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post-birth update!

We made it to the planned c-section date of 9/22, which was 38 weeks and a day!!!

Here is a picture of me as we were checking into the hospital.

We had a lot of problems during the prep., including them scaring me by saying they couldn’t find baby B’s heartrate!  As if my nerves weren’t rattling enough, as they led me down a hall to into the operating room (they have you walk in, and I walked from one side of a huge operating theater to the other) images of Sean Penn walking down the corridor in Dead Man Walking and of lambs being led to the slaughter filled my head.  I really half expected to not wake up from the surgery.

In reality, fortunately, my Doctor said it went very smoothly… and quickly!!! I didn’t even know they had started when I caught a glimpse of my innards reflected in the lamp above me.  I think the actual surgery was under 15 minutes. Having given birth this way,  it is very clear to me why the hospital and doctor’s prefer it.  It isn’t liability or even convenience, it is that they can do lots more births, and thus bring in lots more money, by having these time efficient procedures rather than vaginal childbirth.

Sophia Ella and Jonah Eli came out healthy and screaming (and to think we were worried about their lung development) and each weighed close to 6-1/2 pounds!  Here are our little sweeties:

Sophia

Sophia Ella

Jonah

Jonah Eli

(More pics to come.)

………..Recovery from the surgery was a bit rough, although in some ways better than expected.  On day 1 you are not allowed to get up at all, not even to use the bathroom.  They give you a handy catheter for that.  I felt like I’d been  hit by a truck on day 2, but by the end of that day was already doing so much more.  John couldn’t get over the progress in hours much less days. Everything they did though hurt a bit. From putting in that handy catheter and the IV line to pulling off tape, and lying you down and sitting you up, etc. It seemed like everyone in the parade of medical staff that entered my room, would start with something like,” this may hurt a little.” Oh, and if the poking and prodding you get from the staff isn’t bad enough, there is the sore nipples from trying to nurse twins. (and my little girl bites!)  Also, I got a painful infection.

All in all we were really impressed by the hospital staff at GBMC, my doctors and the pediatrician on call were great, as were the nursing staff.  Their famed lactation consultants were very inconsistent though.  We didn’t even see one of them until the 2nd night! In the meantime I’d been taking advice from everyone who walked in the room, and some of it frankly was  bad.   Consequently, I started off especially sleep deprived and sore from nursing 2 babies which took up to an hour each, every  2 hours, plus pumping- so that I’d get adequate “stimulation”; it was crazy!!  (and yes, those hour long ones literally when we ended it was time to start over.)  This set us up for a downward spiral on breastfeeding, fatigue, and PPD. (PPD worsens with lack of sleep)

Lots of help is needed for twins, especially if you are also recovering from a c-section, and also especially if you plan to try breastfeeding!   We are very lucky to have help, but I think we could easily have kept/keep an army busy.

eve of 38 weeks!!!!!

Wow, I cannot believe we’ve lasted this long, me and our little ones. It looks like we will make it to the scheduled c-section this week! And as you can see I’m HUGE! We’re excited and counting the minutes!

37wks6days

37wks6days

belly moves

sorry so long over due….

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15100785" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/15100785">The kids don't like Mahler</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3874688">John Cunningham</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15101122" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/15101122">They like Jazz</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3874688">John Cunningham</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

OK; I’m done.

It’s amazing how one little baby head digging into my inner thigh and some worsened reflux is enough to make me raise the white flag. The baby head issue means I have a lot of pain while trying to walk, moving and lifting that leg, etc. Our townhouse has lots of stairs. I sleep and usually eat on the main level which has no bathroom, so while I try to limit trips up and down the steps, sooner or later I have to, and every step is exrutiating. I’m lucky that I’ve only had this level of misery for a few days, but I’m crying, “Uncle!” The babies are just 2 days shy of term for twins, actually depending on who you ask they may already be term for twins.  So I hope they will make their debut SOON! (or at least that she’ll move her head.) The funny thing is, the way they are positioned I have 1 and a half babies on my left side and only his head on my right side.  This is especially odd since he started off on the right side where he had plenty of room. It’s 10 days until my scheduled c-section, which is sounding far off right now, but I know it won’t be long. Of course that will cause pains of its own, but I will be allowed to take pills for that!

OMG I think I’ve hit that wall!- 36 weeks and happy but feeling miserable

Friendly warning: not a post to read while eating……

I’m very excited to have hit the 36 week mark, and hope to hit week 37, which is full term (for twins). However, I am officially MISERABLE! I’m very glad to have been so fortunate to only recently have become this uncomfortable; some people put up with this and worse for a whole lot longer. I think some of this is indication that the babies are close to coming into the world and would not be surprised if I popped before the end of the weekend!

The babies have lowered, which somehow has not helped the reflux but has added painful pressure in the pelvic region. It hurts to walk, it hurts to lift my left leg, it hurts to adjust my legs when lying down or sitting. It makes standing after lying or sitting excrutiating as gravity pulls the blood downward. It also is making it very hard to do things. Just walking across the room is now an effort. I rest more, but am frustrated at how hard it is to do simple things.

I’ve been putting up with these for awhile but these have increased in frequency and ferocity and now joined with the pelvic pain are adding to my increased discomfort.  I will elaborate even though I’m sure you are all sick of me whining about acid reflux and nosebleeds, etc. by now, but this is AWFUL.  The frequency and intensity have increased. Before this pregnancy I had never had heartburn. This is terrible even with maximum strength Zantac 2 times per day. Lay down, get vicious heartburn, lean back, get vicious heartburn, eat a lot, get vicious heartburn, eat anything acidic or spicy, immediate sensation of throat being on fire. I wake up in the middle of the night with it. Can’t even drink water because it makes my throat burn so bad.  I try to answer the phone and find my voice has disappeared and attempting to talk is very painful. It is so raw and just BURNS. I take the Zantac maximum strength, chase it down with 2 tums, drink chilled or iced, non-acidic beverages through a straw and still feel like I must be burning a hole through the lining of my esophogus. I wake several times a night either due to sliding down and thus the acid sliding up, or a dry throat. I am probably quickly deteriorating my teeth sucking on throat lozenges at night to prevent the latter.

Needless to say, I am still not sleeping great. I get 5 or 6 hours a night, sleeping on the couch so that any moaning or getting up won’t disturb John.  It happens to be a little more comfortable than the bed as I can prop myself up better, at least until the wee hours of the morning when my legs start to complain about being packed in sardine style to the not quite full length couch. I do nod off a little once or twice a day, but my usual annoying symptoms, a phone ringing, or a knock at the door often keep that from amounting to any meaningful amount of sleep.

The nosebleeds are a less miserable symptom, but annoying and disgusting. They occur very easily and frequently and ALWAYS are followed by bloody clots in my throat that burn, no doubt due to my irritated throat lining.

Ok, now that I have grossed you out and perhaps annoyed you with my whining… back to the positive! The babies should be pretty well developed. They seem to move less often, but when they move it is like a tsunami in my abdomen. It rarely hurts.  I still enjoy watching them move around. My belly is beyond huge. I can barely tell where my belly button was. It went from inny, to flat, to outy, to steamrolled!  I was amazed after the last ultrasound, when it was pointed out where the babies’ various parts are how much room they are taking up and I am seriously wondering where the heck my organs are, perhaps under my armpits? It just seems like the babies are everywhere!

We have the barebones basics in babygear covered, and then some, but are not fully ready with the nursery, house, etc. But I am relieved that the things that really HAD to happen have. I went online last week and purchased the things from our registry that we will need early on and had not yet received. They have all arrived.  Also, a few more gifts arrived from friends and relatives with more necessities such as bathing supplies, blankets, and clothes. (and OMG they are SO cute!!! From the froggie bath stuff to the cute outfits and mudpie socks that look like shoes!) My big sister through my multiples group lent me her infant carseat which fits the stroller we picked out. (yay! Anything we can do to save money right now is a big help!)

So in these final days, both nervous and excited, we await some sign that the time has arrived. That day feels close at hand, but at the latest will be the morning of 9/22. Regardless of when, I won’t have to push, it will definitely be via c-section.

No babies today.

They are closer in size than yesterday’s tech thought, which is good & the amniotic fluid levels are normal  <whew!> The corrected weight estimate is 5 lbs. 13 oz for her and 5 lbs. 9 oz. for him. Also they have moved from their previous positions. He is lying sideways across my middle and she is head down and partly behind him. At one point during the u/s he was really in her face! The tech said they can touch each other as apparently the membrane that separates them isn’t thick. (I didn’t know they could do that!) She said its like touching someone through their sleeve, they can feel it. Who knew sibling squabbles, e.g.,”He’s touching me!,” could start so early in life!