Friday, April 12, 2013

15 Weeks

Our girls are 15 weeks old today! It is really impossible to believe that they are almost 4 months old. I don't know where that time went.

I am blessed to have had a wonderful 3 months at home with them, and am so happy that we're all adjusting well to not being together full time. The girls are doing great in the nursery each day, and they get to stay home with Daddy quite a bit too! And I am adjusting to being back in the office full time and am trying to soak them up as much as I can, when I can.

Parker, at 15 weeks...

  • You have always been "the sleepy baby" and you still are! You sleep all day at daycare and then you come home, eat and sleep some more, and then you sleep almost all night! You usually wake between 3 and 5 to nurse and go right back to sleep. 
  • You are a very serious baby, very much like your big brother Jack was. You are an observer and you are very quiet, taking in the world around you. 
  • You are great at tummy time, but you also don't mind just laying your head down and resting or falling asleep on your tummy. 
  • You like to watch the rattle, but you don't want to grab it yet. 
  • One of your favorite places to be is in the swing, an you love to watch the bird mobile and look into the mirror, listening to the music.
  • You are mommy's girl and we sleep together every night. Someday you'll move to your own bed, but not yet! 
  • You are our big girl and we love you so!
Olivia, at 15 weeks...

  • You are such an alert little thing! You are awake much of the time and you love looking at everything. You love being near the window and you love looking out the window of the car. 
  • You are a very happy-go-lucky baby and you are such a smiley baby. You smile at everyone, all the time, but you give the most smiles to your Daddy. He loves to make you talk to him, and you always do. 
  • You have not always loved tummy time, and you still don't. You will do it, and you're great at it, but not for long! I think it's because you can't see anything from that angle and want to be on your back looking into the world.
  • You love when Mommy plays with the rattle. You will watch it everywhere it goes. You are a little more interested in grabbing it, but aren't quite dexterous enough yet. 
  • You ALWAYS have 2 fingers in your mouth, and it's one of my favorite things about you. It is usually the first two fingers or the second and third finger of your left hand and it's precious. Even if you have just eaten and cannot possibly be hungry, you stick your fingers in your mouth and are so content that way. 
  • You are very much Daddy's girl. Your eyes are always looking for him and you adore him talking to you. He calls you his sleeping buddy and you sleep next to him every night. You'll be in your own bed soon too! 
  • You are our "tiny" and we love you so very much!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Parker Leigh & Olivia Kate's Birth Story

Seeing as how our baby girls just turned 3 months (and 5 days!) old, I guess it's high time we told their birth story! 

I last posted at 32 weeks, and had been having weekly appointments since that time, to measure the girls blood flow one week, and their growth the next, and was also doing a non-stress test to monitor the girls' heart rates at each appointment. The NST's were awful! So glad I will never be doing that again. 

In any case, I was 35 weeks, 3 days pregnant, making our girls little honeydew melons! 

I got up on the morning of my appointment, which was at 10 am, feeling great. Every single day was such a victory, and I just had to make it through 1 more week to get these babies to the safest point we could get to, 37 weeks! I got right into the back into the NST room, got myself comfortable and miracle of all miracles, they found both babies heartbeats right away and I was well on my way. I even posted a photo that morning, so excited that the monitors got right on! I thought I'd be done in 45 minutes, move on to my sonogram and go to work later. 

After an hour and a half of fetal monitoring and constant checking from the nurse and about a mile of paper from the machine, the lead nurse came and asked me to use the ladies room. I returned and they hooked me back up, much to my chagrin. After another half hour, she finally came back in to look at my read outs and just let me know that she was watching to make sure she got a really good baseline because Olivia was having some frequent decelerations in her heart rate. Once she determined it was all good, I was moved into the sonogram room.

This week wasn't a growth check, just the biophysical profile, where they check blood flow in the babies cords, spine, brain, etc. The tech was done in no time at all and Dr. Mc came in very soon to do her sonogram. She's typically in the room for about 10 minutes and then I'm on my way. This day, she did all the regular measurements and everything seemed totally normal until she said that we were getting to the point that they start to worry about identical twins, and she asked me when I had last eaten. It was almost 1 o'clock by that point, and I told her I had eaten a banana at about 8 o'clock that morning. She checked her watch and said "so about the right time that you could have surgery". She explained to me that she wanted the babies to be born that day, and that I needed to walk straight to labor and delivery. She said she'd call Dr. T and wished me luck. I could only assume that they were bringing them early because of the decels Olivia was having.

One of her nurses walked me down the hall to L&D and I sat down on a bench in the hallway to make that first phone call to Chris. I think all I said to him was "You have to come. They're making me have them today." And he said he was on his way and I don't even really remember explaining it all to him. Then I called my mom and told her I needed her to come and she said she'd be right there. Thankfully, she was only a few minutes away at the mall! Then, I walked into hospital registration and did all my paperwork in about 5 minutes, then they took me to L&D Triage. The nurse there took my paperwork, handed me a gown and some socks and sent me to get changed. In the bathroom, I took the opportunity to call Dr. T's office and find out where he was doing office hours that day. He was headed out of town on vacation the very next day, and I knew that if he was in the office at the hospital, he'd be there to deliver the girls. Thankfully, he was, and I felt better knowing that he'd be there. 

I got into a bed and after laying and waiting for around 20 minutes, another nurse finally came over and started to work on the fetal monitoring machine. She asked me if I was there for extended monitoring and said "I just did 2 hours of monitoring in my doctor's office...I think I'm here to HAVE my babies." She was clearly a bit taken aback and said she needed to make a call. The L&D nurse told her they were holding a prep room for me and had been waiting on me! (They thought I stopped off for some lunch...not a good thing with surgery imminent!) So the triage nurse walked me right to L&D and passed me off to the sweetest nurses. They took very good care of me, and what felt like forever later, my mom arrived. We did all of my intake information, got my IV's done and just went through all the prep that is required for major surgery. The anesthesiologist was all set to go, before Chris even got there, so we had to hold him off! 

Chris ran home to get my bag and got to the hospital as fast as he could, and I remember being so very relieved when he finally got there. My dad came as well, and we were all pretty restless, since we were basically clock watching at that point. It was really surreal. I felt fine, both girls heart rates were totally normal. I kept wondering what we were doing there. It was just odd. When the OR came available and we were about to go in, an emergency came in just before us, so we were put off waiting for that surgery to finish and for the room to be readied again. Then, about the time that was done, Dr. T was delivering another baby. About 5 o'clock, we were finally all done and they took me back to the room. It was 5:28pm when they put me on the table to get my spinal.

After that was all done, Dr. T. and the assisting physician, Dr. G came in and went to work. It was so different than Jack's birth. It was so calm and relaxed. My arms were free, not strapped, Chris sat down next to me and we chatted and laughed with each other, and with the doctor's and nurses. Dr. T talked to us the whole time and it was just a really peaceful, happy time in there. Again, very surreal. Dr. T told me I'd feel some pulling, and at 5:29 pm, he lifted Parker Leigh into the world. I heard him say "Dr. Mc was right, it was a double nuchal cord." So I said "What? The cord? What does that mean?" and he said "The cord was looped around her neck twice." And at that moment, I knew what I hadn't known all day and why the girls had to be born that day. God's timing is never wrong. Three minutes later, at 6:02 pm he lifted Olivia Kate into the world. 

Parker Leigh ~4lbs 15oz~ 18 in

Olivia Kate ~4lbs 11 oz~ 17 7/8 in

From the side of the room, the nurses and the Neonatologist who was awaiting the girls arrival started talking, calling out both the girls' birth weights, their apgar scores and just oohing and ahhing in general. In what felt like no time, the nurse handed Parker to Chris and we were both able to lay hands on our beautiful baby girl. Moments later, Olivia was in his other arm. The neonatologist came over to tell us congratulations and that she was on her way back to the NICU, without our girls. I said "they're not going to the NICU with you?!" and she smiled and said that they were healthy and were on their way to the newborn nursery! I don't know that I've ever smiled bigger in my life! Those first moments with our girls are so vivid in my mind and I just feel so blessed to have them. 

Before I knew it, I was done and had returned to recovery. My family was brought back in, including Jack, and I was so very happy to see him! They brought the girls to me and I was able to hold both of them on my chest before they were taken to the nursery, and big brother was there too! 

We had a wonderful four days in the hospital, spending so much time with our girls. Nana & Deeda brought Jack to see us every day and he was able to spend whole days with us, but was definitely sad he couldn't spend the night there. Chris and I got the most sleep we'd have in months while we were there and our girls were so well cared for. Once again, the nursing staff at NCB was just fantastic.

Before we knew it, they were checking us out to go home...on New Year's Eve! I can't think of a better way to end one year and start the next than by taking TWO beautiful, healthy babies home!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks 1 day
Total weight gain/loss: +23 
Size of babies: They weigh as much as a jicama and are around 17 inches from head to heel. Today Parker weighs 4lbs1oz and Olivia weighs 3lbs13oz.
Maternity clothes? I still wear non-maternity shirts pretty regularly, but mostly everything is maternity. 
Stretch marks? Nothing new. 
Sleep: Doing really well again this week! I've actually been sleeping all through the night.
Miss Anything? Bending over, easily shaving my legs, being able to take a deep breath...
Movement: There is a lot of movement, but they are very limited for space, so there is less obvious kicking and more stretching and rolling movement.
Symptoms: I have some severe pain under my right rib cage, but Dr. T says this is totally normal. Other than that and shortness of breath, doing great!
Food cravings: None to speak of.
Aversions: None this week. 
Have you started to show yet: Obviously. My belly today is actually the size of a full term singleton measures 40 weeks. We have 5 to go! 
Labor Signs: None at all. Not even a tingle.
Belly Button in or out? It's still flat and I don't think it will pop out.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Very happy. We made it to 32 weeks!

Best moment this week: Jack turned 5 this week, which is happy AND sad for us, and seeing the girls this morning...they're still growing like they should, I am super healthy and still pregnant and that's the best I can hope for.
Looking forward to: Making it to next Tuesday...33 weeks!
Other interesting things about this week: I learned that Olivia has hair! Maybe the girls won't be bald like their brother was...but it also concerns me that they won't have big bbrother's hair as I had hoped they would!

Friday, November 9, 2012

28 Weeks

How far along? 28 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +21.2 (but I seriously have no idea where it one, including me, can see it anywhere but my belly)
Size of babies: They weigh as much as a Chinese cabbage and are around 15 inches from head to heel. (Parker is actually over 2 lbs 10 oz and Olivia is 2 lbs 7 oz)
Maternity clothes? I have worn 2 non-maternity shirts this week! As far as pants go, maternity all the way
Stretch marks? No new stretch marks, but the ones I already have are getting darker.
Sleep: Doing really well this week!
Miss Anything? Bending over, easily shaving my legs, being able to take a deep breath...
Movement: They are definitely on a pattern of sleeping and awake time, and they are very active when they're awake. 
Symptoms: Still having some back pain, and am now having Braxton Hicks contractions. 
Food cravings: None to speak of.
Aversions: None this week. 
Have you started to show yet: YES! But I still don't feel like I'm as big as I was with Jack.
Labor Signs: None at all.
Belly Button in or out? Mostly flat, but it wants to pop out. Jack is thrilled.
Wedding rings on or off? On! Actually, rather than my fingers being too swollen to wear them, my rings are actually loose and I worry my wedding ring will slip off!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Very, very happy this week. =D

Best moment this week: Seeing Parker and Olivia's faces in my u/s this week. They are filling in with fat and their faces look like faces now, rather than skeletons, and it took my breath away. 
Looking forward to: The weekend off with my boys, with no plans and no chores to be done. 
Other interesting things about this week: We took Jack on a tour of the hospital where his sisters will be born (also where he was born) and he was such a good boy and was very happy to see the babies in the nursery. He's going to be an awesome brother. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

27 Weeks

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +17.4

Size of babies: They weigh as much as a head of cauliflower (around 2 lbs, as we already know)
Maternity clothes? There is no possible way I could get into much else.
Stretch marks? No new stretch marks, but the ones I already have are getting darker.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well still, in spite of some pretty bad back pain. 
Miss Anything? Bending over, easily shaving my legs, being able to take a deep breath...
Movement: Lots of movement when they are awake. They are also still able to flip over, so sometimes they kick up top and others they are kicking the bottom of my belly. The doctor has asked us to monitor kick counts as well, so trying to stay on top of that. 
Symptoms: I have been dealing with some serious sciatica the last couple of days. I could barely walk on Monday and was in tears just trying. 
Food cravings: None to speak of.
Aversions: None really, but the smell of bologna might do me in!
Have you started to show yet: YES!
Labor Signs: None at all.
Belly Button in or out? Just flat for now.
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Happy or Moody most of the time: I'm happy, but also suffering from serious exhaustion, both physical and mental. I am very anxious about their impending arrival, especially considering that at best, we have only about 8 weeks.

Best moment this week: Absolute best moment this week is my VERY best friend Nicole gave birth to her and Brian's second daughter on Monday! 
Looking forward to: The baby shower this weekend! I am still unsure about even having a shower, but my sister was so sweet to insist on throwing it and I'm very excited to visit with friends and talk babies! 
Other interesting things about this week: It's Halloween this week, so my little mummy man gets to trick-or-treat with his Daddy again this year! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

26 Weeks

How far along? 26w3d
Total weight gain/loss: +17

Size of babies: They are as long as English Hothouse Cucumbers...Parker weighs 2lbs 2 oz and Olivia is right at 2 lbs as of this morning
Maternity clothes? All maternity pants, but I can still manage to wear some non-maternity tops.
Stretch marks? Nothing new. 
Sleep: Sleep has been excellent here lately, especially since my friend Nicole introduced me to the miracle of Prevacid!
Miss Anything? Being able to easily put on shoes, still very much miss beer and margaritas!
Movement: Tons. They are definitely on a schedule, and now they are to the point that loud noises or stomach bumps wake them up!
Symptoms: Praise the Lord, nothing right now, thanks to the aforementioned Prevacid! I guess just a little more tired than usual.
Food cravings: None to speak of.
Aversions:None at the moment. 
Have you started to show yet: I started to show a long time ago. Now it's just speculation on if it's bigger than the day before...
Labor Signs: None at all.
Belly Button in or out? Still pretty flat, though it wants to poke out a tiny bit at the end of the day. Before it's all said and done it may be popped out.
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Very, very happy and very, very tired.

Best moment this week: Painting a canvas for the girls room and being almost finished with the nursery!
Looking forward to: The weekend, getting some stuff done around the house and my baby shower next Saturday!
Other interesting things about this week: I attended an incredible fundraising dinner for Options for Women.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baby Face(s)

Yesterday I had my 24 week appointment with Dr. Mc, the girls' specialist, as I do every 2 weeks.

Many times, the girls are positioned such that we can only get one of their profiles clearly, but yesterday, the tech was able to get both their faces very clearly.

That's Parker (Baby A) on top. I love that she has her mouth open. She is my ornery one, which comes as no surprise. I've always thought Parker would be my little crazy girl and the Olivia will be a sensitive tender heart. Considering how much more Parker kicks and how much more uncooperative she is in utero, I just might be right.

Olivia (Baby B) is on the bottom and she just looks so sweet. They both still look very much like their original profiles back in August, and I have a feeling they might share some qualities with Jack. Noses and chins are looking mighty similar!