Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Phew! What a crazy few days it's been. To start with the labor story (for those who want details - stop reading if you don't!), I started having contractions Saturday night that were quite painful, and to help distinguish from the weeks of contractions I've been having, I started to have a little deja vu and remember that oh yeah, this is what the real thing feels like. But they never really got closer than 6 minutes apart. So I finally decided to go to bed. Or I should say try to go to bed since every 6 minutes (and they slowed down to about 9 minutes), I was panting through contractions. So after a sleepless night, I finally called my midwife in the morning and said that if I was in the hospital I would totally be asking for medication right now, only my contractions weren't close enough to warrant going to the hospital, so couldn't I come in and we could speed things up a bit like breaking my water or getting some Pitocin or something? Well, their practice is really adamant about not inducing twins until 38 weeks (which was two days later), so she wouldn't, but said I should wait a few hours and see what happened. So finally at about 4 or 5pm I called and said I couldn't handle it any more and I at least needed something for the pain, even though the contractions still hadn't gotten close enough together. So she told me to come in and if I was dilated to a 5 then they could break my water. So we went in and even had Cash with us because we really just thought I was going to get something for the pain, and the nurse checked and I was a 6. I seriously almost cried at that point I was so happy! So Ryan had to run Cash home, and the nurse told him that he probably should hurry.
So I got all settled in (they have sweet delivery rooms there, too bad I had to deliver in the OR though because it was twins), and then I got my epidural. I was a little worried because it was only really working on one side, so I just kept pushing that button for more medication as often as I could. The midwife came in and broke my water just after 7pm. We waited a little while and the contractions didn't really increase, and I mentioned that last time breaking my water hadn't done anything either. So she decided to start a little Pitocin and I swear I had one contraction from the Pitocin and was like, "Woah." The midwife looked a little startled, checked me again and realized I was suddenly a 10. So they wheeled us into the OR and got everything set up in there and really quite easily Ashton was born at 8:44. So from that perspective, really an hour and a half since I'd had my water broken was not bad.
Then they did an ultrasound to check on the position of the second baby. 3 days before he'd been head down, but when Ashton came out, he must have flipped. At that point the OB that was also there told us we had three options. We could try to turn the baby using external maneuvering, we could do a c-section, or we could deliver him breech. So they tried to flip him. No success. So then we debated. And debated. For really maybe 30 or 40 minutes. (They stopped the pitocin and the baby was still up high enough that we had time.) Pretty much everyone there wanted to do a c-section. It was definitely the safer, more cautious option, and I really got the feeling that the OB felt more comfortable doing that, although she said she would do either. I had discussed this exact possiblity with a couple of the other OBs in their office and they seemed to feel ok about delivering breech. I wasn't getting that vibe from this one, which is why we were debating it so much. A little surprisingly, even the midwife was more in favor of the c-section. The other problem was that with a breech presentation they prefer that the baby be butt first, but this one was feet first - a footling breech, as they call it, which is I guess a little trickier.
Oh the dilemma. The worst case scenario that I had feared all along - getting the double whammy. Recovering from a vaginal delivery and a c-section.
Finally Ryan said he really thought it would be ok to do breech. I was glad he was confident and took a stand because I was ready to do a c-section. But then I agreed, and we decided to go for it. I figured we'd just gotten one out vaginally quite easily, and couldn't they just pull this one out by the legs fast if they needed to, or still do an emergency c-section if they had to.
So then they could only find one foot. She kept reaching in and searching around trying to find the other foot and looking on the ultrasound to locate her hand relative to his body parts, but she really couldn't find the second leg. Anyway, the baby finally dropped, his sac broke and then it was a really few tense moments of stress while she groped around inside for his leg. She finally found it, pulled them out, pulled the body out, then it was another few tense moments while we tried to get his head out. When he came out, he wasn't as responsive as the first baby had been and we were a little panicked. His first apgar scores were only a 2 (out of 10), but luckily by 5 minutes it was up to an 8. But holy cow. We had a good few minutes of looking at each other saying, "did we make the right decision???" When it was clear he was fine, I think Ryan and I both teared up a little and were a little emotional about the whole thing. It really was all ok, it was just intense and nerve-wracking for a few minutes.
Then the most physically intense part for me came - the placenta didn't come all the way out, so the doctor had to reach in and manually try to get it all out. OH MY GOSH. Good thing my epidural got working because I was seriously feeling a hand sweeping all the way up to my ribcage. Imagine how far your arm has to be in someone's body to be reaching their ribs. Ugh. The thought makes me cringe. It was nasty. And she had to do it multiple times.
But all in all, the delivery really wasn't bad, it just had a few really intense moments and a lot of worry and emotion attached to making some big decisions. We realized later that it really was a bit of a novelty these days - one of the nurses later commented, "Wow, a footling breech. You don't see many of those around here." Maybe we were crazy for making the decision we did, but we had really wanted a vaginal delivery all along, and we're glad now that we stuck with it since it all turned out fine and I didn't have to have to recover from both a vaginal delivery and a c-section.
So now we have two beautiful boys! I was wrong on my best guess - they really don't look like Cash did as a baby, and these two are going to be blondies. So far they still think they're identical - their heads just look different from coming out different directions and they have some different battle wounds, but their hair is the same, and apparently even their male anatomy has some specifically identical genetics. I don't know what that's all about, but after doing their circumcisions, the doctor came into my room and said, "Those are the most identical twins I've ever seen."
There have been some good high points too, such as the fact that I feel quite a bit better than I did after having Cash (didn't tear as bad for one thing), and I even weighed less coming home from the hospital after having twins than I did with Cash! (Not that I'm anywhere close to normal - I just didn't even lose one pound when I got home from the hospital with Cash!) I quite enjoyed the whirlpool tub they had on my recovery floor, and my only regret was that I only remembered a few hours before I went home that they had massage services available there and they had already gone home for the day!
Apparently though, there is to be no honeymoon period of newborn sleepyness for us. Last night after we got home from the hospital, I was a little dumbfounded when I realized it was 4am and we hadn't been to bed yet. Welcome to our new life!
We'll get some cute pictures one of these days when we've slept and gotten our heads on a little better.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Mom and the boys are doing great!
Preliminary names are Ashton and Phoenix, but that's still being debated.
I was going to tell the story, but have been informed that I'll miss too many important details, so I'll leave for Jen when she comes home. In brief: Twin A delivered just fine, Twin B delivered breech, but both are doing just fine. B just got a little more beat up. You can kind of see the swelling in his face compared to his brother. Pretty emotional delivery, but we're just happy they're both safe and well. Cash is still doesn't know what to make of his new brothers.
Friday, February 22, 2008
In other preparations - everyone has asked me if Cash has a clue what's coming. Pretty much no. Everytime we try the baby in mommy's tummy thing it's met by blank stares. In fact, the first time he's even acknowledged my stomach was a week or two ago when he discoverd it made a great mountain to drive his hot wheels cars over. We've tried to "practice" a bit with two baby dolls we have. The first time we showed him the "babies" in the crib we'd put up, he reached through the slats and kept ramming them into the sides of the crib as he yanked on their legs trying to pull them out through the slats. Oh boy. But he seems to be getting better:
I thought we were making some progress last week when he came to the ultrasound with us and saw them doing something to my stomach and we showed him the babies on the screen (since the 3D actually is somewhat distinguishable). But then yesterday I was laying down and he was sitting next to me. He finally scrutinized the contour of my stomach, rolled his hand over the mound, thought about it, and then said, "Turtle!" Hmmm......
I guess this picture today answered the question of if I've had these babies yet. NO. And in fact, I'm currently mad at them because they are late for their birthday! Ok, not for their due date, but I really wanted them today: 2-22 - such a good day for two! I tried to talk them into inducing me today but no go. Yeah, leave it to my body to be the exception to the "twins always come early" rule that I've been hearing for 9 months. So alas, here I sit, consoling myself with a bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Although I shouldn't because I still hope to get these babies out before I get up to the 50lb mark!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
So here's the wondrous progression starting with first grade. Still top row in the middle. Not too bad yet.
But woah baby! By third grade I was sure a looker! (still top row, middle)
Luckily in 4th grade I was in a split 4th/5th class so there were actually a few people taller than me. I'm the third from the right on the back row - with the lovely side pony tail and panda sweater-vest.
Now 5th grade was a little bit of a tricky one. I guess the guy was tired of me usually being the steeple, so he tried to camouflage me in the second row. AWESOME idea. Totally looks WAY better having me in the middle of the short people. Don't look out of place at all. (HA!)
Even sadder is look at all those tiny cute petite girls in the front row - those are all my good friends!
Then in 6th grade (sorry it's so crooked), it was back to being the steeple. And so funny that my mom every year would tell me to wear hot pink or something in the class photo so I would stand out. As if I needed any help!!! I was already a foot taller and twice as wide as everyone else in the class! And that was being moved up a grade in kindergarten. Can you imagine if I had stayed behind???
Anyway, I'm glad that it's actually just really funny to me now. For a while I was so embarrassed that that used to be me. I had a friend bring his elementary school pictures to high school one time, and everyone died when they saw me. People would crowd around trying to look at it and just die laughing that it was me! I was a little traumatized by that for a few weeks, but then luckily I got over it and realized how dang funny it was because I didn't look like that by the time I went to high school. I think I started to stretch out a little, and then also went to Diet Center with my mom when I was in about 7th grade - then it was all smooth sailing after that.
To make myself feel a little better, at least I wasn't the only one! While Ryan usually looked like this skeletor photo for most of his years, I did manage to come across a few awkward moments of his own!
I always think about girls growing up now though - they will NEVER have such horrid and embarrassing pictures as those of us who grew up in the 80s. They will never have pictures of them with plastered bangs, half curled up, half curled down, wearing neon colors and all the other nasty fashions of the 80s!
Anyhow, good times, good times. Hope I gave you a good reason to chuckle today!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
It was funny talking to her though. She called me two hours after and I guess the thing that struck me was that she just sounded so good. I guess she's the only person I actually know well that had a c-section (the second baby was breech). It seems you don't have quite the war stories that you do with vaginal births (for planned c-sections at least). Not that it's any picnic to recover from, but you walk in, they cut you open, and minutes later you have a baby. Or babies. I guess I'm so used to women sharing their stories of 24 hours in labor, epidurals not working or not getting them in time, pushing for hours, having to use forceps, tearing from here to there... you know. My husband thinks it's so funny how women always must talk about it, but seriously, it's almost like pinching yourself to make sure that's really what your body went through. I totally understand those war veterans now. So anyway, it was just funny how good she sounded, and I sure bet it makes those immediate post-delivery pictures look a heck of a lot better. I sure looked like a drowned rat by the time I had mine. Actually I looked like a really stoned drowned rat. But of course I mentioned that even though she sounded so good, she may wake up tomorrow feeling like she was hit by a bus.
Anyway, I'm starting to realize this whole going into labor on your own thing may be over-rated. With Cash that was all I wanted - to go into labor on my own. And I tried everything possible to make that happen (except castor oil - knowing me, I'd just be a pooping mess and still have no baby). But it was to no avail, and I got induced. This time it's like I'm going into a slow and agonizing labor. For a few weeks I was having 15-30 contractions a day. Now it's up to about 30-60 contractions a day. And just recently I've started just feeling super crampy all the time. (It's all fine - I'm in the doctor's office twice a week). So now I'm starting to think, hmm, that getting induced thing wasn't such a bad gig. You walk in the hospital still feeling ok, you know you're within arms reach of medications as soon as things get going, they crank out the pitocin and the drugs and wham - your body does it's thing in a matter of hours. And I really do mean wham, because man that pitocin is rough. Anyway, I was mad it turned out like that last time, but heck, it sounds way better than these weeks of feeling like I'm slowly going into labor. And even though I really don't want a c-section (and both babies are head down anyway), even that's starting to sound better than this drawn out agony. Although my uterus has been practicing so hard, I guess I'd better give it it's chance to shine.
Well, Brooke, congratulations! You're a champ. You made it to 36 weeks - that was our goal. And I'm sure glad that if one of us had to go through this, God let us at least do it together.
Now send me a dang picture so I can see those babies!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
We also got some cute pictures with his best little friend, Harrison. I know kids don't typically really "play" together much at this age, or really care who they're playing with, but these two do. It's too cute. We have to code-name Harrison "H" around our house because as soon as Cash hears his name, he starts running for the door.