It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated this blog! I miss it, so here I am. I figured before I just dive right back into decor musings, I should maybe explain a little about my whereabouts for the past two months. It’s a blur, so this post is for the benefit of my future self as well. It’s 10 pm, the babies are sleeping and I’ve got about 20 minutes left on the pump, so let’s do this.
This story is better started in the middle… on March 27, 2015 our twin boys Teller Glenn and Nixon Ray were born. Teller, at 4 lbs 11 oz, was born at 12:09 pm and Nixon, at 5 lbs 9 oz, came into this world at 12:14 pm.
Nixon on the left, Teller on the right
But their birth story actually begins much earlier in the month, when I was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor at 31 weeks.
Tuesday, March 10 – Hospital Admission for Pre-Term Labor
This day started out innocently enough with Aaron and I headed to the doctor’s office for a check-up. I remember we were both in a rush and anxious about things happening back at work, so we hustled into the building and quickly sat down waiting to be called back. Little did we know what was in store for us. The doctor checked me, made a weird throat noise and said very seriously, “Head to the hospital. You are 4-5 cm dilated and 100% effaced.” We were confused. I hadn’t been feeling any contractions… I actually felt great. I think I said, “You mean today?” She said, “YES!” so off we went. We headed to the hospital, thinking I would be getting some medicine and then released. Little did I know I wouldn’t leave the building for another 2.5 weeks.
March 10 – March 26 – Hospital Bedrest
My stint (I should say our stint… Aaron stayed overnight with me every night but two) in the hospital started out very scary. The doctors, the NICU doctors and the nurses all believed I would have the twins within 24 hours of admission. Keep in mind at this point that I still wasn’t feeling any contractions. The NICU team came and met with us and began to set our expectations on life with 31-week-old babies, the likelihood of complications and how long they would be in the hospital. Everyone had grave, serious faces. They started me on a very high dose of magnesium sulfate via IV, steroid shots for lung development and two more things that I can’t quite remember. The drugs quickly turned me into a walking zombie. The nurses said I handled the magnesium extremely well, but I felt like I had bum legs and the worst flu ever. Blech. The goal in those first few hours was to hold off delivery for 48 hours to give the steroid shots a chance to more fully develop the boys’ lungs.
48 hours came and went. And then a week came and went. My days were filled with visitors, crafting, non-stress tests (which is what I’m doing in the photo above), around-the-clock vital checks and doctors visits. People asked if I was dying of boredom. I was not. Honestly, it felt like I was so busy with all of the check-ins and people that the hours often flew by. Dare I say that it felt like a forced vacation. My only responsibility was to keep those babies in. It was a nice break from the hectic life I had been living! Definitely a wake up call when hospital jail feels like a vacation!!!!
Anyways, at week 2, things started to pick up. I had begun getting contractions I could actually feel (just more of a tightening… maybe a 2/9 on the pain scale) at night. Every night for the second week, I received a shot of an asthma medication called Brethine to stop my uterus from contracting. I got the sense that a nightly shot was not the norm… lots of sympathetic smiles from the nurses.
Right at day 1 of week 2, I was also checked again for additional dilation by my doctor. EIGHT cm and 100% effaced. Yikes! Keep in mind at this point that I was still very comfortable. The babies (now both head down) seemed very comfortable with steady, calm heartbeats. I was having very mild, random contractions not unlike what I had been experiencing for most of the third trimester. Just mild tightening 3-4 times a day. At this point, the nurses on the bed rest wing were very wary of me. They believed I would go any minute… I was known as the “8 cm girl.” And many of the nurses wanted me moved to the Labor & Delivery wing. My doctor was freaked out too and could not believe how comfortable I felt. I was at 8 cm for another 10 days.
March 27 – Teller and Nixon’s Birthday!
The night before March 27, I got the best sleep of my life in that hospital bed. I had finally figured out a good position and it was amazing! But when I woke up, I felt a little funny. Still, not convinced anything was going to happen (I was 33 weeks 3 days at this point), I told Aaron to go ahead to work. I got a shower and did my hair and just started my normal routine. I was alone in my room when I started to feel some serious contractions… BY FAR the most painful contractions I’ve had. I called the nurse at around 10 am and she gave me a shot of Brethine. It was the first time the shot didn’t work. The pain increased (I was crying at this point) and I called Aaron and told him to come quick. Still, I believed they were going to give me some super drug and stop the labor. My MIL, Aaron and my doctor arrived at about the same time. The doctor handed me a hospital gown and they began to move the bed out the door towards Labor and Delivery. Holy sh*t…. I guess this is happening!!
In Labor and Delivery, I got checked again at 11:30 am and I was complete!! And in a LOT of pain!! I said YES to the epidural and soon all was calm. The doctor had me do some “practice” pushes in my L&D room and Teller’s bag of water exploded all over her. Whoops… sorry doc!
The team rolled me into the OR for the delivery (it’s a pretty standard thing to deliver twins in the OR… just in case). The room was bright, HOT (for the babies’ sake) and full of at least 12 people. I was moved to the OR table and lifted into the air. Bright lamps were positioned all around me. It was like a Cirque de Soleil you never want to go to. LOL. All modesty went out the window as you can imagine. I remember being in such good spirits and just ready to let my body do its thing.
It took 10 minutes and five-ish pushes for Teller to arrive at 12:09 pm and he came out screaming. After months of worrying about my babies (especially Teller, who had a 2-vessel cord and was the smaller baby) and praying for their safety, out comes this healthy, crying boy with all 10 fingers and toes. I lost it. The relief I felt that Teller was OK and here was unbelievable. Aaron and I got to cuddle him quickly and then it was time to focus on Nixon’s arrival. Nixon arrived 5 minutes later and again to my huge relief, he was my second healthy, screaming boy. They both got to lay on my chest while Aaron cut Nixon’s cord. Aaron was a rockstar by the way…. I swear he was a doula or birthing coach in his past life. He said all the right things, he actually made me laugh mid-push… I thank God for him every day. It all happened so fast. At around 12:40 pm I was wheeled back to Labor & Delivery and the nurses at the charge station clapped for me and called me Jimmy John’s. Freaky fast delivery. I was a proud momma, but I was already worried about my babies, who were with the NICU team.
Born at 33 weeks 3 days, Teller and Nixon are definitely still considered preemies and we knew we had a NICU stay ahead of us. They didn’t need any oxygen or breathing assistance… our NICU journey was all about growing and learning how to take food by mouth.
March 28 – April 17 – Teller and Nixon’s NICU Stay
The whole NICU thing is so hard. Leaving your babies every day… I don’t miss crying in the elevator on the way out to the car. I don’t miss standing by while someone pokes and prods my babies. Ugh. There are good parts… the awesome nurses, the crash course in baby raisin’, the advice… but none of it really helped the fact that the babies weren’t home. Thankfully by the second week, both Nixon and Teller started to get the hang of taking food by bottle. This was a big deal, because it was the last goal to accomplish before they could be discharged. Nixon, at one point near the end, ripped out his feeding tube, and we begged the doctor to just let him try on his own without the tube. He never looked back and sucked down all of his feeds in defiance. We were so proud! Teller was not far behind. Nixon came home on April 14 and Teller came home on April 17. It felt so good to leave that hospital parking lot after all of those weeks!! And it was overwhelming too… the reality of two infants to take care of had finally hit. We were ready, but so so nervous.
And today, with the boys’ at almost two months old, yea… we are still nervous, but we’re happy, we’re in love and we’re even getting a little sleep! We’ve been so lucky to have family stay with us each week… that has been huge in helping us make the transition to a family of four. My sister is here with us this week to help out and I am so excited. She lives in Illinois and I can’t remember the last time we got a week together!
So there we go! It’s time for me to get to bed… 3 am is coming quick. I’ll be back later this week with some house-related posts!