then be tube free. WAHOO!!

November 11th Update

Addison is breastfeeding well. Was up every 3 hours last night breastfeeding her and pumping after. Milk will definitely not be an issue!

When I went in this morning, they had taken out Addison's feeding tube. Olivia started breastfeeding this morning and did really well. They start on time restrictions though. Now Addison can go as long as she wants and by tonight Olivia will be allowed to do the same. Olivia's feeding tube is scheduled to come out tonight. Last night while holding them both, it all hit me. I just started crying tears of joy. One year ago, Zac and I were wondering if we'd ever be able to have children. We'd been told our chances would be slim to none and that we needed to use modern medicine. Today, I'm holding 2 beautiful girls. They are our little miracles and we have truly been blessed to get 2 beautiful little angels.

Both still are getting dextrose solution through their IVs. We are starting to wean that off as they start to eat. They are also both still receiving antibiotics which will be done tomorrow.

They are both still jaundice but the doctor is not concerned yet. They are more than likely jaundiced because they aren't pooping regularly. Doctor is confident that after a few days of breastfeeding their pooping will become regular and the jaundice will decrease.

So, I really think we will be out of here by Monday or maybe even sooner. That all depends on us getting them off of the IV dextrose and resolving the pooping/jaundice.

My mom got to hold them today for an extended period of time. This was really the first time she's cuddled and loved on them. It was precious and I definitely think grandma likes them and is okay with me keeping them. : ) My mom picked out some little outfits from home. It's cute to see them in their little matching outfits. I will take some pictures and post them later today.

My pain levels are a bit better today. Even though I'm exhausted, I feel fairly good. I usually start to feel the pain worse toward the end of the night but the morning is definitely starting off better.

Well, those are the updates for now. Thanks again everyone for your continued prayers. God is good!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another November 10th Update





Addison and Olivia are now both off of oxygen!!!! They are now co-bedded. Look how darn cute they are!!! Addison started breastfeeding at noon today and she is a breastfeeding champ.

Just some pics


These are some other pics from right after they were born before we knew they needed special care. Thought these were adorable and shows their dark hair (not sure where that came from). Also, shows you how big the girls are, especially Addison.

November 10th Update

You know it's a good day when I feel the need to come update in the morning. I dropped off breastmilk at 3 this morning and Addison had been off of her oxygen and stable for 3 hours. She has been off all day today and is doing excellent. We are weaning Olivia off of her oxygen and I think she might be off of it by tonight or tomorrow morning.

I got to hold both of them last night (skin to skin). They were so content being next to me and finally be next to each other! It was after this that Addison turned around and was able to come off of oxygen all together.

We are going to start cobedding them today and we are now allowed to put some clothes on them! : ) I will go to the house today and get some matching little outfits for them. I'm so excited for them to be able to cobed finally!

The doctor is going to have us start breastfeeding Addison today at noon. We will start for 5 minutes and increase it by 5 minutes every 2 feedings. Olivia is still just receiving feedings through her nasogastric tube.

The girls are both jaundice. Their level is an 11. They don't get concerned and treat until it hits 15 but it is going up. It was 9 yesterday so we may need to do some phototherapy but we'll see. Their skin is pretty yellowish along with the whites of their eyes but they are still beautiful none the less!!!

The nurse that worked with them last night isn't back until this weekend and said she wouldn't be surprised if they weren't here when she came back to work. We'll see.

They are doing sooooo well!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9th Update

Today is a hard day for me physically. I've been in a lot of pain. Day 4 and still in this much pain? Shocked!

Got to hold Addison last night. Got up to take some milk to the NICU to freeze and she was fussy. Holding her calmed her right down. Both girls are officially stable enough that when they are fussy I hold them. Both smack their lips and spit out their pacifier immediately. Girls are anxious for some breastfeeding, as am I. This pumping thing is for the birds.

We did start feeding the girls breastmilk through their nasogastric tube. They sure are loving full bellies!! Finally started getting a fair amount of milk today. Still only able to pump what they are eating. I would like to get caught up and get some frozen so I can be away from the hospital for extended periods of time. Right now I'm not getting enough milk to do full feedings so we are supplementing with formula.

I discharged today and got moved into a different room for families with NICU babies. I'll be staying there most nights. I'm at home now. Going to shower and rest for a bit. It's just not right to leave the hospital without babies. I know they are in great hands though. The nurses in the NICU are amazing!

Oh yeah, Zac spent most of the morning with the girls holding each of them. They love daddy and calm down right away with him too. They are now opening their eyes as soon as they hear our voice and start to cry when we walk away. : ) I love it! Makes me finally feel like these girls NEED me.

Have a great night everyone! Thanks for all of your prayers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8th Update






Today we were able to get Olivia and Addison's oxygen down to 1/2 a liter. It was previously on 1 liter. This is a fabulously HUGE step! The nurse also said that both girls slept soundly through the night with very little fussing. This is huge for Addison. She's been really restless which makes her breathing harder and faster and uses way more energy than she has available to her right now.

Olivia did have a drop in blood sugar but that's easily corrected. When babies are using so much energy to breathe it frequently can cause their blood sugars to drop. As things get easier for them blood sugar levels will get more and more stable.

Zac and I got to change their diapers today. Seems silly to be excited over a diaper change but this is really the first real parenthood task we've been able to do.

Zac and I went to the NICU for a bit this evening just to touch base with the new nurse on shift and Olivia was restless. The nurse had spent quite a bit of time trying to console her with no success. She thought maybe me holding her would calm her down. Worked like a charm! I sat in a recliner and the 2 of us fell asleep for about an hour. She was wide mouthed and smacking her lips as soon as I got her in my arms. She wants some boob! Ha! We are able to do this with Olivia because her breathing is stable enough that she can be swaddled, allowing her to be out of the heat lamp. Addison still needs to be uncovered so they can see her lung movement which means she has to stay under the heat lamp.

Both girls were looking so good today. We are hopeful that tomorrow we can get them some colostrum (which I pumped) through their nasogastric tube. Small chance (fingers crossed) that we can get Olivia to breast tomorrow as well. Today is day 3 and my milk still hasn't come in. Huge prayers that it comes in soon. I will be starting some herbs tomorrow if it doesn't come in on it's own.

I have mostly been talking about the recovery of the girls. But, I tell you what, this C-section thing is NOT fun!! I am not recovering nearly quickly or smoothly as I'd expected. Basic body functions (pee and poop) are really not working like they should yet. My fascia (the layer of skin that holds your bowel back) is so stretched out that my intestines stick out. You can see them moving from the outside. What if that fascia never goes back to normal!!?!?! Girdle...HERE I COME! I am in a lot pain still and still requiring more pain medication than I'd care to be on. I'm severely anemic so I'm getting dizzy a lot. I was never swollen during pregnancy but am now fluid filled everywhere. I now call my toes sausage toes. They look like little sausages.

Well, I'm exhausted. Time for bed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7th Update

Something I forgot to mention is that they started the girls on antibiotics last night. They don't show signs of infection but they want to make sure they don't get one. Babies like this go downhill real fast if they get an infection.

Spoke with doctors tons today. The neonatalogist feels that the girls are not stable enough to handle the stimulus of being held. He just wants them to be able to conserve all their energy for breathing. So, for the next several days we can touch but can't hold. It's not easy!!!

Olivia is doing really well today. She started opening her eyes and really checking out her environment and looking at me when I'd talk and looking right at Zac when he talks. It was fabulous.

Addison is struggling. Her respirations are really high and often hard to get her to calm down. If her respirations don't calm down through the evening they are going to transfer the 3 of us to their downtown hospital where their NICU is a higher level. We will see how that all goes.

Chest x rays today show that it's definitely not a fluid in the lungs issue. It's respiratory distress syndrome, meaning that their lungs were not mature when they were born and not producing the "oil" needed to breathe adequately. So, it is officially due to us having them too early. Hard pill to swallow but slowly starting to release myself from the guilt. Surfactant ("oil") can be given if they don't improve in the next couple days. But right now the doctor thinks they will start producing their own in the next day or so.

Girls are still being fed through an IV and won't be able to feed through bottle or breast until they are off of oxygen. I will get some pictures of the girls soon. The one's posted first were prior to us realizing there were problems. It's nice to look at those pictures and see them without all the tubes and monitor cords. Zac went out to get some fresh air today and came back with the most fabulous gift. He'd taken those 2 pictures and bought a frame to put them in. So, now I can look at them on my bedside table anytime I want. He also put one together for him.

Okay, last but not least. The doctor says to anticipate the girls being here until what would have been 40 weeks in utero. So, we can reasonably expect them to be here for 2-3 weeks. It's going to be a long 2-3 weeks. Zac will go back to work. There's no point in him using all his vacation time while they are in the hospital. He will save it so we can use it when the girls come home. This hospital has a room that I can stay in for free and will allow me to eat meals here without charge (insurance pays) since I'm breastfeeding.

This is going to be a long road........all your prayers are greatly appreciated. Zac is being so strong in all of this but I frequently feel like I'm on the verge of falling apart. I think I will get emotionally stronger as I get physically stronger. Dealing with the emotions of NICU and dealing with the recovery of major surgery are not a great combination.

November 6th Update

The girls were previously underneath the oxygen hood. Today (November 6th) they were able to switch them both over to a nasal canula. They are tolerating that well. They are currently remaining stable on 1 liter of oxygen. Prayers that it stays that way because if they require an increase they will have to be transferred to a different hospital. They are both still grunting tons as a reflex effort to get the fluid out and open up the little air sacs inside the lungs. The nice thing about switching their oxygen to nasal canula though is that we can hold them. There's this really awesome shirt that the lactation consultant has that mimics a kangaroo pouch. We were able to tuck both girls into the shirt. It was so fabulous to get to hold them for the first time. As I reclined in the seat and felt the weight of 15 lbs worth of baby I couldn't believe I had been carrying that much weight in my belly!!!




Both girls are still being fed through an IV. Right now they just aren't strong enough to breathe and suck and swallow. So, we are lessening the work load by letting them just focus on breathing.

Today has been really overwhelming for me. I am feeling really guilty for choosing to have them early--really feeling like I singlehandedly did this to them. I have to keep reminding myself that all of this is more than likely due to the C-section not early delivery. Fluid in the lungs is fairly common in C-section births as they don't have the pressure from the birth canal to push the fluid out.

I think all the pain medication from the spinal block has worn off as I'm in tons of pain. I was also up and on my feet nearly all day. You all know, it takes a lot to hold me down. I need to get a good night's sleep and get some pain meds built up in my system and hopefully will be feeling like a new person by Saturday morning.

Friday, November 6, 2009



Addison was 7 lbs 7 oz. Olivia was 6 lbs 10 oz. They came out screaming and doing really well. However, blood sugars turned out being low and then they starting struggling to keep oxygen saturations up. They have fluid in their lungs so they have been continually grunting as a reflex to try to get the fluid out. Blood sugar issues are resolved today but girls are still on oxygen and the nurses can't seem to get them off of it without their saturations decreasing. The grunting has not improved so at this point, they are stable and we just wait.

I'm hugely overwhelmed (and feel hugely guilty for choosing to do this early). I did get to hold them both for the first time today. Still unable to breastfeed them until their respiratory stuff is resolved. So, I've been pumping and freezing the colostrum so its ready when they are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Change of Plans

In the past couple of days I have gotten more than miserable. The discomfort has all turned to pain. I go numb when I sit or lay down but can't stand for too long. My skin is so tight that baby movements often hurt. I've hit a wall and am certain I will go crazy if I wait until Monday to have these babies.

Therefore, my doctor will be doing the C-section a few days early. We are scheduled for check-in at 10 am on Thursday, November 5th and the C-section will be at noon. The guilt I feel is horrendous. I feel awful and feel a bit like a failure for choosing to bail early. However, my body physically can not do this anymore.

Huge prayers that all goes well! If they need any NICU it should only be for a few days.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Appointment

Today I met the doctor that will be doing my C-Section. He was actually VERY nice. He just went over the risks and procedure. He also listened to heartbeats. Both are good and strong. He measured my fundal height-which is the measurement from pubic bone to the top of the uterus. It is 51 cm. To put this into perspective---if I were carrying 1 baby it would be around 36 cm. Whoa!! Now that's a belly!! Even the doctor said that!!!

I am first on the books for Monday so there shouldn't be any delays. Sounds like they are speedy and we should have babies in our arms by 8 am on Monday, the 9th! WAHOO!!