Friday, May 10, 2013

Twins: from birth story to birth day

I just put the babies to bed. Babies. For the last time. For tomorrow, they will be two year old toddlers!!!!! I get extremely nostalgic when it comes to anniversaries/holidays/birthdays.  I love looking at that same event, in the prior years through pictures. That is why I love pictures. I can look at them and remember everything about the moment. So I thought now would be a great time to relive the birth of my twins up to their first birthday. I am knee deep in planning their 2nd birthday party which is three days away. So why not take a moment out and tell you how it all began....

My oldest singleton, Lyla was 18 months old when the feeling was so strong for another child. We were fortunate to have healthy embryos left from our cycle with Lyla. Simple to implant them, we know I can get pregnant and carry a healthy child...piece of cake! Not this time. We conceived, and a few weeks later we discovered that the sac continued to grow while the baby did not. I had a DNC at 9 weeks. As usual when dealing with a rough experience, I dive head into something else, or in this case...another try.  Once again, we conceived. Once again, the baby stopped growing.  Once again, devastated. This time I decided to let my body rest. I prayed and prayed and gave it all to God. I asked Him to let me know when I was ready to try again instead of my determining when I should conceive. About an hour after I prayed this prayer, my body gave me the sign it was ready. On of the "God" moments I will always remember. So, we started what we said would be our last attempt for a second child. Conceived again! HCG numbers were MORE than doubling. Six week check up...TWO healthy heartbeats. My husband, shocked. I tried telling him for weeks leading up to this appointment I thought we had twins. I was quite obsessed about it actually. I already had my heart set on twins. So when my fantasy became reality, I smiled. I smiled so much. I smiled so much I felt like my cheeks were bruised for days. I went to my 16 year high school reunion that night and was just simply glowing from the news.


 15 October 2010

Today is Pregnancy and Infancy loss day. Today was the due date of my baby I lost in February. Today is also the day I found out I am pregnant with twins. Prayers going out to those who have suffered loss, and all the angel babies in heaven!

I had a great pregnancy. I loved being pregnant, and with two babies was no different. I truly am the happiest when I have life growing inside of me.  
While I was still being seen by The Fertility Center, I was very anxious to know the sex. The planner in me who was freaking out about how to plan for two babies needed to know! At my 11 week visit, we saw we had a boy. Tim and I were both thrilled! The other was undetermined, but "may" be a boy. Then I was terrified. I don't know how to raise boys? I wanted boy/girl twins so badly. For one reason, I love being a mom to my sweet baby girl and wanted to experience having another girl and I also wanted Lyla to have a sister. Secondly, the idea of two boys running around the house was the scariest thought ever.  So I tried to mentally prepare myself for two boys. At our 12 week visit, we confirmed that twin A was actually a girl!! Hallelujah! I was so happy I could barely contain myself!!!! Now of course, I would've been happy either way....but I was thrilled with the news.
The biggest difference I remember about being pregnant with twins is the movement.  Constant movement. It was really neat at first, and then became annoying towards the end. Especially Sean (twin B). He was very very active! The other big difference was the fear of the unknown. How do I raise two babies and have a toddler? What if Tim is working late and I am cooking dinner and Lyla has to go potty and the twins are crying and the water is boiling over? What do I do?? I came up with situations like that in my head my entire pregnancy trying to plan "what to do" in certain situations. Stupid, yes...but it helped me cope with the unknown.  Now, many of the situations have actually happened, and I have survived them all! With a smile!
Olivia (twin A) had low fluid from the beginning.  We had bi weekly appointments with a high risk specialist to keep an eye on things. We got to see our babies all the time via ultrasound. It was wonderful!
On May 9th 2010, I was 35 weeks 1 day. By this time we were going weekly.  During my visit, we discovered Olivia's fluid had dropped below safe level. We had to get her out of there! I was given the choice to induce that evening, or do c-section the next day. After talking with my husband and our mom's, we decided to do c-section the next day. I got so sick with Lyla's delivery from pre-eclampsia, and was hospitalized numerous times for weeks after, we didn't want to take that chance again. 

Checking in for a c-section was much different, somewhat easier yet more nerve wracking.  My dear friend Beth was my nurse again as she was for Lyla. I had a lot of hospital staff that are my friends, come see me.  My parents were there, Tim of course was there. My mother in law went in the operating room with me to get my spinal, thank God. That was a scary moment for me and she helped me through it. Once I got back to the operating room, I got very scared. I almost threw up from the meds, felt like I was going to pass out. They gave me oxygen, and was talking me through it all. I felt immense pressure. I heard crying, and then nothing. No crying. And then more pressure, and then a big splash of water, then crying, then no crying. Both babies were out, Olivia was practically dry because she had no fluid. But there was no crying? They rushed them off to the NICU. I was really unsure what was going on, I figured they just had to check them out since they were 35 weeks, but nothing was wrong. I didn't even get to see them. I wasn't really worried at all, infact I thought "how neat. they are going to be in the NICU with their cousin Gabe!"  Gabe had been in the NICU for 5 months. He was born a micro preemie at 22 weeks and 5 days. I need to blog about that little miracle some day.
Later, to hear the stories from my husband and mother in law are actually quite scary.  Neither baby was breathing and Sean was turning blue.  I don't recall any of the details, because I was actually clueluess as to what was going on.  Here is Tim's version of our birth story told through a March of Dimes campaign.
(typo: they were in the NICU 9 and 10 days)

While I was in recovery I was all by myself. No husband, no family, no babies. I was bored, excited, nervous, but not really scared! I just couldn't wait to hold my babies and start feeding them! I asked the nurse to bring me my phone, and I answered a couple of work emails. I still joke about that to this day, how I am a dedicated employee.  And I of course updated my Facebook:

In recovery now, surgery went well. Babies are the nicu but doing good...can't wait to see them! Sean is 5lb 9oz, Liv is 4lb 5oz. Going to see them at 8pm. No pictures yet.

 So 8pm comes around when the NICU is open for visitors.  I got in to see my babies, and I was horrified. They were on c-pap to help them breathe, IV's, and feeding tubes.  I had NO idea they were sick. My babies were actually in the same pod as my nephew, and I looked over and saw my brother Mike and my sister in law Tiffany.  I just lost it and started crying. I looked at them and what they had been through. Now, I knew our situation was nowhere near their's but it just was an overwhelming moment.  I visited with each baby. There wasn't much we could do. Couldn't hold them, couldn't feed them. Just look at their sweet faces struggling to breathe.

The twins will be in the nicu for a couple of weeks due to breathing issues. I am grateful that is the only issue for each of them, however wasn't prepared too see so many tubes and learn that news. Still in shock. Would appreciate prayers for my new little ones.



Michael and Tiffany were so very helpful to me and talked me through a few emotions. Not only was it such a different experience than when I had Lyla as far as the delivery, but I didn't have my babies in the room with me. I felt so silly in my hospital room, by myself, with no babies in the mother/baby ward. I felt guilty for being there for some odd reason. I couldn't go to the NICU whenever I wanted, because I was recovering from a c-section.  That was not fun. It was very painful. It hurt to talk, cough, sit, stand, walk. After 1 day, I couldn't take it. I got up and slowly waddled to NICU. About half way. My husband saved me with a wheelchair. I went to the NICU every chance I could get. I tried pumping breastmilk for my two little ones who I knew really needed it. At the point, I thought it was the only thing I could do. But nope. Nothing. No milk. I would literally get one or two drops. We took it to the NICU anyways. Every little bit helped! I eventually could squeeze out maybe an ounce every few hours, and split it up between them. 
On their 3rd day in the NICU, we got to finally hold them!

And take their temperature, change diapers, and eventually bottle feed

I kept a detailed journal every day they were in there (thanks to Mike and Tiff for my journal, and the motivation to do it!). Maybe some day I will put that in digital form and blog it.
Meanwhile, Lyla spent some time in my hospital room getting used to the idea of being a big sister!

visited the twins earlier and took their temp, they are now taking my milk through a feeding tube, might even do a diaper change next! They are doing very well, going to see them again soon and take them more of mommys milk.

Tim fed both babies via feeding tube syringe, I took temps and changed diapers, then we hung out with mike and tiff. Was a good night!

Twins update: both off cpap, holding their own temp well, Sean nursed a minute or two, possibly taking feeding tube out tonight, Sean may need phototherapy ...will find out results soon. Overall, they are doing great!! Can't wait to take these cuties home

Oh, and one last update...I caught Olivia and Gabe talking to each other. They are planning their escape. Sean just slept through it all, hoping they don't forget to grab him.

  • Not looking forward to going home from hospital today without my babies. But, it is time to be a mommy to lyla for a little bit.

    That was a hard day. Going home without my babies. All the work we had done to prepare for their arrival. The freshly washed clothes, the clean house, the bassinet by my bed. It was tough.  Tim and I made good use of the time though. We took a couple of days to run errands, get last minute items for the house, the twins, Lyla.  My first day home was a Saturday. It was the same day as March for Babies. I was the team captain for our family team. We had amazing support that year thanks to all of the support for my nephew Gabe. I of course couldn't go to the walk because I was still in recovery and couldn't get around well.  So Tim and Lyla went and I stayed home. It was terrible being in the house alone. It didn't feel right! But I was thrilled they got to be there to represent our team.
    Monday came around. Lyla was going to daycare, Tim was going to work. I just couldn't sit home by myself all day. So I called my friend Sara that I work with, and told her to come and get me, and she did. I went into the office and did payroll. Less than a week after having the twins, haha. It was a great distraction, though I did turn a few heads when people walked by my office, people did not expect to see me, LOL.

    I would like to name my husband, Tim Tripp husband of the year!!! He has been the absolute best friend, caretaker, father. I couldn't have survived the past week without him. I love you!

    • Sean is coming home tomorrow!! Looks like Liv will be coming home on wednesday. Very exciting. It's like going into labor again, less pain!

      The day Sean came home, I was so excited!!!! We piled up in the mini van, car seat ready. Lyla was so ready to meet her new baby brother. She couldn't understand why she hadn't met them yet? Had my camera ready. Had our mom's with us. Let's do this! As we came out of the NICU, I was terrified. What if he isn't ready? What if he stops breathing again? What if? What if? With a terrified smile on my face, we left the hospital.
      The drive home was painful. Every little bump hurt because I was trying to stabilize Sean's tiny little head. He just seemed too small to be in this huge carseat! However, we made it home. All four of us, but we were very aware someone was missing.

      Lyla was over the moon about "her new baby". She would tell everyone that they were HER babies and mommy and daddy made them for her.
      Sean slept great that night. I remember thinking, this is too easy compared what I am about to go through! The next day Olivia joined our family. I laid her down in the bassinet next to Sean, and it was the first time since they were wombmates, that they had seen eachother. Together again......

      The day they came home, Sean was 5lb 1oz and Olivia was 4lb 1oz

      These two came in to my life and rewrote our story. It has been such a fun ride with this crazy duo!!!! I wrote a blog a while back about what it is like having twins, and it has all their pictures from their first year in life.

      I intended to also blog about their first birthday party, it was a fun one!!! I have some great pictures and party ideas to share from that day. But that is going to have to wait. It is 12:07 on what is now officially their birthday. I must go give them a kiss and welcome them to the terrible twos....

      Happy Birthday Sean and Olivia!!!!!!!!!!!!

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