Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where do I fit in?

I've always felt like an outsider.  Like I've never really belonged anywhere. 

My family moved when I was nine and I started 4th grade at a new school.  Its sad to say that kids have cliques already at that age, but its true.  I always felt like the odd man out.  I had boobs, armpit hair, wore bras, and got my period.  Its safe to say that I've never made friends easily, in spite of the fact that I love to socialize.  I had a few friends in elementary school, but they had known each other for their whole lives (and are still all friends to this day.)

A picture from (I think) 6th grade.  I'm on the left with the fat lip from playing softball.

If anything bad was going to happen to a kid, it was going to happen to me.  Those overalls haunt me.  They still do.  When I was in 6th grade I had some "girl problems" in white overalls.  Even until my senior year I got called "period girl" by this kid named Luke.  Bastard.  I hope people know that when they make you feel humiliated when you are 12, you still remember it when you are 30.  

In middle school I was kind of a strange girl.  I wore baggy pants and tight shirts that apparently got me tagged as a "poser" because I didn't skateboard.  I also wore jeans that my mom turned into bell-bottoms for me by putting a wedge of fabric in the bottom.... I thought they were cool, and still do!  I had permed hair and got called "Miss Frizzle" by my friends Bret and Dave in 7th grade (or maybe 8th?) when we were in Algebra class.

 I was on the track team and actually did quite well!  The 4x200 relay team I was on made a name for ourselves.  We were the "Fab Four" and set a bunch of middle school records.

The "Fab Four" relay team.  I'm on the far left. 

These are the same girls that I went to elementary school with.  They were nice to me I guess, but I was never really one of "them."

In high school I played in the band, was on the track team, and had a few friends.  

Senior Prom.  I am in the purple dress with Brian.  Yep- we met in high school! We are also with the Dave and Bret that I spoke about earlier

Junior Prom

High School marching band.  I played the clarinet

My best friend from high school and myself on graduation day.  That's me on the right.

We liked to play cards during lunch

Brian and I at the homecoming dance

I didn't really enjoy high school.  I can't put my finger on the exact reason, but I just didn't really like it.  As I said, I had a few friends, but that was about it.  I didn't really hang out with a ton of people outside of school and my best friend was a Jeh.ovah's  Her parents didn't really let her hang out with a lot of people so we pretty much just hung out solo.  (She ended up getting married like a year out of high school and didn't even invite me to her wedding.  She's now divorced.)

I met Brian in January of my junior year.  We didn't start really dating until that May- 2000.  After graduation we went on to do our undergrad together.  We both marched in the band... even though Brian didn't play an instrument.  I had a great time in college and really started to find out who I was.  In high school I felt like everybody was fake and just did/said things because they thought that's what they were supposed to do.  I promised myself that after leaving high school I would no longer be fake and I was going to tell it like it was.  

This  decision might come back to bite me in the ass, but I don't care.  I was going to keep it real and quit faking my way through life.  

I made a lot of good friends in college.  Many of which I am still friends with. I liked to party and have a good time, but I also liked to get my schoolwork done, unlike many others. 

Marching band Formal.. I'm on the right

Freshman year... hanging out in the dorm room.  I'm on the right.  

80's party with the marching band folks.  I'm on the right

After I graduated, Brian and I got married and I took a couple years off to just work.  I didn't have a "real" job, but instead worked at a coffee shop. Brian was still in school so we still lived in the college town, but I wasn't in college anymore.  I was in a funk you could say.  One day Brian told me that I either needed to find a real job or go back so school and I decided to go back to school to become a teacher.  While in my master's program, I met some amazing people that I will be friends with for life!  

Michelle and I- just one of our MN Twins baseball adventures

After the Master's program, Brian and I moved 800 miles away to start our new life in Colorado.  We didn't know anyone out here.  I was lucky enough to find a job in a beautiful mountain town.

The view from the parking lot at work

I've been at the same job for 5 years now.  I don't fit in there either.  All of teachers my age are single and don't have kids yet.  Some of the other teachers... well what can I say.  I feel like I'm in high school all over again with the amount of drama.  Enough said.

We started trying to have kids in 2009 and I thought it would be a breeze.  We would meet with the fertility doc and BAM, we would have a kid 9 months later.  Riiiight. I felt so alone at first in the process.  I didn't know who to talk to or even what a BETA, BFN, or TTC meant.  I started reaching out to people on fertility websites and making connections.  As much as infertility sucks, I found that I could really relate with people.  After my second miscarriage I started this blog to help me cope and got involved in the blogosphere.   I loved reading stories about other women going through what I was.... following them from positive HPT all the way to seeing their beautiful babies.

When I finally had success myself, I found groups that supported twin moms.... both local and on FB. I joined one group on FB that consists only of moms of twins that were born around October of 2011.  I was invited to the group by another MOM (mother of multiples) that I'd met at a local event.  I didn't know what I was getting myself into by joining, but I'm so glad I did.  For the first time in my life, I found somewhere that I fit in. These women just get me, and I get them.  They were my support when I got pregnant with the boys.
  They were my support when I was (and still am) having difficulty with breastfeeding the twins. They will continue to be my support through the terrible 2s and whatever else there is to come.  All of us in this group are different and come from different walks of life but have come together in such a unique way.  They are all honest, respectful, and not at all fake.  They are probably some of the nicest people I have ever met and I have never even met most of them in real life. The ones that I have met IRL are the girlfriends I never had.  We get together and can just talk... about anything, not just our kids.  

I have finally figured out my life as best as one can.  I am happy.  Really happy.  Some days are nuts and I am often so tired that I can't even see straight. Currently its 12:41 a.m., I am nursing Elliott, and waiting for his brother Oliver to wake up so I can nurse him too.  I probably won't get to sleep until 2 a.m. and will need to be up with the girls around 7:30 a.m. I will be exhausted, but I don't even care.

I don't feel like such an outsider in my own skin anymore.  I feel like I finally fit in somewhere.  It only took me 20 years to get here but I'm happy that I finally made it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The funny things Evy does...

Evy is such a character and really cracks me up on a daily basis.  These are just a couple things she's done this week that I didn't want to forget about :)

The other day Evy was awake and Char was still sleeping so I got her up.  I had to put some laundry in the dryer so I took her downstairs with me.  She's only been downstairs a couple times so it was like a new foreign land to her.  She first looked around with the biggest eyes I have ever seen!  Then, she started running around and laughing hysterically!  We have a ramp at the bottom of the stairs for Brian's wheelchair too.  Evy was like "jumping" off of this tiny step at the bottom of the stairs and just thought it was the funniest thing.  She also started calling out for her sister trying to find her. So all I hear is "Shaaa??" (Char) "Shaaaa?" in the cutest 17 month old toddler voice you have ever heard.  She also had on red PJs with white polka dots and one of her former two piggy tails left in her hair.  I used to think Char would be the wild child... but Evy sure has some spunk!!

Yesterday we were eating lunch and at the end of it I ate a cupcake leftover from what some friends brought over.  Evy looooves sweets.  I spooned a little bit of my frosting onto her tray and she clapped at me!  I guess that was her way of saying, "Thank you, mama!"  She ate the frosting and said, "Mmmmmm." because she liked it.  There were some sunchips on the table and she pointed at them and said, "cracker" which is her word for anything snacky.  Brian gave her a chip and she proceeded to dip it into her frosting and eat it!  Tasty? I guess so.  Silly girl.

Yesterday Brian went in to get the girls up from their nap and I hear a ,"You have got to come see this!" from him.  I go in there and Evy has ALL of the diapers that were on the changing table in the crib with her.  Ay carumba.

I always wait and listen for the girls to wake up from their nap.  Generally I hear some giggling, Evy saying "washy," "ucky," or "ouchie" but today all I heard was "Weeeeeeeeeeeeee" "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" which she  usually says when she's playing with her ride on toy or a toy car. When Brian went in to get them up today Evy had her PJs unzipped. Weird! I just love that girl..  She cracks me up!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Boys are 1 Month Old!

My how time flies.  Today I asked Brian how in the heck a whole month has gone by!  Elliott and Oliver are two amazing additions to our family and I can't imagine life without them.

Elliott and Oliver

Elliott and Oliver

Elliott and Oliver

Elliott weighs 10lbs 4oz and Oliver weighs 8lbs 6oz.  I don't have lengths because they got weighed at an appointment with a lactation consultant yesterday.

The boys are still eating about every 3 hours.  Occasionally they will go 4 or 4 1/2 hours at night, but not always.  They drink anywhere from 3-4 oz each feeding and are growing so fast!!  They are the happiest babies on earth.  They just love to be cuddled and wrapped up tight in their baby buntings.  Elliott will sleep without being swaddled or wrapped up, but Oliver insists on it.  I just got out the swing today and so far Elliott loves it!  He's currently swinging away while Oliver sleeps in the bassinet.  They hiccup and sneeze a lot which is typical for newborns and Elliott is starting to make some cooing noises.  They are just adorable!  I think I can finally tell their cries apart... Oliver sounds more raspy when he cries.

The boys got their first "real" bath today since the hospital.  We have just been doing sponge baths until now.  The girls were awake when we gave them their bath and that was a slight nightmare, so from now on we will have to bathe them while the girls are sleeping.  Evy just kept saying "washy, washy!!" in a forceful voice.  I ended up putting the girls up on a chair next to the sink so that they could see their brothers and "help" with the bath.  They are such good big sisters and really love their brothers.

Both of the boys are super good nursers.  I tend to put Elliott on the left side and Oliver on the right side.  We are still trying to work out all of the kinks I suppose you could say.  I met with a lactation consultant yesterday because I felt like I needed some help from an outside source.  Nursing twins is hard! Especially when you don't make enough milk for both of them.  I have just about enough for 1 baby.. but definitely not two.  I am going to ask my OB about domperidone which can help with the supply.  Its expensive, but formula is no joke either!  And if I have to pay for something, I'd rather pay to get my supply up.

Elliott is already grown out of the newborn clothes.  I put a NB onesie on him today, but it was a stretch.  He will also be out of the NB diapers VERY soon.  Like as in tomorrow.  I still have 4 boxes of the NB diapers so I hope I can exchange them for bigger ones!  Oliver fits nicely in the NB clothes and diapers, but it won't be long before he's outgrown them too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bath Time- 2 on 2 vs 2 on 1

Before the boys were born we had many systems in place for how we did things... and bath time was one of them.  Typically, after dinner each of us would strip down one messy kid and carry her to the bathtub.

I would say that Char needs a bath  12/2/12

So does Evy! 12/2/12

After we got them to the tub, I would sit there with them and Brian would go do whatever.  When it was time to get them out, I would grab one girl in a towel and hand her over to Brian.  Then, I would get the other girl out, dry her off, get her dressed and into bed (or back to the living room if it wasn't time for bed.)  Brian would give me the girl he had and I would get her dressed and diapered up.  It worked out great!  Nobody was running around the house naked and all chaos was avoided.

Since the boys were born, there are obviously twice as many kids to take care of and the same amount of hands.  Systems have changed and we have had to figure out new ways of doing things our of necessity.  I'm on my own now for at least a few hours/day and so I have ended up doing bath time alone.  Sometimes Brian is gone at class and sometimes he is just unavailable because he's working on school stuff or taking care of the boys.  This is what can happen when you try to give 2 kids a bath at the same time all by yourself.

I wrangled up the girls and somehow managed to get them both into the tub at the same time.  They now like to run down the hallway in different directions.  I put one in the bathroom, look around and the other is gone!  I go chase the other one (usually in the boys' room) and now the other one has run out of the bathroom and back to the living room.  I get the one out of the boys' room to the bathroom and go find the other one while the one I just got in there runs out again.  Sigh.  Cue panting mom with a pulse of at least 120.

I take the girls' diapers off only to find poo poo in there so I clean them up and put them in the bath.  I dump out the bucket of toys into the bath with the girls in there and fill up the tub. I then get out my camera and take a couple of pictures & videos of them splashing around and being cute.  I look down at my phone to upload a picture and when I look back up, one of the girls is about eat something... and its brown... and it was NOT a toy!

This is the picture I uploaded right before I saw "it"
I yelled for Brian and immediately got the girls out of the tub.  I didn't even have towels in the bathroom!  As soon as I took them out, I look over and Evy had pooped on the bathroom floor... and stepped in it!  Ew!  I sent the girls across the hall to their room with Brian so he could watch them while I cleaned out the tub.  When I was done, I put them back in the tub and washed them..... again! It was a little nutty to say the least.  I love my little girls, but boy do they know how to make a mess!  

Oh, and when I looked up this picture I realized that this story happened before the boys were born.. but all the same... bath time as 2 on 1 is still a bit nutty :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

10 a.m.

Its 10:08 a.m. and this is what I have done so far today:

  • Fed the boys (twice)
  • Pumped (twice)
  • Got the girls up
  • Changed each kid (twice)
  • Cooked breakfast for the girls
  • Made coffee
  • Stuffed food in my face
  • Started dinner in the crockpot
  • Emptied the dishwasher
  • Loaded the dishwasher
  • Swept the floor
  • Washed one load of clothes
  • Taken out one bag of trash
  • Oh, and I can't forget... given the kids lots of hugs & kisses.
To say the least.  I am freaking exhausted. And its only 10 a.m.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I've met a lot of people the last few years through blogs, fertility websites, fertility chat, etc.  Even though I haven't met any of these people in person we have really gotten to know each other and become friends.

I've been chatting with the same group of women on  a weekly basis for probably about a year and all of us had finally become pregnant or had our precious babies!  Last night, my friend Angela went into labor at 21 weeks and the doctors were unable to stop it.  She gave birth to her baby boy Christian who was with them for about a half hour.  It is just heartbreaking and I cannot imagine how she is feeling.  I am very emotional today and can't stop thinking about her and her family.  Hug your little ones extra tight today and please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Feeding time at the zoo"

My twin nursing pillow has saying all over it like, "Twins on board" "20 toes 20 finger" and "Feeding time at the zoo."  I thought the last one was kinda funny, but today that's exactly what it was.... feeding time at the zoo.

I tandem nursed the boys and then sat them both up on my chest so that I could burp them.  The girls weren't down for their nap yet and really wanted to try and get up on my lap.  The pillow was still strapped around my waist and apparently it made the perfect perch for both of them.  Char first came up and sat on the pillow and then Evy.  I guess there is room for 4 kids on my lap after all with the right equipment in place! The girls helped me burp the boys, petted their heads and then I'd had about enough.  (I think the boys had too!)  I wish someone else would have been home to take a picture because I'm sure it was hilarious! :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Big 3-0

Yep, it has finally happened.  Today I turned 30!

The day didn't start out all that great... I took the late shift with the boys which ended up being until about 6 a.m. When Brian got up I pumped and tried to go back to bed for a bit, but was fairly unsuccessful.  Brian had to leave early for class today.. he usually is gone from about 1-5, but had to leave at 11 today to go to an additional class that his professor wanted him to attend.  I put the girls down for a nap around 10, fed the boys, and finally took a short nap myself from 12-1.  The girls' schedule is so screwed up from the time change, so they ended up napping until 1pm.  I got the girls up, got lunch going, and then the boys needed to eat.    Its great that all of the kiddos will sleep at the same time! But then that means they are all up at the same time and need diapers and food.

While the girls ate lunch I fed the boys.  The thing about newborns is that they eat and fall back asleep... thank goodness!!  After lunch I locked the kitchen gate and let the girls run loose in the kitchen while I did the dishes and washed the bottles.  By the time all of that was done it was about 2:30pm. The girls needed a bath and I wasn't going to be around at bedtime, so I gave them one before their nap while the boys were still sleeping.

Brian was going to take me out for dinner, so a friend came over to watch all of the kids.  She got to the house around 3:15 which was nice because we got to chat for a while before I had to get ready to go. She brought her two daughters over too to help watch all of the kids.  It takes an army these days to watch this many kids!!

Brian picked me up around 5:00 to go out to dinner.  We went to this place called the White Chocolate Grill.  It was pretty tasty!  Afterwards we did a little shopping... but I realized very quickly that I'm not ready to buy new clothes yet.  I think I need to give my body a little while longer to go back to somewhat normal before I attempt to try things on again.... I'm still wearing maternity clothes for the time being because
everything else just doesn't fit quite right yet.  :)

I ended up buying some make-up, hair products and a couple shirts for the girls... I found a t-shirt that said, "Dear Diary, I asked for a puppy not a brother."  I couldn't resist!!

I'd say it was a pretty good birthday :) Turning 30 wasn't as bad as I thought it might be...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Elliott and Oliver's Birth Story

The induction was all set for Thursday, February 21st at 8 a.m.  The doctor said that it could take days, but I was really just anticipating going in, getting hooked up to some pitocin and having some babies!  

We woke up to about 6 inches of snow so we decided to leave the house early.  It was very slow going, but we stopped for coffee anyways because I knew I couldn't have anything to eat once we started the induction.  We made it to the hospital about 10 minutes late, checked in at the ER and went up to the labor and delivery floor.  Once we got there, I was hooked up to the IV, started on some fluids, and then waited a little while for the doctor to come in and check my cervix to decide how much pitocin to get started.  My cervix had been closed on Monday and oddly enough, I was dilated to 2-3 and about 70% effaced!  I was elated to hear that, because I knew if I was still closed my chances of the vaginal delivery were low.  

The nurse hooked up the babies to the monitors, but they had trouble staying on.  She would get them on while I was sitting on my left side but as soon as I moved my hips, baby A (Elliott) would fall off the monitor.  We battled this scenario for a while and finally the nurse came in and said, "If we can't monitor the babies, then we can't use the pitocin."  Crap.   

Can't we just have these babies already???

A few minutes later the nurse came back and said that I should get my epidural so that I would be more comfortable and then the doctor would break my bag of water.  Once the water was broken, they could use the internal probe to monitor Elliott’s heart rate instead of the external one that just wasn't working out. 

I was terrified of getting the epidural.  All I could think about was the spinal block that I got for my c-section when I had the girls and how awful it was.  The anesthesiologist was yelling at me and just wasn’t very friendly. 

A very youngish blonde woman came in and told me she would be doing my epidural.  She was kind and very patient while I asked her a million questions about what it would feel like and what I should expect to feel, etc. once the epidural was placed.  It was absolutely great and nothing like my experience before.  Once it was placed, my lower body got heavy, but not really numb per se.  I could still shift around and move, thank goodness!  It was way better than I expected and I could sit comfortably now.

The doctor came in soon after and broke Elliott’s bag of water.  I couldn’t believe how much it gushed!  The nurse and the doc made comments as well about how much water was in there and it was only from one of the babies! 

The contractions started getting a little bit stronger and closer together after the water broke.  I could see the peaks on the monitors, but really only felt pressure at this point.  I was getting excited thinking about how soon it could be that my babies would be born!  It was now about 5 p.m. and the nurse came to check me again.  I was about 7cm dilated… Hooray, I thought!  Things were moving in the right direction.  I was petrified that labor would stall out and I would end up with a c-section anyways. 

Meanwhile all of this was going on, Brian and I were just hanging out, taking cat naps, and updating our  Our friends and family knew we were going in for the induction and were checking in frequently because they were so excited for us!   
Brian... sleeping against the table :)

Day turned into evening and I wondered if we would ever have these boys… The nurses changed shifts and so we had a new nurse for the rest of the labor.  The nurse we had all day really wanted to know the boys’ names, but we didn’t tell her.  She said she would check back the next day. 

After the shift change, the nurse seemed to be more aggressive and kept pumping up the Pitocin.  The contractions got stronger and stronger and pretty soon I just about couldn’t take it anymore!  The anesthesiologist checked in at one point and ended up giving me a boost in the epidural catheter because I was really feeling the pain from the contractions and they just weren’t letting up.  My legs really went numb after that and I started having panic attacks because I couldn’t move my legs at all.  It was the worst feeling ever!  Exactly what I didn’t like about the spinal epidural from the c-section. 

The fun really began around 10pm.  The contractions kept getting stronger and stronger and the pain was almost unbearable.  The really fun part about Pitocin is that it creates strong contractions that just don’t let up!  With natural labor, there is down time between the contractions but not with the Pitocin!  They were about 2-3 minutes apart for what felt like an eternity.  I pretty much turned into a crazy person at this point.  I yelled, screamed, swore, and said many crazy things because I didn’t know what else to do.  I told Brian I wanted to go home and that we should leave… I texted my mom…. Wrote some crazy posts in my group of fellow twin mamas, played words with friends…. . I just wanted to keep my mind off of the horrendous pain but it just wasn’t working. 

About 12:30 one of the machines started beeping.  It was my epidural monitor and it was out of meds.  I called the nurse in to see what it was and she told me the “great” news.  She went to go find the anesthesiologist and she was in a freaking c-section! What!  My meds were empty, I felt like I was about to die, and there was nothing we could do about it until she got out! 
Somewhere around this point, the nurse checked me again and I was 9 ¾ she said.  Great! Time to push? Not yet.  All night long I kept telling the nurse (in a frenetic voice) that I didn’t know how to push and that I was scared and couldn’t do it.  She must have thought I was a nut.  She kept telling me that it was the easiest part of the labor and I thought SHE was the nut.  Anyways, we waited for the doc and the anesthesiologist to get out of surgery to see what the plan was.  I was tired, in pain, and didn’t really know how much more I could take.  I’m pretty sure I told them 1000x that I didn’t know why I had chosen to have a vaginal birth and that maybe I should just have a c-section.  The nurse and doctor had to convince me multiple times that this was what I wanted and that I shouldn’t quit now because I had already been through so much. 

At 1:25am, it was finally time to push.  I was so exhausted and had no idea how I was going to get these babies out.  I had wasted all of my energy screaming at Brian for the previous 3 hours.  He was a champ though.  He just kept saying, “You’re doing great! Keep breathing!” I told him that I was freaking breathing and that he needed to say something else.  So glad he stayed calm for the both of us….

When the pushing started I think the doc was worried that I wouldn’t have enough energy to push them out.  My pushes were horrible and weak.  The nurse said that the pushing could take hours…. HOURS? Seriously?  I had no idea how I was going to do it. 

The plan was to push baby Elliott way down and when he was getting close, we would go to the operating room to deliver them.  I pushed for about two hours in the regular birthing room.  It was just me, Brian, the nurse, and the doctor in there.  It was much more casual than I had imagined.  Brian had some music playing on his phone and we were all having regular conversations between the contractions.  They wouldn’t let me drink any water and Brian was in charge of giving me the ice chips because I had the worst cotton mouth I’ve ever had before!  We watched the contraction monitors and the babies’ heart rates while I was pushing.  Elliott’s took a huge dip with every push but always came back up.  I was worried when I saw this, but the doc wasn’t so I assumed everything was okay.

At about 3:15 it was time to go to the operating room.  They wheeled me down there in the labor bed and transferred me to the operating table. I was expecting there to be a crowd in there, but there were just a couple of extra nurses. 

This was it!  I knew it would be happening soon and that the pain would end shortly.  The epidural was great before, but wasn’t doing a thing at this point.  With every push I felt Elliott getting closer and closer to coming out.  There was a new nurse in the room yelling at me to push longer and harder.  At one point, the doctor said that he was giving me 15 minutes to push the baby out on my own before he was going to use the vacuum to help me out.  The contractions slowed down at this point which was really frustrating.  I had to wait and wait for them so that I could push! 

I pushed and pushed and they could finally see Elliott’s head!  The nurse said, “Reach down and feel your baby’s head.” So I did! Holy crap! This was really happening!  I swear it felt like he was crowing for an eternity.  Before the final push, the nurse said, “When you push him out, you will finally have relief!”  Well, okay then! Let’s do this! I think the scream I let out when I finally pushed Elliott out could have woken the dead!  I felt his ginormous head pass through my body and the rest of him just slide right out.  It was the most amazing and surreal thing I have ever felt before.  Like I said before…. I had an epidural, but I pushed Elliott out all on my own.  There was no relief from that pain.  He cried shortly after he came out and he was absolutely perfect. 

“I have to do this again?????”  I had no idea how I was going to have the strength to push Oliver out.  The doctor told me that after Elliott came out, another doctor was going to help hold Oliver (from the outside) to make sure he didn’t do a little flip now that his brother was out and he didn’t have to share space anymore.  The doc then asked me if I wanted to push him down or let the contractions do the work.  I told him I wanted to let the contractions do the work because I was too tired. 

He asked me if I wanted help getting him out and I don’t think I could have said, “YES” faster.  I just wanted him out healthy and safe…. And fast.  I pushed for about three contractions and with the help of the vacuum out came Oliver 13 minutes after his brother.  It didn’t hurt nearly as much because his big brother had already cleared the way for him. 

I was filled with a sense of relief when the boys were finally out.  I was out of breath, sweaty, exhausted, and just so happy that they were out safe and sound.

Both of my boys were healthy and perfect in every way.  They let Brian cut the cord, cleaned them off, and I eventually got to hold them.  I was so in love with my little boys the moment I saw them.  Becoming a mom for the 3rd and 4th time was just as joyful as it was the 1st and 2nd time. 

They helped me deliver the placenta and for some crazy reason I asked to see it.  The doctor showed it to me and explained that the placentas were fused together.   

After the placenta was delivered I thought we were done and that we were going to get cleaned up and get the heck out of dodge.  Nope.  I was bleeding.  Crap.  Did my uterus rupture? Was I going to have to get an emergency hysterectomy? What the hell was going on?? 

The anesthesiologist gave me more pain meds in my epidural catheter and I was instantly out.  I was so tired that I just couldn't stay awake anymore.  At the time I didn't really know what was happening and Brian had to tell me about it later.  I recall waking up periodically, but that’s about it.

The doctor gave me cytotec (I think to get anything left in there out) and also had to investigate the bleeding.  I was told that it was “standard procedure” to manually check a previous C-section incision if a patient is bleeding after a VBAC.  The scar was intact (thank goodness) and the bleeding slowed down.  Brian said it was pretty scary and that everyone in that operating room was covered in my blood and bodily fluids.  The doctor later told me also that I kept waking up asking, “Are we done yet??”

After the bleeding stopped, the doctor sewed me up and I was taken back to the room where Brian and the boys would meet me.  I was shaking like crazy as the epidural wore off.

I’m sure there are many more details that I have forgotten, but I must say that it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life.  I have found out that there aren’t a lot of doctors that are comfortable with a VBAC with a singleton, let alone with twins.  I am so grateful to my doctor and his confidence that everything would be fine (and that if it wasn’t we would do a C-section) and that he had agreed to let me try the VBAC.  



Elliott and Oliver

Elliott and Oliver

Elliott and Oliver

Two Week Well Checkup

The boys went to their two week well checkup yesterday.  They got weighed, measured, and looked at.

Height: 20 1/4 inches- 50%
Weight: 8lbs 6.6oz- 65%
Head: 36.1cm- 80%

All was well with Mr. Elliott except for that he had some fluid around his testicles which the doctor said should resolve on  its own.

Height: 19 1/4 inches- 15%
Weight: 6lbs 9.8oz- 15%
Head: 35cm- 25%

Oliver didn't pass his hearing test for his left ear at the hospital during our stay, so he had to go back to the hospital today to re do his hearing screen.  So, today we went back and he didn't pass his left ear again.  :(  He could have hearing loss, or it could still be fluid in his ears.  We now have to take him to see an audiologist at Children's so that they can tell us the reason for him not passing the test.  I sure hope he is okay.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First day on our own

Today was the first full day that we were "on our own" without any additional help.  I was nervous that it would be a complete nightmare, but everything actually turned out okay.

I stayed up until about 5am this morning.  I have been taking the "night" feeds (sleeping between) and Brian gets up early between 3 and 5 am and then I go back to sleep.  He is such a deep sleeper that he won't wake up if they cry so when he gets up, he's up for the day.

I got up about 10 a.m. and the girls were already down for their first nap.  The boys didn't need feeding at the moment so I pumped, took a shower, and hung out for a bit. The nice thing is that all 4 babies were sleeping at the same time, but the bad thing was that all 4 babies were going to wake up and need feeding at the same time too.  Brian had to leave for class at around 12:45 so he wasn't going to be able to stick around and help me with all of them either.

He helped me get the girls up from their nap, put them in their high chairs, got their food out, and pushed them into the living room so that I could nurse the boys while sitting on the couch and watch the girls eat their lunch at the same time.  It worked out for the most part.

After lunch, the boys fell asleep again so I was able to play with the girls.  Its amazing how much little babies sleep! The boys are such good sleepers too.  Not to say that they don't have their cranky moments... but they sure are happy babies about 90% of the time.  As soon as the boys were waking and ready to eat again, it was just about time to put the girls down for their 2nd nap.  I dread the day when they only have one nap, I really do.

I put the girls down, fed the boys, fed myself, did a few dishes, and made some lactation cookies.(And blogged too- can't forget that.)  I figure they couldn't hurt, and who doesn't like a cookie??   Brian got home about 4:45, got the girls up from their nap, made dinner and headed to bed.  I fed the boys, put Char to bed (Evy went to bed a little early because she was whining and tired.) fed the boys again (because apparently they are starving today!) and am currently pumping.

Am I tired? At the moment... not especially, but I'm sure once the adrenaline from the day wears off I will be the tiredest mama that you've ever met.  :)


When the boys and I were in the hospital, I made it pretty clear that I didn't want them to have any artificial nipples (bottles, pacis, etc.)  so that they would have a better chance of latching and not having "nipple confusion."  I nursed them after they were born and then on exclusively until Saturday night (They were born on Friday early morning.)  Elliott's latch was great from the get-go, but Oliver's wasn't.  We kept at it, and eventually Oliver caught up and became a great nurser as well.  I did have to pump and give him the colostrum at first because he wasn't getting enough from the breast, but I fed it to him with a syringe and I was okay with that.  

The boys were weighed Friday night and they were only down 4% of their weight which was acceptable.  All babies lose some weight after birth (especially if they are breastfed) until mom's milk comes in.  Saturday night they weighed the babies again and they were down 8% and 9% which was getting into the range where the pediatrician felt uncomfortable with their weight loss.  Once they hit 10% weight loss it can spiral downward.... they are too weak to eat and therefore lose more weight etc.  So, after the pediatrician came in on Sunday morning she said we would have to supplement.  I knew that I had to with the girls and the reality was that I would probably have to again with the boys.  I have PCOS which can either cause a low supply or an over supply and I am the unlucky one with the low supply AND twins.  

My plan was to try to "finger feed" them with a tube so that they wouldn't have a bottle nipple or use the SNS system (supplementary nursing system.. something like that) but the lactation consultant was pretty adamant that I should just give them a bottle because those things wouldn't be efficient and I wouldn't have time to mess around with stuff with my two 16 month olds at home. 

I got pretty emotional at the hospital and eventually gave into giving them bottles which I was really pissed about.  I tried to hold my ground with the "no nipples" but it just didn't happen.  I was told that very few mothers of multiples had enough milk for their twins and that the odds were stacked against me.  I guess I just thought that if anyone would have been extra supportive, it would have been the LC at the hospital.  

When we left the hospital my milk still wasn't in and I was a complete emotional wreck.  I was tired and hadn't really slept since the previous Tuesday night (and it was now Sunday afternoon), I was in some serious pain and was stressed about going home knowing that my in-laws were there.  I was very appreciative to have their help watching the girls and taking care of the house, but sometimes its stressful having people in your house taking care of your kids differently than you would.  

I wouldn't say that it bothers me having people see me nurse my babies, but there is just something weird about your father in law being in the same room.  So, when we got home, I had to sit in my room with the babies to feed and pump.  I was already feeling defeated from what had happened earlier in the day and pretty much just sat in my room, pumped, and bottle fed the boys for the rest of the day/night.  I've never felt so angry and emotional in my life.  I'm sure the complete lack of sleep and change in hormones didn't help anything either.  

Brian is amazing gave me a break that night so I could get a few hours of solid sleep.  I woke up a new person felt much better about things than I had the day before.  I was such a mess the day before I thought about quitting all together which would have probably just been easier.  

Monday and Tuesday I continued to pretty much just pump while Brian's parents were still there.  I knew they would be leaving Wednesday morning and that I could nurse as I pleased after that.  My mom and sister  came in Wednesday  night, but they didn't care if I nursed the boys in front of them.  

Its a week later and things are going well.  Both of the boys have a good latch and I even manged to tandem feed a couple times!  I am still not producing enough for them every time, but hopefully that will get better.  Elliott is a beast and eats a ton!! He will nurse for 20 minutes each side and then still suck down 2oz of either formula or expressed milk.  But, other times he is satisfied with his nursing session and goes to sleep afterwards.  Oliver is a sleepy nurser and I think sometimes just wants to be close to mom.  He could be held 24 hours a day and doesn't really like to be set down much at all.  

I'm trying to nurse as much as possible, but now that all of our help is gone I'm not sure how that's going to work when the girls are awake too.  I'm trying to either nurse or pump every 3 or so hours to keep my supply up.  When I pump I get about 1 oz per side and when I go about 5 hours at night I get 2 oz per side.  I'm not sure what is typical production at this point (almost 2 weeks old) but I guess I'm just glad I'm getting enough to give them at least one feed per pumping session.  

There are lots of things out there to try and help with production like Fenu.greek, lots of water, lots of pumping, lactation cookies, etc. and I am willing to try it all.  There's also Reg.lan, but I hope to avoid that since it makes me feel really anxious and stressed, which I don't need. 

I guess for now I am just going to keep going on as I am and hope things improve so I can stop supplementing.  :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

A week old...

The boys are just over a week old! Both are doing absolutely fantastic.  Some days I can hardly believe that I became a mom again.  Its just such an amazing thing to bring lives into this world.

Both of my little buddies are nursing well and sleeping well.  We are still working on exclusively breastfeeding which I really hope happens, but for now I am nursing, pumping, and supplementing with formula.  The lactation consultant and our pediatrician don't really think that its possible (especially with my history of low supply) but I really think that I can make it happen.

Right now, they are eating every 2 ish hours 2-3oz, or nursing for 30-40 minutes.  They sleep between feedings but are staying awake for more bits of time here and there.  Both of them like to be wrapped up tight and swaddled.... Oliver especially.  Oliver only really likes to sleep either in your arms, or in a swaddle. He must have been really squished by his big brother in the womb!

They fit into newborn clothes, but Oliver could have probably worn the preemies for a while.  He was only 6lbs 3oz at birth!  I can't believe how different these two little boys look.  Elliott looks a lot like Evy did when she was a newborn and well, Oliver has a look of his own.  His hair is a light brown color while his siblings all have dark black hair.  Perhaps people won't ask me if they are identical like they do with the girls (Even though Charlotte has stick straight hair and Evy's is wavy.)

Two little Enchiladas- Oliver and Elliott

In their car seats all ready to go home from the hospital.  Oliver and Elliott


I am so in love with these two little guys!  We've had help at home since they were born so it hasn't been too crazy yet.  But, tomorrow my mom and sister fly back home and I'm sure it will get nutty when we are outnumbered by the kids!  Somehow we will make it work though, we always do. :)