Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The first year..

"It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair..."

This quote, from one of my favorite classic books, just seems appropriate for how this first year went, ha! In a blink of an eye my babies turned 1. I feel like the luckiest mom alive to have had this year with them. So full of life, so happy, so innocent...even with multiple night time wake ups and countless needs for day time cuddles. I used to think my heart would never be big enough to give love for two babies at the same time on top of the love I have for Adrianna. I was wrong. I don't think I can really put into words the love I have for Victoria and Isabella. Such a different love for each of my girls. each of them teaching me a different lesson in motherhood, each showing me love in their own way. Apparently my arms were also wide enough to feed them both at the same time while giving Adrianna attention as well. Multitasking has taken on a whole new meaning this past year. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I have to admit, one of the hardest things about being a mom of twins is the amount you miss out on. I can't remember the last time I had a baby fall asleep on my chest, or when I would just stare at them sleeping. I barely had one on one time with each one. It was a guilt I had to fight through. I feel like they got as much of me as I could possibly give. They are happy, they love me and that is all that matters. What a difference from Adrianna! I did everything with Adrianna when she was a baby! We went to mommy and me classes, went out to lunch, ran errands together, had random park trips, took naps on my couch together, she watched me cook and was my taste tester most night, it was amazing! I am so grateful that I was able to experience that as a first time mom. At the same time, I feel like I grew as a mother with the twins. Sure we can't do mommy and me classes, but very few people can say they have felt their heart fill with joy (more than joy) when they hear their sweet twin babies (or more if you are blessed with triplets etc) talking to each other and laughing over the video monitor first thing in the morning. They follow each other, do the same things, and sure they fight over toys but it is still cute (for now). My family and friends have enjoyed watching in awe as I tackle motherhood with 3 under 3, 2 of which are twins. I have been asked plenty of times how I do it, how I survive. My answer, every day is a new challenge with some extreme cuteness sprinkled in between that makes the hard times doable. 

Victoria, you have quite a personality. You are spunky, funny, social and attached to my hip! You have learned so much, and are currently taking your first steps. You are not cautious at all! You do and think later. I love that about you. It will hopefully mean that as you get older you will tackle life without fear. I will have to teach you to think of the consequences of your actions I am assuming...which may be a challenge. I am just glad you are you and I love you with all of my heart and soul! 

Isabella, my sweet Bella. You are hard HEADED! You don't take no for an answer! But it is so hard to say no to that sweet little innocent face. You are curious of the world around you and want to explore it all! You are a little more cautious, which is a good thing. You take your time doing things. For example, I know you can say plenty of words, I have heard you say mama, dada, ball, dog, go, but you refuse to say them on demand. You will choose when you want to say them, everything is on your own agenda. You are trying to walk but haven't taken any steps yet. You get way too excited when you stand which causes you to drop to your knees because you crawl with lightning speed! Who needs walking? Ha! You are beautiful, pensive and independent. You adore Adrianna and love to chase her around the house, both of you crawling of course.
My favorite thing about both of you is that no matter what you are doing, when you see daddy on facetime (he travels oh so much) or when he gets home your faces light up and you get so very excited! You have started to call him Joe, just like Adrianna (we are working on getting the daddy thing down) and it is cute! Though daddy would love to be referred to as daddy eventually. You both have lots of teeth and love to cuddle with mommy. I need to make more time to cuddle. I have to say I am not a cuddler, but I have gotten better at making time to do so. 

Thank you, by the way, for being amazing eaters and sleepers. Sure you have the occasional food you hate and nights you wake up in need of a little rocking but those are far and few between. You are up at 7, nap at 10-11:30, then again at 1:30-3:30 and are down at 7pm like clockwork. All on your own too! You feed yourselves, I just cut up food for you and place it on your trays and you are happily eating away. I am so lucky. 

I still don't know what I did to deserve such great children. Adrianna is the best big sister ever. Sure she has her own issues, 4 year olds are tiny teenagers I am convinced, but she is amazing. The love she has for you both makes my love for all of you grow with fury. This was the toughest, exciting, exhausting, challenging, best year I have ever had...EVER! But I wouldn't change a thing. Here's to all the new experiences and challenges of this coming year! Something tells me the fun has only just begun.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

6 Months: A Letter to My Babies

Victoria and Isabella,

How is it possible that it has been a whole 6 months since your birth? Time really does fly. I don't even know how to express how amazing (and crazy) these 6 months have been. We moved, we adjusted to new surroundings, we made new friends, we laughed and we cried...a lot. I love that I have gotten to see your individual personalities develop.

Isabella, you are such a little angel. Not that your sister is not, but let's just say that if it weren't for you mommy would be just a tad bit more stressed :) You are entertained by anything, only cry when hungry and you LOVE to talk to me. I love it when I hold you in my arms and you caress my face with your tiny fingers, as if you are learning my face. You have the biggest smile I have ever seen! And you love to explore anything within arms reach. You will knock anything down that is next to you or grab things and put them in your mouth. You love your milk, and you like eating baby food but you prefer your milk for sure. We have tried giving you some table foods and you are not into the tough texture, though yesterday you devoured a spoonful of mashed potatoes and broccoli...I guess you like mommy's cooking :) I am so blessed to have you as a daughter baby girl. You may have to share me but know that my heart loves you and your sisters equally. You make my life complete. But please, one request, enough with the diaper blowouts! Yuck! <3

Victoria, you are special. If nothing else, you teach me how to be a better mother. You keep me on my toes for sure. You just hate being away from me! You must love me sooooo much. I am not going to sugar coat it, you are difficult to handle at times. I know you know that. But you know what? I could not imagine my life without you. You teach me how to multitask, how to cater to different needs, how to show affection even when you are stressed to the max, you really are my "welcome to reality" child. I love how your big eyes explore everyone's face. You give a good "mean mug" when you don't know someone. You give the same look to me when you are not happy with me. And baby girl, you can EAT! Holy cow! You love it all! I feed you everything, table foods, baby foods, water, your milk, crackers, everything! My favorite thing to do with you is sit you up and watch you get so excited when you see your feet. Sweetest thing ever! You are so beautiful, my chunky little baby. I love you so much and I know that I will miss all of our cuddle time soon so I will try not to complain much :) And please, stop growing so fast! You are so ahead of where you should be and I feel like you will walk before you crawl!

I treasure every moment with you both. I love harder because of you both. I drink more wine because of you both. I am a stronger mom and wife because of you both.

I don't have any dates for the new things you both do, so bad I know. with your sister Adrianna I wrote everything down. You both roll from back to belly and belly to back, can balance sitting up, makes noises to get our attention, love to laugh with your older sister, play and hold hands with each other, and almost get on your knees when on your belly and Vicky you can actually hold on to the couch standing if I make you do it. I am so proud of how far you both have come. You both are growing so well and I cannot be more thankful that you are healthy. Mommy and Daddy love you both to the moon and back!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Life After Twins: 4 Month

Last I left you all I was begging to give birth to these precious babies. I couldn't take one more second of being pregnant. I was induced and gave birth to the most beautiful babies on June 6, 2013 on 8:11pm and 8:20pm. Twins. I remember when I found out I was going to have twins. It was the most special I have felt ever in my life. I was one of the few. Unique (but not really, many people I knew have twins or triplets...Shirley) ;) I just loved every second of it. I was so beyond happy. I had lost 3 precious angel babies to miscarriage so I felt I was given a second chance at having the big family I always dreamed of. O went through many emotions during those 6 months. Fear, excitement, anxiousness, excitement again, agony, fear, FEAR, and then relief. Relief when I held my babies for the first time. It was literally love at first sight, twice. Did you know that when you have twins you almost have an outer body experience? Really! I almost couldn't believe what was happening. I was in the NICU and was being told how beautiful my baby was then I was AGAIN told how beautiful my OTHER baby was. It was so hard to wrap my head around. Two beautiful and perfect baby girls here in this NICU and both were mine. How? I will never know. I am afraid to question. Through all of the difficult weeks in the NICU both of my babies were reunited after 30 days at home with us where they belonged. My 3 year old was so confused after having her momma gone for so long and visiting sisters that really to her barely existed because they didn't live in her every day life. Then we moved. Military life moved us from Massachusetts to Virgina. 9 years as an Air Force spouse and this was by far the most difficult move ever. It took about 3 weeks to settle into our most amazing house in Virginia and we love it. Fast forward to many long nights, doctor visits, crying (me and the babies) and sending my 3 year old to preschool and you will be here, today. 4 months have gone by since the day I gave my final push and gave life to Isabella, the last baby (maybe) I will push out. It almost seems surreal that I have been living a life with 3 beautiful girls for so long. But I am here to tell you about some things I have learned being a twin mom. Know that I am so thankful and grateful every single day of my and their existence but it is not rainbows and butterflies. Here is a snip it of my life as I tell it.

So, the move was horrible. I cried. The babies cried. Adrianna cried. I remember only certain things. The mind is really good at erasing the most difficult times. I remember when Victoria would not ever sleep for more than an hour. I love my husband but I remember, vividly, How soundly he slept through the crying and how I envisioned every possible way to literally smother him in his sleep. I remember how he would wake the next morning and claim he got no sleep and how I thought I would really kill him. KILL HIM! I remember when Isabella would not eat. How she would just not suck hard enough to get any formula and I would just sob and beg her to eat. I remember how Victoria would poop blood and I would will her to stop and just be ok. After many doctor visits I was told her body had to get rid of the irritation in her bowels. It was stressful and awful. She projectile vomited often and many times all over herself and car seat while we were en route to Virginia. Again, I would remember planning out a murder while my husband would ask me why I was so stressed out during this move. Bless that man, he did not know any better. Hormones plagued me hard and I am aware of that now...not so much then.

The whirlwind of feeding and learning the personalities hit me hard. I am never going to forget the days I would just stare at Victoria screaming, begging me to hold her and stare at Isabella, content in her bouncy seat putting herself to sleep. I spent many days bouncing and rocking Vicky and, what I saw as, ignoring Bella. Poor Bella. She slept in bed with us because i didn't hold her all day long. Poor Adrianna, my 3 year old who also needed her momma. We quickly realized that Adrianna just needed to go to preschool in order to get more than what I cold give her. I was so unsure. I was unsure of everything I was doing. I had my mom helping me daily but it does not make my days simple, it helps me juggle the crazy. And I can't ever repay her for what she has done. Learning to feed, crying, poop, impossible trips to run errands. This was my life. I hid the stress. Posting on facebook "oh I love getting my hair done, my nails look so pretty, I heart relaxing summer nights." I was so stressed during the day. I did do those things but never relaxed. I am still not relaxed. Confession: I love when people call me super mom. Couldn't be further from the truth. I can't stop. It isn't that I can do all of these things it is that I can't stop doing everything. The only constant in all of the craziness? HAPPINESS. I am truly happy. Really. I will tell you why.

The twins are now 4 months old. Bella has deep conversations with me. Babbling and baby talk that mean more to me than anything. Vicky looks for me when I speak and instantly shoots me a smile. Adrianna asks me to give her a big squeeze every time I drop her off to preschool and when she isn't in school she randomly will ask to give me 24 kisses. It melts me. My husband is still a guy. But watching him let Adrianna do his hair, pretend paint his nails and dance with her because she calls him her prince....that man is more than I can ever have dreamed of. Perfect for me. I would have been sad if I killed him, hahaha. The way he talks back to Bella's babble and how he makes Vicky's eyes light up lets me know that he is perfect for them too. Adrianna, her daddy is her hero. She tells me every time we talk about what daddy does as his job. And I can say, these past 4 months, no matter how difficult have been the best 4 months I have ever had. Period. I am so fulfilled, so blessed. Gag all you want, I cannot lie.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

What did I do?

I was getting ready for a fun lunch with a friend and was going out with all three kids by myself. Pretty fool proof right?? Adrianna was climbing into her car seat and before she could get into the car came running to me screaming "momma momma!" I thought there was a bug or something. She said the dreaded words. The words I would never want to hear from my sweet little innocent three year old. She said.....brace yourselves.... "Momma! It's ONE DIRECTION! I love this song! (Toddler jabber) best song ever!" What?? Oh god. What did I do wrong here? Someone help me! How do I get her as excited for, say, Dave Matthews or John Mayer. No, instead she has to be obsessed with One direction. I have my lovely cousin to thank for that...you know who you are. We went to build a bear and I had her spend her birthday money on making a bear. I tried my damnedest to have her pick any other sound in her bear. Call me maybe, I love you, an annoying lullabye sound, but no. She chose one direction. So now I have to hear "you don't know you're beautiful" a thousand times a day. No it isn't cute. She wouldn't stop pressing the button when we were in the store. She would dance, she kept saying she loved it in the car. Someone help me please. Does it start this young? Because if I have to start buying 1D shit I might go crazy. Aunt Jo, I know you are reading this. No it wouldn't be cute to foster this obsession, don't you dare buy her any one direction gear. Please! Haha! I have a threenager on my hands and I would love to not see a preview of what preteen years will be like. Whatever happened to Barney songs? Mickey Mouse clubhouse? Even fresh beat band would be better. Lord help me...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Quickly after I delivered the twins (though not as quickly as when I delivered Adrianna since the twins were further along) the twins were sent to the NICU. While I recovered, the nurse took the girls to the NICU but stopped in the hallway quickly so Adrianna and my mom and inlaws could meet them. It was so sweet of her to do that! My OB even went to check on my mom who wanted so badly to see the twins being born. She gave my mom a huge hug and told her that I was ok. Seriously, best OB EVER! About 2 hours went by before I was ready to be wheeled to the NICU to snuggle my baby girls. Adrianna and everyone else went home, I was in recovery waiting for the feeling to come back in my lower body. I didn't completely get all feeling back, I lied to the nurse. I just really wanted to see the girls.
I hobbled down the hall and caught my first glimpse of Bella. She was gorgeous! Wrapped up tight in her hospital blanket, and warm with her little hospital hat. These two items are my favorite. Seems no matter how long it has been since they first wore it their smell is forever embedded in the fibers. Adrianna's still smells like her when she was born...it brings back an influx of memories with every whiff. I held Isabella tightly and just watched her look into my eyes, studying me and memorizing my face. It always takes me a day or so to really connect with my babies. With Adrianna I was in so much shock that she had been born, so little and 5 weeks early, that it really was a few days before I really felt a bond. I loved her, would give my life for her from the instant i delivered her but the bond takes a few days I feel. No one tells you that. I already knew that this time around so I didn't feel horrible when the last thing I wanted to do was breastfeed them. I really wanted to hold, snuggle and smell their baby smell then I wanted to sleep! The nurse that night made me breastfeed though. It didn't feel right. I just wasn't into it. I gave it my best shot but I wish they would have listened to me when I said I needed to get rest. It had been a very long day and after 6 weeks of bed rest in the hospital my body was not in any condition to give birth...it was so very weak. I tried to breastfeed Isabella and she latched right away but quickly fell asleep and did not want to latch anymore. The nurse insisted I keep trying and I was literally falling asleep in the chair bobbing my head. It was torture. I know it sounds like a terrible thing to say but I kept insisting that I wanted to pump and get rest. Needless to say, my first experience with the girls in the NICU was not as joyful as I had hoped. The same happened when I saw Vicky for the first time. It just killed the whole experience for me.
I was in the NICU for over an hour and finally went to bed. I was woken up after only sleeping for 2 hours and told that the girls were crying and needed to breastfeed. Again, I said that I was going to pump because I needed to sleep yet the nurse insisted I breastfeed....made me feel terrible for even trying to avoid it all together. Shouldn't BFing be something that comes from me? Something that I feel inclined to do? I tried with both of the girls again and nothing. I was completely exhausted at this point....I was at the verge of tears. In fact, I remember going back to the room and just crying myself to sleep. Joe understood my frustration and he was upset he couldn't do much to help me. I was not bothered at all for 4 hours straight after that, and felt so much better the next day. I showered at 6am and first thing I wanted to do was see my babies. I went straight to the NICU and was greeted by a kind new face. The nurse that day was a lactation consultant and we spoke about the night before. She told me that there was nothing wrong with my feeling the way I did and that it was completely normal. Made me feel so good. She asked if I wanted to try to BF again, but def did not pressure me into it. This time, it came naturally from me and I had the urge to feed my babies. I started with Vicky, she was great at suckling but did not latch very well, ouch! She was able to get a couple of drops after I used a nipple shield. For 2 days straight I was able to latch Vicky with a nipple shield and she was able to get a tiny bit of breast milk. It felt amazing! I did pump and bottle feed as well and they both were also supplemented with formula because of their low blood sugar and low birth weights. Isabella had a harder time with suckling but had the best latch. She was just lazy and would get tired out very quickly. By the 3rd day of their lives, they were both showing their different personalities. Victoria was my crier (still is). She was always screaming and letting everyone know she was there. Boy is her cry loud! She was eating great, both from latching and from what I pumped by bottle and formula as well. Her only issue was maintaining her body temperature. She was put in an isolete where the temp was set very warm and every few days the temp in the isolete was lowered until it reached room temperature then if she was able to maintain her body temp then she would be taken out of the isolete. Before I could take her home she had to be eating well, maintain body temp and get back to her birth weight. Isabella was not eating as well. She was having to be fed with a syringe. She would not suckle on the bottle or breast as well. She was not eating the amount she needed to be eating. For them both, their minimum feed had to be 7-10 mls. Such a tiny amount. Isabella was given a feeding tube that day. She was also in an isolete because she had jaundice. In order for me to bring her home she had to be feeding her minimum feed without a feeding tube for 48 hours and had to be jaundice free.
I had never been happier! They were both so perfect and doing fairly well for how little they were. They were my miracles. I loved them so much! It really didn't take long before I felt that strong bond and connection with them. I was still so very sore and tired. My body was not feeling well after birth. I knew I had to take it easy, but how could I when all I wanted to do was be with my babies! Adrianna was doing well handling being a big sister. She really wasn't interested in doing much with the babies, it must have been so strange for her having her sisters hooked up to monitors, having her mommy in the hospital so long. I can't imagine.
I was eventually discharged from the hospital and I couldn't have been happier! I packed my things, fed the babies, got in my car and we all headed to cheesecake factory to celebrate my finally leaving the hospital. This was my first real meal and the first meal I could actually finish without throwing up (I had run out of room in my belly towards the end of the pregnancy). I was still hurting, and I had the worst hip and pubic bone pain ever! It was terrible. So bad that my OB prescribed me Percoset. Still, every day I went to the NICU to feed my babies. Once in the morning and another at 8pm after Adrianna's bed time. Most days I could barely get out of the car. One time I went by myself and had to pull over because I had a gall bladder attack (found out during my stint at Tufts that I had gall stones caused by the pregnancy). I couldn't move or breath in and I threw up bile on the side of the road. Horrible. After 20 min it passed and I continued on to the hospital. I was determined and I thought I was superwoman....nothing could stop me! Day 7 came and we were told Victoria was ready to come home! We were so excited! We ate breakfast and went to the hospital at around 8am. By 9am she was ready to be discharged. She passed her car seat test, had all of her leads and wires removed and we changed her into her coming home outfit. Then it happened. She pooped, and it was all blood. Soaked the diaper in blood. The doctor came over and told us she was not going home. She needed to be observed some more. We were no stranger to bloody poops, Adrianna had them too when she was a newborn. We knew that there would be formula changes, no more breast milk and possibly a stint at Boston Children's Hospital. At the same time, Isabella actually finished a whole feeding without a feeding tube! We knew there was a chance that Isabella would be coming home soon and Victoria would spend more time in the NICU. And that is exactly how it happened. Victoria was transported to Children's that afternoon, we went straight there and spent the night with her there. She was given the diagnosis of NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis). In the most extreme form, there would be a fast need for surgery to fix a perforated intestine. In Vicky's case, her intestine was ok but the presence of blood in her poop and signs of infection in her bloodwork caused the doctors to treat her for medical NEC in which the infection is treated and there is no need for surgery. She was on no feeds until a 7 day round of antibiotics was completed then she would slowly be reintroduced to an elimental formula, likely Neocate. We made the difficult decision at that time to stop offering breast milk to both Vicky and Bella. I would have had to eliminate all dairy from my diet, and with us moving shortly after their birth this was an impossible task. I was not ready to go down that route. We decided to stop offering breast milk to Isabella as well because since both Adrianna and Victoria presented with this NEC issue we did not want to risk Bella getting sick as well. It was hard on me. I had so much guilt. I felt terrible for Vicky and more so for Bella. We quickly started building up our supply of formula for Bella, she was and still is on Enfamil Enfacare. She was on Neocate in the hospital until discharge just in case she developed the same issue.
Bella was ready to come home 5 days after Vicky went to Children's. She passed her car seat test, leads were removed and we put her in our car and brought her home. I got my first baby snuggles with her without any wires or nurses and it was wonderful. We snuggled on the couch for hours. She was a doll at night as well. She woke uo every three hours to eat and slept soundly in between feeds. It was a piece of cake to have one baby home and taking care of Adrianna. At night, at 8pm after we put Adrianna to bed, we would drive into Boston to visit Vicky. The NICU there is amazing and the nurses were wonderful. We did get frustrated at a point though with the doctors there....more on that in another post.
Regardless of all of the hardships we went through in a short period of time, we were so happy. I could not have been happier that my babies were here. Bella was at home with me, Vicky was getting better and I was feeling good. Then we got upset at the way things were going for Vicky. I will post about that later.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birth Story

It has been a long 8 weeks since the birth of the twins. I can't even believe 8 whole weeks has gone by! Last I left off, I was awaiting my induction. Here is how it went down:

I was supposed to be induced on June 5th. That morning I woke up, showered and got ready. Mind you, I was in the hospital already so I was so anxious! Joe stayed with me overnight so he was there in the morning with me. We talked about how excited we were, how our lives would never be the same after today. I wasn't sure when I would be going in for my induction, the nurse had said to be ready by 7am. 7 came and went and I had not heard anything yet. The nurse came in around 9am and ssaid that I would be taken to labor and delivery shortly. My heart was racing, I almost cried. Two hours went by and still I was waiting to be taken in for my induction. The nurse came back and said there were a couple of emergencies so I would have to wait a bit longer. A few more hours went by and the nurse came by again to tell me I had been delayed. Apparently 3 twin pregnancies were being delivered at that moment, two c-sections and an emergency c-section. I needed to be delivered in an operating room just in case I needed a c-section and there were none available at the time. Needless to say, at around 4 or so I was told I was not going to be induced that day. I am not quite sure looking back at it now why I was so upset. I cried and cried and cried. I was so ready to be done being pregnant and to meet my babies. Joe was furious. My OB was so sweet and stopped by right after she was done seeing patients at the office to tell me how sorry she was. She felt awful that I was delayed. We planned to be induced the next day and if I was delayed again I was scheduled for a c-section at 5pm. Joe went home and packed a bag, got a few essentials, brought Adrianna in to see me and took her back home later that night. He came back to stay the night with me in case we were told we had to go over to L&D early. The next morning I took my time. I rolled out of bed (literally rolled) at 6:30am. Showered and got ready, no makeup or anything like the day before. I was just about to turn on the news when the nurse came in with a wheel chair and said that L&D was ready for me! Oh the JOY!! I was wheeled over, prepped, given an IV and started on pitocin at 8:30am. By 11am I was starting to have light contractions but nothing painful. I was checked for dilation, remember I was already 5-6cm from the start (preterm labor at 30 weeks got me a 6 week stay at the hospital on bed rest), I was still the same. At around 1pm the pitocin was already at half of the max amount. I was progressing pretty quickly, contraction 3-5 min. Then my OB came in to talk to me. She felt horrible because she had a surgical procedure to do in the GYN dept at the hospital and she wouldn't be done until 6 or so. She had to stop my pitocin. I was a little disappointed but at least I was able to eat. I had the best grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, it was delicious! Because of my gestational diabetes, my blood sugar was checked every hour, my poor fingers. The last meal I could have was at 3pm just in case I needed a c-section. No food 3 hours before potential surgery. We waited and waited. Joe's parents arrived, my mom and Adrianna were already with me. Adrianna got to spend most of the day hanging out with me in the delivery room which was so nice. My mom was also there with me this time, she missed Adrianna's birth so she made sure to not leave my side this time. Joe's parents and his brother Kevin went to go grab some dinner and took Adrianna with them at around 5:30pm, at that time my pitocin was started up again. My OB came in at around 7pm (I know longest day ever!) to check me. She asked if I wanted an epidural and my answer was HELL YEA! I was not going to let them break my waters without it. I remember with Adrianna, after my water was broken labor was strong and fast and I barely had time for an epidural. It actually didn't work with her birth. I was having stronger contractions now, I could barely speak during them. The epidural was pretty painful to get. I felt lots of pinching and pressure. After it was put in, I asked when I would stop feeling pain....because the contraction were VERY painful at this time. It took 3 contractions, by the third I couldn't feel a thing and it was FABULOUS! I heart epidurals. 7:45pm and my OB breaks my waters. Joe goes in to use the restroom and within 5 min Victoria's heart rate dips dramatically. It was all a blur, the nurse was screaming for my OB down the hall, was was being unplugged and hooked up to a bunch of different things and given oxygen. I remember saying that I was sure Victoria was coming down because I could feel pressure. When my OB checked me I was fully dilated. So that is 6-7cm to 10cm in a matter of 5min after breaking my water...that has to be some kind of record somewhere. After I was given oxygen Victoria's heart rate went back up. I was then wheeled to the operating room where I would deliver, just in case I needed a c-section. Joe was allowed in the room in full scrubs only but no one else was allowed in. The room was a very cold and cramped space. there were 9 different people there 2 L&D nurses, one for each baby, an ultrasound tech, the anestisiologist, my OB and NICU staff. It was hectic. To make matters even more hectic Victoria's heart rate dropped yet again. I was told to focus on breathing and to start pushing when I felt pressure. At 8:09pm I began pushing Victoria Rose out and she was born at 8:12pm!  A healthy 3 lbs 15 oz! It was such a relief, her first cry was magical to hear! The ultrasound tech scanned me to make sure Isabella was head down and she was. My OB pushed on my stomach to get Isabella to come down more, she was way up by my ribs. I remember my OB saying that my body had to re-dilate to deliver Isabella. Crazy right?! Well 8 minutes later I began pushing again and in 2 pushes out came Isabella Sofia! 8:20pm and a healthy 4 lb 1 oz bundle of cuteness! Her cry was also magical. I was holding VIctoria while they worked on cleaning off Isabella. 8 and 9 APGAR scores, simply amazing! First question I asked my OB was if I tore? Sorry for being so graphic but this was my biggest fear, I did not want stitches! And I didn't get any! YAY! After taking pictures, (Joe actually got some of Isabella crowning, pretty interesting) the girls were sent to the NICU and I went back to the L&D room to recover. I was greeted by my mom, inlaws, and Adrianna who I hugged soooo tightly. It was one of the best days of my life. Having children is such a miracle. It was just as magical as I remembered with Adrianna. I love my three girls! Next post I'll talk about the NICU stay and what happened in the 13 days Isabella spent there and the 30 days Victoria spent there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Help and Support

Lets talk about support. I have been in the hospital now for 4 weeks straight! In those 4 weeks I have never received more offers of help in my life! Between my military family, most of which I barely know very well, offering to care for my daughter and come to the hospital to keep me company to my parents and Joe's parents dropping everything to come to my house and help clean and maintain it and care for Adrianna (and feed my husband). I am so very lucky to have such a great support system. Some of my friends have even come to the hospital just to chat for a few hours, how nice to have regular girl talk :)

Anyway, as my time being pregnant comes close to ending I have started to think about what life will be like with 3 kids 3 and under....two of which will be newborns. I am never one that likes to ask for help. I actually really hate asking for help unless I really need to, emergency situations and such. I am pretty sure that is why I ended up on hospital bed rest, I didn't ask for help nor did I listen to my body when it would tell me to slow down. I would go food shopping and think "it should be fine to carry all of these bags in myself, it is only a few steps away." You guys, I even carried cases of water 2 weeks before going into preterm labor! That did happen, and I should have never done that. We wont talk about other things I did throughout my pregnancy because, well...my OB has a facebook and I am afraid she will read this ;). Point is, I should have asked for or accepted help when offered. As moms, I feel like we grade ourselves on that kind of shit, "I raised 4 kids and I never needed help and I home-schooled, home birthed and my kids never watch TV and I still nurse my toddler who latched on from the moment they were born." Just because I don't do these things doesn't mean I am less of a mother. I am perfectly perfect for my kids and my husband.  I have learned the hard way that help is nothing to be ashamed of. I am making it a point to accept help once the twinkies (I'm back to calling them twinkies, I am not mad at them anymore for misbehaving lol) arrive. My mom has been with Adrianna for about 4 weeks while I have been in the hospital and my MIL is here for about 1 week to give my mom a break. Once the twinkies are here, my mom will be back for maybe a week or so then it is just Joe and I until June 26th....then my 16 y/o cousin is coming in from out of town to be the relief. She will be helping me with everything, mainly keeping Adrianna company while we are tending to the twinkies and prepping our house for the move to VA in the middle of July. I am so glad to have all of this help. I am sure if we need my MIL or mother at any point they will gladly drop what they are doing and come our way. I don't anticipate needing meals made or anything like my wonderful military community likes to do, but I will not be turning away any form of help. I am done feeling bad for looking "weak" because I can't be supermom and handle it all on my own. This includes my feelings after birth.

With Adrianna, I had more than just the baby blues. I was down right depressed for a period of time. I did a great job faking it, but I had never felt more alone than I did during her first 6 months or so. I would cry throughout the day, had no motivation to do anything (I would force myself to tidy up the house but I never really went anywhere for 3-4 months), I couldn't sleep at night because I thought for sure Adrianna would stop breathing if I wasn't alert and attentive to her. It was miserable. Once she hit about 5-6 months I did some research and found a mommy and me gym class called Little Gym and it was seriously my saving grace! For the first time as a new mom I interacted with other new moms going through the same hardships of raising a newborn, it was fantastic. I will never forget the first time I brought Adrianna to a restaurant for lunch by myself. She was about 6.5 months old and it was after a little gym class, we went to Panera together and I juggled pushing the stroller around people and tables and getting my food/finding a table. It was hard and exhausting but felt so good once I settled in. Since that day, I began taking Adrianna out to run errands with me. They weren't always smooth, she once threw up EVERYWHERE at a Starbucks, pooped all up her back and on a shopping cart at a Target, I mean it was hard! But it felt good when I was able to accomplish what I need to during the day all while juggling a baby. Now, I am faced with twins. Will I have the same feelings again? Am I going to cry all day long, be stuck at home or stay up all night obsessing over their breathing? Chances are, that may happen again. I don't want it to but it probably will. I have had so much anxiety throughout this whole pregnancy. Now during my hospital stay I have the worst thoughts run through my mind...scary morbid thoughts. What if I die during labor, how will Adrianna handle not having me around forever? What if one of the babies die, will Adrianna keep asking for the other baby because she is so used to there being two babies in my belly? Will one be sick? Will one have Downs? Are the nurses sure they are getting two different babies when they check the heartbeats every night? Why do I think this way??? It is so frustrating because I feel out of control when these thoughts enter my mind, I feel like I can't breath or I just cry myself to sleep. It isn't healthy. So I suspect I will be just as anxious when the twinkies are home with me. Difference is, I will NOT be afraid to ask for help. I will tell the pediatrician the truth when she asks me how I am feeling (she would ask me multiple times whenever I brought Adrianna in to see her and I would lie every time). I will be honest with my OB when asked how I am handling things. I will talk to my husband more about these feelings and not try to hide them, there is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope I can resolve these feelings without medication. I hope that once the babies I will be so over the moon happy there will be no room for these crazy irrational thoughts and feelings. I will be paying more attention to caring for myself as well as them though, healthy me equals better mommy for them, all 3 of my babies :)

BTW, eviction date for the twinkies....JUNE 5TH!!