Friday, July 29, 2011

1 month old!

It's hard to believe it's been a month already! The girls are doing GREAT. They are gaining weight wonderfully and are generally pretty easy babies! Don't get me wrong, they have their moments, but over all they are pretty easy little girls - they keep to their schedule fantastically!

Figuring out how to feed these girls was a challenge to start, but is going better now. I REALLY wanted to exclusively breast feed, but it was very hard and we had a lot going against us. Mainly that the girls were very small when they were born and they came 3 weeks early. So they had a hard time latching in the hospital and we had to give them formula. I started pumping right away and eventually my milk came in. So although they were given breast milk, I felt like a failure that I couldn't actually breast feed. But eventually I got over it and we definitely have not given up on breast feeding! They are pretty good at it now - we have even tandem fed! However, we only actually breast feed 1-2 times per day. FYI It's really challenging breast feeding twins! Mainly because it takes way longer than just giving a bottle and you don't know how much they're actually getting, and when you're trying to beef up low birthweight babies, it's important to know how much they get. So right now we're on a pretty good routine. They get breastmilk in the bottle for all but one feeding every day (basically because my supply just cannot keep up with their needs), if they get hungry between bottles I breastfeed, and we give formula once a day, at night. It works for us right now!

In terms of sleeping, well, I wish they would sleep longer of course! They stick to their every 3 hour schedule at night and it takes me an hour to feed, burp and change them both. Then I have to pump. So I get about 2 hour stretches of sleep at night. However, I get this 4 times so I DO get around 6-8 hours a night, it's just in 2 hour stretches. I can't wait for them to sleep a little longer! And I should also note that after they are fed and changed, they pass right back out. So they are great about going to sleep and staying asleep for everything BUT eating. My girls get hungry, what can I say?!

Brian is being the best daddy EVER! We all miss him when he goes to work, but it makes seeing him at night that much better! He loves his girls so much and I know he'd love to spend all day with us, but someone needs to pay the bills! I didn't think it would be possibly for me to love him any more than I did, but watching him with his daughters makes my heart SO full!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

They're here!!!

Catherine Elizabeth (left) and Emily Marie (right)

Our sweet baby girls are here! I thought I'd write out my birth story now (while one is sleeping and daddy is holding the other) before I forget all the little details.

On Monday, June 27th I had a perfectly normal day. Nothing out of the ordinary, except I called Brian and asked him to pick me up a big mac and fries...something I suddenly craved even though I haven't eaten one in over 5 years at least! We went to bed and at around midnight I woke up to go to the bathroom...definitely not abnormal. As I was dozing back to sleep I was woken up suddenly by a sharp, quick cramp and a few minutes later I felt something wet....and it kept getting wetter! My water had undeniably broken, I didn't hesitate for one second and was quickly elbowing Brian in the back and said "wake up! wake up! it's baby time!"

We then got everything packed and I started to feel some crampy contractions....but nothing bad. I could easy talk and breathe through them. Meanwhile I was still GUSHING fluid...going through towel after towel. We finally decided that we had to go and could not wait for me to finish gushing this fluid, so off we went with our bags packed and a towel under my rear. I called my Dr. on the way down.

Now it was about 1 AM so the highway was dead, thank goodness. Brian drove quickly to the hospital where I continued gushing fluid and having contractions that were getting worse. It was weird though, my belly wasn't really getting hard like it did during a Braxton Hicks contraction (something I was all too familiar with) it just felt like a very intense menstrual cramp and they were so weird that I had a hard time timing them.

We got to the hospital, and happily there was only one person on the street who got to witness me leaking all over the city street in front of the embarrassing (but it could have been way worse if it were daytime!) We made our way up to labor and delivery where I was instantly admitted to triage where they took blood, got me in a gown and got my IV in. They also called my Dr., Dr. Ryu, who came in right away. I also want to note that now my contractions hurt pretty bad, but they were not coming up on the monitor! As I said before, my stomach wasn't really getting hard it just cramped up really bad. They called a resident in at this time to check my cervix where it was shockingly 7cms dilated! A couple of nurses came in and said it was really too bad I wasn't going to have a vaginal delivery since I was so far dilated and not in excruciating pain (I really wasn't - just bad period cramps!). They said I would have likely had a really easy and fast delivery. They then asked if I wanted to try it, since Baby A was head down. Brian and I talked about it and just decided to stick to our original plan to have a c-section. I have to say, a vaginal delivery was tempting. But because Baby B was transverse, there was no telling what would happen once baby A was out. Baby B could stay as she is, she could turn breech, etc. and there was a good chance I'd still need a c-section to get her out. I didn't want to risk that....I just wanted to recover from ONE mode of delivery thank you very much! So we went ahead with the C-Section once Dr. Ryu got there.

I was wheeled into the OR and the anesthesiologist immediately started on my spinal block. I felt a pinch which wasn't that bad. Then a few times I felt a sharp pain down my right leg which definitely hurt, but only lasted a second. I'd say the weirdest part of the spinal was the fact that it felt like my right leg was bent upwards the WHOLE time, but when I looked at it, it was straight! It also felt weird not being able to move anything on the lower half of my body. So after the catheter was inserted and Dr. Ryu and a resident, who he was teaching, got started, and Brian was brought right in, and he held my hand and sat next to my head. I felt everything during the c-section, but absolutely zero pain. I definitely felt all their tugs and pulls, but it was ok. It didn't hurt at all nor did it bother me.

Soon after they got started, I heard them say "here's baby A!" And I heard her sweet scream right away! I don't know what they did at that point, but Brian just said she was handed off to 2 nurses who got to cleaning her up right away and then they called him over to cut the cord! I just kept asking if she was healthy and I was assured that she was. Then a few minutes later I could feel them reach really far into my ribs to get Baby B, and soon she was here! At this point, Cate (baby a) was still crying and screaming so I couldn't tell if Baby B was crying or not, but then I distinctly heard another cry and I knew she was here and fine! I asked Brian to take a picture of them, so he went over to their bassinets and took a picture of them on his cell and showed me - they were perfect! Baby A was 5lbs 3 oz, born at 4:02 AM and was 18 3/4" long. Baby B was 5lbs even, born at 4:04 AM and was 19" long. I got to see them being weighed - it was my first real look at them!

Then I don't really remember the next part - I know they wheeled me into a recovery room and I guess I held them both for a minute or two, but then I got sick and threw up a little until they gave me zofran, then Brian said I was pretty out of it. I know I tried nursing for a little while, and my in laws and mom came and were gushing over their new grandbabies! Brian I also named them in the recovery room. I always thought, while pregnant, that baby A would be Emily and B would be Catherine. Then I was holding Baby B, who was so relaxed, and Brian was holding a very noisy Baby A. As I held Baby B, I REALLY felt like she was Emily. Then out of no where Brian said "You know, I feel like this should be Catherine because she's really noisy like you and Catherine and Kristen sound alike" haha, thanks hun. So that's how they were named - the opposite of what I had originally thought!

Then we were all wheeled down into our private room. Now I started to feel more normal and got to really enjoy my babies and try nursing a little more!

And now, 5 days later, We're all doing wonderful! These babies are my world, I can't imagine my life without them. I constantly find myself tearing up from pure joy. Thinking about what miracles they are and how blessed we are to have them. They each have VERY distinct personalities. Emily is so relaxed and "chill". She can lay there, wide awake, not making a peep. Just looking around....she is so alert. Catherine has some pipes on her! She's a bit fussier than her sister, and gets riled up pretty easily. She has the hiccups a lot, which she also did in my belly!

They both had their first visit with their pediatrician and he said they are both super healthy, especially for their gestational age and because of the fact that they're twins! He was very pleased with how they are doing which makes this mommy very happy!

As for me, I'm personally feeling pretty good! I'm still on pain killers and my incision hurts a bit if I move the wrong way or something, but overall I'm doing just fine and recovering from my surgery very well.