Archive for the ‘twins’ 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.

Arrived

September 26, 2009

Not to be Outdone by a deadline M & V decided to show who’s really in charge by jumping the line to my scheduled induction Thursday at 7am and kickstarting labor just three hours sooner at 4am. After just over 13 hours the little people arrived both the old fashioned way. I’ll get the story out someday soon but for now some quick details.

Baby A, now known as V, a girl is 5lbs 12 oz and came out head first.

Baby B, now known as M, a boy is 5lbs 6 oz (and taller than his siter by an inch at 19″) came out feet first.

Both adorable, sweet and looking for trouble. This is going to me amazing and crazy. More details when I’ve had more than 2 hours of sleep. Hmmm not sure when that might be. Hee hee.

33w5d

August 26, 2009

after feeling pretty damn amazing for being just over 8 months pregnant this week revealed things can certainly change quickly.

friday night i woke up at 1:30am to a pretty strong BH contraction. no biggie, i’ve had them since 15 weeks so they’re not something i tend to freak out over since they are never consistent and really are just more annoying than anything else. But from 1:30-2:30 they came every 10 minutes. (thank you i.phone application icontraction) then from 2:30-6:00am they were more like every 5-7 minutes. weird. i called L&D at about 2:45 to say this is different than anything i’ve experienced before. They said to call back if the contractions got down to 5 minutes apart or less and stayed that way for an hour or more. I laid back down and kept track for the next few hours, they just kept coming but stayed above 5 minutes the entire time. I finally called back at about 5:45am to say that they haven’t dropped below five minutes but they are still very consistent and all the water i’m drinking and lying on my side doesn’t seem to be doing squat. Also, I’m only 33 weeks so if I was going into labor I would still need steroid shots to help the babies lungs out. I was so worried by the time I’d get to the hospital it would be too late. The doc said, well why don’t you come in at 7am (since shift change was about to happen which would mean i’d most likely be waiting for quite a while to get seen.) I laid back down at 6am to try to get some rest until 7 and next thing i knew it was 9am.
When I woke up the contractions were gone for the most part, and if i did have any they were back to their inconsistent norm. I decided to just take it easy, eat some breakfast and see how the morning went before I went in. I met a dear friend for coffee half a block from the house and as soon as I sat down i just lost it. I think it was a combo of exhaustion from being up all night, fear that these babies were going to come early and not be ok, and hell, extreme fear that these babies were going to come and i won’t know what to do with them. i think i finally realized how imminent this all is and it scared the pants off me. Don’t get me wrong, after so long in this journey all I want is to meet these little people and to know they are ok. but that doesn’t mean i don’t still shake from the idea of knowing that I don’t know anything about babies or being a mom and my world is about to change oh so dramatically. I know we’ll be ok, we’ll figure it out, we want this more than anything, but it’s still a big transition.

anyway, with one look at me my friend said, “i’m pulling the car around and we’re going to L&D”, j was off on a run for work and wasn’t available so I hopped in the car and away we went. At L&D the babies and I were hooked up to the monitor and they looked just wonderful. Moving a ton and good strong heartbeats, my contractions were still willy nilly and showing up.

They checked my cervix and found that I was 50% effaced, no dilation though which was great to know. And apparently I was 50% effaced at my appointment on wednesday though no one thought to mention that to me. So after a few hours and no change in my cervix I was released and came home. The next two days I was over the top exhausted. I couldn’t do much more than sleep and eat.

It’s been two days since then and I feel much better. my energy has returned a bit but i’m vastly more uncomfortable. a few weeks ago i would have said i thought i’d make it all the way to 38 weeks, but now, well, i ain’t so sure. i feel like i’ll be lucky if i make it past friday. PLEASE let me make it past friday!!

now excuse me while i attempt to dislodge a baby head from under my right ribcage so i can finish my workday.

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.

just when you think you’re ok

April 30, 2009

last night has thrown me for a loop. i got home from work (which was a really quiet day, only one meeting!) i had felt pretty pooped all day and as soon as i walked in a decided to take a nap. i slept on the couch for about an hour and when DH came home i went upstairs to the bed to continue my lazing about before getting up to meet a friend at 8pm. and that’s when it started. around 7pm all of a sudden my entire abdomen clenched. it scared the shit out of me. was this a contraction? braxton hicks? i’ve never felt anything like it and it totally freaked me out. DH brought me up glass after glass of water which i’ve read is the first thing you should do if you feel like you’re having contractions as dehydration can cause them. I had no pain just complete tightness. i called my doc around 7:15 who said, keep drinking and lying down and call back in an hour if it didn’t stop.

it. didn’t. stop. DH drove me to labor and delivery at 8:15 and they checked me out. luckily my cervix is completely closed so they don’t think it was anything more than my body growing and stretching and well, perhaps contracting but after a few hours they sent me back home with the remark, “this just might be your normal, we’ll have to wait and see.” apparently it’s quite common for people to have contractions throughout with no sign or pre-term labor. of course i have to keep as restful as i can for the next few days and look out for other more worrisome signs. but all is (i guess) well again.

i can’t say i feel too relieved by their words. the clenching came and went throughout my visit to the hospital but finally subsided late last night. the entire episode scared the crap out of me. it made me realize how tenuous this all still is. and having two nurses say, well you know if you were to have them now they are not old enough to survive (um, I KNOW! which is why i’m freaking out!) didn’t help much.

i have come so far. 17 weeks tomorrow! and yet i’m so very far away from the coveted 29th week of viability. i’m holding out for 36 weeks when more than likely everything with these two beings inside me will be ok. these little wigglers who with every twitch and wiggle have buried into my heart.

i just want this so much it scares me to know it could all still fall apart. i already knew this was true but i’ve been feeling so amazing that i didn’t really let those thoughts seep too far past the surface.

it’s back to working from home for a few days. and a quiet (with no painting!) weekend on the sofa. maybe a slow swim. damn it. i just have to believe in this even though it’s so scary to do so. i have to believe in these two beating hearts. i have to believe in my body. that’s just all i can do.

hey up there…. listen up!

April 22, 2009

yeah that’s pretty much what my body started yelling this morning as i made my way into the shower after yet another ridiculously long day at work. the last few weeks have delivered the ultimate arse-kicking to this here lady. we’ve been launching a big project which i’ve been working on for two years and this was the big opening week. holy moly. add an extra 30 hours on top of my regular 40 and you get a body that is about to fall apart.

last night was the big event and i had finally started to relax but of course something went awry and instead i spent the hours of 7-midnight freaking out and making calls and getting everything fixed. and well, yeah i think those four hours were the straw that broke this poor camel’s back. i woke up this morning like a zombie. slid into one of the dresses that still fits me and slothed my way into work in order to lead tours of our big donors. and i just couldn’t do it.

i literally lasted about two hours in the office. luckily my lovely friend took my tours and i dragged myself back to the train for my commute back home. i fell asleep almost instantly on the train.

i’ve decided to give my body and the wiggler’s a break and work from home tomorrow and friday i luckily have off. if it weren’t for them i’m sure i’d just keep going but the thought of pushing myself even further than i already have and having something happen would be something i’m not sure i could ever forgive myself for.

the wiggler’s must have known i needed a swift kick in the pants in order to see the big picture in all this. so that’s just what they gave me. yup, i felt them. i’m not sure if i’ve felt both or just one of them but for the last three nights i’ve gotten some kooky fluttering vibrations on the top and side of my expanding midsection… then today, as i was climbing this silly high stone stairway at work i felt my first kick. it was a tiny one, but made me laugh out loud. and with that, i bid my adieu and packed up my things and away we went. all three of us.

so maybe i went home, and maybe i still checked my email like every five minutes, and maybe i still participated in two conference calls in the afternoon… but ladies, at least i was lying down, right! i mean that’s got to count for something.

tomorrow i’m going to try and step back even further. i’m taking a cue from dear kate and be still and maybe even quiet for once. it sounds pretty good to me.

gag order

April 9, 2009

i might need to come up with a better name for the wigglers as their space is becoming a bit tighter they aren’t wiggling as much as they once were. yup, we got to see them again today. my 2nd OB appointment and it was great. the flippers? the thumbsuckers? i’m not sure what quite fits so maybe i’m just not creative enough at this juncture to even come up with anything new. i guess i could call them gag inducers but that’s not as fun and too long to type. yes, you read that right. i’m not sure what to say about the ol’ gag reflex but lordy do i know how to hand out the impromptu dry heave morning, noon and night.

yesterday it happened as i was eating my cereal before work. a tiny hair hit the tip of my tongue and good golly i was lucky i had just swallowed. or last night before bed while in the throws of a traditional tooth brushing just one mild swipe too close to the molars and holy crap thank god i’m standing over a sink.

really all i’m trying to say is that the little ones below are making me a real attractive lady. aw snap. i’m not sure if it’s the copius amounts of saliva i’m always savoring, or the expanding mid-section, or perhaps it’s just my constant burping. at 13w6d’s, i am officially driving the boys wild.

NT Scan…. done and done.

March 30, 2009

Well, we have officially made it past 12 weeks. I am 12w3 days today! yipee! DH and i went in for the first trimester screening today and got to get a nice long look at the wigglers. It’s just so weird. Honestly, every time one of the nurses or doctors says the word “twins” it’s as if i’m finding out for the first time that that’s what we’re growing in there. It just never ceases to shock the hell out of me.

Today baby B was a very kind soul. Sitting nice and still for the radiology tech and letting all the measurements get done quick and easily. Baby A was another story. the tech at one point mustered, “i think baby a hates me!”. Baby A would flip, kick, roll over, anything it could do to not be measured. at one point the tech hammered my belly with the wand to get it to move over and it tilted back on it’s shoulders and kicked the crap out of her. okay, so no one could really feel the kicking but watching on the screen was hilarious!

after the scan we met with the genetic counselor again and she went over the findings and it couldn’t get much better than our results. less than 1 in 10,000 chance of an issue with trisomy 13, 18 or down’s.

so all in all, i’d say this was one fabulous monday. and some other lovely ladies have had some fabulous news to boot! congratulations kate and babysmiling!

wiggler’s on the loose: 9w6d

March 12, 2009

well, i just had my first OB appointment and i am completely in love with my new doc. she had me splitting sides the entire time. and even though she made me get through my vegetables before we got to desert, (her words) i finally got to see the little swimmers flipping around inside me. it was crazy.

i mean i’ve had three ultrasounds so far with this pregnancy, and all of them were tiny blips of white surrounded by black, two of them did include the blinking heartbeat, but that was it for movement. but today! holy crap! i never even imagined there would be so much movement this early. first we looked at both and quickly noticed one was freakin. he/she was jamming out in there so we zoomed on in for a closer look and to watch those little paddle arms wiggle. so damn hilarious. then i said, but what about the other one, it didn’t seem to be moving and just as she zoomed out, we see the other bug joining in the dance off. it was so funny. as if they’re practicing up for their next big role in breakin’ 3.

ahh. so it was a good day. a very good day. and with no nausea in almost 4 days, i’m starting to feel pretty calm and happy. so four more weeks and then we’re back in for another appointment. maybe an earlier ultrasound if we decide to do the genetic testing that happens between 11/13 weeks. i’m tempted just for the extra glimpse of the wiggler’s. sadly DH missed this one too. got stuck at work due to a big event tonight. so we’ll see. until then… well, i think i’m gonna have to keep pinching myself!

7w0d Ultrasound #2

February 20, 2009

7w0d ultrasound

we have two heartbeats! holy moly, this is getting a bit more real i’d say. Sorry about the crappy image, cell phone photo… what can i say.

one is measuring at 7w0d which is exactly where we are and the other is a few days behind at 6w5d. but all looks good so far.

holy moly. this is just so crazy! i’m gonna keep trying to take this all one day at a time, we still have a very long road ahead of us. but i’d be lying if i were to say i wasn’t excited. two little beating hearts. oh my.