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 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 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 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.