Monday, August 25, 2008

Living Life One Day at a Time

It finally came – two days before Christmas. Mike was still at work, and I was busy packing, preparing to leave in a few hours to be with his mom’s family for the holiday. I knew “it” was late – I’m a planner, and after months and months of charting and using an ovulation prediction kit, I knew my body…so I knew I was late. I didn’t want to “waste” the pregnancy test – was it too early to take one? – but with leaving town and Christmas arriving, I decided to take one anyway. And that’s when it came – the 2nd pink line. There was no mistaking it – there were actually two lines this time! I was pregnant.
On Friday January 8th, I had my first doctor’s appointment at 8 weeks. My doctor confirmed early in the appointment that I was indeed pregnant. But he kept questioning how far along I was…how sure was I of my last period start-date? I knew it – for sure. After a few moments, we questioned him…why did he keep asking? His response was that my uterus was measuring a little “farther along” than it should for 8 weeks…he’d like to do an ultrasound to get an accurate measurement. Of course, they had no room for another appointment that day, so we were scheduled for the following Tuesday.

All weekend we speculated…but I should say we already knew. Mike and I have always discussed having kids – and having twins. We have twins on both sides of our family (my uncles and Mike’s mom), so it always seemed like a possibility for us (putting actual genetic chances aside at that time). I remember discussing at our premarital classes…no more than 3 kids – if we have twins the first time, we’re done. If we have one, we’ll try for another, and if it’s one baby, we’re done – but if it’s twins, we’re really done.

So when we went in for our ultrasound on Tuesday, we weren’t shocked to see two babies on the ultrasound screen…surprised, but not shocked. It did shock us when the technician said “let’s make sure there’s not any more in there”, but there were not…we had two sacs with one baby in each. We were elated!

As a “planner”, I started preparing right away…I bought the Baby Bargains book (we’ve got to save money as best we can!), I found the Multiples Board on The Nest (which I spent hours reading!), joined my local Mothers of Twins Club, and later that spring, Mike and I enrolled in the Multiples Class and other classes at the hospital where I would be delivering. I found such wonderful help from the girls on the Multiples Board – though I didn’t post much, I was a ‘lurker’ – logging in almost daily to read about their experiences, the supplies they recommended, and the overall support that they offered.

My pregnancy was relatively smooth. I often had people comment about “how huge” I was getting, and I had to remind them that I was carrying two babies. Ironically, I only gained about 20 pounds the entire pregnancy…and 9 lbs of that was baby! (I always joked that I “wasn’t small to begin with” and that my belly weight migrated from other parts of my body.) My doctor was never concerned about my weight gain, but after our 28-week ultrasound, he sent us to a specialist since our twin boys were not gaining weight as rapidly as he would have thought.

At 29-weeks, I started having Level 2 ultrasounds with the perinatal specialist. At that 29-week appointment, the doctor had no concerns…yes, the boys were small, but there were two of them, he would “expect them to be small”. Four weeks later, his opinion had changed a bit - the difference between the boys’ sizes was getting bigger - and he wanted me to start being monitored with weekly non-stress tests and growth ultrasounds every two weeks. The weekly non-stress tests quickly became bi-weekly appointments but the results were all coming back the same…no concerns! We were given a c-section date of August 11, but by Monday July 21, the doctor was even more concerned…Baby A just kept getting further behind Baby B. He wanted them out the next week.

So our August 11th scheduled delivery became July 28th in a matter of minutes. Holy cow – we went from having 3 more weeks to prepare to having only 1 week…we were shocked, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Oh, and my own birthday is July 27th – what a present!

So, at 35 weeks 6 days, the boys were born at 12:07 and 12:08 p.m. on July 28th. Each of the boys needed a few minutes of oxygen, but quickly started breathing on their own. Connor weighed 4 lbs 11 ounces and Logan weighed 4 lbs 2 ounces. They each had 10 fingers, 10 toes, and were precious! We were very lucky that the boys did not need immediate NICU time – they even went with me to recovery for a little while. The nurses came down and got the boys so they could start running further tests on them.

Once I was in my room, we found out that Logan was having some difficulty maintaining his temperature – they weren’t too concerned at this point, but they were monitoring him so he couldn’t come into my room with his brother. By Monday night, Logan was put into the Special Care Nursery to be placed into the isolate…this would help maintain his temperature until he could start doing that on his own.

The rest of the week is a whirlwind – Connor was doing great and Logan was in and out of the isolate. By Thursday afternoon, I was devastated with the news that my sweet Logan would not be released with us on Friday…he needed to maintain his temperature 24 hours outside of the isolate before being released, and he was put back into the isolate around noon on Thursday. We continued to be hopeful though – and Logan came back out around 3 a.m. Friday morning…so the 24-hour time test began.

We arrived home with Connor around 5:00 pm on Friday…it was so difficult leaving Logan behind. But we had a timeline – the nurse was saying he should be released by the next morning. This was hard – but I kept reminding myself about all the strong women on the Multiples Board who had sustained many more nights without their children at home…and if they could do that then I could do one night. At 6:30 the next morning, the nurse called – “come get your son” could have never sounded so sweet. By 8:15, we were home…and our family was finally together.

And now, as I sit here writing this, my boys will be one month old this week. My life has changed – my world revolves around them. The boys get fed every three hours, we change diapers, they play and look around before they fall asleep, and then the process starts all over again. We’re experiencing a lot of firsts too – first time each friend or family member visits, first outing, first bath, first days home alone (after Mike went back to work) and oh yeah...first (second, third, etc.) sleepless night. It’s hard, sometimes harder than my paying job, but you get through. I’ve learned you can’t plan everything – and you have to go with the flow. Each day I remind myself of the words one experienced mother said in our Multiples class. She said, “I took it one day at a time. If that day was especially hard, then I took it one hour at a time. But it worked and we managed.” And that’s working for us too – just taking it one day at a time.

From the nest: jd070106

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