Monday, October 31, 2011

Compassionate Care

One of my husband's professors from the University of Denver is doing a study on the effects of infertility and compassionate care from the health care providers.  She actually got a grant for this study and is paying $15 for your responses!!  If you have a few minutes to help out I'm sure she would really appreciate it! =)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pregnancy in Review and Professional Maternity Pics!

Total length of Pregnancy: 38 weeks and 1 day

Total weight gained: 52 lbs

Total weight of the babies: 13lbs 3oz!

How long it took to lose the baby weight: About 2 weeks!  Currently (3 weeks after the birth) I am only up 2lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Food cravings: During the 1st trimester I craved mac & cheese!  During the final couple of weeks it was orange soda.

Morning sickness: NONE! 

Food aversions: Meat of all kinds!  The only meat I could eat for weeks was bacon. 

What I miss the most: Feeling the babies moving around and wondering what they would look like

Hardest part: The last couple of weeks of the pregnancy..... I was HUGE!  Also, Baby B (Evelyn) had some body part stuck in my ribs.... I think it was her foot!  In fact, my ribs still hurt in that spot now when I sit a certain way!

Scariest part: At about 8 weeks or so I had a bleeding episode.  I was so afraid that it was all over.  When I went in for the ultrasound and saw their beating hearts I was the happiest person ever!  It was a huge sigh of relief... but honestly I never stopped worrying.

Something I thought I wouldn't miss: Strangers talking to me.  At the time I didn't like it when people would randomly ask me when I was going to pop.  Now when I go out by myself nobody talks to me!  Its very strange.  However, when I do go out with the babies EVERYBODY talks to me! 

Keeping the names a secret- am I glad?:  I am SO glad that we kept the girls' names a secret during the pregnancy.  It made it much more special to surprise everyone with their names.  It was really fun to finally say them out loud too! 

Favorite maternity outfit:  I have two actually.... 1.) The orange shirt that I wore in a lot of the maternity pictures that I took.  2.) A black dress that my mom bought for me... its in the pictures that we took at Alex & Mary Lee's wedding. 

Overall feeling: I really loved being pregnant!  It was a very long and hard journey for me to become pregnant and I was so lucky to have an easy, uneventful pregnancy.  I really did not have any morning sickness and I did not end up on bed rest.  I worked up until about 35 weeks and felt really pretty good.  I didn't have any back pain at all either which I was pretty shocked about.  Yes, I may have complained a bit during the pregnancy (who doesn't, right?) but I truly enjoyed every part of it.  The ultrasounds were so cool and they really helped me bond with the girls before they were even born.  I think part of me realizes that these may be my only babies so I wanted to be thankful for every step in the journey.  Although infertility is horrible and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, it helped me to be thankful for these girls in a way that I can't fully describe.  They are my miracle babies! I love them in a way I didn't even know was possible.

Brian always liked talking to the babies.

This is my favorite orange shirt!


 Mama & Papa

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Breast vs. Bottle

Every woman has to make the decision to either breastfeed, bottle feed or both!  I made a decision early on that I really wanted to breastfeed the girls.  There are tons of benefits to breast milk over formula.... especially that formula is crazy expensive! 

After the girls were born I tried to breastfeed them right away.  The hospital provides lactation consultants to help you get started... which was much appreciated.  Charlotte took to the breast pretty much right away but Evelyn wasn't having any of it.  I guess she was doing something strange with her tongue and lip therefore not able to latch properly.  The lactation people kept trying to help me but were pretty much unsuccessful.  Evelyn wouldn't do more than pretty much just chew on my nipple which is seriously painful.  I thought about scraping the idea all together but everyone I talked to said the first while is the hardest and then it gets easier. 

Fast forward to today: 3 weeks later

Evelyn still won't really latch properly.... and Charlotte still will.  The problem is that I need both girls to gain the benefits from the breast milk and I only am producing enough for one baby plus a little more.  I have PCOS so I knew that making enough milk for both would be a stretch but I thought I would try anyways.  The doc put me on Metformin and an herbal supplement which is supposed to help.... and it is to a degree. 

So instead of just breast or bottle feeding I am doing a combination of both.  I breastfeed Charlotte and then pump for Evelyn.  Sometimes both girls just get formula too.... because if I breastfeed Charlotte every time then I won't have very much to pump for her sister.  Yes, it sounds a little crazy and I admit it is a little nuts sometimes but I really want to give the girls as much breast milk as I can. 

Oh, and no, I haven't given up on breastfeeding Evelyn.  I still give it a go sometimes and she still just chomps on my nipple.  I may seek out a lactation consultant to see if there is any hope for her!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday was the most beautiful fall day!  It was about 75 degrees out and sunny.  Brian and I decided to take the girls to a pumpkin patch.  Before we left I thought it would be fun to dress them in matching clothing.

Evy (left) and Char (right)

The onesie and pants are both newborn sizes but they are still HUGE!  The onesie says "Best Friends" on it!  I really hope they are best friends!

The pumpkin patch was a very small local farm.  This is what their sign looked like! 

Charlotte (pink hat) and Evelyn (polka dot hat)
The pumpkin patch only actually had about 10 pumpkins, but they did have some hay bales that made for a nice photo. 

We set the girls on a hay bale.  Evy (left) and Char (right)

After we were done at the pumpkin patch we decided to take the girls to an outdoor mall.  We ended up having to change and feed them there and we did so outside.  I have to say it was a little strange, but we made it work.  While we were walking around, Charlotte was so wide awake for a while. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

This Week in Twinland

I have been trying to get out of the house more lately as I feel like I am going stir crazy being at home all the time.    Brian and I took the twins to Target yesterday and I must say it was a little nutty.  I pushed the twins and tried to man the coupons while Brian pushed the grocery cart around.  We would have gotten out of the store a little quicker had people not come up and talk to us every 5 minutes.  It was very cute though to see everybody oogling over the babies.  There were even two teenage boys that came up to us and told us how adorable the babies are..... Teenagers usually don't give two hoots about babies so yeah, it was funny. 

While at Target we both got flu shots.  I have never gotten one in my life, but the pediatrician really recommended strongly that Brian and I both get one this year to help protect the babies since they can't get one until they are six months old. 

This week the girls' personalities are really starting to come out.  Evelyn is always the first to tell you that she is hungry.  She has a crazy shrieking cry that could wake the dead.  Charlotte is pretty calm and chill like her daddy and doesn't really cry as much as her sister.  She will let you know when she's hungry or just wants to be held.  Both girls have been more awake lately and have been making some of the funniest noises and faces.  Charlotte really stares at things and crinkles up her face a lot.  Both girls are really gaining weight and becoming chunky monkeys!  I just love to kiss and smush their chubby cheeks. 

Charlotte likes to show off her shoulders

Charlotte likes to sleep like this and I think its super funny!

Evelyn fell asleep in the boppy.

Evy in her "little sister" outfit.  She is bigger than Charlotte but was born second.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Week Checkup

The girls went in for their two week checkup today.  They are both doing great!  Here's their stats:

Charlotte: Birth weight: 6lbs 3oz
Weight: 6lbs 11oz (10th percentile)
Length: 19 1/4th in. (5th percentile)
Head: 34.8cm (12th percentile)

Evelyn: Birth Weight: 7lbs 0oz
Weight: 7lbs 5oz (25th percentile)
Length: 19 3/4th in. (7th percentile)
Head: 34.2cm (50th percentile)

Looks like we have some shorties! The doctor said they are doing great and growing just fine.  Our next appointment will be the 2 month checkup!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oct 19th!

I just looked at the date on my computer and realized that today was my 40 week due date!  I can't believe the girls will be 2 weeks old tomorrow.  Everyone has told me that the time goes by fast, but I guess I didn't think it would go this fast.  Tomorrow we go in for the girls' two week check up.  I am really interested to see how much weight they have gained. Evelyn is definitely turning into a chunky monkey.  She is so cute!  Charlotte is still the little peanut and I really hope she is gaining as much weight as she should.  I guess we will find out tomorrow!

Birth Story! 10/6/11

I knew that I had a c-section scheduled for Thursday, October 6th at 7:30am so I spent all day Wednesday getting ready for the big day.  My mom and sister flew in from Minnesota so I picked them up at the airport and we ran errands for a couple hours afterwards.  I had so many things to do once we got home from running the errands.  I probably washed 5 loads of clothes, made homemade chicken noodle soup for after the birth, cooked dinner, etc. 

After the chores were all done everyone went to sleep at about 11:30pm.  I wasn't really very tired so I decided to catch up on CSI which I had recorded on the DVR.  It was about midnight and I wasn't really sleeping, but rather in that half awake/half asleep mode when I felt some pressure "down below."  It was a very strange feeling and all of the sudden my water broke!  It was a HUGE gush that I was totally not expecting.  I got up off of the couch and started walking towards the bedroom saying, "Honey! I think my water just broke!"  (Meanwhile leaking everywhere.)  Brian was half asleep but I am pretty sure that I shocked him awake.  We were both in a slight panic and called the hospital right away.  They said to come on in! We asked if it would be alright if I took a shower first and they said that was fine.  I didn't know when I would be able to shower again and didn't want to feel like yucky amniotic fluid! 

My mom and sister woke up as well and helped us get the last few things put into my bag and get the bags in the car.  We drove straight to the hospital and it was one of the longest 15 minute car rides ever!  Brian dropped me off at the door to the ER and parked the car.  I went inside and told the lady that I was in labor.  She was not the speediest of people and I found it odd that she took her sweet time to get me all checked in. 

Anyways, someone came down from Labor & Delivery with a wheelchair and took Brian and I up to the birthing unit.  I was immediately hooked up to the heart rate monitors for the babies to make sure that they were not in distress (which they weren't.)  I informed the nurses that there was meconium (baby poop) from one of the babies in my amniotic fluid.  From what I know, its not a huge deal but they don't want the babies to inhale it when they are born.  We had hoped to wait until morning to do the c-section with our regular OB but since there was meconium they just couldn't wait! 

Before I knew it, I was being stuck for an IV.  I have horrible veins the only place to get an IV in is in my hand.  No one ever believes me and tries somewhere else first and ends up going on my hand anyways.  I wish they would just listen the first time and save us all some pain! 

After the IV was started we signed some paperwork for the anesthesia and talked to the anesthesiologist.  When we were done with that, off we went to the operating room!  Brian had to dress in scrubs and wait outside until the spinal epidural was completed.  I went into the OR alone and must say that the spinal was the scariest thing ever!  The anesthesiologist would not stop talking and kept saying how he couldn't get the needle in right or something.  He numbed my back first with a local (which wasn't really working) and after what felt like forever got the spinal in the right place.  My legs went heavy right away and I was totally numb after about 10 minutes.  I did NOT like the feeling at all.  Very strange.  They let Brian in and I was so relieved to see him. They got to work quickly and before I knew it I was cut open!  I remember asking Brian if they had started yet and he laughed because I was already cut open. 

Charlotte came out first at 2:44am. She was 6lbs 3oz.  I heard her cry and it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard.  The nurse took her to the station they had set up and scored her on the APGAR test to see how she was doing.  She scored a 7 after 1 minute and a 9 after 5 minutes.  Evelyn was born just after Charlotte at 2:46am. Evelyn weighed 7lbs 0oz.  I remember it taking her longer to cry than I had expected.  It felt like I waited and waited and waited to hear her cry. Her APGAR scores were 9 after 1 minute and 9 after 5 minutes.  I was so full of emotion that I almost didn't know what to feel.  The medicine made me feel very strange and the whole experience was pretty surreal.  I was able to see Charlotte right away but didn't see Evelyn for about 10 minutes after she was born.  They told me that they held her up but I didn't see her I guess.  After Brian cut the cords they let us hold the babies for a few minutes before taking them.  We each got an arm band for each of the babies before they left the room and Brian made sure to snap a lot of pictures as well.  The staff in the room was also nice enough to take pictures of us holding the babies and they even took a video of the birth for us!

Before going to the hospital, we had agreed that Brian would stay with the babies after they were born.  He left the OR and they finished stitching me up and took me to recovery.  I was in recovery all by myself and it was such a strange feeling.  Brian eventually came in to recovery with me while the babies were in the nursery. 

Once the feeling had started coming back into my legs they took me to the postpartum unit where I could see and hold my babies.  I breastfed them right away and just stared at them in awe. I was so in love with them the moment I saw their beautiful faces.  Its hard to imagine loving someone so much that I had never met before, but it was love at first sight!  I had been waiting so long for this day to come and it was all I had imagined it to be.

First picture of the girls- Evy (left) and Charlotte (right) about an hour old!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bath Time!

I was trying to wait until both Char & Evy's umbilical cords fell off to give them their first "official" bath but I just couldn't wait anymore!  The smell of formula that dribbles down their chins doesn't smell that great.  Breast milk doesn't smell foul and when actually nursed, they don't dribble either. 

Char & Evy are fraternal twins and sometimes they couldn't be more different.  Char seemed to absolutely love her bath time while her sister was in tears the whole time. 
Charlotte- enjoying her bath!

Evy- not enjoying her bath time! (I call her cranky pants!)

Char & Evy
My brother's fiancee gave us these super cute robes at the baby shower.  They have monkeys embroidered on them.  They are supposed to be for 0-9 months but as you can see they are a little big for the closer to 0 size. They are still cute though. =)

Daddy drying off Charlotte

Yesterday I went to the grocery store by myself. I had no belly to bring along and no twins there with me.  I have to say it was actually pretty strange not getting stared at when I went out of the house. For so long I had a HUGE belly and random strangers would just come up to me and ask when I was due or when I was going to "pop."  I thought that I didn't like talking to strangers but yesterday I really missed it.  I hadn't been anywhere seriously "alone" in months and felt kinda lonely.  I was in line at the deli counter and Brian texted me this picture.

Char & Evy
He put the caption "Dreaming of Mommy" with the text message.
I honestly almost cried right there in line at the deli counter!  Brian always does little things that make me so happy.  What an amazing husband and daddy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Sleep for this Twin Mama

I have officially entered into that "completely exhausted" phase of motherhood.  Its funny though because I look at the girls' precious faces and the tired seems to escape me.  I wanted to be a mama for so long that I don't even care how tired I am and how bad I look because I haven't showered, put on make up or done anything with my hair.  I am so thankful that they am here and the less that I sleep the more time I am spending with my little ones.  Thank goodness for coffee is all I have to say! =)

Evy (in pink) and Char (in polka dots) sleeping in their bassinet today.  Yes, you are correct- there is no sheet in there. Char peed through her diaper, two blankets, and sheet last night but I was way too tired to get a new one out and put it in there. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whats that Smell?

Today I dressed Evy in a onesie that says "Whats that Smell?"  After today I think I will throw it away!  The girls seem to have a normal amount of bowel movements each day but today was just ridiculous!  It seemed like every time I turned around Evy had poopie in her pants! 

Brian and Evy

The girls were also crazy hungry today.  At first I thought it was because they had a lot of breast milk..... but it was both girls and only Charlotte will actually nurse at the breast (therefore I don't know exactly how much she is getting) but Evy was super hungry too!  Usually they eat every 3 hours but this afternoon it was more like every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Maybe they are having a growth spurt.  Who knows!

Evy & Char
Both on the changing pad at the same time because they both had poopie! Silly girls!

Also, Charlotte found her thumb today! SO cute!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1st and 2nd Trip to the Doctor!

Much to my surprise, the hospital recommends having the babies seen by their pediatrician within 24-48 hours of being released from the hospital.  It was a little crazy getting all of us in the car and to the doctor on time, but we made it! 

I really like the doctor that we chose.  She seems very knowledgeable and easy to talk to.  The appointment consisted of weighing the babies and asking us a lot of information about feeding, etc.   I didn't know this before, but babies tend to lose weight after they are born.  Both of the girls were down about five percent from their birth weights which I was told was pretty normal.  The doc gave us some suggestions as to how to help them gain weight while trying to breastfeed.  Since they did lose weight, we had to go back today to see if they were still losing or if they had started gaining weight.  Much to my surprise, they had both gained 2oz!  Once they start gaining the average is about a half to one ounce per day so they are right on track!  We go back next Thursday for their two week check up and hopefully they will still be gaining weight at the appropriate rate. 

Today I also saw my OB doc.  I got my strip thingeys that they put over the incision taken off, weight checked and was given some supplements to help my milk supply.  I know I will probably forget eventually, so I thought I would share my weights this process!

Pre IVF weight (Dec/Jan): 178lbs
Pre-Pregnancy Weight (Feb): 158lbs
Weight on day of Delivery: 210lbs
Today: 178lbs!

Last but not least, a cute picture of me with both of my bunnies!

Evelyn & Charlotte

The First Days Home

We were at the hospital from Thursday-Sunday.  (I will get to the whole birth story later!) I am so thankful that my mom and sister were out here so that they could help us get home from the hospital.  I'm actually not so sure how we would have gotten home if not for them!  It takes a lot to load two babies into the car along with my husband's wheelchair.  Brian usually loads his own chair.... but there are now car seats in the back seat and I am not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds. 

We got home and had to figure out how we were going to do everything.  While in the hospital there are lots of nurses that will change the diapers, swaddle the babies, bring you water, etc. which obviously stay at the hospital when you go home (darn!) It was a bit of an adjustment.... especially during the night.  While we were at the hospital they had a nursery you could send the babies to for a bit if you wanted to.  They suggested that we let them do one feeding during the night so that we could get a solid 6 hours of sleep.  At first I didn't think that was a good idea since I was breastfeeding, but I also know that sleep helps healing and I really wanted to heal quickly from the c-section.  So when we got home there was obviously no nursery. 

When it was time to go to bed the girls kept waking up!  Brian and I changed them, fed them, held them, walked around, you name it.  Evelyn just would not stop crying and therefore her sister also got upset and fussed as well.  The only thing we could think of was that they were cold.  For some reason our room is about 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house.... so we bought a space heater to solve that problem (the next day of course.)  After we figured out that they were cold we camped out in the living room for the night so that we could at least get a little sleep. 

Last night was a little better.  I have to say Brian is an amazing daddy!  Evelyn was fussing and I could not comfort her so daddy told me to go back to sleep and took care of the girls for a few hours.  It was so amazing to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep you have no idea!  He even made an amazing breakfast in the morning! I think I will start calling him Super Dad! 

My mom and sister flew in from Minnesota last Wednesday and unfortunately had to go home today.  Brian took them to the airport around 11am and I have to say it was very strange here without them!  I can already tell that those girls love their Grandma and their Auntie Em!  They are so good with the girls and seem to know how to comfort them.  I, however, am still working on that! :)

Something memorable from today: Both Evelyn and Charlotte had explosive projectile poop.  I changed their diapers and I guess they weren't done!  I have to say there was poop everywhere!  Now I know why they need so many clothes and blankets! ha

Evelyn & Charlotte swaddled up like burritos

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Twins Are Here!!

I am exhausted but wanted to give a quick update!

Charlotte Elizabeth and Evelyn Anne arrived on Thursday, October 6th.  Charlotte weighed 6lbs 3oz and her sister Evelyn weighed 7lbs 0oz. The babies, mommy and daddy are doing great! I will give all of the details later but wanted to share a couple pictures. 

Charlotte and Mommy


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day!!

I can't believe that tomorrow I will be meeting my girls!  This has been such a long road.  As I think about all of the shots, pills, appointments, procedures, etc. that all is in the past and now I can focus on the future! I feel like I have been waiting for this day and now I am scared to pieces! 

I know that c-sections are relatively safe, but there are always risks involved.  My biggest fear is that I bleed too much and they would have to do an emergency hysterectomy.  I already told Brian that if this happens to just make sure that they do not take my ovaries.  That's the only essential part to having more biological children I suppose.  It sounds silly to think about these things but I guess that's just where my mind goes.

Ok, no more thinking about bad things that could happen.  Here's to one of the happiest days of my life thus far! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

37w5d Belly Pic!

Ok, here it is!  This will probably be the last belly pic that I take (unless I take one on Thursday at the hospital.) My feet have gotten HUGE so before I took this picture I had to put on some slippers to cover up my feet! ha!

Yesterday I was looking at my blogger statistics and realized that this post I am writing right now is number 98!  I started this blog almost a year ago (November 2010) just after the miscarriage.  I think its pretty neat that my post number 100 will be announcing the arrival of the twins!!  I know everybody is especially anxious to learn their names (especially my sister and mom who keep trying to guess what they are!) I did give in and tell them their middle names, since they are family names, but that's all I gave them. 

Only two more sleeps until I see the girls!! Really I shouldn't say sleeps.... I should say laying down time while having really weird dreams and getting up to pee every 45 min-1 hour.  Crazy! Thursday can't come soon enough!! =D

Monday, October 3, 2011


I never really thought that nesting was a real thing, but this week I have discovered that it is!  I'm not going to say that I have gone completely nuts, but there are some things that I just hate doing that I finally got around to clean! 

The nursery is pretty much done.... everything is washed, put away, and mostly organized! The only thing left to get is a bookshelf.  Brian and I love going to thrift stores to find "treasures" and we just can't stop buying books!  We have found all sorts of great books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, a bunch of Barenstein Bears books, classics like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and lots of other great ones!  Just this past weekend we found a really neat series that is from 1986 haha.  I think there are about 15 books total and they have titles such as What are Vegetables? and What is a Rainbow?  Even though they are super old its not like vegetables have really changed in the last 25 years. 

So other than getting a bookshelf I still feel like I have a lot to do..... My mom and sister are flying in from Minnesota on Wednesday so I have to get their beds all set up, sheets washed, etc.  I also have to pick up some other random stuff around the house, get the trash taken out and other random things.  Ok, well while I am thinking about all of that maybe I should get my butt off the couch and do something! =D