Monday, January 7, 2013

Thirty - Two Weeks

I just saw this and realized I never posted it because I never finished it, nor will I be able to now. So here is the last pregnancy blog post.

November 6th, 2012
32 weeks
Well, I had hoped I would of done a better job of documenting my journey during pregnancy, and keeping a written journal for the boys to look back on. Truth be told, I really don't have much written/blogged. I've been overly busy with work and taking care of the house and trying to take care of myself. Time has literally gotten away from me.

Someone told me when I was about 12-13 weeks along, that time flies by from about 16 weeks on - and boy were they right! It feels like time has literally flown by! I just wish it would slow down a little bit, because I want to enjoy this last month of it being just Erik and I. It's so exciting and scary at the same time to think that this is the last month we are a family of two.

We've pretty much finished the nursery, there are just a few last minute touches to make and it will be complete. There is a closet shelf that needs to be hung up in their closet to give us some extra storage, two crib skirts to make, and hanging up the first letter of their names above their cribs. There is also a print I'd like to get framed and hung up as well. Oh! And we need to get a diaper caddy for the living room, and their bedroom. Everything has pretty much been orgainized for the most part. We decided over the weekend not to do the DSNG (double Snap N Go), I just didn't feel like it was really worth the money, and Erik didn't like how it wasn't extremely sturdy. I figure for the first month or two we won't be going many places and can carry them in their carseats for when we do go somewhere. We've got our Combi side-by-side that they can go in as well as long as it's laying flat. I'm really hoping to wear them when we go places, it seems like it will make life much easier, and I'd rather have them on me than in a stroller!

We've had some pre-term labor scares over the past two weeks, I've had two trips to Labor and Delivery for contractions, turns out I was starting to dialate and was put on strict bedrest. My Dr didn't think it was necessary and removed that but I'm still taking it pretty easy. I find if I over do it, I'm in a lot of pain and contractions are bound to start. Erik has been wonderful about keeping me less stressed out and trying to help out around the house as well. He doesn't do it how I do it, but that's okay - and that's something I need to get used to. We have an appointment with our MFM tomorrow morning, so we have some questions we're wanting to ask him and are hoping for more of an explaination/concern. My OB was kind of a come in for a few minutes give his typical speech on twins and c-sections/vaginal birth and was gone. *Eyeroll* I'm not very happy with him and am considering switching.

The boys are super active, although I think space is getting pretty tight in there! Just overnight it's considerable different how much I have 'dropped' in the past two-three days. And boy am I feeling it in my back.

So you had a plan..

I apologize for not posting lately, things in the H house have been... well crazy. And here is why...

If you had asked me at the beginning of November how I wanted the boys' birth to go, I would of given you a list of things I perferred that would happen. I wanted Erik to cut their umbillical cords, I would of told you I wanted to exclusively breastfeed, I would of told you I wanted immediate skin to skin with both babies. I would of told you a lot - it's human nature to plan, right?

Well, it's also God's plan to show us that our plan isn't always His plan. The last week of October/first week of November I went into L&D at 31 weeks on two different occasions with contractions very regular. They never really went away, even with the shot of trabutaline that I was given on 3 different occasions during that week. My doctor chalked it up to being dehydrated, which really annoyed me because I was drinking 2 gallons of water a day. I was not dehydrated, and was planning on switching OBs because he had lost my confidence. On Tuesday, November 7th I had an appointment with my MFM and planned on voicing my concerns. I was getting a fluid and cord doppler check, via ultrasound. I hadn't felt the boys hardly at all on the 6th and was itching for some reassurance that they were okay. As soon as the ultrasound started I knew immediately that they were not okay.

The boys had developed TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) during the 2 weeks inbetween ultrasounds with my MFM. Pretty rare to happen so late in the game. Baby A was the recipenant and had a TON of fluid while Baby B, the donor, had very, very little fluid. My MFM immediately requested a quick BPP (biophyiscal profile) and sent me down to labor and delivery immediately after it was done. At 32 weeks 1 day, he made he decision to deliver immediately. My appointment was at 8:00 am, and the boys were born at 10:43am by an emergency c-section. Hayden Erik made his appearance first and Liam Robert followed at 10:44. Nothing, absolutely nothing went as planned, I didn't even deliver at the hospital I had chosen nor by my OB since he did not have patient rights at that hospital. However, the on call OB was fantastic.

I didn't meet the boys until 7:00 (ish) that night. Erik was able to meet them around 5pm. They were admitted immediately at birth to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Things for Hayden were extremely rough, he wasn't breathing at birth and had to be intebated. I didn't find out until post discharge when I read his discharge papers just how tramatic his birth was, I had been told but I don't think our amazing nurse wanted me to fully grasp it - what mom would want to hear that. Hayden was on an ossiclating ventilator, which was the most heartwrenching thing to see during our entire stay, for about 28 hours or more before moving to a regular ventilator and Liam was put on a CPAP.

Both boys had their battles during their stay, and we couldn't of made it through our time in the NICU without our amazing primary nurses. They are godsends and are two of the most wonderful people I have ever meet. Having their support during the bad days meant more than any one could ever understand. Erik and I didn't have any family near by and declined visitors because of the strict visitor policy at the NICU, we didn't think it was fair to ask family to come down when they couldn't even go and see the boys. Hayden suffered a Grade 3 IVH (intraventricular hemorrage), there are 4 stages of IVH - 4 being the worst. IVH is where blood vessels on the ventricles (that hold spinal fluid in your brain) have bursted. Grades 3 and 4 normally come with a chance of brain damage and a chance of learning disabilites and mental disabilites. Most of the time there is a need for surgical intervention. Haydens neurosgurgeon decided to do spinal taps prior to surgery to see if it helped him start to clear up his bleed on his own. Thankfully after 2 taps they noticed that it was helping and after 5 taps they decided he could be followed as an outpatient. And by way of a miracle Hayden came out of it with no brain damage, confirmed by an MRI prior to discharge. Liam had his struggles as well, he came down with NEC (an infection in the intestines) during his stay and had to be off of food and on antibotics for a week as well as isolation. Thankfully, he never perferated and the situation wasn't as bad as it could have been. Liam spent 35 days in the NICU before coming home and Hayden spent 40 days before we were able to take him home.

Not meeting the boys right away, or being able to hold them, was extremely hard. I was in recovery and the hospital policy was that I couldn't go or be taken down to the NICU until I could walk from the bed to the wheelchair. I had had a spinal and was considered a fall risk. I was in regular post-partum recovery and hearing the other women around me with their new babies was the absolute worst. I don't think I have cried as much as I have cried during the past 8 weeks. I can't help but feel so insanely guilty about the struggles the boys have had to overcome and how much they have had to fight to get to where they are today. I won't ever be able to forget a single lumbar puncture, x-ray, head ultrasound, heel prick, PICC line insert or IV they have had to go through. Nor can I help but feel terrible that I wasn't there from their first minute of life on - they were instead surrounded by nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists. I keep remembering learning in a breastfeeding class that babies are terrified upon delivery and that's why those who have skin-to-skin performed immediately thrive. I can't help but replaying that over and over in my head on an almost constant basis and I feel horrible that they each had to go through that not only without each other close by, but without me there.

It has been so nice having the boys home and being able to be their mom full time. The only things we struggle with now are my emotions to how everything has played out and my emotions regarding what has occured. I quite pumping after a long debate with myself. It took me a while to realize that the side affects of Reglan and the quanity of milk I was producing (less than a bottle for each a day) was not worth not enjoying my babies and dealing with the emotions the Reglan brought along with it. I tried everything and really truly gave it my all, but after 7 weeks, I just couldn't do it any longer. I currently offer Hayden my breast about 2-3 times a day and let him breastfeed for 10-15 minutes before giving him his bottle. Liam absolutely hates breastfeeding, so he only does when he is really rooting for food or else he would scream the entire time. Overall, they are doing fantastic and only have follow up appointments from here on out. They are acting more and more like normal, every day babies and less and less like preemies. We really had God on our side during everything, things could have been much much worse if I hadn't had that appointment with my MFM the morning of the 7th. While we've had a long journey so far, it's still a journey that I am so thankful to have.