Friday, August 28, 2015

One Week Old

The last week was an indescribable experience. Emotionally and physically the greatest feat I've ever accomplished. A tornado of emotions. It was a tunnel that I slid through to get to the other side, where I'd come home with two little babes, the most precious experience of my life, mirroring the experience my little Keith & Lauren took to get here. They missed the birth canal, but they got a different entrance (one of my friend's husbands called it the sunroof.) 

We are so happy to be home!

We arrived home! Tuesday about 5PM. They were quiet the whole car ride. 
 My mom put these in the fridge for us to find when we got home (it's her diet cokes).
 This was a few days ago.

Newborns have hearts in their ears. I just noticed it. Of course I spend an inordinate time staring at them.
 I never get tired of looking at them. I feel so lucky to have my little babies.
 Baby monitors are the best; you can spy anytime.
 6 days post delivery. I am wearing a belly band though. It helps w support and to bring everthing together. I was 178.5 at delivery. 149 in this photo. I have to be careful to eat enough- breastfeeding twins has a high caloric demand. Feet swelling magically went away the night of day 5. 

 Introducing Oatie to the twins. He was a little wary. Then got brave and was going to go up and possibly lick Lauren. But Carrie said something to him and he got scared off. 
 This afternoon
 I can't believe how neat these two are. So sweet and interesting. 
Flowers for Mommy from a friend
One week old today! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Letter to My Babies: On the Eve of Your Births

What a journey this has been to reach today. Tomorrow you will come into the world. Out of my tummy. No more squirming or rolling around. How I will miss those feelings of you two growing into little people inside me. We've come a long way together, the three of us. I never expected it would happen. After twenty years of an irregular cycle, I thought I had no chance at children and wrote it off in my late twenties. But things changed, and my body told me at thirty-five that I might be a mama someday. I met your dad the same year by a stroke of luck, ending up at a lighthouse off the coast of North Carolina, after years of being a gypsy traveler. And a couple years later we decided to give parenthood a try.

Tonight I sit quietly. Contemplating your arrival. How all these things came together to create you both. The surprise at actually getting pregnant. The shock and fear of the first appointment when we learned there were two of you. My body really went all out when it decided to have a baby. These eight and half months have been a little tumultuous. Carrying twins is not for the weak. I spent hours and days worried about you guys. Worried something would go wrong. Worried I wasn't doing enough. Trying my best.

Now, you've grown up from tiny specks to little people in my tummy. Most of the pregnancy you've laid head to head. I wonder if you'll want to sleep that way when you come out. I think so. I wonder how your little personalities will be. We will soon find out. I think you will both be wonderful. I feel so honored to be blessed with you, my little twin babies.

In the morning we'll have a c-section. I wanted to have a natural birth. But it wasn't meant to be. I don't like to force life to go in the direction I wanted. I've learned enough to follow the road as it lays out in front of me. Sometimes it's not the path I imagined I'd take. In fact, most of my adult life has been quite a surprise to me. I hope when you live your lives, you're able to make changes, adjust and lean in the direction you need to go. I also hope to give you the strength to get through the rough patches that will inevitably arrive. Life is full of surprises, good and bad.

So here we are, the last night the three of us will sleep as one. Your little hearts beating with mine, yet all three with our own rhythms. Your hiccups that come and go. The butts and elbows, and tiny kicks. Your squirming and moving furniture in my tummy. All those days, I never got sick of it. I loved feeling you moving inside me.

I'm a little sad it will be over and worried of course, but I can't wait to start the next step of this adventure. I am so honored to be your mom. I can't wait to meet you, my sweet babies.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Almost 37 Weeks -- The Grand Finale!

Here we are... on the eve of 37 weeks... 

My mom arrived ten days ago and has been a tremendous help, pulling together all the stuff that I couldn't do in the last couple of months. Mostly every day I just have been laying in bed or on the couch, with my little protector, Oatie. He has a major affinity for "The Hill" as I like to call my belly, either sitting on it or wrapping his little body around it. I think he knows the twins already. 

My mom arrived a week after I sprained my ankle twisting it off my shoe and shortly after I was diagnosed with Cholestasis, which is bile spilling into your bloodstream. It affects approximately 0.7% of white pregnant females. Apparently I am good at weird odds. About two weeks ago, I'd suddenly been up for two nights with intense itching all night long (sleeping with a towel to itch myself instead of using my fingernails), and ended up in labor and delivery on a Saturday morning. Luckily Kaiser was familiar with Cholestasis, and had me started on medications even before all the labs came back. I was feeling way less itchy after about four days. It's an important one to catch, because if it gets out of control or goes undiagnosed, you have a higher risk of preterm labor or stillborn birth. With Cholestasis they want to deliver twins in the 37th week. 

So we are truly nearing the end with week 37 looming on Wednesday. I'm thankful to be here, and thankful the end is in sight. At this point, I have a uterus which is contracted almost all night long and quite a large chunk of the daytime hours as well. This means every night, I am awake most of the night. It will stay contracted for 5-20 minutes or more at a time and never really releases to normal/soft. It's pretty painful and very hard to sleep when it does this. Changing positions, drinking water, or taking magnesium does nothing. The overnight contractions started about one week ago or so. It's good sleep training for when the twins come, but it is pretty horrible and makes it impossible to sit up at all. 

So I cannot wait to be able to sit up again, and to breathe and to eat normally. And to meet these two little buggers who are in my tummy. It is hard to believe that in not so many days, I will have two kids. 

I've posted a pile of pictures below.

Our delightful OB, Dr. Brass, who also had twins. This was our last appointment with her before birth and final growth ultrasound.

Oatie relaxing on the hill riding in the car. 

We had a handyman (Jeff) in this week to fix the ceiling in the basement where the HVAC people left a huge mess after installing our furnace. Four before pictures of the mess. My mom has built like ten new houses so has a lot of experience with this sort of thing and was able to be there to make decisions and help while I laid on the couch upstairs.
The Kathy helping Jeff tear down the wall and get rid of the door.

First after, more to come.

Oatie protecting The Hill.

 Oatie Ha hiding in my robe on the couch. 

Dug out my mom's 1972 Singer, which works like a charm, to sew together car seat covers for the Charlies. I bought the fabric months ago but couldn't get around to doing it until now. My mom helped a little with the placement of the straps because I was too pregnant to think but I sewed it all myself. She also did a little trouble shooting on the machine, as it had been quite a while since I had used it and with pregnancy had threaded something wrong!

 Finished product

Remnants of the ankle sprain- one month now, still lingering... :( The last time I sprained my ankle it stayed swollen for 3 months. I'm hoping once I lose some of the 40 pounds I've gained, it will go down. This is even with wrapping, heating and icing it.

This was a few days ago. About 36.5 weeks along here, measuring 48 weeks pregnant. 

 The BAG is packed and ready to go! We got the little hats from one of Justin's customers in the Midwest.

My sweet niece Lily (6) drew a picture of her whole family, which includes Justin at the end holding "boy & girl". Pretty amazingly sweet drawing. 

 This is a crooked Hill. They are way off too the right. Which explains why most of my pain is on the right side.

Gorgeous handmade quilts from Great Grandmom Winona in North Carolina. She made fishermen and kiters for our son and little girls in bonnets for our daughter. She worked on them since February! They will be with the kids for a long time.