Archive for the ‘General’ Category

birth story

October 19, 2009

4am, i’m awoken by a few strong contractions but i’ve learned not to really believe that these actually mean anything will happen. the contractions come and go about every 7 minutes for about an hour and then just after 5am they fade away. i had just started to think that maybe just maybe this might be it… of course regardless of the contractions my induction was set for 7am. at 5:30 my alarm went off and i got up to take a shower and the contractions ramp back on up. by the time i made it downstairs to have a bite to eat i can barely stand upright when they hit. i gripped the counter-top and just tried to breathe through each one, realizing that these are definitely different than what i’ve been feeling for weeks, if not months. they do not go unnoticed.

my sister had arrived the night before to be present for the birth, so glad she could make it. as i tried to sip my tea the contractions get stronger. i could barely eat my cereal and clear my thoughts enough to grab my belongings. it takes me so long to get myself out the door that we don’t even get to the hospital until 7:15 or so. nice. i’m late to my own birth.

my doc has been waiting, have i mentioned how much i love her on this blog? well i do. i heart her with all my might. she is hilarious and wise and always on top of my laundry list of medical issues and medications and she’s a big believer in vaginal twin deliveries so i’m just so excited that she will be with me through the entirety of the birth and i won’t have to go through this with someone else.

she walks into my closet size room (more on this later) as soon as i shut the door and stands with her hands on her hips and says, “man, you’re late!” just then i’m seized with a pretty strong contraction and as my body folds with pain over the end of the bed i somehow explain that i think labor began around 4 and have been having a hard time moving quickly. as the contraction passes i look up to find a huge smile on her face and she says, “well, it looks like we’ll be holding off on the pitocin for a while, let’s see how you do!”

my hospital, though they are all for vaginal twin deliveries does ask that an epidural be placed in case a c-section is necessary on one or both of the babies, and though i was able to labor in a room in L&D, the actual birth would take place in the OR just in case an emergency arose or surgery was needed. so because my actual birth would not take place in my labor room i was given the tiniest room on the ward, closet size. not that i guess i cared, i was too focused on getting through those contractions for the first few hours i hardly noticed the setting but my sister, DH and my close friend were crammed by the AC vent shivering through my contractions, as i sat bare legged and sweating my brains out. apparently labor makes your body work hard and get really heated up. who woulda thunk. he he.

by 9:30am the contractions were coming hard, with each one, DH would rub my lower back and my sister would rub my forehead reminding me to stay relaxed, the pain was intense and i tried to really just breathe and stay calm although it was getting more and more difficult to do with each one that passed. i had been about 3-4cm dilated for the last few weeks and was now about 5-6. the babies looked fabulous on the monitors the entire morning, the nurses and my ob kept commenting on how insane baby A was, she was going nuts on that monitor, (in a good way) her heart beat jumping up and down and all around while baby b stayed cool as a cucumber. the anesthesiologist came in and asked my sis and DH to leave so they could insert the epidural. he was amazing and placed it so fast, painlessly i might add and within 10 minutes i was sure my labor had stopped. i said, “oh no, i haven’t had any contractions since you all came in” i was just sure that the epidural had stalled my labor. the nurse looked at the tape and laughed, “you’ve actually had three in the last few minutes, guess we’ve got a good epidural going.” i was so shocked. i have read so much about how the epidural really doesn’t take away all the pain or how so many people didn’t get relief on one side or the other so i was shocked to be so, well, numb. i could still move my legs around, though they were all pins and needles but i had more feeling than i thought, i guess another reason why i was so confused by the lack of feeling with the contractions.

after the epidural time really slowed down. for those first few hours i was so focused on getting through each contraction, every 5 minutes, lasting for 1-2 minutes at a time, the hours really flew by and then after the epidural, well things got boring to be honest. i just sat there. my body was still working so hard but i could barely tell beyond the overwhelming waves of exhaustion that would pass over me from time to time and the extreme thirst that those damn ice cubes could never really quench. i just sat there in the bed hoping things were still moving forward. i was checked every few hours and things were going ahead text-book like, i was dilating about a cm an hour and by 4pm i was fully dilated. my doc came in and had me do a practice push to see if i would be a “good pusher” or not, this would determine whether i would be asked to push for a time in the labor room in order to a lot of the work done before moving to the OR, or if i would be moved immediately in for delivery. with one practice push my doc’s eyes got wide, “oh yeah, we’re going now, you’re going to get these babes out fast!” i was so excited, and freaked out and well, ready and not ready all at the same time.

i was wheeled down the hall to the OR, both my sis and DH were allowed in with me which was amazing. I was feeling so excited and not scared or nervous at all. We got to the OR about 4:50 but i don’t think i started pushing for another 10-15 minutes or so. And with 10 big pushes out came V. For a while there I thought she’d never make it past my pubic bone, she paused there for so long it seemed, but finally her head pushed past and her body followed quickly at 5:23pm. As soon as V was out the OB reached inside me to feel the presentation of baby B who had been transverse for many months, his feet had flipped down into the breech position. this was not something my doc was worried about, in fact, she had told me that if he flips to breech it would be the faster way for him to come out. the OB guided his feet and with only 1-2 pushes M came into the world just 2 minutes later at 5:25pm.

The epidural had worked so well that I felt no pain during any of this, nothing, i mostly laughed my way through the pushing with my sister and DH. We were all so giggly and overexcited.

After the babes were out, M had a little trouble breathing at first, this had been explained before hand as well to me so I wasn’t too worried, although I waited and waited for those little lungs to kick in and his cries finally let me relax fully a few minutes after his birth. My OB had explained that with second babies not having to work so hard to move through the birth canal, they can react similiar to c-section babes and just not have time to work out a lot of the fluid from their lungs. It can take them a bit longer to adapt to the world outside. M was taken up to the NICU for observation but only for 2 hours and then he joined us back in our room after that. His sis was so strong from the start and she ended up being the one to lose more weight and develop slight jaundice in the next few days. M was stronger than ever once he was with us.

They both took to breastfeeding really well and though I’m still adjusting their latches a few times a day they are hungry, happy babies. They are now just over three weeks old. I can’t believe how fast it has all gone. It’s been a huge transition. Huge doesn’t really cut it to be honest. For the first week i think i spent most days hysterically crying from lack of sleep and pain from engorgement (why does no one explain engorgement before it happens?! i had no idea!!) but now we are slowly adjusting to our new schedules, hello no more than 3 hours of sleep at a time!

Parenthood is so much harder than i would ever have imagined. There are so many ups and downs and there is no way to really prepare for so much of it. but all the pain and struggle and worry and stress and fear has paid off. Now i just need to remind myself of that at 4am when one or both of them won’t stop screaming. I just look at them and think… thank you.

37w3d

September 21, 2009

i can’t believe i’m still posting with these babies still all cozy-ed up inside me. seems crazy. i spent so many months so worried they would come early and now it seems they don’t want to come out at all. but it may not be up to them… we’ve been scheduled for induction this thursday at 7am. yup, that’s in three days!

i was hoping just getting the date would motivate my body to get going but it’s been four days since we found out and well, i have had some hours of hard core contractions that seemed to be leading to the big day and then everything just fizzled out. it’s happened two big times, i was sure it was coming and then… nothing. oh well, at least my body’s getting ready.

i definitely feel more secure having a date to focus on though. i know the longer these babes have inside the bigger and stronger they will be when they finally emerge but i also have fear. i’ve been too close to the tragedy of stillbirth with my dear friend that knowing this is never a sure-thing has me feeling waves of panic as well. i’m trying to focus on the positives and keep on top of my kick counts. it’s all i can do.

so unless everything changes in the next two days we have an end to this part of the journey in sight. and even though these last few weeks have been hard on my body and have left me a weeping sally, i will so miss these little bodies inside me. it’s such a personal experience for us now, it will be amazing to meet them and for DH to be able to hold them like i’ve been able to these long 9+ months. i’ll try to post if anything happens. and thanks so much for all your support through these wacky travels. i’m so blessed to have such support.

a birthday…. or not

September 13, 2009

wow today was a doozy. here i am at 36w2d and let’s just say i’m ready. (he he i think i might have mentioned that before huh…) i rounded out saturday night with some friends and spicy enchiladas and promply woke up this morning to major stomach cramps… but not like your typical cramps, they would come and go at regular intervals and my entire belly would be engulfed in sharp hot pain that would radiate to my back. it was awful. after a call to L&D where my doc was on duty and responded to claims of “yay!!, come on in!” when i explained my pain. feeling encouraged and in much pain we headed off to the hospital. i felt so terrible i didn’t eat any breakfast which was a terrible idea i would regret later.

after being checked on arrival i was still only 3cm, same as last wednesday. total bummer. from the amount of pain i was in my doc was even convinced i’d be more like 7! alas. my doc decided we would wait a few hours and check again and monitor my contractions and the babes in the mean time. my contractions were really all over the place, no organization there and the stomach cramps slowly began to ease back.

so two hours later though i was having contractions that i could definitely feel and they were getting pretty rough, my cervix barely showed any wear. 3 1/2. we waited another 2 hours and the contractions stayed about the same, moderately painful but no regularity or organization… and by 5pm 3 1/2 cm. nothing had changed. by this time i was so starving (damn the hospital and their no food if you’re “potentially” in labor clause) by that third cervix check i was hoping nothing had changed because i didn’t know how much longer i could last with no food. so by 5:30 we were out the door and headed home, a nice 5 hours or so in the hospital with nothing to show for it. but thank goodness for take-out!

so here we go on another wait, it’s just so frustrating to know that honestly i have no idea how all this will begin, what it will feel like and how i’ll “know” when it’s for real. i was so convinced this morning. i had never felt pain like that with my BH contractions. so back to the drawing board. and for now i rest happily filled with dinner and some ice cream. rule #1, never leave for the hospital without eating SOMETHING! even if i am terribly nauseous the next time around i know i’ve got to get something in this belly or i’ll be sorry. lesson learned… now onto the next stage… or so i hope!

34 weeks!

August 29, 2009

well we made it folks. today i’m 34w1d! That means that if i go into labor now they won’t try to actively stop it. It means the babies lungs should be developing nicely and they won’t give me steroid shots if labor begins.

i feel so damn lucky to have made it this far. i’m still hopeful we can hold these little ones off for a few more weeks and try to avoid much NICU time. Some days i feel like that will be a piece of cake, other days i’m on the complete other side of the fence. I’m trying to stay as quiet and calm as I can so the babes just rest and keep growing.

in terms of how i’m feeling, yes, enormous is up there close to the top. my feet which had been killing me the last few weeks have finally started aching less (probably because i haven’t been walking all over the place, i’m just too tired for that these days). Now the pain has moved into my hands and knuckles for some reason. I’m chalking it up to fluid retention since i can’t come anywhere close to fitting into my ring and after writing about 50 thank you cards last night my hands ached like i had a wicked case of arthritis. nice. but really these minor discomforts are no biggie. i’ll take them anyday if it means happy healthy babes at the end. (remind me i said that in a few weeks when i can’t get off the couch or put my own pants on)…

have an appt on wednesday so we’ll see how we’re all doing then. probably get a cervix check and see if there’s been any change. fingers crossed. my eyes are set on 36 weeks.

who knows where the next few weeks will take us.

32w5d

August 19, 2009

the days and weeks are flying by and i can’t believe we’re nearly to 33 weeks. it’s quite literally boggles the mind.

we had an ultrasound and OB appt today and the babies looked great! and damn they’re big ones, well 58th percentile anyways. baby A is measuring at 4lbs 12oz and baby B just a touch behind at 4lbs 8oz. it’s crazy to think i’m carrying around nearly 10 lbs of baby. I’ve not been able to gain as much weight as i thought. i eat almost every two hours and am mostly housebound these days so why i’m not piling on the pounds i’ll never know. only 26 lbs up to date. but apparently the babes aren’t lacking for nutrients so that’s good to know. i’m going to blame my super fast metabolism (i’ve always been on the long lanky side) and my propensity for overdoing it. i’ve gotten miles better with this last one and have stopped building cabinets and doing crazy amounts of home improvements but i did spend all weekend making 3 dozen jars of peach jam from the tree out back.

all in all i still feel really good. i’ve only had minimal swelling in my feet (and actually only after all those hours making jam and being on my feet, that really kicked my arse) and i’m still feeling fairly comfortable and sleeping well. ok, sleeping well in between the 8 trips to the bathroom and 5 minutes of pillow reforming each night. i started working from home full time a few weeks ago and that has made a huge difference in my back. i haven’t had the same pain since the rocking chair became my desktop. now it’s really only the bottoms of my feet that are a constant source of pain. they just feel bruised almost. sore. and no shoes are helping but i can’t complain. i feel really lucky to be at home, not on bedrest and not having any major complications. phew. so far so good.

so for now i’ll just keep on keeping on and see what they say at my next appointment in two weeks. i’ll try to be better about updating. i’m not sure what my problem has been really. i think it’s part exhaustion and lack of motivation and part worry that i will make someone feel the way i used to feel when i would read about happy pregnancy blabber. but at the same time i need to keep this going, have a record of this time for these little people. so they know how much we’re excited to meet them and how long we’ve been working to get to where we are.

sneaking up

July 29, 2009

30 weeks on friday. i can’t quite believe that we’ve made it this far. i was looking at the calendar a few weeks back and realized the big 30 was right around the corner and i freaked out. freaked out because holy crap that means these babes are coming soon! freaked out because i feel totally unprepared. i swiftly spent the next four hours researching and buying cloth diaper supplies and other sundries that i was just sure i needed immediately.

then the nesting kicked in, it seems to early that i could be this obsessive but folks i’ve serioulsy lost control of myself. i get these bursts of energy and i have such a hard time calming myself down. i made three, yes, three trips to ikea in the last few weeks. j and i put the crib together, built shelves for the closet, i washed all the clothes and diaper prefolds, threw out have the crap in our basement that should have been thrown out years ago. donated the other half to the goodwill. and then once i was done with baby focused things i got this crazy idea that we had to, just had to find a new sink and sink cabinet for the bathroom. done and done.

then after all the crazy energy spurts (and overwhelming exhaustion) over the last few weeks, the ob told me quite kindly to knock it the hell off. and i’m listening. it’s killing me to be so quiet when every inch of my body wants to be tearing up some part of the house or completely reorganizing the basement but this is just all way to important to not listen to what i’m told.

so here were are days away from 30 weeks, fingers crossed we’ll make it to 34 at least and then beyond. i’m feeling mostly really good except for the whole being enormous and not able to bend over, lie down or sit comfortably for more than 15 minutes, constantly out of breath and somewhat predisposed to crying. i’m just feeling lucky we’re still here and moving forward. i know this can turn out just as we’ve hoped and i know the game can change at any given moment. and though i’m not trying to dwell on the negative i want to keep it in my mind. to acknowledge that the shits lottery still exists and you never know when you’ll be the lucky winner.

so for now, i’ll just keep sneaking towards the end of this journey. eyes on the prize.

still here

June 1, 2009

i’m having a hard time finding words these days. it’s not that i don’t have anything brewing in this head of mine. all in all, i’m feeling great for the most part. my middle is surely expanding and the wiggler’s are constantly on the move. my hips are really sore at night, guess i’m expanding in other parts of my body too and leg cramps are a new pal of mine.

but i am happy. i am grateful. i am so lucky to have made it this far. 21 weeks and counting.

but outside of myself i mourn. i mourn for my dear friend and the loss of her son. i try my best to stand beside her and hold her up when she falters. i am just so sorry this has happened and shocked still by the true reality of it. i keep thinking, even weeks after, that maybe it was all a mistake. maybe he’s ok. but i know it’s all true. i know his little life is gone and part of my friend has gone with him. and i am just so angry that things like this can happen.

so that’s where i am. up and down. down and up. but mostly, mostly just thankful. for my own growing beans who are still kicking around in there. and for this friendship that means so very much to me.

no words

May 13, 2009

Was woken up this morning at 2am to the phone ringing. My dear closest friend here in town who is just weeks away from delivering her first child. I answered groggily and immediately heard her voice waiver, “t? I lost the baby”.

—- I can barely type this through my shock. But he is gone. And she waits. For her body to realize it’s time to deliver him. I can’t comprehend the horror of all this. I can’t explain it away. I can only hold her and cry with her and her husband and do what I can to help her through this wait. A wait they say that might take a few more days.

It’s all just so unbelievable. So unfair.

There are simply no words to describe how terrible it really is. So for now I’ll just to with silence.

Please think good thoughts for her.

grateful

May 11, 2009

my heart has been so heavy. heavy for my dear internet friend kate. something she wrote in her most recent post has been winding through my head all weekend. “With loss sometimes comes the chance at a new beginning, a different beginning, a different and perhaps even better outcome.”

sometimes it is the hardest of times that give us the most reward. these rewards take a while to come. they are hard won and sometimes don’t feel like the true gift they are until so far down the road it’s hard to imagine the pain and difficulty that catapulted the path the brought us to them.

i’ve been thinking so much about these little people growing inside me. about how amazed i am that they have stuck with me for so long. so far so good. each time i feel them shift or kick i let myself believe this is all happening. and i remember that without the struggle and devastation of my past they wouldn’t be here at all.

perhaps without the past i would have experienced this with some other little person, but that’s not the point. the point is that without cancer, without the loss of my fertililty, without the encouraging words of a friend or the strength of DH, i would never be where i am today.

these little people, even without my DNA, are a part of me because of these journeys. because of the past. because of my body’s ability to keep me strong enough to survive through all the challenges of my history. and for that i am so grateful.

i’ve said before that in many ways cancer has been the best thing that ever happened to me. and now there is one more example of why i hold that true. actually make that two reasons. i really hope one day i’ll have the honor of meeting them face to face to thank them for making me see what can be born from all that pain.

and i truly hope all of us reach that pinnacle one day. in whatever way we accept to find it.

all is mighty swell

May 4, 2009

sorry for my mid-week freak out last week. i’ll try to blame it on a surge of hormones but i’m not sure how far that will get me.

things are all fine, my lovely nurse at my doc’s office gave me an overview of all the things i was feeling and how none of it should continue to worry me and i feel so much better. why they couldn’t explain it as easily as she did while at labor and delivery i just don’t know, but i’m so happy to be part of a practice that i feel so confident in and cared for.

so i’m back to normal for the most part. started a prenatal H20 class at my gym that is meant to start strengthening all those muscles i never use that will become very important in a few months and stretch out the muscles i never remember to stretch. have to say it was a bit of an ass-kicker but in a good way.

i’ve still be mostly absent from the computer so i’m sorry to have not been commenting. i’m coming back i promise. not sure where all my motivation has gone but i’m guessing i’ll find it somewhere once i have another milkshake or two.