Friday, March 22, 2013

Brynlee & Berlyn Make their Debut

Even though I put myself on bedrest last week (I was determined to do everything within my power to keep these babies in until after big bother's birthday) these little ladies decided that they were ready and nothing would stop them! I woke up Tuesday morning just before 4am to use the restroom (which is something that was happening multiple times per night, with the weight of two babies on my bladder and all). As I was walking back to bed, my water broke. I woke Tony up to tell him, and his response was, "Are you sure? Maybe you just peed your pants." No. My water broke with Braysen as well and I knew exactly what this was. When I woke Tony it was 3:58, two minutes before his alarm was set to go off to get ready for work.

Our bags were already packed, but there were a few moments of chaos while he called work, I called my mom, and got our bags into the car. My mom met us at the front door to take Braysen and off we went. This drive was a little more scary than the drive when I delivered Braysen. With Braysen, I knew I would be laboring at the hospital and knew we had plenty of time. This time the babies would be taken by C-section so I knew I wouldn't have as much time. I was right. We arrived at the hospital by 5 and things happened at lightning speed. They had me change into a gown, hooked the monitors up, checked to make sure my water had actually broken, checked to see if I was dilated, which I was, 3 cm. They then took my blood and sent it down to the lab and we waited. I'm assuming they usually do the bloodwork during your pre-op appointment, but I was 34 weeks and 4 days and they hadn't planned to take the babies for another 3 weeks.

I had to sign some forms, Tony got outfitted into his super cool scrubs, Braysen and my mom came in to say hi and good luck, and then I was walked down the hall to the operating room. I just kept thinking about how surreal it was and I couldn't believe it was happening already.

After they did my spinal, I almost passed out on the operating table. At this point there was so much weight in my belly I could no longer lay on my back without getting this feeling. I almost passed out when my doc had me on my back to do an ultrasound the previous week! Tony came in shortly after and then the doctors got started. Brynlee arrived at 8:10am and before they even got her to the warmer the doctor said that Berlyn was popping out! They were seriously out of room in there! Berlyn was born less than a minute later, her birth time was 8:11am. To my shock, these girlies came out with full heads of dark hair!


 Tony went with them to the NICU (we were already told they'd be going straight there because of their gestational age ) and I was wheeled to recovery.

In recovery, my OB came to visit me. At Kaiser, whatever doctor happens to be on staff at the time is the doctor that delivers your baby. My OB told me she'd do whatever she could in order to deliver my babies. She  rushed up as soon as she found out I was in labor, but they had already started my surgery. She also brought Braysen play doh to play with in the waiting room. I love her!

 After spending a hour there I was wheeled through the NICU to see the girls quickly. I got to seem quicker than I got to see Braysen and he was born at 39 weeks!

I was really worried about how sore I'd be after having a C-section, but honestly, my recovery in this first week was way easier than that with my vaginal delivery the first time around. I was up walking every two hours to the NICU to visit the babies and was getting around so much easier than after Braysen. With Braysen, I felt like I had been hit by a truck, every muscle in my body ached from his delivery and it lasted for at least a week. I also had much less swelling after this delivery. There are other symptoms that were lessened this time around, but I'll spare you the TMI details. ;)

From the beginning, Brynlee was looking great. Berlyn needed a little oxygen to help her breathe. The doctors could hear her slightly grunting, so they could tell she was struggling a little bit.  After 12 hours I was allowed to get oof bed and walk around. You can bet your butt I was up at exactly that 12 hour mark, catheter in hand, headed to the NICU!

That night, they told me that Brynlee was doing fabulous and was eating like a champ. Berlyn had been taken off the oxygen shortly after her birth, but that night was in an isolette and had an IV. My days at the hospital went like this: pump, take milk to NICU, visit babes, head back to room to eat or snack. Then it would start again every 3 hours. Not having a baby in your room is tough! I got really bored in there. The only time I spent in my room was t shower, eat, or visit if I had visitors. I tried to keep hospital visitors to a minimum, simply because I had no babies to show. :(



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Week

One week old today and I have still not posted anything about their birth. Having babies in the NICU is way more difficult than I expected it to be. I knew that it would be hard emotionally, so I did my best to prepare myself for that very early on in this pregnancy. What I did not expect is how physically difficult it would be. The girls were born on Tuesday the 12th (I'll have to post their birth story later) and I went home on Thursday the 14th (Braysen's birthday). I had the option to stay until Saturday, but with a 3-year-old at home, I felt like I needed to be with him as well.

Prioritizing my time has been my biggest difficulty. To be honest, I'm exhausted. I know it's difficult to imagine: "How tired could you possibly be? You're not caring for two newborns around the clock!" Yet I am still up every two hours pumping so not only will those babies have milk while they're in the NICU, but also to boost my supply so I will have enough for two babies once they come home!

And so it goes day and night, my timer on my phone goes off every other hour reminding me to pump.  During the day I try to juggle my time between between Braysen and the babies. It is not easy. The hospital is a 30-40 minute drive from home, so I usually pump just before I leave, then have to leave the NICU to pump, then have to pump shortly after I get home. It's crazy!

I feel really bad because I've had lots of friends call or text to check on me and I can't always get back to them right away. I can't use my phone in the NICU and when I'm at home I try to devote my time to Braysen. I promise I'm not ignoring you, I just have a lot going on right now and can't always respond right away!

Tony went back to work the day after the girls were born. We don't have the luxury of two incomes this time around, so he wasn't able to take time off like he did after Braysen was born.

My mom has been a godsend through all of this. She comes to my house daily, helps me pick up the house, does whatever dishes are in the sink, folds laundry, helps get Braysen ready, basically whatever needs to be done around the house. She drives me up to the hospital every day, even when that means she can't go in to see the babies because she has Braysen with her. She froze some meals for us to have easy dinners and has even cooked dinner or taken me to dinner on nights that Tony works. I quite honestly don't know how I'd be surviving right now if I didn't have her. Thanks a million mom! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

34 Weeks

A lot has happened since my 32 week update! I've had two visits to Labor & Delivery and twice weekly NSTs. My first trip to Labor & Delivery was after I was experiencing regular contractions for several hours. I usually drink a ton of water during the day, but a couple days after I turned 32 weeks I just had an "off-day" and didn't drink much. Once I started having contractions, I chugged a ton of water in hopes that they would go away. I never had any Braxton Hicks or anything when I was pregnant with Braysen, so because these contractions weren't hurting, I assumed that's what they were.   I was wrong. After about 3 hours of contractions every 2-5 minutes, we decided I needed to head to the hospital. They told me my ketones were high and that I was dehydrated. They hooked me up to an IV and monitors. I was sent home about 5am with a few irregular contractions. 

After that, I put myself on a "water schedule". If you know me at all then this should not be a surprise. :) I have jugs that I fill up and was giving myself 3 hours to finish each jug. I was drinking a gallon of water per day. 

During my twice weekly NSTs, they always notice that I am having contractions about every 5 minutes. Most of the time I only feel about 2-3 of these contractions in the hour and a half that I'm usually there. The babies always look great so I usually just get sent home. This past Friday the doctor in charge of NSTS was not happy with the contractions she was seeing and decided to admit me, even though I wasn't feeling them.  They kept me for several hours for monitoring. The babies still looked great and were doing well with each contraction, but I was still having them every 2-5 minutes on the monitors. I was told my ketones were high yet again, even with me polishing off a gallon of water each day!  The doctor that saw me in L & D was really nice and wasn't too concerned about my contractions. She said as long as they're not making me dilate, she wasn't very worried about them. She then said, "I think this is just you. You will probably just keep having contractions throughout the rest of this pregnancy". 

I am now finishing each jug of water in about 2 hours and am drinking a gallon and a half of water each day. There is no way that I can be dehydrated with that much water! Yet I am still experiencing some contractions. I have 7 more NSTs before my scheduled delivery date. I hope I'm not admitted every single time!

Braysen's 3rd birthday is this week on Thursday, so these babies must stay in past that. At best, I'm hoping for at least a week or two past his birthday, but I have a feeling they will be coming sooner than that. Only time will tell!