Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Normal

First of all, a big thanks to Danielle for posting for us once the babies arrived. Thanks, chica. You are so good to me.

We went in for a scheduled c-section on October 16. Thankfully, the babies waited for their Aunt Leah to arrive from out of town prior to making their appearance; both my ObGyn and Perinatologist didn't think the babies would hold off until the 16th. Of course, being a planner and my kids, they waited! Woohoo! I was 37 weeks and 3 days when the babies were delivered and am thankful that my body held up and that the babies didn't have any problems whatsoever at birth.

Here's a rundown of the babies' birth story:

We got to the hospital about 5:30 AM and were admitted. An IV was started and all our paperwork was filled out by 6:00 AM. From there, it was a whirlwind.... the anesthesiologist came in and told us what to expect with the spinal. He confirmed Allen and Aunt Leah could both be in the delivery room. The doctor came in next, and we all headed to the delivery room about 7:25 AM. After the spinal, things happened quickly, but my memories of the actual delivery are pretty blurry. I remember that my heartrate skyrocketed; Allen and Leah had to wait to come into the room until I settled down a bit. I remember the doctors asking if I felt the "test cut." I remember the doctors saying I was the smallest person they had ever seen that was pregnant with twins. They also told me my abdominal muscles were extremely tight and they were envious of them. Scary! I've never worked out a day in my life, so I got a good laugh out of that comment. Thanks for the great genes, Mom.

I remember Allen coming in and holding my hand while Leah took pictures and some video of the babies after they were delivered. Baby A came out screaming, which was music to my ears. The nurses said it was the loudest scream they had ever heard from a baby. HA! Baby B was delivered a minute later, and although he came out crying, his was nothing like his brother's cry. The doctor told Allen he could go look at the babies; he told her he couldn't leave because I had a death grip on his hand. The doc forced me to let go of his hand so he could go see and be with the boys.

"Baby A," or as Danielle called him, "Thing 1," Mason Atticus, was born at 7:50 AM, weighed 5 pounds and 13 ounces, and was 19 1/2 inches long. He has proven to be a hands-on little guy who LOVES to be held and rocked. He is also more verbal than his brother and keeps his eyes closed more than his brother as well. We think this guy will be the instigator of the two boys.

"Baby B," a.k.a. "Thing 2," Brody Harrison, was born at 7:51 AM, weighed 4 pounds and 14 ounces, and was 18 inches long. He makes the best faces and is a very easy-going little guy. He only cries when he is really hungry or has a dirty diaper and is content just looking around and taking in his surroundings. Brody will be the easy-going dude that thinks things through and is very inquisitive.

Although my pregnancy was easy, I can say that I didn't expect my recovery to take as long as it has. While in the hospital recovering, my legs looked like they had a terrible sunburn, felt warm to the touch and swelled up so big I could hardly get out of bed. In fact, my legs were more painful than my actual c-section. The doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist were all called in to see if they could figure out why my legs were swelling. We finally discovered I was allergic to the in ICK! Once my pain meds were switched, I started feeling much better. We left the hospital on Sunday, October 18; I was thrilled to be going home to my own bed despite the boys being down a few ounces from their original birth weight. If I remember correctly, Mason was 5 pounds and 7 ounces and Brody was 4 pounds and 4 ounces when we left the hospital- both within the normal range of weight for babies to lose post-delivery but terrifying nonetheless. They seemed so small and helpless.

Since I have been home, I have had minor complications with bleeding and my uterus not contracting and shrinking the way it was supposed to after birth, partially because my uterus was so large from carrying the boys. Although I had a reaction to the medication the doctor gave me to help with this, I can now say I am feeling much better. I also tried to wean off my pain meds less than a week after the babies arrived, which was a very stupid idea, and I ended up having to take them again much to my chagrin. I guess we all learn....

I recently developed Mastitis as well. I am currently on antibiotics to help get rid of the infection and hope to feel better very soon.

My family and friends have been amazing! I haven't felt like being on my own with the babies yet except for an hour here and there, so someone has been here helping during the days while Allen helps me at night. Family and friends have brought meals, stayed with me and the babies during the day, cleaned our house, done laundry, and changed, held, and rocked the boys (that's the hardest chore ever. HA!) We've made adjustments to feeding and sleeping schedules, and sleep is few and far between around our house at the moment. Our new normal is three to five hours of sleep (on a good night). For someone who requires a lot of sleep, this has been the biggest challenge for me, along with trying to rest and heal because I'm not one to sit still. EVER. Poor Allen is working during the day, so this has been hard for him as well. He's doing such an amazing job of taking care of the babies AND me, which I know has been a HUGE job! I just adore him and wouldn't have been able to do it without all his help. He is amazing with the boys and is proving to be more hands-on than I ever imagined he would be. He is already a great dad, acting like a seasoned pro after only four short weeks of their life. I love you, Babe!

Three weeks and five days post surgery/delivery, I only have fourteen pounds to lose to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It is unlikely my body will ever look the same again, but I surely don't care because I have two beautiful boys as a reward! I will also admit I usually spend my days in my pajamas and often don't even get a shower until the late afternoons or evenings. Most times I don't even wear makeup. I'd rather exert my energy on the babies than myself right now.

I have only been out of the house without the babies twice. Once was to run to Target for more diapers; we are going through 140 m- 160 diapers a week. Can you believe that? And the other time was to run to another store to grab a few more things for the babies as well. It's hard for me to leave them, but I know it is good for me to get out and get some fresh air too.
I have very little time to do anything other than things that are baby-related. For those that know me and my love for work and technology, you would be shocked to know I check email about once and week and haven't responded to any emails in almost two weeks. THAT'S how busy I am! If you have emailed me, I promise to get back to you some day; I just have no idea when that will be. It's not that I don't care or want to- I just literally don't have the time and sometimes don't have the energy. I know this will all improve as I learn how to manage and juggle being a new mom a bit better. The same applies to me returning phone calls. Be patient, friends; I'm learning. Baby steps....

My memory and train on thought stink right now too. I attribute it to lack of sleep and hormones, but my sister-in-law calls it the "placenta theory." She says that a part of your brain is lost with every placenta. Since I lost two in one delivery, I guess I'm super brainwashed at the moment. HA!

My sense of time is also insane. Time flies. Three hours can pass in the blink of eye. No wonder I can't seem to get anything done around here. Between feedings and diaper changes, there is little time to do much else.

The boys sleep in a crib together right now. They are adorable, often migrate toward each other no matter how far apart we place them, and their cries do not usually wake the other one.

Brody had really bad diaper rash for a while, and we tried all kinds of diaper rash cream. What we found worked best was Vaseline; it cleared him up better than anything else we tried. Both boys currently have some congestion that tends to really flare up at night. The poor guys sound like pigs snorting when we feed them at night but neither has a fever. Mason also has a clogged tear duct that we are cleaning, massaging, and applying antibiotic topical ointment to until it is better. I hate seeing the poor little guys sick, but they are improving.

I know many of you don't care about all of these details and have likely stopped reading at this point, but I wanted to document as much about the birth experience as I could while my memory is somewhat intact.

Without further ado, I'll go ahead and leave you with some pictures, which I know is the real reason you are skimming this post..... Enjoy!

Nightie night. Sleep tight.

Chief Brody

Mister Mason

The babies and Aunt Leah

Sweet sleepers.

Allen and his boys

Can you say precious?

Sheer exhaustion

Cuddle bugs

Watch dogs

Look! We found our hands!

Mason and Moxie

Too sweet for words.

Someone feels neglected as my mom feeds a baby...

Tucker Bug found a friend!

A moment of peace with pacifiers.


Wouldn't you love to know what I am thinking?

Ashley and tiny Brody

Mommy and Mason

YES! I'M A MOM!!!!! My dreams have come true!

Wide awake

A family of four

Mason in his first "outfit"

Brody in his first "outfit"

Cutie patootie

What are YOU looking at?

* I know some of you may have questions I didn't address in this novel, so feel free to leave a comment and ask. I'll do my best to post again very soon and answer any questions I receive, hopefully in less than four weeks this time. (Chuckle) Adios until next time, friends!